40 under 40 class of 2021
Oak Ridge ,
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Public Health Nurse Consultant
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
" The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that now is the time to start planning for our next outbreak, and incarcerated people are at the highest risk of infection. Our public health infrastructure needs to reflect that we recognize this and are prepared to work with our correctional facilities as a priority, and not an afterthought."
Three words to describe me:
intuitive, compassionate, resolute
The best part of my job:
I think I used to think my favorite part about my job was patient teaching, but really it's establishing deeper connections with people. That's the moment where we teach each other.
Something that would surprise others about me:
That I'm actually an introvert! I can get fired up about topics I care about and can be a powerful speaker, but in my day-to-day I'm much more reserved.
Over the last three years, Dr. Lindsay Novacek has leveraged her knowledge and hands-on experience as a public health nurse to become a subject matter expert on the intersection of public health and correctional health care. Of her many accomplishments, she led an interprofessional collaborative team to drive measurable improvements in how health care is provided in the Forsyth County Jail. Because of that experience, she was called by surrounding counties and the state to offer review, guidance, and consultation for how to approach issues of public health importance in county jails.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lindsay’s skillset and knowledge has been especially valuable, helping to shape North Carolina’s COVID-19 guidance for all county jails. She also helped establish the first national correctional nursing guideline to address COVID-19 in a jail or prison.
Lindsay is a leader for public health nurses in North Carolina, and she can be found advocating for increased leadership roles for all public health nurses. Lindsay received a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Public Health Nurse Leadership from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Arizona College of Nursing.