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2021 . VOLUME 1

Loretta Ford

A Century of Greatness Nursing legend turns 100


Silence and Gratitude SON marks one-year anniversary of COVID-19

 Members of the School of Nursing community gathered outside Helen Wood Hall on March 9 for a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of COVID-19. The solemn occasion provided an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost and the valiant efforts of health care workers who have served the community so selflessly throughout the pandemic.  &  As a gesture of recognition and gratitude to nurses and health care providers, the school, with support from the office of alumni relations, assembled and delivered 65 “thank you” baskets to units throughout Strong Memorial Hospital in March and April.

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UR School of Nursing Partners with Apple for Conversation on Reimagining Nursing Education The University of Rochester School of Nursing partnered with Apple and modeled its innovative use of technology in a webinar on reimagining nursing education on June 8. Education technology experts Tara Serwetnyk and Kaitlyn Burke and Associate Dean Lydia Rotondo were invited to discuss how the use of iPad devices and other technology supports student-centered learning and enables faculty to best prepare learners for careers in nursing. Since 2018, the UR School of Nursing has utilized Apple technologies through its iROC (Redefining Our Classroom) Initiative to shift the traditional classroom into a dynamic, collaborative learning environment. The initiative aims to revitalize the way nursing is taught and empowers students to take an active role in their education. With this approach, UR School of Nursing students are better prepared for a successful career in health care, honing their critical thinking and clinical judgment skills in a complex and evolving health care environment. For more information, visit

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A Message from the Dean Dear Friends, As you can imagine, continuing to prepare nurses for the workforce while navigating the challenge of keeping our faculty, staff, and students safe from harm has been a difficult task for our leadership team these past 17 months. But I’m delighted to report that the recommendations and restrictions we put in place have been successful in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to the point where we are able to prepare for an in-person fall semester that will more closely resemble those that came before the pandemic. For vaccinated individuals, that means doing away with masking, physical distancing, and other restrictions in all non-clinical areas of our building. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see increasing foot traffic in Helen Wood Hall and the faces of so many colleagues and friends, many of whom I haven’t seen in person or without a mask in more than a year. Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP Vice President, University of Rochester Medical Center Dean and Professor of Clinical Nursing and Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Nursing

While we’re happy to finally unwind many of the COVID-era changes, some of the moves we instituted out of necessity during the pandemic will remain, however. We plan to continue using technology to make some of our events more widely accessible. One thing we have come to recognize more fully is that we can do a better job of meeting people where they are. Not everyone can take time off work or travel to attend a graduation ceremony, for instance, but they do appreciate the opportunity to be able to watch and participate from their home, their desk, or wherever they are in the world. I’m so incredibly proud of all of the members of our School of Nursing community who have had to sacrifice, adjust, adapt, learn new processes, all the while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from this deadly virus. And to all of you on the front lines who continue to battle this scourge, I see you, I am proud of you, and I’m eternally grateful for your compassion. I always say that nursing is the greatest profession and that the University of Rochester School of Nursing is the greatest school of nursing in the world. To me, that’s never been more true or more clearly demonstrated than how our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have responded to this global crisis. Please continue to be safe and enjoy this latest issue of NURSING Magazine. Until we can all be together again….Meliora!

On the Cover… A file photo of Loretta Ford, who was celebrated by her UR School of Nursing friends, colleagues, and supporters in honor of her 100th birthday.

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20 Collaboration, Innovative Use of Technology Help Psych NP Students Hone Suicide Prevention Skills

26 UR School of Nursing Fellowship Program Supports Meaningful Clinical Work

22 Celebrating a Century of Greatness Paying tribute to Loretta Ford as nursing legend turns 100

28 Don’t Call It a Comeback UR Nursing turns a corner in ’21, allowing students to attend Commencement in person

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DEPARTMENTS 4 Nursing News 34 Alumni Relations & Advancement

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41 Class Notes

NURSING Magazine Credits University of Rochester School of Nursing Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP

Editor Patrick Broadwater

Vice President, University of Rochester Medical Center Dean and Professor of Clinical Nursing and Pediatrics

Senior Associate, Public Relations Director, Strategic Communications University of Rochester School of Nursing

University of Rochester Medical Center B. Chip Partner Assistant Vice President, URMC Communications University of Rochester Medical Center

Melissa L. Head ’99W (MS) Executive Director of URMC Academic Programs and Alumni Relations Advancement

Andrea J. Allen Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations University of Rochester School of Nursing

Contributing Writers Ivy Burruto Art Director/Designer Brittany Colton Graphic Designer University of Rochester Medical Center Marketing

NURSING Magazine is a biannual publication of the University of Rochester School of Nursing in conjunction with the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Nursing, Alumni Relations, Advancement, and Public Relations and Communications. We welcome your letters and feedback concerning stories in the magazine or issues related to the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Send your comments to Editor, NURSING Magazine, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box SON, Rochester, NY 14642 or via email to    

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School of Nursing Anticipates Fully In-Person Learning in Fall The University of Rochester School of Nursing is making plans to return to fully in-person classroom learning beginning with the fall 2021 semester. The school has remained in operation since the COVID-19 outbreak hit New York, but it closed Helen Wood Hall classrooms and shifted to remote didactic instruction mid-semester in March of 2020. Labs and clinical experiences for students continued to be held in person. All School of Nursing undergraduate and graduate students who plan to enroll for the 2021-22 academic year will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The University of Rochester has determined that vaccination is the most effective approach to limiting or eliminating the spread of COVID-19, and the safest and most manageable way to increase in-person operations, instruction, and activities on campus. “While none of us can be certain what the future might bring, we’re excited to welcome our faculty, staff, and students back into

the building on a full-time basis. These halls have been too quiet for too long,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “I am extremely proud of the work our faculty and academic leadership team has done to transition to remote learning and develop new and innovative ways to deliver content, and I am just as amazed at the resilience and adaptability of our students, who have carried on with their learning among extraordinary conditions.” Helen Wood Hall, which operated at 25 percent capacity for most of the 2020-21 year, is undergoing a facelift with the vertical expansion above the Loretta C. Ford Education Wing underway. The project began in the fall of 2020, and the beginning phases required closing off large classrooms in the education wing, further limiting the amount of available space within the building. The education wing is back open, and other frequent student gathering places, such as the atrium, student lounge, and Evarts Lounge, are expected to re-open for fall.

UR Nursing in the News What’s new in the School of Nursing? Here are some recent media reports involving UR Nursing faculty, staff, and alumni. Associate Dean Renu Singh, MS, CEO of the UR Medicine Employee Wellness Program, gave a TV interview to 13WHAM ABC in Rochester about wellness programming on Christmas morning. Singh was co-author of an op-ed in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine disputing claims that employee wellness programs were ineffective at improving workers’ health. Feng (Vankee) Lin, PhD, RN, the Marie C. Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Nursing, was mentioned in an article in The New Yorker. The article, “Is It Really Too Late to Learn New Skills?” examines our ability to master new skills as we age and cites a 2017 paper co-authored by Lin that proposes six factors needed to sustain cognitive development as people age.

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Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, founding dean of the UR School of Nursing, was featured in Becker’s Hospital Review and Scrubs Magazine in January for being recognized with the Surgeon General's Medallion. The award, announced the day before Ford’s 100th birthday, is the highest honor civilians can receive for their service to public health (see story, page 22). A March CBS This Morning story marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic featured alumna Kimberly Ellis ’93N. Ellis had been among the nurses shown in early 2020 when health care workers struggled to find sufficient PPE while working at the epicenter of the virus in New York City. Reporter David Begnaud returned to New York City to interview the same nurses and health care workers—including Ellis, a nurse at the Brooklyn Hospital Center—and look back on progress made in the past 12 months.

Professor of Clinical Nursing Mary Tantillo, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAED, CGP, made multiple local media appearances over the past several months. She appeared on WXXI’s Connections radio show, alongside parent peer mentor Michelle Morales, to discuss eating disorder recovery. She also did several interviews with Rochester media outlets to discuss plans to open a new residential eating disorders treatment facility in Pittsford. Tantillo was also quoted in a WXXI radio story on how the COVID-19 pandemic creates a “perfect storm” for eating disorders. Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP and Paige Steiner, a student in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses were interviewed for a story in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The story documented how the pandemic has sparked increased interest in nursing and has helped drive enrollment to nursing schools.


Wharton Elevated to Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion Mitchell J. Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, an accomplished educator, researcher, and clinician, was named associate dean for equity and inclusion at the University of Rochester School of Nursing in January. The appointment of Wharton, an associate professor of clinical nursing and faculty diversity officer at the school, shattered glass ceilings at the school. When they began their new duties on a part-time basis on February 1, Wharton became the first male and the first person from a group underrepresented in nursing to serve the school at the associate dean level of senior administration. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve students and colleagues by leading the mission to enhance equity and inclusive practices within our school,” said Wharton, who transitioned to this position full time in July after fulfilling clinical and educational responsibilities for the spring semester. “I look forward to engaging members of the School of Nursing and Rochester communities as we work together to thoughtfully and respectfully develop strategies to increase diversity throughout the nursing workforce and academic nursing pipeline.” Wharton has been an integral figure in the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for the past several years. They have been co-chair of the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness since 2018 and the faculty advisor for the student-led Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow (LIFT) program since 2014. They have also been a co-facilitator for the school’s Racial Equity Series, served on the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Executive Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, and served as the School of Nursing’s representative to the Academic Community Engagement Collaborative. Wharton was honored with the School of Nursing’s Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Award in 2020. As associate dean, Wharton joined the UR Nursing senior leadership team, where they will work to more fully integrate issues of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the school. “I am thrilled that Mitchell has accepted our offer to be our new associate dean,” Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP said of the appointment. “I am confident that Mitchell’s thoughtfulness and genuine caring approach will help to lead us forward together.” A 2013 graduate of the UR Nursing PhD program, Wharton has taught

undergraduate and graduate courses at the school and is a member of the Interdisciplinary Sexual Health and HIV Research (INSHHR) group. Their research scholarship focuses on identifying asset-based modalities of HIV prevention and health maintenance in marginalized populations by examining the intersections of age, race, sexual identity and behaviors, and human rights. A 2015 recipient of the school’s Outstanding Scholarly Practitioner Award, Wharton has maintained an active clinical practice in the Center for Perioperative Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital and a wellness coach for the UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness. Wharton is also treasurer of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, a guest editor for the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC), and member of the Rochester Black Nurses Association. In 2020, they were awarded the Civilian Service Award from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Wharton earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in the science of nursing from Widener University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in HIV epidemiology and prevention sciences at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Research Support Office Named in Memory of Harriet Kitzman The University of Rochester School of Nursing has renamed its Center for Research Support in memory of Harriet Kitzman, PhD, RN, FAAN. The area will now be known as the Harriet J. Kitzman Center for Research Support. The move is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Kitzman, who passed away in March 2020. A prolific researcher in her 60plus year career as a nurse, professor, mentor, and leader, she was known on campus as much for her groundbreaking work with nursehome visits as she was for encouraging and supporting others in their own lines of research. “For many years, Harriet really was synonymous with research at the school,” said Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNPBC, FNAP. “I can’t think of any better way to honor her legacy.” Kitzman served the School of Nursing in many roles over a 45year period, but she was most associated with the school’s research mission. She was the school’s longtime senior associate dean of research, serving in that capacity into her 80s. She was instrumental in the development of the Center for Research Support, which helps facilitate the research and scholarly development of UR Nursing faculty and advances Harriet Kitzman research dissemination and evidencebased practice. The area comprises two groups: the Administrative, Proposal, and Financial Support Group, a team of administrators and accountants who work closely on grant proposals, post-award financial management, and the dissemination of research findings; and the Research Facilitation Group, a team of biostatisticians, data analysts,

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and health project coordinators that provides consultation, project design and management, data gathering, and technical support. Housed on the 2nd floor of Helen Wood Hall, the new Harriet J. Kitzman Center for Research Support will be officially dedicated at a later date. New signage commemorating Kitzman and a portrait of her will be installed in a prominent location. A brilliant and internationally renowned researcher, Kitzman’s body of work in pediatrics helped to reshape how health care is provided to young mothers and their children. Her investigations related to the effects of nursehome visitations for first-time mothers and children, focusing on economically disadvantaged families, was the basis for the Nurse-Family Partnership, which now serves more than 38,000 families across 41 states. At the School of Nursing, Kitzman developed the pediatric nurse practitioner program and was the first clinical chief/ chair responsible for nursing services at the UR Medical Center. She was also one of the key drivers in the development of the Unification Model. Kitzman earned a vast number of awards and accolades over her career, including the Rochester Business Journal Health Care Achievement Award and the University Award for Lifetime Achievement in Graduate Education. In 2019, she was awarded the Dean’s Medal, the School of Nursing’s highest honor. She held graduate degrees from the University of Rochester and the esteemed Loretta C. Ford Professorship.

