Judy Mill was a young nurse when she first joined CUSO and headed to Zambia in 1972. But it was her two years there, and the next two in Malawi, that moved her to expand her nursing education and to focus on public health.
“Public health is more than just the absence of disease,” says Mill. “Social factors, cultural beliefs, and economics influence health too. Working overseas really helped me understand that.”
Future trips to Africa, where she worked with women with HIV, cemented her desire to pursue a PhD and to focus her research on the experience of vulnerable populations, including Indigenous populations in Canada, living with HIV.
As the Associate Dean for Global Health at the University of Alberta in the mid-2000s, Mill developed innovative learning opportunities for Canadian and international nursing students interested in global health.
“My work with CUSO overseas impacted my choice to work with vulnerable populations and to focus on global health,” says Mill, who is now semi-retired.
“Being a global citizen, and making the world a better place, is what is critical.”
In 2012, the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care recognized Judy Mill with the Andrew Johnson Award for Exceptional Contribution to HIV/AIDS Nursing.