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Nurse Ida Spruill Receives Presidential Award For Research In Diabetes
2/13/2014 11:33:37 AM

Dr. Ida Johnson Spruill, Ph.D., R.N.
Staff Reports

Dr. Ida Johnson Spruill, Ph.D., R.N. was named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers by President Barack Obama Dec. 23. She is one of 102 recipients named, is the only South Carolinian to receive the award and one of only two nurses receiving it.

The award established by President William ‘Bill’ Clinton in 1996 is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Spruill received the award for her work in health literacy.

The awards are given to researchers who either work or are funded by a government department. Spruill’s research is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. She is completing the third and final year of a National Institute of Nursing project to help African American and minority individuals suffering with diabetes understand and manage the disease.

A minister’s daughter, Spruill grew up in the Pee Dee region of the state and graduated from Whittemore High School in Conway. She earned a B.A. Degree from North Carolina Central University, a M.S.W. Degree from Atlanta University, a B.S.N. Degree from Tennessee State University, a M.S.N. Degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. Degree from Hampton University.

Spruill began her career as a nurse in 1984 in Florence and became a staff nurse at MUSC in 1986. She also has worked at the Charleston County Health Department and Franklin C. Fetter Community Health Center.

In 1995 Spruill became Nurse Manager for Project SuGAR. In 2000 she became Co-Investigator/Project Director of the Racial Ethnic Approach to Community Health (REACH).

Spruill said she wanted to help diabetes sufferers better understand the disease and how they could manage it. That desire led her into research. Since 2010 she has served as principal investigator for two research projects that hopefully provide answers to how culture impacts the disease and its victims.

The recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education and community outreach.

In his statement while naming the recipients President Obama said, “The impressive achievements of these early stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead.”

Spruill said, “I am just so honored to be recognized by the president. It’s good that somebody recognizes that what we’re doing is important.”

Visitor Comments
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Submitted By: Jabari Spruill Submitted: 2/17/2014
Good job, ma!

Submitted By: Kermit Payne Submitted: 2/17/2014
Congratulations, Dr Spruill on the longstanding work to improve health outcomes in populations most in need. Your work is not new to many of us. The recognition is well deserved.

Submitted By: Azella Collins Submitted: 2/17/2014
Congrats Ida you have truly achieved outstanding milestones..

Submitted By: Michael Sawyer Submitted: 2/18/2014
We all love u and are proud of Aunt Tish

Submitted By: Doris Howard Submitted: 2/18/2014
Congratulations Dr. Spruill from a diabetic and a Hamptonian. Hope we can see more progress in treatment and cost for medications. As a federal retiree I am lucky to have health insurance but I still pay $100 co-payment for my insulin pens. Ok again congratulations on your honor!!

Submitted By: Tonya Submitted: 2/18/2014
Congrats to my cousin, Tish. Proud of u....

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