UR Nursing Holds Steady in Esteemed Rankings School remains at No. 26 among U.S. News master’s programs; 12th in adult gerontology primary care NP rankings For the second straight year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing ranks 26th among the nation’s best master’s nursing programs, according to the 2022 Best Graduate Schools guide produced by U.S. News and World Report. The UR School of Nursing ranked tied for 12th among adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner programs in the issue’s rankings of individual master’s specialties. UR Nursing also tied for 44th among Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, making it the only school in Upstate New York to rank among the top 50 for both its master’s and doctoral programs. “Without a doubt, the past year was one of the most difficult anyone could ever imagine for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was how it impacted how we educate our future health care providers, leaders, and scientists of tomorrow. But I am exceedingly proud of how our faculty and staff was able to pivot and continue to deliver high-quality instruction and support to all of our students despite unforeseen challenges presented by the pandemic,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “These rankings just affirm the innovative and thoughtful

approach the school takes to nursing education, research, and practice.” The U.S. News rankings are conducted annually, and each school’s overall score is based on indicators in categories such as: student selectivity and program size, faculty resources, and research activity. The largest factor in the ranking is a quality assessment ranking provided by nursing school deans and health care professionals. A total of 597 nursing schools with master's or doctoral programs accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing were surveyed for this year’s rankings. In total, 258 nursing programs responded to the U.S. News nursing statistical data collection survey sent in fall 2020 and early 2021. Of those, 220 provided enough data to be included in the rankings of nursing master's programs and 163 provided enough data to be included in the ranking of Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Additional information on the nursing program rankings can be found at

UR Nursing ranked in top 30 in research support from NIH The University of Rochester School of Nursing remains in the top 30 in the annual rankings of research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The UR School of Nursing ranks 29th in research support from the NIH for the fiscal year 2020, the 12th time in the last 15 years the school has secured a spot in the top 30 of all nursing schools, according to data compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute of Medical Research. The UR School of Nursing received over $2.5 million in research support for six grants in areas that cover cognitive aging, eating behaviors, HIV/AIDS research, and maternal and child health. Titles of the NIH-funded grants include: • Targeting autonomic flexibility to enhance cognitive training outcomes in older adults with mild cognitive impairment • Validate a shared neural circuit underlying multiple neuropsychiatric symptoms • Longitudinal changes in weight and biology in the

pregnancy-postpartum period and subsequent cardiometabolic risk • Multilevel determinants of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) utilization and health disparities among Black and Hispanic women • Delineation of the biopsychosocial risks of obesogenic eating behaviors “Research has always been at the forefront of the UR School of Nursing’s mission. I’m proud of our faculty and staff who are committed to positioning our school at the cuttingedge of discovery,” said Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNPBC, FNAP. “I look forward to seeing what next year brings for the Harriet J. Kitzman Center for Research Support.” The NIH is the largest public funding source for biomedical research in the world, investing more than $32 billion annually to enhance health, increase life spans, and reduce illness and disability. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 7


Three UR Nurses Hailed as ‘Health Care Heroes’ Call it a clean sweep for the University of Rochester School of Nursing. All three nursing recipients of the Health Care Heroes awards presented by the Rochester Business Journal are graduates of UR Nursing programs. The 2021 honorees in the Nurse category are: • Rebecca Alley, ’11N (MS), MS, RN, vice president and chief nursing officer for ambulatory services for Rochester Regional Health • Kathy Hiltunen, ’78N, MBA, RN, manager of public health nursing services for Monroe County and an assistant professor of clinical nursing at the UR School of Nursing • Kate Valcin, ’18N (MS), ’20N (DNP), DNP, RN, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, CNL, director of critical care nursing at Strong Memorial Hospital A total of 41 winners across 14 categories were announced with winners being honored during a virtual celebration on May 11. Rochester Business Journal created the Health Care Heroes awards to recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor the efforts of organizations and individuals making a significant impact on the quality of health care in the Rochester area. “Health Care Heroes are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in our area. When it comes to meeting the needs of their patients, there is no challenge too great or task too big,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher of the Rochester Business Journal. “Often described as miracle workers, this year’s honorees really are heroes in our community.” Alley has taken on increasing leadership responsibilities for Rochester Regional over the past eight years. She joined the system in 2012 as a nurse manager and practice administrator for the Rochester General Medical Group. She was named director of quality in 2015, and in 2018 became chief nursing officer. She previously worked for eight years as an RN and nurse manager at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Nazareth College in 2005 and received a master’s from UR Nursing’s Leadership in Health Care Systems program in 2011.

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Hiltunen leads the public health nursing services division, which aims to protect and promote the health of Monroe County residents though support, education, empowerment and direct nursing care services. In that position, Hiltunen played a key role in Monroe County’s COVID-19 response, leading the county health department’s isolation and quarantine group. In addition, she continued to serve as a clinical instructor at the School of Nursing, a role she has held since 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the school in 1978 and in 1991 received an MBA from the Simon School. In more than a quarter-century of work at Strong, Valcin has developed into one of the region’s most respected nurse leaders. She currently leads a team of nurse managers from eight intensive care units and nearly 550 staff members. She is also the president of the Finger Lakes Organization of Nurse Executive and Leaders, and was honored with a 2017 Circle of Excellence Award from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. During the COVID-19 crisis, Valcin was among the URMC response team that helped to make crucial decisions regarding visitation and nurse staffing. She was also co-chair of the Highly Infectious Disease Unit (HIDU) steering committee and helped implement sweeping changes in staffing, such as floating nurses to different units on a temporary basis to help handle the outsized number of severe COVID cases. For her work during the crisis, she was nominated for the American Academy of Nursing’s COVID-19 Courage Award. Prior to taking on her leadership role in 2015, Valcin served as a nurse manager, and then senior nurse manager, for a medical intensive care unit. She has also served as a clinical nurse specialist and staff nurse on an MICU. She began her career in 1997 as a staff nurse on a med-surg unit. Valcin earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1996 and a master’s in nursing (with a concentration in education) from Duke University in 2007. She earned a clinical nurse leader post-master’s certificate from the University of Rochester School of Nursing in 2018 and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in 2020.


UR Nursing Scientist Receives Pilot Award to Simplify Medication Use Throughout her career as a nurse scientist, Jinjiao Wang, PhD, RN, assistant professor at University of Rochester School of Nursing, has sought to improve the quality and outcomes of post-acute care and home health care for older adults with complex medical conditions who take multiple medications. In May, Wang received a one-year pilot award from the U.S. Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN), an NIH R24 research center dedicated to developing and disseminating evidence about deprescribing and improving medication use among older adults. She was the only nurse scientist selected to receive pilot funding this year from the USDeN. In the home health care arena, a routine nursing visit requires the documentation of all the medications a patient takes. Usually, patients older than 65 experience a lot of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, depression, and arthritis and take more than five medications (i.e., polypharmacy). Each medication could have a list of side effects that require more medications to offset these side effects. “There’s often a lot of crossover when an older person takes on average 10 medications for five or more chronic conditions,” said Wang. “But if we can achieve better or equivalent treatment outcomes with five meds, why take 10?” One cause of over-prescribing and polypharmacy is a lack of communication among the multiple health care providers of the patient. Home health care nurses conduct comprehensive medication reviews during home visits, but they don’t have the authority to change prescriptions. The patient’s primary care provider (PCP) can deprescribe but rarely has access to the complete home-based medication review data that home health nurses have. Additionally, clinical pharmacists—professionals who are trained to review medications and suggest deprescribing targets—mostly work in the hospital and are often not accessible in the community. Rarely, do the parties interact, let alone communicate what each other is prescribing to the patient, leading to medication duplicates, errors, and unncessary use of certain medications. “That kind of conversation is rarely initiated, also because the word 'deprescribing' may be associated with abandoning of care,” said Wang. “We’re trying to break the stigma associated with deprescribing. In fact, most patients would agree to stop taking certain, potentially inappropriate or unnecessary, medications if their PCP recommends it. The goal of this study is to empower each party with complete information and help the multiple parties collaborate efficiently about medication issues, so as to help the patient successfully transition back to the community after hospital discharge.” Wang’s study aims to simplify and optimize the patient’s medication regime with a more unified interdisciplinary care team and through the use of telehealth, which will help reduce the cost of medications and burden of symptoms.

Starting this fall, home health care patients in the Rochester area will be selected for their age and the number of medications they’re taking and invited to participate in the study. In each home visit, Wang’s team will conduct comprehensive medication review, collect complete medication data, have it reviewed by the clinical pharmacist, and then convene with the patient’s PCP via telehealth to discuss any opportunities to simplify the medications. The patient will also provide feedback on their experience. Wang hopes the promising results of the study can be used across other home health care organizations and in future efforts to deprescribe, which is a relatively new research sphere. “I think part of the reason I received this funding is that I'm in a unique field. In nursing, we learn to care for patients in a holistic way and that is the very foundation of deprescribing,” said Wang. “I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for the support of Dean Kathy Rideout, Sally Norton, Kathi Heffner, and Ying Xue at the School of Nursing. So, instead of being the only nurse scientist to receive this recognition, I’d like to think of us as the only school of nursing recognized by this institution. It really is a great honor.”


