Dr. Kimberly Hardy, Director of Nursing and Director of Personal Health for Pitt County Health Department, was recently recognized for her contributions to public health nursing. On October 8, 2020, the North Carolina Public Health Association awarded Dr. Hardy the Margaret Dolan Award, which is awarded to nurses with a commitment to quality nursing care and excellence in public health nursing service.
Dr. Hardy completed BSN, MSN, and Doctor of Nursing Practice studies at East Carolina University College of Nursing in 1991, 2001, and 2017 respectively. Dr. Hardy has worked in public health since 1995 and has made several contributions to public health and the nursing profession over the course of her nursing career. Dr. Hardy has been the Director of Nursing since 2017 and has a determination and passion for ensuring that all patients have access to quality healthcare services and that they are treated with dignity and respect regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Dr. Hardy was initially employed as a Public Health Nurse I in the child health program and continued providing medical care for patients participating in the child health and women’s health programs after completing her advanced practice nursing licensure and family nurse practitioner board certification in 2002. While pursuing her MSN, Dr. Hardy worked as a child care health consultant and successfully wrote ten grants that were funded $195,000 to improve the health, safety and nutrition practices in six child care centers in Pitt County.
Her work in the local health department clinics and prior experiences in the outpatient clinic settings, has helped Dr. Hardy understand the patient, provider and system level barriers that prevent patients from receiving needed health care service. After completing the Duke Johnson & Johnson Nursing Leadership Fellowship in 2013, she began implementing quality improvement projects to address barriers to care that resulted in improved access to immunization services, quality of reproductive-sexual health services, the patients’ experience of care, and clinical revenues. In 2014, she began working to secure the first private third-party contracts for Pitt County Health Department to help ensure the future provision and funding of clinical services for uninsured, underserved and populations at high risk for poor health outcomes. The agency has received over $218,000 in revenue as a result of acquiring the contracts.
As a nurse administrator, Dr. Hardy has provided leadership in public health disaster response by coordinating preparation and scheduling of nursing and support staff of American Red Cross Shelters in Pitt County. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she implemented the PCHD COVID-19 Community Testing Project which to date, has tested over 8,000 people since July 9, 2020.
Dr. Hardy has a passion for supporting and educating the public health and advanced practice nursing workforce. For seven years, she has served on faculty as a clinical instructor for community health nursing students and she served as a mentor the ECU E-Mentoring Program for FNP students. Since 2018, she has served as a project coach for Duke Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. Through her work with the Duke J&J Program, Dr. Hardy has provided leadership to advanced practices nurses implementing projects to improve quality of health care service delivery across the United States. Twice a year, Dr. Hardy co-teaches the curriculum ‘Principles and Practices’ of Public Health Nursing
cosponsored by the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and NC Public Health. Dr. Hardy has successfully advocated for policy change in local government regarding filling vacant public health nursing positions.
In March 2019, she was inducted into the ECU College of Nursing Hall of Fame and recognized for work as an exemplary nurse leader. Dr. Hardy currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at East Carolina University College of Nursing and as Chair of the Eastern Region of the North Carolina Association of Public Health Nurse Administrators.
Dr. Hardy is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, North Carolina Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, North Carolina Association of Nurse Administrators Governing Board and the North Carolina Public Health Association.
Dr. Hardy is married and has two adult children and adorable one grandson. Her personal interest includes women’s ministry, Christian education, and holistic health and wellness.