Sharon graduated from St. Louis Community College-Meramac in 1976 with honors. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award and Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Award from Maryville University. She has received the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Award and the AWHONN Award for Excellence in Community Health Nursing and Oprah Winfrey’s Making a Difference Award.
She has represented the state of Missouri as a member of Governor Carnahan’s Task Force to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and as a member of the Missouri State Commission for First Steps Reform and Children’s Services Reform. Then serving on the Missouri State Commission to Reform State Government. Her role on this Commission was to serve with Lt. Governor Kinder to oversee recommendations concerning the Department of Health, Department of Mental Health and Department of Social Services. Her most outstanding accomplishment was to hold a Congressional briefing in Washington DC with the Centers for Disease Control to testify on behalf of her Foundation – Nurses for Newborns to become a model for national replication.
Her enduring value to the Nursing Profession is creating the “Nurses for Newborns Foundation” from her kitchen table and having it grow into a $2 million Foundation employing over 40 registered nurses in two states. Sharon believes “that the nursing profession should be promoting health not sick care” and attempts to influence health care policy on every level by demonstrating the value of prevention. She is a champion not only for community health but for nurses by fostering nurse entrepreneurship in publications and presentations on “making a difference” with nursing interventions. She has opened the doors of Nurses for Newborns as a clinical site for over 5 nursing schools in the St. Louis area and Tennessee at the satellite office in Nashville. This program has served over 30,000 families with savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested. Her program has improved the lives of thousands of infants resulting in decreased hospitalization rates, reduced infant mortality, teen repeat pregnancy and child abuse and neglect.