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Norton Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Iowa Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN, University of Rochester School of Nursing’s associate dean for research and the Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing and Palliative Care, was honored by the University of Iowa recently. Norton received the College of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni Award in December 2020. She was one of three alumni honored by the college for their hard work and dedication to nursing and health care. A nationally recognized expert in palliative care research, she is a fellow of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association (HPNA) and the American Academy of Nursing, and was named a Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academies of Practice. She was honored with the Distinguished Researcher Award from HPNA in 2017 and was named Palliative Care Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes in 2013. In a career dedicated to improving the care of patients with advanced illness, Norton’s research has focused on palliative care and end-of-life decision-making with emphases on Norton

the communication processes and practice patterns of care delivery in acute and long-term care settings. She has also worked successfully across professions to improve communication and understanding surrounding systems of palliative care and hospice delivery, and to pinpoint the approaches most meaningful to patients and families that lead to the highest quality outcomes. Over the past two decades, she has been a principal or co-investigator in dozens of funded research studies on palliative care and has authored or co-authored nearly 100 papers. In 2019, she assumed a leadership role at the UR School of Nursing, taking over as associate dean for research. She also serves as a co-director of research for the Division of Palliative Care in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester and holds a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. She earned her BSN from the University of Iowa in 1983 and her master’s and doctorate of nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the UR Nursing faculty in 2001.

Flannery Poster Claims Top Prize at Oncology Symposium Marie Flannery, PhD, RN, AOCN, an associate professor of nursing, claimed the top prize for her poster at the National Institute of Nursing Research-Oncology Nursing Society-National Cancer Institute Symptom Science Advances in Oncology Nursing symposium held virtually in February. The poster, “Using Sankey Flow Diagrams to Visualize the Symptom Experience in Older Adults with Cancer,” was named first place abstract in the Palliative and Psychosocial Care category. Among Flannery’s co-presenters was SON PhD student Zhihong Zhang. The School of Nursing was well-represented at the conference. Assistant professor Meghan Underhill-Blazey, PhD, APRN, AOCNS, was a co-presenter for two presentations: “Perceived Patient-Centered Communication is Associated with Ovarian Cancer Symptom Burden,” and “Symptom Management after Risk Reduction for Inherited Cancer Risk,” the latter she co-presented with associate dean Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN. Underhill-Blazey also co-led a networking segment at the event.

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Starks, Hudson Receive Student Honors A pair of UR Nursing students were recognized with regional honors. Mary Starks ’17N, was selected as Nurse Practitioner Association (NPA) student of the year, while Khaleeyah Hudson ’20N received a Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education (RACCE) Outstanding Adult Student award. Starks, a student in the Family Nurse Practitioner to Doctor of Nursing Practice program, is an operating room nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital and one of the founding members of the Rochester chapter of the Black Nurses Association. She is also the inaugural recipient of the School of Nursing’s Student Diversity Engagement Award. She was honored by the NPA as a student exemplifying educational excellence both academically and clinically. Hudson graduated from the UR Nursing Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses in December 2020. As a student she was nominated by William Clark, EdD, RN, CDP, assistant professor of clinical nursing, for an award from RACCE. Each year, the group honors three outstanding adult students from participating schools who have achieved academic success while juggling other responsibilities, such as family, job, or community service. Hudson was among the honorees recognized at an awards celebration in April.

Andrew Wolf, UR Nursing Among Finalists for 2021 Learning Impact Awards A collaboration between the University of Rochester School of Nursing and AEFIS, an education technology company, was among the finalists for a global award recognizing transformative, high-impact solutions for K-12, higher education, and lifelong learning. Andrew Wolf, EdD, RN, AGACNP-BC, director of educational effectiveness and assistant professor of clinical nursing at the UR School of Nursing, worked closely with partners at AEFIS (Assessment, Evaluation, Feedback, and Intervention System) to design a Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) for the school’s RN to BS program. The project allowed UR Nursing to integrate information on student learning and achievement across the curriculum—from its student information system (Workday), learning management system (Blackboard), computer-based testing platform (ExamSoft), as well as other learning systems—into a single location. The CLR captures evidence of student learning through formative and summative assessment and enables students to reflect on their experiences and feedback from faculty. The project was named a finalist in May for the 2021 IMS Global Learning Consortium Learning Impact Awards, presented annually to recognize outstanding, innovative applications of educational technology that address the most significant challenges facing education. The UR School of Nursing began work on developing a CLR in early 2020 as part of a shift from a traditional to a competency-based model of education. The initiative required an innovative approach to assess that students were developing the core skills necessary for safe and effective patient care and tracking student learning and achievement across the curriculum. A dynamic portfolio of student learning, the CLR captures data in real time, giving academic leaders an opportunity to see where students are falling and provide academic interventions just in time. Students can also pinpoint areas of improvement, engage with learning resources provided by faculty, and progress on time with skills that make them better practitioners, better employees, and more successful leaders. “I would like to thank Suzanne Carbonaro at AEFIS for her partnership and Margaret-Ann Carno and all the faculty in the RN to BS program at the University of Rochester School of Nursing,” said Wolf. “Their work created the infrastructure for this innovation in assessment.” Wolf

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URMC Launches New Brain Aging Research Center The University of Rochester Medical Center has launched a new center to study the relationship between emotional well-being and dementia-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Ample research has uncovered links between emotional well-being in older adults and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. But little is known about the direction of the relationship. The Network for Emotional Well-Being (NEW) and Brain Aging is a collaboration between researchers from the UR School of Nursing, the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, the Department of Psychiatry, the UR Aging Institute and their colleagues at other universities across the country. It is one of five networks funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine the topic from different angles. The NEW Brain Aging Center at URMC, established with a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, focuses on clarifying two separate mechanistic relationships: the impact of an aging brain on emotional well-being in older adults, and the influence of emotional well-being on brain function and cognitive aging. “People have been studying aspects of emotional well-being, such as how to be happy or finding a purpose in life, for hundreds of years. But in terms of understanding how emotional well-being is linked to aging and dementia pathologies, this is really new. Nobody has studied it in this way,” said

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Feng Vankee Lin, PhD, RN, Marie C. Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson Professor in Nursing at the UR School of Nursing, who is the principal investigator on the grant. “Fully 30 percent of the patients we see in our system, in inpatient and ambulatory settings, are older adults. They are the fastest growing segment of the population and the most frequent consumers of health care,” said Yeates Conwell, MD, UR professor of psychiatry, who is a lead investigator on the grant. “The UR Aging Institute, now with the addition of NEW Brain Aging, will help meet the challenge of assuring not only the health care needs of our older patients are met, but that the quality of life is optimized, as well.” The NEW Brain Aging Center is guided by an eight-member executive committee made up of researchers from four universities (University of Rochester, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California Santa Cruz), headed by Lin, Conwell, and Kuan Hong Wang, PhD, UR professor of neuroscience, who is also a lead investigator. “We knew we needed to know more about the link between emotional well-being and aging, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put a particular urgency into understanding this relationship,” Wang said. “The pandemic is a stressor particularly threatening to older adults. Some people are already having either mild cognitive impairment or are having Alzheimer’s disease progression. This center will hopefully lead us to a better understanding of the interplay between emotional

well-being and aging brain diseases.” Other URMC co-investigators on the committee include Benjamin Chapman, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of psychiatry, and Jianhui Zhong, PhD, a professor of imaging sciences. Together, the group is organizing activities around five core areas: investigator engagement, strategic priority workshops, a resource repository, evaluation, and pilot project grants. All of the core functions will serve to disseminate the products of the network. Building an inter-university and transdisciplinary network of investigators with complementary areas of expertise is crucial, said Lin, noting that the network is taking a cross-species approach and conducting research on both human and animal subjects in order to broaden understanding of brain mechanisms and develop therapeutic targets for addressing aging-associated concerns of emotional well-being. Using behavioral and brain imaging measures in animal models and comparing those findings to humans, researchers will look to match the observable biomarkers in both, ultimately linking those back to the emotional states. “There are technical challenges to this, we must consider the constraints of the evolutionary distance between the different brain systems, and there must be constant dialogue between the human and animal researchers,” Wang said. “But if we do this, it will allow us access to a more subjective aspect of emotional well-being, something that has not been achieved before.”

Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias affects more than 5 million people in the U.S. and more than 47 million people worldwide, according to the NIH. There are no known treatments to prevent or stop the progression of dementia, and the toll on individuals, caregivers, and society will continue to increase as the population ages unless effective interventions can be developed. Previous research has established an association between emotional well-being and select aspects of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but it’s unclear whether dementia pathologies are a cause, byproduct, or consequence of declines in mental and emotional health. “Many people don’t realize that older adults on average are more satisfied with their lives than younger people, in spite of the inevitable stressors that aging brings,” said Conwell. “NEW Brain Aging will help us understand the neural mechanisms underlying that resilience and yield insights into how best to help those who are in distress.” “The objective of the network is to engage a wide range of investigators in collaborative thinking and research in order to build the field,” said Lin. “We want to be the leaders in the study of the neuromechanisms of emotional well-being and accumulate resources, data, and expertise that can then be provided to networks or other individuals interested in further developing this area of research.”

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Deep Roots UR Nursing researcher receives grant to cultivate healthy eating habits for local migrant workers A leading researcher at the University of Rochester School of Nursing is aiming to improve the nutrition of the people who help put healthy food on our tables. Karen Stein, PhD, RN, FAAN, UR School of Nursing’s Ruth Miller Brody and Bernard Brody Endowed Professor, received approval for a grant, “Extending our Reach: A mHealth Intervention to Promote Healthy Eating in Mexican Immigrant Farmworker Families,” from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. The foundation provides grants to improve the health and well-being of underserved, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals within New York state. Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers (MIFW)—though vital to the Western New York economy—are considered to be among the poorest, most isolated, and marginalized populations in the state. Access to nutrition preventative care is limited in the MIFW population due to lack of health insurance, work conditions, and overburdened health services. Of these MIFW, up to 70 percent of children and 80 percent of adults are overweight, 30 percent of adults are hypertensive, 40 percent have metabolic syndrome, and 38 percent of women have type-2 diabetes. Women, in particular, stated their dietary intake changed dramatically after moving to the United States. Several fac-

tors include limited budgets, demanding work schedules, and high stress and pressures from children for American foods. These changes have led to significant weight gain and a high prevalence of weight-related diseases. Stein’s intervention program via a smartphone app will help the MIFW community understand the factors that influence their dietary intake and eating patterns: regional food values, traditions and eating practices, culturally-based gender normalities, and economic and environmental job-related factors that would impede or facilitate healthy eating. The app will be intuitive to use, culturally consistent, and understandable without requiring high literacy skills. Content is delivered through videos, cartoons, images, and auditory communication to maximize interest and sustained engagement. “Our longer-term plan is to make healthy eating accessible through smartphone delivery. Further, by being self-administered at home the many barriers associated with clinic visits are eliminated and access to the intervention at times in their daily schedule is made possible,” said Stein. “With this ongoing process of collaboration and communication, we are confident that the community's dietary health needs will be identified and addressed.”

