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Public Health Hero June 2014

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 30, 2014

Paving the Way for Improved Maternal and Infant Care

By Mark Positano, Environmental Specialist III, Jefferson & Madison County

Lynn T. Elliott, MS, RN, is known in Jefferson and Madison Counties as a nurse who understands and cares for her community. With her many public health efforts around the state, her public health career spans 40 years of developing public health policy, performing programmatic quality improvement and helping to implement Medicaid cost-based payments.

Early on in her nursing career, Elliott specialized in maternal, child health care and pediatric nursing. This experience led her to serve as a public health nurse in Jefferson County in 1985. Eventually, she took on the difficult role of caring for cocaine addicted babies and their mothers in Lee County. She also supervised and mentored other public health nurses during this time. Her dedication to providing care continues in her current capacity as an instructor at the Florida State University College of Nursing. Elliot is inspiring the next generation of nurses to not only offer great service, but also understand the vulnerable populations living in every community.

Elliott has also been a leader in developing the Healthy Start Medicaid Waiver in Florida. This initiative decreased the rate of infant mortality and assisted millions of women, improving health outcomes for 23 years.

Additionally, Elliott has received several awards over the years for her participation in Florida’s hurricane recovery efforts. In 1992, following Hurricane Andrew, she joined other public health professionals on the first plane from North Florida to Miami-Dade, staying for three months to assist the community through her many roles.

"I am honored to be a public health professional serving the most vulnerable populations in Florida,” said Elliott. “It has been a passion of mine for many years and made my life truly fulfilled.” Elliott’s dedication to the community and the field of nursing has positively affected the lives of many Floridians. Her energy and willingness to spearhead new initiatives in public health makes her not only a hero, but also a nurse who truly cares.

Link to issue: Mrs. Elliot is on page 21 of 81.

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