Beta Beta Houston’s Outstanding Member for 2015 is Dr. Sandra Cesario. Originally inducted into the Beta Delta Chapter-At-Large (Oklahoma City) in 1988, she continues to hold dual membership with that chapter. Dr Cesario was a member of Zeta Delta Chapter (Tulsa, OK) from 1996 to 1999 and became a member of Beta Beta Houston in 1999.
Leadership positions that she has held since becoming a member of Beta Beta Houston include:
Vice-President and Program Chair, 2000-2002
Research Committee Chair, 2014-Present
Other contributions to the chapter include serving as a delegate at the House of Delegates at the biennial convention, publishing the newsletter for a couple of years, successful preparation of the application materials for the 4th Key Award, assisting with preparations for the TWU College of Nursing Fall and Spring lectures that are co-sponsored by Beta Beta Houston, and presenting scholarly works regularly at local, national, and international STTI events. She has served as a mentor to many new members and is the unofficial photographer for the organization for many events.
Dr. Cesario, Coordinator of Doctoral Programs and a tenured Professor in the College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, is a woman’s health specialist with almost 40 years of clinical, research, education, and policy development experience. She has provided care to women and newborns throughout the United States and internationally and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2008. Her certification in Inpatient Obstetrics by the National Certification Corporation (NCC) assures competence in labor and delivery, fetal assessment, obstetric complications, newborn care, and professional issues.
Dr. Cesario’s program of research centers on improving the practice of professional nursing care for women and newborns in the areas of management of labor and birth, ovarian cancer, newborn abandonment, intimate partner violence and evidence-based practice. She is active in the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the standard-bearer for maternal-newborn care in the United States. She was the recipient of AWHONN’s 2012 Distinguished Professional Service Award and the 2011 Nursing for Women's Health Excellence in Writing Award.
She is a member of a 12 member research team addressing the physical and psychosocial health of abused women and their children. The project is funded in the amount of two million dollars by the Houston Endowment. As a recent President of the Board of Directors for the Texas Medical Center Women’s Health Network, she is a political and community advocate for issues that impact the health of women. Her policy development activities continue by serving on the Steering committee for the Women’s Health Initiative of Texas (WHIT) and the Women’s Health Committee of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC).
Sandra Cesario has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications in the past 5 years and has done 50 poster and podium presentations across the United States and globally in the same period of time. Her teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels includes courses such as Maternal-Newborn Health, Global Women’s Health, Multicultural Nursing, and Environmental Design. She has mentored approximately 50 doctoral nursing students during the dissertation process. On a personal note, Dr. Cesario was the caregiver and advocate for her daughter who battled stage IV ovarian cancer for over 5 years which ignited her passion for women’s health education and research.