URMC Research Provides New Insights into Relationship Between Tau Protein and Cognitive Decline A study by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers provides new insights into the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive decline. In a paper titled “Longitudinal stability of medial temporal lobe connectivity is associated with tau-related memory decline” published in the eLife journal, URMC researchers explore the links between the measure of phosphorylated tau (Ptau) in cerebrospinal fluid and changes in brain structural connectivity over time. “For Ptau to become a potentially meaningful therapeutic target for preventing or slowing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, we needed to better understand how tau impacts structural brain networks associated with memory decline in aging,” said Quanjing Chen, PhD, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry, who was the study’s lead author. Alzheimer’s is a disease characterized by the presence of both amyloid-beta and tau proteins that lead to neurodegeneration. Recent research suggests that the prevalence of Ptau 14 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

was a better predictor of long-term cognitive deficits, but little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms linking Ptau with memory-related declines. In healthy neurons, tau normally binds to and stabilizes microtubules. In Alzheimer's disease, however, abnormal chemical changes cause tau to detach from microtubules and stick to other tau molecules, forming threads that eventually join to form tangles inside neurons, according to the National Institute on Aging. Extracting data from a sample of older adults who are cognitively normal or have mild cognitive impairment, researchers found that the presence of cerebrospinal fluid Ptau at baseline was related to a loss of structural stability in medial temporal lobe connectivity in a way that matched disease progression. This loss of structural stability moderated the effect of Ptau on the rate of memory change, suggesting that structural stability in the medial temporal lobe may be an important link between the accumulation of Ptau and memory decline.

Nurse-Driven Condition Management Programs Effective in Improving Key Health Metrics Chronic disease management programs led by nurses are effective in improving key health metrics, which may lower an individual’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study by University of Rochester School of Nursing researchers. The study, presented to the Eastern Nursing Research Society, found that participants in UR Medicine Employee Wellness condition management programs in diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol improved their blood pressure and blood glucose levels, which are important factors in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Participants were also able to make sustained changes in medication adherence, time spent exercising, and in lowering their body mass index (BMI), which contributes to better overall health. “Our nurses and coaches are remarkably effective in working with people to achieve positive health behavior changes,” said Lisa Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNPBC, professor of clinical nursing at the UR School of Nursing and chief wellness officer for UR Medicine Employee Wellness. “These findings support the study that we did last year which showed actual reduction in CVD risk for people who participate in our programs. “Employers play a pivotal role in helping people improve their health by having quality wellness programs available to their employees and by supporting employee participation in such programs.” CVD is the leading cause of death for men, women, and Norsen people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 655,000 Americans die – 1 in every 4 deaths – each year from heart disease. Diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol are recognized as major risk factors for CVD. Developed by a multidisciplinary team from the UR School of Nursing, UR Medicine Employee Wellness employs a team of registered nurses, nutritionists and fitness trainers to provide customized wellness programming and coaching to organizations and their employees. In addition to basic health assessments, it offers condition management programs that

integrate strategies to help employees incorporate healthy habits and lifestyle choices to effectively manage chronic health conditions such as asthma, lower back pain, and congestive heart failure. In this study, researchers evaluated the impact of condition management programs in diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol on a cohort of more than 700 participants, most of whom attended seven or more coaching sessions over the course of 11 weeks or more. Participants in these programs saw significant improvement in biometric values, including weight loss with nearly 20 percent dropping one full BMI category. In addition, 94 percent reported having zero days of missed medication. “For anyone who has weight to lose, any amount is a great step in improving health,” Norsen said. “Our study shows that people who participated in our program not only lost weight, but 10 percent actually moved from being overweight to being normal weight, and 10 percent moved from being obese to being overweight. This progress is consistent with reducing the health risks associated with obesity and being overweight.” Participants also averaged an increase of an additional 60 minutes of exercise per week, though the change was even more dramatic among those who reported doing no exercise before taking the program. Those participants averaged more than 100 minutes per week by the end of the program. “That is truly remarkable,” Norsen said. Several other UR School of Nursing researchers were investigators on the study, including: • Elizabeth Anson, MS, research associate • Holly Lavigne, PhD, research associate • Irena Pesis-Katz, PhD, associate professor of public health sciences and clinical nursing • Renu Singh, MS, UR Medicine Employee Wellness CEO and senior associate dean, operations and assistant professor of clinical nursing • Joyce Ann Smith, PhD, RN, ANP, assistant professor of clinical nursing NURSING 2021 Volume 1 15

School of Nursing Announces Leadership Changes The UR School of Nursing announced changes to its leadership team for the 2021-22 academic year. • Linda Schmitt, MS, RN, NPD-BC, CNL, has taken over as sole specialty director of the Leadership in Health Care Systems program. She previously was co-specialty director with Kristin Hocker, EdD. Schmitt is also serving as interim specialty director of the Clinical Nurse Leader program, replacing Luis Rosario-McCabe, DNP, RN, CNE, CNL, WHNP-BC. Hocker and Rosario-McCabe stepped down to pursue other responsibilities within the school. • Sue Stanek, PhD, MSN/Ed, RN, has been named director of the Center for Lifelong Learning. She had been serving as interim director of the CLL. • Hocker and Peter Bertoldo, education business analyst at the school, have been named Faculty Diversity Officer and Staff Diversity Officer, respectively. Both have previously served on the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. • Jinjiao Wang, PhD, RN, has been selected to serve in a newly created position: post-doctoral program director. In this new role, Wang will help to facilitate the success of the school’s post-doctoral fellows and help steer them through their transition into the faculty.






Alcéna-Stiner, Yu Join Tenure-Track Faculty The School of Nursing have added two familiar faces to its tenure-track faculty. Danielle (Dani) Alcéna-Stiner, PhD, RN, and Yang Yu, PhD, MPH, MSN, have been named assistant professors as of July 1. Alcena-Stiner earned a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Rochester in 2012 before turning to nursing a few years later. She graduated from the UR Nursing Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses in 2018 and then joined the school faculty as a clinical instructor. A member of the Interdisciplinary Sexual Health and HIV Research (INSHHR) group, Alcena-Stiner decided to leave the clinical track to pursue her research interests. Yu joined the UR School of Nursing in 2019 as a post-doctoral fellow. She completed her fellowship on June 30 and immediately moved into a tenure-track faculty position. Yu obtained her master’s degree and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied weight management and behavior change theories and practices. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases and Obesity and American Journal of Health Behavior. The school also added three new post-doctoral fellows: • Tanya Wallace-Farquharson, PhD, RN, formerly of the University of Miami. Her area of research includes clinical science for health disparities populations with a focus on the language of asthma; pediatric asthma and sickle cell disease.

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• Rose Matemba, PhD, RN, formerly of the University of Miami. Her area of research includes socioecological factors that influence development of sexual behaviors in young adolescent girls. • Sukardi Suba, PhD, RN, formerly of the University of California, San Francisco. He was hired on the post-doctoral fellow to tenure-track faculty track. His area of research includes leveraging ECG data from physiologic monitors to inform better alarm management at the bedside, reduce “alarm fatigue” and to inform future development of “smarter” ECG monitoring.



School of Nursing Celebrates Faculty, Staff with Year-End Awards The School of Nursing held its annual year-end celebration, handing out awards to faculty and staff for their dedication and service to the school. The 2020-21 event was held virtually on May 10. Among this year’s awardees were: Most Promising New Investigator Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH, assistant professor Professional Advancement Award Jinjiao Wang, PhD, RN, assistant professor Outstanding Scholarly Practitioner Beth Palermo, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, ACNP-BC, assistant professor of clinical nursing Meghan Underhill-Blazey, PhD, APRN, AOCN, assistant professor Outstanding Faculty Colleague Joseph Gomulak-Cavicchio, EdD, MSEd, assistant professor of clinical nursing Tara Serwetnyk, EdD, RN, NPD-BC, teaching associate Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Faculty Award Kristin Hocker, EdD, assistant professor of clinical nursing Mary Dombeck Diversity Enhancement Staff Award Cesar Nunez, assistant, School of Nursing administration Outstanding Staff Colleague Kim Starken, associate director of admissions operations and systems Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Erin Malley, assistant to the associate dean for research Brian Harrington, director of information technology

Drs. Jeremy A. Klainer and Pamela York Klainer Endowed Dean’s Discretionary Award in Nursing Wellness Taskforce (Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNPBC, FNAP; Patty Corbett-Dick, PPCNP-BC, PMHNP-BC; Mike Fisher, MBA; Julia Mitchell, PMHNP-BC; Lisa Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC; Aaron Pollard; Natalie Thompson; Kate Tredwell, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC) Dean’s Appreciation Award Karen Keady (Davis), PhD, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing executive, URMC Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN, associate dean for research Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP, associate dean for education and student affairs Renu Singh, MS, senior associate dean for operations Kelly Talarczyk, MBA, chief financial officer Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, associate dean for equity and inclusion The school also honored several staff members celebrating service anniversaries at the University: 40 years Liz Gajary-Coots

15 years Judy Brasch

20 years Karen Cokeley Tracy Korts Deb Thayer

10 years Christopher Foote Margaret Lubel Linde Mull Eunyoung Wong

Josephine Craytor Nursing Faculty Award Kaitlyn Burke, MS, RN, CCRN, CNE-cl, instructor of clinical nursing Mary Carey, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, associate professor Lynne Massaro, DNP, RN, FNP-C, ANP-BC, FAANP, assistant professor of clinical nursing









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Building A Bridge Study Led by DNP Graduate Links Transition of Care to Reduced Hospital Readmissions The transition of care from hospital to home can make all of take it and what side effects to be cautious of. A lot of probthe difference in a patient’s recovery from a stroke. lems could be prevented if there is more support at home Ann Leonhardt-Caprio, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA, a before anything serious happens that requires readmission to recent University of Rochester School of Nursing Doctor of the hospital.” Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate and a member of the UR As the program coordinator at the UR Medicine CompreNursing faculty, led an initiative to improve the systems of hensive Stroke Center (CSC), Leonhardt-Caprio ensures the stroke care for patients discharged center engages in evidence-based from the hospital after an ischemic practice of stroke care and quality stroke (IS). improvement processes across The complicated transition of the institution. The CSC is a care from hospital to home can participating hospital in the Paul contribute to hospital readmisCoverdell National Acute Stroke sions, which are correlated with a Program, which is a Centers for higher risk of death and disability Disease Control (CDC) sponsored as well as increased health care program that emphasizes quality costs to patients and the health improvement focusing on stroke care system. There may also be an systems of care. increased risk of recurrent stroke When Leonhardt-Caprio learned in patients whose transition from of New York State’s participation in hospital to home does not go a transitions of care pilot program smoothly. which emphasized the formation Thirty-day hospital readmission of partnerships, she recognized rates count toward quality ratings this aligned with what she wanted from the Centers for Medicare and to do as part of her DNP project. Medicaid Services (CMS) and may A three-month audit of the be part of reimbursement contransition of care process from tracts with other insurers which hospital to home identified that impact hospital reimbursement. less than half of stroke patients High readmission rates can lead were being referred to a certified to financial penalties or decreased home health agency (CHHA). reimbursement to hospitals. Leonhardt-Caprio reached out to As her DNP project, Ann Leonhardt-Caprio, a UR Available research surrounding Jane Shukitis, president and CEO faculty member and program coordinator at the UR 30-day readmission of stroke of UR Medicine Home Care, and Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center, developed a pilot program to improve the systems of stroke patients demonstrates that initiated a partnership that would care for patients discharged from the hospital after multi-component interventions play a key role in both the New an ischemic stroke. The exemplary partnership with are more successful in reducing York State Coverdell pilot program UR Medicine Home Care was one of three programs readmissions. and her DNP project. in the country selected by the Centers for Disease Control for a case study evaluation to improve the “The transition of care is not a Starting in July 2019, Leonquality of stroke care. one-size-fits-all approach. Every hardt-Caprio implemented a patient is a little different, and multi-component improvement every patient’s reason for coming intervention to bridge the transition back to the hospital is not the same,” said Leonhardt-Caprio, from hospital to home through increased CHHA referrals, who was recently named a Fellow in the American Heart post-discharge telephone calls, and enhanced communicaAssociation. “Some patients don’t comprehend or didn’t get tion with outpatient providers through more timely discharge enough education before they left the hospital to understand summaries. what they need to know to prevent infections or how to manIn the reimagined home care referral process, UR Medicine age their medications. They could have difficulty swallowing, Home Care coordinators were involved earlier in a stroke which can lead to pneumonia. They may be on a new blood patient’s hospital course, which allowed eligibility and needs thinning medication and need follow-up education on how to assessment to be placed in the hands of the home care 18 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

