Outstanding Lebanese nurse wins Heroine of Health award

5 October 2021

PR 49

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is delighted that its nomination of Myrna Abi Abdallah Doumit for the 2021 Women in Global Health's Heroine of Health Award has been successful.

Dr Doumit, who is the immediate past-President of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon, was given the award for her leadership of nurses in her country in the weeks and months after the terrible explosion in Beirut in August 2020, which killed and maimed so many of her compatriots, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Doumit, a former scholar on ICN’s Global Nursing Leadership Institute, led Lebanon’s nurses through a very difficult period of her country’s history thanks to her enormous courage and charisma. During her three-year tenure as President, her experience and her operational and strategic skills also led to the passing of new legislation on nursing regulation and mandatory continuing professional development in Lebanon. She has been an inspiration to nurses in Lebanon, and her enthusiasm and passion for her work has encouraged Lebanese nurses to strive for excellence in nursing and leadership.

ICN President Annette Kennedy said:

“Myrna is an extraordinary leader whose work and commitment have always been about supporting and protecting nurses, advancing the profession, and lobbying for better conditions of employment and appropriate remuneration. She has done this for years, against the backdrop of a weak health system in her country that has struggled to cope with normal health care needs, let alone with a pandemic.

‘The challenges facing nurses from the devastation to hospitals and homes caused by the explosion in Beirut, on top of the pandemic, would have disheartened and overwhelmed the strongest of us, but not Myrna. She immediately set to work to best assist Lebanon’s nurses, lobbying for funding, accommodation and resources, and sharing the difficulties her colleagues faced with the media and with the rest of the world’s nurses through ICN. She told us all about the need for support for nurses in order for them to provide care in the most difficult of circumstances. Under Myrna’s guidance, nursing in the Lebanon has reached great heights and shown the world the invaluable contribution of nurse leaders in health care policy and health care delivery.”

ICN Chief Nurse Michelle Acorn added:

“Honouring Dr. Myrna Doumit as a heroine of health highlights her legacy of nursing leadership and showcases her vital contributions during humanitarian crises. This award moves beyond the hero discourse of appreciation to highlight gender equity and women in action. By bringing about improved recognition of nurses in Lebanon, Dr. Doumit has advanced and increased the influence of our crucial nursing workforce. As a Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) scholar, Myrna will continue to lead and inspire nurses, advance policy and improve health outcomes for the people of Lebanon.”

Download the press release here