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Florence Nightingale Medal: Navy reservist to receive highest International Red Cross distinction

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | August 1, 2013


Lt. Cmdr. Deborah Lynn Redman, family nurse practitioner, Nurse Corps, Navy Reserve Expeditionary Medical Facility Dallas One, Detachment N., San Antonio, Texas, has been selected to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor a nurse can be given.
Redman, who is scheduled to receive the medal Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C., is one of five 2013 recipients from the U.S. and one of 32 worldwide to receive the biennial award by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. She is the only American military nurse; the other four winners are American Red Cross nurses.
The Florence Nightingale Medal was established in 1912 and is awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The medal is given to those who show exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster.
It also recognizes exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education, according to an ICRC official award announcement.
Redman, a Navy reservist since 2008, received the official notification while on temporary additional duty orders working at the Naval Branch Health Clinic Albany at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga.
A resident of Lavernia, Texas, she has devoted her adult life to the nursing profession, caring for the sick and injured.
She has participated in various humanitarian missions, including a trip to Guyana, South America in 2009 where she and her team cared for more than 2,000 people.
In September 2010, Redman deployed to Afghanistan as a health care provider. During her 10-month deployment, she not only provided care for sick and injured U.S. military personnel, she frequently sought permission to go outside the protection of the forward operating base to provide care to the underserved population despite the personal risk to herself.
In coordination with Other Government Agencies, Redman conducted medical outreach missions to help educate Afghan medical providers. In addition, as a female provider, she was able to help Afghan women and children.
Her experiences in Afghanistan were challenging, but she was willing to put her life on the line for the sake of providing care and teaching others, according to the award citation.
“We are honored that the work of these nurses has earned this international recognition,” Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, said. “Their humanitarian efforts, both at home and abroad, have strengthened our mission and provided comfort and hope to countless others.”
Redman said it is an honor to be selected for such an award.
“With this win, more than anything, I hope to encourage others to live life and be willing to work,” she said. “Do the right thing and don’t be afraid to take chances because you never know where it will take you.”
Redman brings honor to the Navy Nurse Corps and is a true American hero, according to retired Lt. Cmdr. Charles Goodson, former Officer-in-Charge, NBHC Albany.
“Lieutenant Commander Redman’s professionalism epitomizes everything that the nursing field is about: caring for people, meeting patients where they are (specifically at that time and geographically, i.e. in the field), listening to their needs, providing acute and accurate assessments of needs, developing a plan for treatment and educating the patient on their health needs,” Goodson said.