expert. Leonhardt-Caprio went on home visits with a CHHA nurse to experience for herself the benefits of home care services and “was truly impressed by how important it is to see a patient in their home environment. Nurses in the home can check what medications the patient was discharged on and compare that to what they have in their home. Nurses and therapists would also evaluate risk factors in the patients’ homes like throw rugs they could easily trip on, which is critically important in patients who have new deficits from a stroke.” Leonhardt-Caprio worked to educate the inpatient team on these benefits to help with increasing CHHA referrals. Instead of the prior practice of one-week, unscripted telephone follow-ups, nurses would call two to three days after discharge using a script that assessed transition of care needs and provided the nurses with some guidance for different scenarios that may be problematic: transportation, prescriptions, outpatient appointments, understanding of discharge instructions, etc. Providers were asked to complete discharge summaries within two days of hospital discharge to ensure the communication with outpatient providers was timely. For months, Leonhardt-Caprio and others, including UR School of Nursing’s Craig Sellers, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-BC, GNP-BC, FAANP, Elizabeth Palermo, DNP, RN, ANPBC, ACNP-BC, Thomas Caprio, MD, chief medical officer for UR Medicine Home Care, and University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, measured readmission rates of IS patients who were discharged from one of UR Medicine’s stroke units at Strong Memorial Hospital. After six months, they saw a 54 percent decrease in hospital readmissions for all IS patients and a 62 percent decrease in readmissions for those patients who were discharged to home, which was the group the initiative specifically focused on. As a result of the impressive results and the partnership

with UR Medicine Home Care, Leonhardt-Caprio’s project was nominated by the New York State Coverdell team as an exemplar of a partnership to improve stroke systems of care. The partnership was selected by the CDC as one of three programs in the country to participate in a case study evaluation to gather information regarding efforts within a stroke system partnership. The CDC conducted a virtual site visit in late March to interview participants who were involved in the implementation and execution of the project. The CDC will use the findings to provide an in-depth understanding of how partnerships improve the quality of stroke care and ultimately contribute to the public evidence of effective stroke systems of care. While the study demonstrates the importance of improving transitions of care to reduce avoidable readmissions, Leonhardt-Caprio emphasizes that readmission rates for stroke patients should never be zero. “After a stroke, we expect that about 3 percent of patients are going to have a recurrent stroke within the first 30 days, and no matter how good the overall education and prevention strategies are, some patients will still have a recurrence. We’re never going to prevent all of the strokes or serious medical conditions that require hospitalization. So, it’s really important for us to focus on improving that transition of care to reduce the preventable readmissions, but not discourage patients from getting acute care when they need it,” she said. In March, Leonhardt-Caprio presented the project results— one of six oral abstracts presented as a part of the State of the Science Nursing Symposium— at the International Stroke Conference. Leonhardt-Caprio also spoke about the project at the NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium 14th Annual Summit, and to the CDC’s Coverdell Post-Hospital Work Group in late 2019.

Two PhD Students Selected to Receive Oncology Nursing Foundation Scholarships Two UR Nursing PhD students were notified in April that they were selected as recipients of the Oncology Nursing Foundation Doctoral Academic Scholarship for 2021-22. Melanie Bobry and Zhihong Zhang were among the winners of the competitive scholarship, given to registered

nurses pursuing a research doctoral degree who are interested in and committed to oncology nursing. The scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $7,500, are supported by the Oncology Nursing Foundation and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 19

Collaboration, Innovative Use of Technology Help Psych NP Students Hone Suicide Prevention Skills As any behavioral health provider can attest, suicide is a major public health concern in the United States. Suicide rates in this country have climbed by more than a third over the past two decades, and death by suicide stands as the second-leading cause of death of young people ages 10-34. A new collaboration between the University of Rochester School of Nursing and the Department of Psychiatry takes aim at that rising tide with an innovative approach to educating students in suicide prevention. In virtual simulation settings with standardized patients, UR Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) students can build on their competencies specific to suicide assessment and prevention and augment skills they use in

clinical settings with patients. Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, director of the PMHNP program, along with Joanne Bartlett, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC, instructor of clinical nursing, Julia Mitchell, PMHNP-BC, instructor of clinical nursing, and Kate Tredwell, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, assistant professor of clinical nursing, worked with Wendi Cross, PhD, professor of psychiatry to offer standardized patient experiences in which students and trained clinical actors would participate in scenarios that have been well tested and modified for PMHNP competencies in a telehealth format. “COVID-19 has shown us that educating students in a telehealth model makes sense,” said Blaakman. “The likelihood

UR School of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students, such as Erica Boccia (top left) and Princewill Fonta (bottom left) honed their clinical competencies and bolstered their suicide assessment skills by conducting telehealth visits with standardized patients. The collaboration with the UR Department of Psychiatry allows PMHNP students to use simulation and technology to improve their ability to engage with patients experiencing psychosocial issues and stressors. 20 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

HRSA Grant to Help Infuse Trauma-Informed Care into NP Curriculum The University of Rochester School of Nursing will receive nearly $1 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to expand the behavioral health workforce serving at-risk children and adolescents. Depression, anxiety, and suicidality in youth are a growing concern in New York and across the nation and are linked to traumatic experiences. The grant, Project ENACT: Educating NPs to Address Childhood Trauma, will prepare UR School of Nursing Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) students to better serve children and adolescents through the addition of a trauma-informed care (TIC) curriculum. Part of this curriculum innovation is the ongoing interprofessional collaboration between the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry as well as expert, nationally recognized, community partners, including the Mt. Hope Family Center and the TRANSFORM Research Center. Through these partnerships, Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, the principal investigator and director of the PMHNP program, and her team will develop TIC didactic, simulation, and immersion learning experiences, and launch an online curriculum toolkit by the end of the project. The TIC curriculum toolkit will be shared as a resource with the support of the TRANSFORM Center to enhance the care of vulnerable

youth while disseminating findings from this work to national audiences. The project faculty will establish at least four new practicum sites to offer new opportunities for PMHNP students to employ TIC with children and adolescents and to participate in interprofessional teams that will support a smooth transition to practice upon graduation. The grant will also fund standardized patient experiences in URMC’s Department of Psychiatry Laboratory of Behavioral Health Skills to practice TIC skills. Building on previous work with the Skills Lab, trained actors will engage PMHNP students in telehealth simulations addressing the greatest risks for patients, including suicidality and trauma. Through realistic, yet low-stakes, scenarios, students receive feedback from the patient actors and their faculty, and perform self-assessments to develop essential competencies for clinical care. “I’m so grateful that HRSA is supporting our commitment to incorporate more trauma-informed care into our curriculum and real-life learning opportunities for our students, ” said Blaakman. “Now, more than ever, we need a behavioral health workforce prepared to meet the complex needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. With our community partners, and this funding, we will have a real impact on how PMHNPs deliver care regionally and beyond.”

of them working in telehealth modalities is even higher now, so it is beneficial to have them practice essential skills in that method, as well.” Over several months, the PMHNP students participated in formative assessments with standardized patients of different ages and genders experiencing various psychosocial issues and stressors. While students learn how to conduct a mental status evaluation in their didactic coursework, the simulation allows them to receive feedback from a “patient” in a low-risk setting before future high-risk interactions with actual patients. Prior to each recorded telehealth visit, students received the standardized patient’s history and reason for the visit as if they were in a clinical setting. The students asked questions about the patient's underlying illnesses, family history, current risk, and how to mitigate them with safety planning and prevention resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. After each session, the standardized patient provided feedback on the student’s engagement and interview skills. Additionally, faculty members evaluated the students on their competencies, attitudes, and satisfaction. The students also completed surveys to gauge their confidence in their skillset. “These types of practice opportunities and immediate feedback are important to the reduction of harm for our patients,”

said PMHNP student Erica Boccia. “Being able to have a no-risk trial with prompt constructive feedback may be the thing that saves a life later.” “I have never had the opportunity for patients assessing and giving me feedback regarding my performance,” added another PMHNP student, Princewill Fonta. “The standardized patient experience was a good tool to help assess my rapport with patients, my skills, my engagement during the assessment process, and if I`m asking the questions correctly.” With the success of the project, UR School of Nursing faculty members were eager to pursue ongoing collaboration and interprofessional learning opportunities through the Skills Lab. In June, Blaakman received the news that the school will receive nearly $1 million in support over four years from the Health Resources and Services Administration (see sidebar story). “It’s important work. We know that patients have complex stressors; we know that we need to reach them where they are, and we need to work together to be effective. This is just one piece of becoming more prepared and responsive,” said Blaakman. “My dream is that telehealth will allow other professions to join efforts. I think there are opportunities to grow interprofessional education, and practice, using this model.”

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Celebrating a Century of Greatness Paying tribute to Loretta Ford as the nursing legend turns 100


n the last Sunday of 2020, Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, walked out of the front door of her Florida home and was greeted by a parade of passing golf carts. The nursing legend was one day away from her 100th birthday, and her friends and neighbors surprised her by putting on a physically distant celebration. As longtime friends and former colleagues watched on Zoom, Ford opened gifts and watched a stream of golf carts decorated with balloons and banners putter by. One cart was filled with banners representing the University of Rochester School of Nursing, where Ford built on an already prominent role in the profession by becoming the school’s founding dean. But there was also the somewhat curious appearance of a Susan B. Anthony impersonator and a host of other suffragettes. Curious, that is, unless you’d spent any time around Ford in the run up to her landmark year. “One of the things that Loretta was excited about was that she had two things left on her bucket list: turning 100 years old and celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the U.S.,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “I think it was a little bit of a sobering moment to really recognize how significant her 100th birthday was, but it was really an important day for her. It was also a really good day for us to be able to celebrate her as a person and all the work that she has done.” A few days later Rideout spoke to Ford by phone and reminded her of her completed bucket list only to find out Ford was working on a new list for her next century.

The University of Rochester played a huge role in Ford’s career. Perhaps just as impactful as her work at the University of Colorado was Ford’s development of the Unification Model at the UR School of Nursing. Recruited in 1972 to be the first dean of the newly independent school of nursing and director of nursing at Strong Memorial Hospital, Ford bridged the two roles to create a unified model of nursing, which combined education, research, and clinical practice to form a more holistic approach to nursing and health care. “Her belief was that nurses in an academic unit needed not to be siloed, but they needed to focus not only on teaching, but on research and clinical practice,” Rideout said. “She thought that it was critical that whoever was educating nurses was still practicing as clinicians and also involved in research. 22 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

The University of Rochester played a huge role in the career of nursing legend Loretta Ford. Not only did she serve as the founding dean of the newly independent School of Nursing, but here she developed the Unification Model, more tightly connecting the roles of educators, researchers, and clinicians.

