LANDSTUHL, Germany – Col. Renee Howell, the European Regional Army Public Health Nursing Senior Nurse Executive at Public Health Command Europe in Landstuhl, Germany, was awarded the Military Health System Military Nursing Leadership Excellence Award during the AMSUS annual awards banquet on February 7.
Praised for the major role she played in healthcare education and training that has positively impacted her unit’s success, Howell was honored with great distinction as a recipient of this year’s award.
Each year, federal healthcare professionals are recognized by AMSUS for significant accomplishments that have resulted in a meaningful impact on their mission or organization. The Military Nursing Leadership Excellence Award is an individual functional mission award which recognizes the major role an individual has played in demonstrating exemplary leadership skills, exceptional compassion and commitment resulting in noteworthy clinical or administrative accomplishments and contributing to the improved image and practice of nursing within the Military Health System.
“I am proud that I was selected for this year’s AMSUS award as the first Army public health nurse,” said Howell. “I would like to dedicate this award to public health community personnel that are on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19. Their tireless efforts are helping turn the tide on the most defining public health challenge of our time.”
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery offered his congratulations to this year’s recipients.
“The MHS Awards are important because they recognize the men and women who carry out the MHS mission on a daily basis to ensure we have a ready medical force and a medically ready force,” said McCaffery. “Their achievements are even more noteworthy during this pandemic. I commend their dedication to duty, professionalism, and innovative thinking during these unprecedented times. Their accomplishments improve our ability to effectively deliver high-quality health care to our warfighters, retirees and their families.”
Howell’s older sister, Sherry, served as a nurse in the Army and Howell followed her footsteps and became a public health nurse. She has been in nursing for nearly 22 years and at Public Health Command Europe since 2018.
“I love what I do,” said Howell. “I’ll probably be in public health nursing as a 100 year-old lady that just keeps going.”
Howell has been a crucial asset for the COVID-19 fight for the last years.
She spearheaded the Public Health Emergency Officer task force that collaborated with external and internal stakeholders within Europe on COVID-19 response mitigation policies and led the implementation of the COVID-19 patient monitoring system that increased contact-tracing capacity by 50% to meet rapid tracking and reporting requirements for the United States European Command.
“Contact-tracing became a valuable method to decrease the risk of COVID-19. Thus, keeping our service members and families safe,” said Howell.
Howell is passionate about volunteering and spent several hours volunteering with Boy and Girl Scouts troops to educate about nursing and military careers in the U.S. Army.