Alumni Spotlight

FIU-Stempel College alumna Bridget A. Pelaez awarded Health Care Hero Award by Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce awarded Bridget A. Pelaez, Assistant Director of the Division of Operations and Safety at FIU, the Healthcare Hero Nurse Award during its 2022 Health Care Heroes event on Thursday, May 19.

Bridget was honored for her selfless contributions and commitment to the safety of FIU faculty, staff, students, and the South Florida community. 

“I have a simple saying, I can do anything with the right people and the right resources,” said Bridget during her acceptance speech. “I am blessed with supportive leadership that understands when mission and purpose must be driven forward and when response must occur.”

 “Bridget’s achievements and contributions to South Florida are vast and yet she remains selfless and passionate, empowering other healthcare workers in their professions. Her devotion, responsibility, and leadership allow our community to be better prepared and capable to respond to health emergencies and disasters in South Florida,” said Javier I. Marques, FIU’s Vice President for Operations and Safety, Chief of Staff, and Executive Director for the University’s Academy for International Disaster Preparedness at Stempel College.  

2022 Health Care Heroes: Nurse Award video about Bridget A. Pelaez presented by Javier I. Marques of Florida International University

As a registered nurse, paramedic, and trained disaster response professional, Bridget leverages her skills for the greater good.  When she’s not teaching as an adjunct professor at AIDP, you can find her running Stop the Bleed trainings where she teaches people how to stop life-threatening bleeding. Trained by the American College of Surgeons, Bridget has taught thousands of faculty, staff and students how to potentially save a person’s life.  

Throughout the pandemic, Bridget has been a constant positive force in helping to keep the South Florida community safe. In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, Bridget was the Incident Commander of the Tamiami testing site, which tested more than 433,000 people. She also worked with FIU medical professionals to operate the University’s vaccination site, which administered 19,000 vaccines.   

Bridget is a proud alumna of FIU, having graduated in 2017 from AIDP with a master’s degree in disaster management. Today, she’s pursuing her doctoral degree in nursing practice at FIU’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Bridget recently became certified as an Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers.

She shares one piece of advice for students: “Stay humble, stay hungry and always remember how blessed you are to live in a city and do the work that you do, especially when it involves helping others.”