And that became the unification model, blending education, practice, and research with each mission informing each other bi-directionally. And we still operate that way today.” Ford retired from the University in 1986, but her shadow still looms large on both sides of Crittenden Boulevard. As Ford’s 100th birthday approached, Rideout spearheaded planning for a celebration fitting of her stature in the profession. But then the pandemic hit. The new plan was to start a birthday card drive. The school

“Through her leadership and innovation, Dr. Loretta Ford has forever changed the trajectory of the nursing profession. In every state and around the world, every nurse practitioner owes a debt of gratitude to the creator of this essential nursing role.” - Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, president and chief executive officer, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

started a campaign through social media and targeted emails soliciting birthday messages and collected over 300 birthday wishes from former students, colleagues, and nurses. (WATCH: UR Nursing shares birthday wishes for a nursing legend Some well-wishers had no direct relationship with Ford. They simply wanted to thank her for paving the way for others. “We weren’t able to have her here to celebrate, so we decided that we could really honor her best by reaching out to all of the people that she has touched,” said Rideout. “It was really important for us to do that so that she could really see all the love and impact that she’s had over the years. “We had tears in our eyes as we were packing up all these warm wishes from people all over the country that had a memory about when they met her, or even more importantly, what role she played in their lives. It was really heartwarming.” The cards were packaged up with a few small gifts and sent to Ford along with a huge bouquet of flowers, which arrived just in time for her party. The UR package was certainly among the highlights of Ford’s day, as she noted in a thank you message Rideout shared with the school.

by the U.S. Surgeon General for “action of exceptional achievement to the cause of public health and medicine.” Ford was honored for her role in creating the nation’s first nurse practitioner program, founding a profession that would become an integral part of the country’s health care infrastructure, and her half-century as an advocate and champion for the NP community. “Dr. Ford, along with pediatrician Dr. Henry Silver, envisioned a model for an advanced practice nursing role where patient treatment focused on prevention with more patient involvement. This training program combined clinical care and research to teach nurses to factor in the social, psychological, environ-

"I don’t know where to begin to express my deep and abiding appreciation of your monumental efforts to make this, my 100th year, so memorable, with continuing surprises and delightful gifts, greeting cards, messages from afar and long lost friends and colleagues. I’ve heard from every corner of UR – students, faculty (past and present), administrators, physicians and more than I can name… It will take another century if I tried to respond to all of the good wishes so I hope you will convey my deep appreciation, surprise and memorable birthday." Love, Lee Another high point was a video message presenting Ford with the Surgeon General’s Medallion, the highest honor a civilian can receive for public service. The award is bestowed

Ford garnered a wealth of honors and degrees during her long career, and she continued to set big goals for herself in retirement. One of them was to celebrate her 100th birthday, which she did in late December 2020. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 23

About Loretta Ford • Born Dec. 28, 1920, in New York City, in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic. • Began her nursing career at age 16 at Middlesex General Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. • Earned her nursing diploma in 1941 and enlisted in the US Air Force, serving three years during WWII. • Attended the University of Colorado on the GI Bill and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1949 and a master’s in public health in 1951. She joined the University of Colorado faculty in 1961. • With Dr. Henry Silver, she created the nation's first nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado in 1965. • In 1972, she was named the first dean of the newly independent University of Rochester School of Nursing, where she would develop the Unification Model of Nursing, linking clinical practice, education, and research. • She was named a “Living Legend” by the American Academy of Nursing and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011. • USA Today honored her in 2020, naming her one of its “Women of the Century” in recognition of the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage. • Hours before her 100th birthday, Ford was honored with the Surgeon General’s Medallion, awarded by the U.S. Surgeon General for exceptional achievements to the cause of public health and medicine.

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mental, and economic situations of patients when developing care plans. Little did she know then that today, patients across the U.S. benefit from the high-quality health care provided by over 290,000 nurse practitioners,” said Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, president, American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). “It takes a village to care for a nation and it took one nurse’s vision to help create these partners in health.”

Ford’s nursing career began humbly. At the age of 16, she became a nurse’s aide at Middlesex General Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She entered the nursing program when she turned 18 and earned her diploma in 1941. She then joined the Visiting Nurse Service of New Brunswick, but signed up for the US Air Force after her fiancé was killed in World War II. After the war, Ford attended the University of Colorado on the GI Bill. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1949, a master’s degree in public health in 1951, and a doctorate in education in 1961. During her doctoral studies, Ford became an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in Denver, later advancing to full professor. Ford teamed with pediatrician Henry K. Silver to create the nation's first pediatric nurse practitioner training program at the University of Colorado Medical Center in 1965. Her actions resulted in the first-ever educational program for advanced nursing and the creation of a new role in medicine: the nurse practitioner. “Her contribution has been priceless. We wouldn’t be able to provide the care that we do today without Loretta Ford,” said Anne Swantz,’88N (MS), RN, MSN, C-PNP, senior director of the Sovie Center for Advanced Practice, which includes more than 700 NPs at Strong and UR Medicine’s affiliate hospitals. “Because of the NP role, there’s been a huge shift in access to high-level care.” At a time when doctors did not welcome or appreciate input from nurses, Ford was met with considerable resistance and criticism in the medical community. “There was a time when nursing was seen more in this hierarchy, where medicine

“I was fortunate to have attended the SON during Dr. Ford’s tenure as dean and have been truly blessed that we have kept in touch in the intervening years. Her legacy is enormous, not only related to nurse practitioners, but also in the unification of practice, research, and education.” - Jane Tuttle,’79N, ‘84N (MS), PhD, APRN, BC, FNP, CPNP, Professor of Clinical Nursing Emerita, University of Rochester School of Nursing

was at the top and then came nursing. And Loretta’s desire and passion and mission was to equalize that, that there was not a hierarchy when it came to medicine and nursing,” Rideout said. “And she worked diligently to advocate for the role of nurses, not only at the bedside, but as educators, as researchers, and then in the advancement of nurses into an advanced practice role of nurse practitioner.” “I can only imagine how difficult it was for her in the 1960s. It was a very paternalistic time and everything was in turmoil. She had to be quite brave and quite persistent to make this change happen,” said Marianne Chiafery, ’79N, ’96N (MS), ’16N (DNP), DNP, PNP-BC, an associate professor of clinical nursing who was a student under Ford. “Not only did she need to have her physician colleagues think that it was a good idea, but she needed their buy in. She needed to argue her case, prove value and convince people that it was a good way to go.” As time has passed, many people came to believe that the role of nurse practitioner came about due to a shortage of medical doctors. While it’s true that few doctors cared to practice in rural communities or treat the underprivileged, Ford didn’t set out to fill a void in medicine. She simply aimed to help provide care for children and families in need. To that end, Ford and her nursing team went to help in remote areas. They set up temporary clinics in schools and churches and offered basic health care to the community. “It was transformational,” said Chiafery. “Medicine’s focus is slightly different from the nurses’ focus, and I think NPs, having worked as nurses, add value to patient care. While some nurse practitioners work in independent practice, others work as a team with physician colleagues in specialty areas. A fully integrated practice with a doctor and an NP with the skill set from a nursing background really enhances the patient care experience.” “Early in her career, she was a public health nurse and that role never left her,” said Mitchell Wharton, ’13N (PhD), PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, UR Nursing’s associate dean for equity and inclusion. Wharton co-taught an NP course last year in which Ford made a guest appearance, and he said that even at age 98,

Ford continued to press these emerging providers to keep their focus on patient needs and insisted that nurses were uniquely equipped to provide that care. “Don’t forget that you are a nurse,” she said. “Don’t forget the human interaction, that’s what helps people.” Over the course of many years, Ford succeeded in establishing the nurse practitioner as an integral part of medical teams. Through her many contributions as a nurse, educator, and innovator, Ford changed the face of medicine, bringing greater respect and appreciation to the critical role of nurses and nurse practitioners and to the nursing profession as a whole. “I think that for us we wouldn't be where we are today as a school if she hadn't really committed many years to being the dean,” said Rideout. “And our profession, of which I'm very proud to be a nurse practitioner to this day, our profession would not be where it is today, if it hadn't been for Lee Ford.”

Ford dressed in a superhero costume during a 2015 visit to the UR School of Nursing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NP profession. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 25

UR School of Nursing Fellowship Program Supports Meaningful Clinical Work By Ivy Burruto

Since 2012, Jessica Lapinski, MNE, RN, CNEcl, instructor of clinical nursing at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, has introduced students to real-life, hands-on experience in a local Dedicated Education Unit (DEU). Established in the Neurosurgery Medical/Surgical Unit at Highland Hospital, the DEU provides a more realistic view of a typical nursing assignment than traditional clinical instruction. The model uses staff nurses—student nurse instructors— to educate nursing students, while academic faculty serve as a resource for both students and nursing staff. Students are paired with the same nurse every week, Lapinski allowing for more consistent evaluation of student progress and improved communication among faculty and nurses. Traditionally, students work with multiple nurses during a clinical rotation and often miss opportunities to learn about the nurses’ other patients. As one of the nurses educated in the DEU and then later as a clinical instructor, Lapinski experienced the model’s benefits and wanted to replicate it at different affiliate institutions across the University of Rochester Medical Center. She had seen the increased job satisfaction among nurses, improved learning outcomes for students, and enhanced relationships between practice and academic institutions. But there were a few considerations that, if addressed, could make the DEU more sustainable. For instance, student nurse instructors expressed some difficulty providing a rich learning experience and required more time and attention when working with students at varying skill levels. Another hurdle was a four-week clinical rotation, which did not allow for enough time for novice students to become immersed in the unit culture. Lapinski was already collecting data to improve the DEU when she saw a call for UR School of Nursing clinical faculty to apply for a new Clinical Scholar Fellowship Program. Formed in 2019 and directed by Susan Ciurzynski, PhD, RN, 26 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

