Deva-Marie Beck, PhD, RN
Deva-Marie Beck is a Canadian / American who has been working — for nearly three decades — on approaches to citizen advocacy for achieving global health and the UN's Global Goals — the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2000 to 2015 and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015 to 2030.
Since 2006, Dr. Beck has served as International Co-Director of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) — based at NIGH World’s headquarters in Canada’s National Capital Region and in Geneva, Switzerland. With this focus, she is connected, around the world, with nurses and midwives, who are prime stakeholders for achieving UN Global Goals related to health care delivery and to addressing health determinants.
She has led in NIGH’s work on UN Briefings, group discussions, website development — feature articles, photojournalism and videos [in 8 language versions] — campaigns, journal articles, book chapters, books and keynote presentations, and, recently, to achieve NIGH’s Special Consultative Status’ granted by the United Nations Economic & Social Council (UN ECOSOC) in 2018.
Dr. Beck is Co-Author of the award-winning Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action (2005) and has since authored and co-authored numerous related book chapters and peer-reviewed articles — most recently 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” and a leading article — “In Nightingale's Footsteps—Individual to Global: From Nurse Coaches to Environmental and Civil Society Activists” for the September 2019 issue of Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience and Collaboration — the first peer-reviewed nursing journal to devote a full edition to addressing climate change.
In her role as Editor-in-Chief for NIGH's website, Dr. Beck 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. and is slated to keynote there again in 2020. 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.
Dr. Beck has recently returned to Canada's National Capital Region after residing for 7-plus years in the Manitoba prairie towns of Neepawa and Kelwood. From this rural base, she sought to learn more about grassroots views — and in the context of local-to-global outreach — toward raising public consciousness and personal commitment to world health. Her primary goal continues 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.
To serve and connect with friends and neighbours at the community level, Dr. Beck has also been 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 has also been pro-active in the Rotary community — serving as 2017-2019 District Chair of District 555 of International Inner Wheel, and the 2015-2017 President of the Neepawa Inner Wheel Club, as well as an active member of the Neepawa Club of Rotary International.
Further to this, Dr. Beck is also 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.
A multi-disciplined early education — in both arts and science — shaped Dr. Beck's commitment to become a Registered Nurse specializing in clinical critical care and women’s health [1976 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.
Photo from NIGH's archives.