Noriko Tomabechi, alumnus of the SLIU Graduate School of Public Health, is awarded the 48th biennial Florence Nightingale Medal


Ms. Noriko Tomabechi, graduate of St. Luke’s International University’s Graduate School of Public Health (2nd entering class of the Master of Public Health Program, Graduating Class of AY 2020) and Head Nurse (International Medical Relief Department) of Japanese Red Cross Medical Center, was awarded the 48th biennial Florence Nightingale Medal.

The Florence Nightingale Medal is the highest distinction in the field of Nursing, awarded once every two years to nurses with exemplary accomplishments. Recipients were announced on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, by the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) Nightingale Medal selection committee in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ms. Tomabechi becomes the fifth recipient from this university, following previous recipients Masu Yumaki (1977, 26th set), Shun Takahashi (1997, 36th set), Toshie Nagai (2003, 39th set), and Masako Akiyama (2019, 47th set).


I have been working at the hospital and engaged in international activities as a Red Cross Nurse in Japan. It is with the utmost honor that I received this award.

Looking back on my past work, there was nothing particularly special, in my opinion. I kept close to me the fundamental belief of the Red Cross of helping people in need daily and continue to work both domestically and abroad. I am grateful for the encounters I have had in these situations, which have led to my current growth.

My studies at St. Luke's International University’s Graduate School of Public Health have been valuable to my response to the public health crisis that the world is facing today. I have gained a deeper understanding of the global trends of new viral infections, how to seek behavioral change in people and the health policies needed to achieve this, and vaccine distribution. It was a very precious three years of learning.
Currently, I am once again involved in international activities in Bangladesh. Although Japan is also in a difficult situation, I would like to devote myself to helping people achieve good health and overcome this crisis based on the Red Cross principle of "Impartiality," or "giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress without discrimination.” Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to many of you for your guidance.

2015 Nepal Earthquake ©Japanese Red Cross Society

Masu Yumaki’s awarded medal stored at this university

Stained glass design of Florence Nightingale in the university’s Library