NPD-BC, PNP, VCE, FNAP, assistant director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program and professor of clinical nursing, the Clinical Scholar Fellowship Program is an internally-funded initiative that provides release time to clinical faculty to conduct and publish scholarly projects in a peer-reviewed journal. UR School of Nursing clinical faculty members can apply to receive one of the two annual scholarships—Writing for Publication Fellowship, which funds one semester for clinical faculty to publish findings from a previously-completed scholarly project; and the Clinical Scholar Fellowship, which funds one year to allow for data collection and analysis, followed by manuscript development. Both fellowship options pair fellows with a mentor to provide support throughout the publication process. “The idea is that we give visibility to the school through getting the word out regarding the great work our faculty are doing. We give clinical faculty members the time they’re asking for to collect outcomes to evaluate their programs, and it brings positive attention back to the school,” said Ciurzynski. “It also helps with professional development because publications are a requirement to advance from assistant professor to associate professor of clinical nursing. Publication in peer-reviewed journals is universally accepted as an indicator of scholarship among faculty.” Lapinski—like most clinical faculty—had never before received significant preparation in writing for a peer-reviewed journal. She felt the Clinical Scholar Fellowship Program could be an opportunity to measure the effectiveness of proposed changes in the DEU. She reached out to Ciurzynski, and together, they worked on the abstract to apply to the Clinical Scholar Fellowship Program. Lapinski was approved as the first recipient of the clinical scholar fellowship. She and Ciurzynski held monthly meetings Ciurzynski to discuss areas for

improvement in the DEU based on data and what outcomes to measure for value-added academic-practice collaboration. Lapinski addressed the disparity between novice and advanced level students by selecting DEU students based on their prior academic achievement. Students now participate in the DEU in their final semester for an extended clinical rotation to get better acquainted with the unit and their student nurse instructors. Additionally, the nurse instructor-to-student ratio changed from 1:1 to 1:2 to accommodate all eight students on the DEU for the full 10 weeks. Throughout a subsequent 12-month formative program evaluation, Lapinski collected data from three clinical cohorts using written evaluations and focus groups conducted with nursing students and student nurse instructors. The redesigned DEU elements received overwhelmingly positive feedback from nurses, students, and faculty. Participants reported increased collaboration between the academic and practice partners, improved communication between faculty and nurses, increased student satisfaction, and improved role preparation for the DEU nurses. In September 2020, “Enhancing the sustainability of a Dedicated Education Unit: Overcoming obstacles and strengthening partnerships,” was published in the Journal of Professional Nursing. “Jessica had the knowledge in her head and it was my job to help her figure out how we package it for dissemination,” said Ciurzynski. “There’s probably a level of journalism that we normally don’t get educated in. It’s very rewarding to see somebody go from an idea in their head to then seeing their name in print. “We got to work together on a project and I may have never gotten to know her otherwise. She knows that if she needs anything I will always be her mentor. It’s not limited to this timeline. Now she has a mentor for life.” As for the future, Lapinski plans to educate faculty and practice administrators so they can be more aware of the benefits of the DEU, and so she can focus on improving and expanding the model to other departments. “It’s because of the Clinical Scholar Fellowship Program that I had the confidence to continue with the future. I think having clinical faculty work on publications keeps us invested in what we’re doing and current within the research,” said Lapinski, who was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar as an undergrad at the school. “I felt like I was an expert on the DEU, but I was also becoming more of a leader because I was able to have something of my own to show the world how we’re really making an impact at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. I think it gives us more pride in what we’re doing and we can put it out there for other people to see.”

Since the inception of the Clinical Scholar Fellowship programs in 2019, there have been four Clinical Scholar Fellowship recipients and five Writing for Publication Fellowship recipients: 2019 Clinical Scholar Fellowship Jessica Lapinski, “Enhancing the sustainability of a Dedicated Education Unit: Overcoming obstacles and strengthening partnerships.” Writing for Publication Fellowship Mitchell Wharton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNS, “Self-preservation strategies of young Black men who have sex with men to remain HIV negative.” Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, “Understanding treatment motivation in urban teens with asthma.”

2020 Clinical Scholar Fellowship Kaitlyn Burke, MS, RN, CCRN, CNE-cl, instructor of clinical nursing, “Nursing flips out! Innovative methods to redesign a psychomotor nursing course.” Carolanne Bianchi, DNP, MBA, RN, ANP-BC, CRRN, assistant professor of clinical nursing, “Development and validation of a tool to measure barriers to walking hospitalized older adults.” Writing for Publication Fellowship Kristin Hocker, EdD, assistant professor of clinical nursing, “Narratives of emergent leadership.”

2021 Clinical Scholar Fellowship Joseph Gomulak-Cavicchio, EdD, MSEd, assistant professor of clinical nursing and education innovation coordinator, “Graduate nursing students’ perceptions of online learning and interaction.” Writing for Publication Fellowship Andrew Wolf, EdD, RN, AGACNP-BC, director of educational effectiveness and assistant professor of clinical nursing, “Diversity and equity from application to graduation: A holistic approach.” Jamie Oliva, PhD, MS, RN, ANP-BC, assistant professor of clinical nursing, “Rare helper T-cell populations are quantifiable at an early time point in allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients.” NURSING 2021 Volume 1 27

Don’t Call It a Comeback

UR Nursing’s celebration of graduates has continued unabated during pandemic; School turns a corner in ’21, allowing students to attend Commencement in person Photos by John Schlia

In the midst of a pandemic, a few months can make a big difference. The UR School of Nursing held an online degree conferral ceremony in May 2020, then was able to host a physically distant pinning ceremony for grads in August. The school went virtual again for its pinning ceremony in December 2020, but welcomed students back to take part in a hybrid in-person Commencement ceremony in May 2021. Dealing with the ebbs and flows of COVID caseloads and the subsequent fluctuations in federal and state guidelines and mandates presented the school with a multitude of significant logistical challenges. What was possible one week, may be verboten the next. One thing that remained steady throughout the past year and a half was the school’s commitment to celebrating the success of its students. In December, amid tightening restrictions, the school held its first ever virtual pinning ceremony. Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses graduates took part from their own homes, pinning themselves as their names were read over a Zoom call. Parents and friends were invited to watch from anywhere in the world. This past May, more than 160 students were honored at an in-person Commencement ceremony at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The hybrid event was limited to graduating students and the platform party of faculty and staff,

but parents, friends, and colleagues were invited to watch a livestream of the event online. In keeping with COVID safety protocols, students and faculty were seated at least six feet apart, and all were required to accessorize their academic regalia with masks. Nearly 90 graduates attended in person and heard welcoming remarks from President Sarah Mangelsdorf and University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Mark B. Taubman, MD, as well as an address from School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP. “I think it is very important for all of us to take the time to reflect on all that we have learned, all that we have accomplished,” said Rideout, whose Commencement remarks focused on silver linings and lessons learned during the pandemic. “As health care clinicians, researchers, educators and leaders of the present – and of the future – we can rise to the challenges in front of us and can do anything together.” In addition to presenting degrees to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students, the school also announced the winner of its annual Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dee Dee Rutigliano, ’14N, ’18N (MS), an instructor of clinical nursing. On the following pages, you can read about a cross-section of graduates from the past six months.

The return of Commencement also marked the return of festively decorated mortarboards.

A sparsely filled Kodak Hall. The 2021 School of Nursing Commencement ceremony featured only the platform party and physically distant cohort of graduating students

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 Dean Kathy Rideout delivered the Commencement address, highlighting silver linings and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.  PhD graduate and assistant professor of clinical nursing Sue Stanek bumps elbows with Associate Dean for Research Sally Norton after receiving her degree.  The ceremony was livestreamed online so family and friends could watch live.  Rideout greets DNP graduate Victor Hernandez as President Mangelsdorf looks on.  After the ceremony, graduates headed outside and removed their masks to pose for photos with family and friends. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 29

A career in health care may have seemed inevitable, but Juliana Weiss forged her own path into nursing Her parents knew health care would be a great career fit for her, but Juliana Weiss ’20N is the kind of person who had to come to that conclusion on her own. After several years of soul-searching and two degrees, she finally found the inspiration to pursue a career a nursing. While she begrudgingly accepted that perhaps her parents were on the nose in their assessment, the path Weiss took to nursing was uniquely hers. But she can credit her mother in particular for helping to steer her to the UR School of Nursing. Weiss and her parents were on vacation, sitting in the lobby of Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz when her mother struck up a conversation with a stranger sitting nearby. The young woman was a nurse from Rochester. When Weiss’ mother mentioned that Juliana was looking at attending nursing school, the woman talked glowingly of the UR School of Nursing and its one-year accelerated program for non-nurses (APNN). “She was saying what a wonderful program it was and it was only one year long, and that Strong was a great hospital right across the street. I had my computer with me to do my prereqs, so that night I pulled up the website and looked at the school, and I thought it was great,” said Weiss, a Hudson Valley native who had been accepted at New York University, but was hoping to find other options outside of the New York City metro area. “I figured, ‘I’ll apply, why not?’ Five months later, I was doing my phone interview.” Ironically, the woman who suggested UR School of Nursing wasn’t even a graduate of the school. She had gone to Monroe Community College. “I forget her name, but my goodness, I would give her a hug if I could!” said Weiss. The decision turned out to be a fortuitous one for Weiss, who grew up around hospitals. Her father was a surgeon, and her mother was a physician’s assistant before transitioning to medical billing. Weiss was more into music and drama as a child, but her parents recognized that she had great ambition, a love for helping people, and a desire to dive into the middle of situations and find solutions. Those traits first led Weiss to an undergrad degree in sociology and a career working with nonprofits. Not satisfied that she was making a difference in people’s lives, Weiss went to get her master’s in nonprofit management at the University of Albany, where she landed an internship at a St. 30 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

Jude Hospital field office before finding a job in a smaller regional hospital near her home. “I’d be doing fundraisers and talking with doctors and nurses. Hearing their stories and listening to them talk about the medical team and what a difference they made in people’s Juliana Weiss, chosen as one of the cohort’s lives, I realized, class speakers, joined her classmates and participated in the December pinning ceremony from ‘That’s it! That’s home due to COVID-19. the feeling I want,’” Weiss said. “I’m sitting behind this computer, but now I see what my parents said. I want my hands in it. I want the nitty gritty.” Two months after earning her master’s, Weiss started taking prerequisite courses for nursing school. She arrived at the UR School of Nursing in January of 2020, completed half of her first semester of work and on her first day back from spring break was sent back home because of COVID. Fortunately, Weiss and her classmates were back in clinicals by August and later had a 10-week clinical rotation, which reassured her that she had made the right choice. By October, she had applied and been accepted into critical care nurse residency program at Strong, an intensive six-month program preparing new graduates to be an ICU-level critical care nurse. “The APNN program is all-consuming, in the best way. I think you have to approach it with the attitude that you chose it because it’s 11 months and 29 days and you have to love it for that reason,” said Weiss, who was one of two students chosen as class speaker at the December cohort’s virtual pinning ceremony. “It’s a roller coaster. But it's true what the faculty told us at the beginning of the program, 'The days are long, but the year is short.'”

