Denise Canton

Rear Admiral (RADM)
Denise Canton

Alumna Receives Nursing Honor

September 28, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Rear Admiral (RADM) Denise Canton, a 1974 alumna of Illinois Wesleyan University, has been selected as the 2009 Distinguished Alumna for Nursing Excellence. This honor is awarded annually to one alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated outstanding excellence in the fields of nursing practice, education and research. Rear Admiral Canton will be honored at the annual School of Nursing Homecoming Brunch and Award Program on Oct. 10. Both events will take place in the Center for Natural Science Learning and Research (201 Beecher St., Bloomington).

The brunch will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Commons Area, with the award program following at 10:00 a.m. in room C102. At the award program, RADM Canton will give a presentation entitled, "Bridging the Gap: The Role of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service."

The event is free and open to the public. People wishing to attend should register by calling the School of Nursing office at (309) 556-3051, or by logging onto

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan with a bachelor of science in nursing degree, RADM Canton earned a master's of nursing and a doctorate in nursing science degree from The Catholic University of America.  Additionally, she earned a juris doctor from Georgetown University Law Center where she was selected as a Public Interest Law Scholar.

Since she began her career as a civilian nurse (clinical nurse specialist and nurse recruiter) with the United States Public Health Service, RADM Canton has switched over to active duty in the Commissioned Corp and has held assignments including commissioned personnel placement officer-senior staffing officer in the Commissioned Personnel Operations Division of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). She has also been deputy director and acting director in the Division of Commissioned Personnel in the Program Support Center.

RADM Canton is currently the second director of the Office of Commissioned Corps Force Management in the Office of Public Health and Science. Her decorated honors include three Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medals, the Commendation Medal, the PHS Citation, the Outstanding Unit Citation, and the Unit Commendation. She received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for service to the community. Through her involvement in professional and community organizations, RADM Canton spreads the word and shares information about the Commissioned Corps.

For additional information, contact the School of Nursing office at (309) 556-3051.

Contact: Kasey Evans '12, (309) 556-3181