UW Health nurse receives first-ever Nelson Mandela Fellowship

Nurse makes impact in Africa with health education
UW Health nurse receives first-ever Nelson Mandela Fellowship

A Madison nurse is making a difference halfway across the world with her work for children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Susan Gold has been a nurse at UW Hospital for nearly 30 years, and for nearly half of those years she has taken her skills to Africa, working with HIV-positive kids.

“That was where I realized how little the kids actually knew about HIV-AIDS and reproductive health,” she said.

Gold created a first-of-its-kind reproductive health class for kids in Africa, called “Talking Health Out Loud.” Gold has been back to the country 11 times to teach her curriculum and is currently preparing for her 12th trip, this time, under the first-ever awarded Nelson Mandela Fellowship. The nationally-awarded grant will allow Susan to work with physicians in the country to implement her sex education curriculum for 50 HIV-positive children.

“I believe that adolescents all over the world, here or there, deserve to know the right, the truth about their bodies,” she said. “And when kids have accurate information, they can make informed decisions based on their own cultures and beliefs that will help them live a long and healthy life. And that’s what we all want for the world’s adolescents.”

Gold’s fellowship runs March 18-26 in Kenya.