Blacksburg, VA, June, 2012 – When she’s not caring for patients at Medical Associates of Southwest Virginia, you’ll often find Carol Ballard, M.S.N., C.D.E., F.N.P., educating the future generation of healthcare professionals. Her efforts as a mentor, teacher, motivator, and volunteer, recently earned her the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners Educator of the Year Award.

“It brings tears to my eyes when I think about how much Ms. Ballard has freely given to patients, students and the community,” wrote Anthony Ramsey, Ph.D., F.N.P.-C, in his nomination letter for the award. “She is exceptionally smart, and her heart is pure gold, making her a role model for every student and practicing nurse practitioner in the state of Virginia.”

For more than 15 years, she has mentored hundreds of students and prepared them for careers as nurse practitioners, even involving them in her volunteer work at the Free Clinic of the New River Valley.

“I am very appreciative of this recognition from my professional organization,” said Ballard.  “I find it a privilege and honor to mentor future nurse practitioners as well as work with patients in many settings.”

The Educator of the Year Award is given to a nurse practitioner who provides an outstanding contribution to the field of nursing and a dedication to teaching.

“Carol’s dedication to shaping the minds of our future healthcare professionals should be commended,” said Scott Hill, CEO, LewisGale Hospital Montgomery. “She is more than deserving of such a prestigious award.”