In a groundbreaking development, Margaret Helen Shepherd, a distinguished British nurse, has secured her place in history as the first nurse from the UK to receive the highly coveted Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award 2023 by Aster DM Healthcare. This momentous achievement comes as a testament to Shepherd’s unwavering commitment to improving diabetes care, particularly in the realm of monogenic diabetes. With her exceptional contributions, Shepherd has not only offered invaluable guidance to healthcare professionals worldwide but also established a national network of genetic diabetes nurses to elevate awareness and enhance patient outcomes. The global nursing community stands in awe of her exceptional accomplishments, which have rightfully earned her this prestigious accolade.
Margaret emerged as the winner of a $250,000 prize during an award ceremony in London that took place on International Nurses Day. Her selection came from a pool of over 52,000 registered nurses representing 202 countries. A momentous award ceremony took place in the United Kingdom, honoring the extraordinary achievements of Margaret Helen Shepherd and the other nine exceptional finalists of the Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award 2023. This significant event was graced by a distinguished panel of judges, including Dr. J Carolyn Gomes, Mr. Howard Catton, Dr. Niti Pall, Dr. Peter Carter, and Professor Sheila Tlou, who shared their expertise and bestowed recognition upon the deserving individuals.
The prestigious Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award was presented by a distinguished panel of influential healthcare figures. Azad Moopan, Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, had the honor of bestowing the award, showcasing his dedication to recognizing exceptional healthcare professionals. Prof Jamie Waterall, Deputy Chief Nurse at the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK, brought his extensive expertise in nursing leadership to the ceremony. Sheila Sobrany, President of the Royal College of Nursing, added her influential voice in advocating for nursing excellence.
The event was also graced by the presence of Alisha Moopen Deputy Managing Director at Aster DM Healthcare and T.J. Wilson, Director of the company and Group Head respectively, highlighting the importance of the award and their commitment to advancing nursing practice and enhancing patient care.
The award ceremony garnered significant attention and prestige as it was attended by prominent dignitaries from the UK government. Ministers, Lords, Members of Parliament, the Mayor, and Councilors graced the event with their presence.
Alisha Moopen congratulated all the finalists and said “Thanks to Margaret and 9 other finalists, your stories are going to inspire the nurses for generations, and healthcare leaders nurses comes after you. When you look at all our finalists and nominees, you will see that there are researchers, educators, mentors, caregivers, and healthcare leaders. What we have actually done with Aster Guardians Award is assuring a completely new era of healthcare when nurses are at the forefront of it and they have slowly but very powerfully come forward with this very role that really dons this completely new era. They really stand as a symbol of hope, healing for humanity as well as home because that the comfort the compassion that from all the stories that you heard tonight.”
Margaret is employed at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Exeter Medical School. Her professional journey commenced in 1981 at Kings College London. Following her qualification, she began her career working in a diabetes ward. At that time, she could not have foreseen the incredible opportunities that awaited her, where her contributions to the field of diabetes would be acknowledged and celebrated on a global level. Margaret achieved the distinction of being the first diabetes specialist nurse to be appointed at a district hospital. In 1995, she made the decision to relocate to Exeter and joined a team focused on studying the rare genetic forms of diabetes.
During her speech, Margaret expressed “Winning this award will enable me to ensure we have funding to offer this testing for free for the countries who without the wise not able to afford it. Sharing this information on the global stage will undoubtedly save the life of those with diabetes and the neonatal period across the world. This award will also provide opportunities for me to highlight the free education available online in monogenic diabetes that can be accessed by all healthcare professionals highlighting the power of education for patient benefits.”
Trailblazing Excellence in Diabetes Care: Margaret Helen Shepherd’s Inspiring Journey
Unparalleled Dedication to Diabetes Care:
Margaret Helen Shepherd’s relentless pursuit of advancing diabetes care began with a resolute focus on enhancing diagnosis protocols for patients. Recognizing the alarming misdiagnosis rates of approximately 80% in cases of monogenic diabetes, Shepherd undertook a mission to rectify this critical issue and ensure patients receive accurate and timely treatment. Her unparalleled expertise has positioned her as a leading authority on monogenic diabetes, offering indispensable advice to clinicians worldwide regarding effective management strategies for this complex condition.
Pioneering the National Network of Genetic Diabetes Nurses:
In a remarkable display of leadership, Shepherd spearheaded the establishment of a national network of genetic diabetes nurses in 2002. This groundbreaking initiative aimed to amplify awareness of monogenic diabetes among healthcare professionals, leading to more precise diagnoses and tailored treatment plans. By fostering collaboration and facilitating knowledge-sharing, Shepherd’s network has played a pivotal role in transforming the landscape of diabetes care, not only within the UK but across borders.
A Champion of Research and Innovation:
Margaret Helen Shepherd’s contributions extend beyond her exceptional clinical care. She was selected as one of the distinguished NIHR70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leaders, a cohort comprising 70 national nursing leaders at the forefront of driving innovation and promoting research awareness within clinical practice. This prestigious appointment highlights Shepherd’s unwavering commitment to advancing nursing knowledge and pushing the boundaries of diabetes care through evidence-based research.
Recognitions and Distinctions:
Shepherd’s relentless pursuit of excellence has garnered widespread recognition and prestigious awards. In addition to her remarkable achievement of winning the Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award 2023, she has been honored with the esteemed Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship. These accolades serve as a testament to her exceptional leadership skills, unwavering dedication to patient care, and significant contributions to the nursing profession.
Inspiring a Global Nursing Community:
Margaret Helen Shepherd’s historic win serves as an inspiration to nurses not only within the United Kingdom but across the globe. Her exceptional achievements in diabetes care, research leadership, and the establishment of a national network of genetic diabetes nurses illuminate the transformative power of nursing in healthcare. Shepherd’s groundbreaking efforts not only improve patient outcomes but also shape the future of nursing practice and research.
Margaret Helen Shepherd’s remarkable feat of becoming the first UK nurse to win the esteemed Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award 2023 stands as a testament to her unparalleled dedication and outstanding contributions in the field of diabetes care. Through her leadership and expertise, she has played a pivotal role in enhancing the diagnosis and management of monogenic diabetes, both domestically and internationally. Shepherd’s accomplishments inspire nurses worldwide to strive for excellence, embrace innovation, and drive positive change within the realm of healthcare. Her groundbreaking win solidifies her legacy as a pioneer in the nursing profession, reinforcing the indispensable role nurses play in advancing patient care and transforming healthcare systems globally.
About Aster DM Healthcare
Aster DM Healthcare Limited is one of the largest private healthcare service providers operating in GCC and in India. With an inherent emphasis on clinical excellence, we are one of the few entities in the world with a strong presence across primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary healthcare through our 30 hospitals, 125 clinics, 496* pharmacies, 20 labs and 157 patient experience centers in seven countries, including India. We reach out to all economic segments in the GCC states through our differentiated healthcare services across the “Aster”, “Medcare” and “Access” brands.