Deva-Marie Beck, PhD, RN
Deva-Marie Beck is a multi-media specialist, nursing educator, author, presenter and world-wide traveler, serving — in all these roles — as International Co-Director of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH).
A multi-disciplined early education — in both arts and science — shaped her commitment to become a Registered Nurse specializing in critical care and women’s health [1972 to 2002] — with a growing concern for global wellness [1992 to the present]. In addition to her graduate work and doctorate in Interdisciplinary Nursing Studies and International Development from the Union Institute & University, she holds undergraduate degrees in Registered Nursing, Health Sciences and Theatre Arts.
Based in Canada, Dr. Beck is now an educator and advocate for both primary and preventative health care on a world scale. As NIGH’s executive coordinator and website developer, Dr. Beck is a multi-media communications strategist currently focused on the mobilization of public opinion and advocacy to increase concern for global health issues. In these roles, she develops online feature articles, videos and photo-essays, coordinating with both nurses, midwives, students and media professionals. Collaborating with nursing leaders at the World Health Organization (WHO), she co-produced, in 2008, a video titled ‘Nurses & Midwives: Now More Than Ever for a Healthy World — highlighted at regional WHO meetings across the world and featured online in eight languages. In 2014, she produced a video titled ‘At the Heart of It All: Nurses & Midwives for Universal Health Coverage’ that premiered at the WHO Global Forum for Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officers and was featured again, recently, at a September 2015 conference to prepare a 'History of Nursing & Midwifery in WHO' — both convened in Geneva, Switzerland.
Between 2012 and 2014, Dr. Beck's focus theme was the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal # 5 ‘Improve Maternal Health’ with NIGH’s ‘Daring, Caring & Sharing to Save Mothers Lives’ online campaign. For this and related projects, she has collaborated with the Inter Press Service [IPS] News Agency and the WHO Healthcare Workforce Department. Balancing her work at both global and grassroots levels, she has served her local newspaper, the Neepawa Banner, providing media coverage — through feature articles about the health of mothers and children — of the Global Summit for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health convened by the Canadian government, in Toronto .
In collaboration with the Congress of NGO’s in Consultative Status with the United Nations [CoNGO], Dr. Beck has contributed two UN Civil Society Development Forum Panel Presentations to prepare for United Nations Economic & Social Council [ECOSOC] ‘Annual Ministerial Reviews’ for ‘Global Health’ in Geneva  and for ‘Gender Equality, Empowerment of Women and Development Cooperation’ in New York City .
Dr. Beck has also keynoted at four International Nursing Conferences of the Commonwealth Federation of Nurses & Midwives [2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018] in London, UK. In 2014, she hosted and moderated NIGH’s Panel Presentation at the International United Nations NGO Conference in New York City and co-hosted — with NIGH’s official DPI-NGO Representatives & Youth Representatives at UN Headquarters — a day-long workshop at the NYC Hospital to prepare nurses from across the Northeast to participate in ‘Post-2015 Agenda’ discussions to determine the new United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs).
In 2013 and 2015, she traveled to the former Soviet Union, keynoting at the 2nd & 3rd International Nursing Congresses in Yerevan, Armenia and in Stepanakerk, Nagorno Karabakh [in 2015] and served as an official ‘Observer’ at the WHO EURO Regional Conference of Government Chief Nursing Officers in Vilnius, Lithuania [October, 2013].
Since 2004, she has also traveled — on NIGH’s behalf — to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malta, Norway, Qatar, Turkey, Switzerland, the UK and US, Venezuela and Zambia — to keynote for and attend international nursing meetings, regional briefings and related discussions — including for presentations: in 2008, at WHO’s AFRO Regional Nursing Meeting in Lusaka; in 2009, at WHO’s WPRO Nursing Meeting in Jinan, China; in 2011, via online keynote presentations and webinars for national nursing conferences in Jordan and the Philippines; and, in 2016, for the WHO Conference of Collaborating Centres for Nursing & Midwifery, in Glasgow, Scotland.
In 2018, Dr. Beck team-led the application to establish NIGH’s UN ECOSOC ‘Special Consultative Status’ of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She has co-authored ‘Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action’ — an award-winning textbook published by the American Nurses Association  — and has since authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and articles. Across 2018 and into 2019, she co-authored five peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters, including, a 'Special Feature' for the May 2019 Edition of the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), “Nursing and the Sustainable Development Goals: From Nightingale to Now.”
From her rural Canadian home-base near Kelwood, Manitoba, she constantly seeks to raise public consciousness and personal commitment to world health. Her primary goal is to engage and empower nurses, midwives and concerned citizens, everywhere, to be concerned about and advocate for the most pressing global health and development needs of our time. Further to this primary goal, Dr. Beck is now collaborating with a ‘NIGH Uganda’ team of nurses, midwives, teachers, social workers, citizen activists and media professionals to develop a national public-awareness-advocacy strategy to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Uganda and East Africa.
Finally, to serve and connect with friends and neighbors at the community level, Dr. Beck is also an active member of the 'Yellowhead Trail' Chapter of Toastmasters and has served as a 2018-2019 Area Director for Toastmasters International's District 64. She is also active in her local Rotary community — serving as 2017-2019 District Chair of District 555 of International Inner Wheel, as well as active in the Neepawa Clubs of Inner Wheel and Rotary International.
Photo from NIGH's archives.