Trustee Susan Lloyd Yolen ’72 recently received the State Award for Nurse Practitioner Advocate Excellence from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) at the AANP’S 25th National Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. Established in 1993, the award recognizes the efforts of individuals who have made a significant contribution toward increasing the awareness and acceptance of the nurse practitioner profession.
“I’ve always been involved in the women’s movement,” says Yolen, who attended William Smith in the late 60s and early 70s – a pivotal time for social issues. “Something about the issues surrounding women’s health resonated with me and became an important driving force for women my age.” These driving forces pushed Yolen to work with the National Organization for Women, a women’s political canvassing organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood.
Yolen now serves as vice president of public affairs and communication for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, where she is responsible for government affairs, lobbying, advocacy, marketing, publishing and media relations for the agency. She is currently advocating “Partner Expedited Therapy,” part of a new bill passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island that would allow women diagnosed with an STD to take medication home to their partners.
“Women can sometimes lack the power to convince their partners to get tested,” she explains. “Some are afraid to ask their partners about their sexual histories and then the testing process becomes an impediment to a woman’s ability to maintain her sexual health.” Nurse practitioners would dispense these medications in health centers such as Planned Parenthood. Yolen believes that Partner Expedited Therapy would prevent re-infection and is a step in the right direction for patients and NPs alike.
“I have a wonderful job at Planned Parenthood,” Yolen says. “It is an organization that supports nurse practitioners, as they are the clinicians in our health centers, the ones who run tests and treat patients. Their service is essential to Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide low-cost health care for women. We appreciate and admire our nurse practitioners and the award I received is a reflection of the closeness between us.”
At William Smith, Yolen majored in English and was involved in the Student Subcommittee on Teaching, William Smith Congress and Little Theatre. She also headed the Christian Association program at the Newark State School and served as a Resident Assistant. After graduation, she earned her M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University. An active alumna, Yolen has remained dedicated to her alma mater, serving as member, Vice President, and President of the William Smith Alumnae Association. In addition, Yolen has served on the Colleges’ Board of Trustees since 1998. She has supported the Centennial Center for Leadership, the William Smith Annual Fund, the Heron Society, the Classes of ’72 Scholarship Project and other scholarships, and the Scandling Fund.
The AANP was founded in 1985 and is the oldest and largest professional organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties.
In the photo above, Yolen returned to campus in honor of the William Smith Centennial.