Meet Dr. Michele Williams
Her doctoral degree helped save lives
Passionate about patient care.
For as long as she can remember, Dr. Michele Williams has been passionate about two things: helping people and learning. It’s what motivated her to pursue nursing while still in high school. With cancer prevalent in her own family, she set her sights on oncology. As her career progressed, so did her pursuit of better options for her oncology and palliative care patients. “I consider myself a detective. … I have to research and solve it and try to help them,” Dr. Williams says. But even with several post-graduate degrees, Dr. Williams found herself yearning to have a bigger impact for her patients.
Determined to raise the bar.
Her experience in palliative care showed her the devastation patients experienced from cancer diagnoses delivered too late. She wanted to find a way to reach patients sooner, while they still had options. She was determined to make systemic changes but that would require a return to school. “I research everything, and it was no different when I was searching for a doctoral program,” Dr. Williams recalled. Walden stood out. “The philosophy and mission sparked my attention because it combined positive social change with an adult learner focus. They understood my life, that I need this to fit in with working full time and having a family,” she says.
The confidence to take on cancer.
For her final project during her doctoral program, Dr. Williams laid the foundation for an early lung cancer screening. Today, her screening program has been implemented across three hospitals and five counties in her home state of Maryland. She credits her degree program and her advisor with fueling her success. “Walden gave me knowledge and confidence. … You have to have both to move forward,” she says. Her pursuit of something greater has saved and improved lives.
Read more about Michele’s award-winning journey.