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BH WELL’s Executive Director, Chizimuzo Okoli Ph.D., MPH, MSN, PMHNP-BC, APRN, NCTTP, FAAN was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. He received this honor at Sigma’s 33rd International Nursing Research Congress in July 2022 along with 32 nurse researchers from across the globe. 

Sigma describes the purpose of The International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame as “recognizing nurse researchers who achieve significant and sustained national and/or international recognition for their work and whose research actively influences the profession and the people it serves.” 

Dr. Okoli expressed his gratitude for this honor, “I am extremely humbled and honored to join this prestigious group of nurse researchers in the Sigma Theta Tau Hall of Fame. I am passionate about advancing behavioral health nursing research, education, clinical care, and evidence-based practice programs; and I am grateful to the society for recognizing the value in this important work.”

Dr. Okoli is a Professor in the UK College of Nursing. He also directs both the Behavioral Health Research and Evidence-Based Practices & Tobacco Treatment services at Eastern State Hospital, a state psychiatric facility in Lexington, KY. His primary research focuses on enhancing substance use treatment (particularly tobacco use) among people living with mental and behavioral health challenges. He is internationally recognized for developing and integrating tobacco treatment approaches within mental and behavioral health systems. He has served as principal or co-investigator on several grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, National Institute of Health, Kentucky Department of Public Health, and Kentucky State Department of Medicaid.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) was founded by six nurses in 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana at what is now the Indiana University School of Nursing. “The name stems from Greek words storgé, thárros, and timé, meaning love, courage, and honor. Sigma is an international community of nurses, dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, teaching, learning, and service through the cultivation of communities of practice, education, and research. Their mission is to develop nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere.” To learn more Visit Sigma’s website.

The Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team exists to promote behavioral health and wellness among individuals facing behavioral health challenges. 

Read the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing news story about Dr. Okoli’s induction.