News Release: School of Nursing

Apr. 8,  2010

Global Humanitarian to Deliver Emory School of Nursing Commencement Address

News Article ImageHumanitarian and nurse practitioner Twilla Haynes

Humanitarian and nurse practitioner Twilla Haynes will deliver the keynote address at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing's diploma ceremony May 10.

Haynes - with the help of her daughters who are also Emory nursing alumni - founded the Hope Haven Orphanage and Eternal Hope in Haiti (EHIH), organizations dedicated to providing improved health care for needy families and children.

The Hope Haven Orphanage specializes in care for medically fragile children and has provided care to more than 100 children since it opened its doors in 1993. EHIH clinics treat an estimated 7,000 people each year. EHIH has provided more than 286.5 million pounds of food, medicine, and supplies to communities in need. Haynes has been an advocate for people in Haiti for more than 17 years, and the two organizations she founded have had an extraordinary impact on the country.

Haynes, one of the Emory School of Nursing's first Native American graduates, is a nurse practitioner and also co-founder of Health Connections, Inc., an Atlanta-based organization that serves the needs of the poor and underserved. The Health Connections Clinic treats nearly 5,400 patients annually. Haynes recently expanded the clinic's services to include care for immigrant workers in Rockdale County.

"Twilla Haynes has worked tirelessly and effectively to provide health care to underserved communities in Atlanta and in Haiti," says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and dean of the School of Nursing. "She has focused her energy and influence to help those who are less fortunate, especially the children of Haiti. The fact that Ms. Haynes built the foundation for her own life of impact while earning a nursing degree at Emory is a source of great pride for the school. It is a privilege and an honor to have her back on campus to share her inspirational message with our graduates."

Haynes has more than 25 years experience teaching nursing courses at the Medical College of Georgia, the former Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, and Georgia State University. In 1985, she established a public health international course for nursing students, which incorporates trips to Haiti to enhance the learning experience. Since its inception, more than 900 nursing students from 20 schools in five states have participated in the course.

Haynes has received awards in recognition of her work, including Emory's Distinguished Nursing Achievement Award in 2007. She is a frequent regional and national speaker on health issues and is a legal nurse consultant at King & Spalding law firm in Atlanta.

Haynes is also an active member of several professional organizations, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Emory's Nurses' Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Georgia Nurses' Association.

She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia and her master's degree in nursing from Emory. In addition, Haynes holds a law degree from the Atlanta Law School.

High-resolution photograph available.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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