After Two Years with a Full Plate, Former Chef Justin Wilks Ready to ‘Embrace the Calm’ Things are finally starting to slow down for Justin Wilks have the best experience possible in the hospital.” ’21N. And he’s just fine with that. Wilks had once considered a career in pharmacy, but he Over the past two and a half years, Wilks has started a left the University at Buffalo for the kitchen. After nearly a new job as an RN, fought a global pandemic, welcomed decade working in various Rochester restaurants, he grew the birth of his first child, moved into a new home, and frustrated with the business and gravitated back to health aced his baccalaureate-completion degree program at the care. He earned his associate degree at Monroe CommuUR School of Nursing. nity College while continuing to Despite the swirl of change work full time, passed his boards around of him, Wilks graduated and began his new career as a from the UR Nursing RN to BS nurse on a cardiac and progressive program summa cum laude and care unit at Highland Hospital. was honored at Commencement Within months, he learned that with the school’s Registered Nurse he and his wife were expecting Award. The award recognizes a their first baby and he enrolled in graduating nursing student who the RN to BS program at the UR has achieved high academic standSchool of Nursing. With an uning, demonstrated outstanding predictable work schedule – exability practice professional nursacerbated by COVID – and sleep ing, and shown evidence of strong schedule that comes along with leadership potential. a newborn, Wilks was grateful “I figured out pretty quickly how for the asynchronous nature of to do new things on the fly,” he the program. He said he actually said. “I’ve definitely grown quite a enjoyed the flexibility of getting bit in the past two years, and I’ve up at 3 am to feed the baby and learned a lot about myself. I’m then being able to tackle a chunk ready to take some time to reflect of coursework in the middle of and spend time with my wife and As someone who thrives under pressure, Justin Wilks left the night and still find classmates – daughter and relax. I’m really just and professors – online. behind the frying pan of cooking for the fire of nursing. embracing the calmness right now.” After 10 years as a professional chef, he now works as an Wilks particularly singled out RN at Highland Hospital. His ability to succeed amid chaThriving amid chaos is nothing Instructor of Clinical Nursing Minew to Wilks. Before entering the os was tested again, as he graduated summa cum laude chael Rosario-McCabe, MNE, RN. from the UR Nursing RN to BS program despite acclimatnursing field, he spent 10 years “I don’t think he ever slept,” Wilks ing to his new job during a global pandemic, welcoming a as a chef. In that career, he not said. “I’ve been in a lot of college newborn baby, and moving into a new home. only learned how to navigate a classes over the years – different fast-paced, always-changing workplace, but he also saw programs, different schools – but his ability to be accessifirsthand how important it was to do everything needed to ble, especially during the difficult times of COVID, I just keep the consumer happy. felt like he really cared and supported students. “I think that’s why I’ve always been so calm under pres“I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into sure. I kind of thrive in that stressful environment,” he said. when I started this program, but it’s made me a more “I do find that there are similarities. At the end of the well-rounded nurse and able to look at the patient’s needs day, you want to have someone have a great experience. more holistically. How can I support the whole person, not Obviously, people are at the hospital for a much different just the patient in the hospital? I’m looking beyond the reason, but they want to be taken care of and I want to try hospital doors now, and that’s the greatest lesson I learned to accommodate them as best as I can and make sure they in the program.” NURSING 2021 Volume 1 31

Carrying on a Family Legacy, Alana Ramos Exemplifies Compassion, Concern for Others Courage, compassion, and concern for others. hard. We FaceTimed every day, but that doesn’t really do it. When Alana Ramos ’14N, ’21N (MS) read those words to The one silver lining of COVID is that it has reminded peodescribe the winner of the Elizabeth Clinger Young Award, ple the value of relationships and person-to-person contact. only one name came to mind: Mom. Her mother, Peg It’s highlighted how fortunate we are to have relationships Beverly, was a beloved elementary school nurse for a dozen with people.” years in the tiny Gananda School District east of Rochester, Driven by the desire to connect and help those in her and those traits are exactly the ones Ramos would choose to world, Ramos enrolled in the UR Nursing Accelerated characterize her as a nurse. Program for Non-Nurses (APNN) in 2013. She had been Beverly passed away unexpectedly last August, so when working at the Anthony Jordan Health Center in Rochester, Ramos learned that she was selected to be the recipient of dealing primarily with patients struggling with the dual the Elizabeth Clinger Young Award at the University of daggers of addiction and poor mental health. She thought Rochester School of Nursing Commencement in May, she she wanted to go on to become a psych/mental health NP was blown away to be cast in the same light as her mother. but her clinical rotations with the accelerated program “I did a double take,” recalled Ramos, a graduate of the helped to steer her to primary care. Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner pro“Seeing patients and how we can tackle their problems in a gram. “When I first read it, I said, ‘That’s my mom!’ Those more holistic way, that’s when I knew primary care was for me,” are the qualities she instilled Ramos said. “I love that in priin me, so this award is very mary care you do everything, meaningful to me. be everything, and really be “I was so shocked. I felt so that central piece for patients.” humbled and honored and A year after graduating, grateful that someone recogRamos vaulted into a leadnized those qualities in me.” ership role at Strong. She Not surprisingly, family was promoted to assistant and the human connections nurse manager and began formed in all the different working as a preceptor. She types of relationships we also re-enrolled at the UR have with others, play an outSchool of Nursing looking to sized role in Ramos’ life. As further her education. Upon a tribute to her mom’s legacy, graduating this past May, Ramos plans to donate the she accepted an NP position Alana Ramos, receiving her degree from Dean Kathy Rideout, was honmonetary award to a nursing ored at Commencement with the Elizabeth Clinger Young Award, given in the Solid Organ Transscholarship at Gananda that to the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse plant department at Strong, she and her sisters created in Practitioner student who has displayed great compassion, courage, and working specifically with concern for others. memory of their mom. liver transplants. She plans Almost a year earlier, when the science was not yet settled to spend some time focusing on becoming the best NP she on exactly how COVID was spread, Ramos, working as can be, but also has her eyes set on pursuing another degree an assistant nurse manager on a medical observation unit down the road, possibly a Doctor of Nursing Practice. at Strong Memorial Hospital, worried about unknowingly “I’m so thankful for my UR Nursing education. I know carrying the virus home from the hospital and passing it to that the U of R overprepares its nurses. I felt that way when her son. Deciding that she wanted to take every precaution I started – that I was getting a really solid foundation – and to keep her child safe, they didn’t see each other face to face then in my role helping to educate other nurses, I can always for more than a month. see a difference when I’m working with a U of R grad. When “There was so much unknown, but I was determined not I eventually go back to school, it will be there,” Ramos said. “I to bring this thing home to him,” Ramos said. “It was so can’t imagine going anywhere else. It feels like home to me.” 32 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

While Finishing Doctoral Work, NP Lynn Cole Juggled Many Roles Lynn Cole ’98N (MS) ’21N (DNP) is a juggler: Career, classroom, kids, canine, COVID-19. Besides her full-time job in pediatric primary care at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Cole has been using evenings and weekends for the past three years to work toward her third degree, a doctor of nursing practice. A mother of four, ranging in age from 11 to 21, the pediatric nurse practitioner most recently added a “COVID puppy” to her list of responsibilities. For her the question is not what comes next after graduation; the journey to the terminal degree was a goal in itself—an academic capstone of sorts for her already impressive professional vita. After receiving a bachelor of science degree in nursing nearly three decades ago from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a master’s degree from the University of Rochester School of Nursing in 1998, Cole has worked her way up to associate division chief of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Medical Center. Along the way, she garnered a clinical excellence award from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) in 2006, an Autism Opportunity Award from Autism Up in 2016, and the George Spencer Terry, Jr. B’49 Endowed Fund in Nursing in 2019, given to a DNP student who is actively engaged in developing solutions to challenges facing nurses and health care providers. The Pittsford resident specializes in the care of children with complex developmental and behavioral challenges, with a particular focus on autism, intellectual disability, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and cerebral palsy. Cole coleads the University’s Autism Treatment Network, teaches at the School of Nursing, and is the director of clinical services at the University’s Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities. As part of her doctoral degree, Cole dug into an area that she’s passionate about—fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). “We started a new clinic here for FASD assessment and treatment about six years ago and quickly recognized that our capacity would never be large enough to serve all of the kids who need care,” says Cole. The problem is pressing. Children and adults with FASD struggle with lifelong learning and behavioral problems, and without appropriate supports are at high risk for secondary conditions, such as mental health problems,

trouble with the law, school disruption, and substance abuse. “Being diagnosed at an early age and having appropriate services and support has the potential to improve outcomes dramatically,” says Cole. “But due to a comAs part of her work to complete a doctor of bination of low nursing practice degree, pediatric nurse practitioner Lynn Cole helped develop a pilot project FASD awareness to expand access and treatment for children with and poor access fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. to diagnosis, most children are either not diagnosed or misdiagnosed.” Based on expert estimates that between 2 and 5 percent of American children are affected by FASD, the Rochester team calculated that in upstate New York alone there may be somewhere between 23,000 to 80,000 children outside New York City and the metropolitan areas with FASD. Yet, outside New York City, the Medical Center is the only FASD diagnostic site in the state, with a capacity of just 220 children a year. That’s why as part of her doctor of nursing practice scholarly project, Cole created an extension for a program that builds upon Project ECHO, which was started at the University of New Mexico as a model for training community clinicians to provide care for people with chronic and complex health conditions. Cole and her collaborators adapted the existing model for their pilot ECHO FASD project in order to train regional clinicians on how to diagnose the complex disorder. Now with one fewer thing left to juggle, what is Cole looking forward to? “More time for enjoying my kids, reading a book, doing some gardening.” Already her 15-year-old asked right before she defended her DNP project if she planned on keeping up her schedule of working after dinner, every night, forever. “No,” she told him. “Thankfully not.”

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Doubling Down to Help Others

Ranae and Shanae McKenzie – identical twins from Jamaica – share a passion for nursing and education By Kristine Thompson

Sisters Ranae and Shanae McKenzie have done just about everything together for as long as they can remember. Born and raised in Jamaica, they are identical twins with identical passions. Both came to the U.S. for their undergraduate education and now are nursing students together. In September 2020, they both started the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses at the University of Rochester School of Nursing (SON). They are slated to complete the program in the fall of 2021. The McKenzies share a passion for learning, nursing, and helping others, too. They also are both scholarship recipients. Shanae is the recipient of the Houle Station Scholarship. Ranae is the recipient of the Ruth Finnie Smith Scholarship and has benefitted from the McLouth Scholarship Fund. They both have also received the SON Diversity Scholarship, which supports the school’s mission to diversify the nursing workforce. It is provided to students from underrepresented groups who have demonstrated significant leadership skills. The combination of all of their scholarships is fully supporting their tuition costs. Donor generosity has eased their financial burdens significantly. It has helped make it possible for them to pursue their nursing degrees, and it’s given them the opportunity to focus solely on their nursing education—which they continue to do together, often smiling and finishing each other’s sentences along the way. Here, they delve into why they want to be nurses, life at SON, and their goals. When did you know you wanted to be a nurse? Why? Shanae: In high school in Jamaica, we had to do a career portfolio, which gave us an opportunity to pick three careers we were interested in. Nursing was one of them. That guided our studies throughout high school and pointed us in this direction. I want to be a nurse because it will allow me to care for people, advocate for them, and be a resource to them. Ranae: Many of our family members are in nursing careers. Like them and like Shanae, I enjoy helping people. I am so glad to be part of the School of Nursing. Being here has 34 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

underscored how much I love learning and helping others to get to a healthy place. How did you go from Jamaica to Rochester? Shanae: It was a long road. We started out at Kansas State University where we majored in nutrition and kinesiology. We went to Kansas because we each received athletic scholarships to go there. They didn’t have a nursing program, so we took courses we knew would be required at nursing school, and we researched schools with great nursing reputations. Ranae: That’s how we found the School of Nursing. We applied and we were both accepted to the accelerated bac-

Identical twins Ranae (left) and Shanae McKenzie joined the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses in September 2020. They both received a combination of scholarships to fully support the program’s tuition costs.

calaureate program. We really wanted a yearlong program, which this school offers. The program is perfect for us. What are some of the highlights of being in the accelerated program? Shanae: I just had an amazing experience in one of my clinical rotations. I worked with a non-verbal, quadriplegic patient. He couldn’t express himself verbally, but he gave me these big, bright smiles. Seeing that smile along with his treatment progress was so fulfilling. He was also a patient I learned a lot from clinically. For instance, I learned about oral suctioning, chest therapy techniques, and more. I applied what I was learning in the classroom. Ranae: I’ve really enjoyed my obstetrics (OB) clinical rotation. Recently, in labor and delivery, I watched and monitored a young mother, saw her baby get delivered, and then helped her care for it. I got to help her learn how to breastfeed, which included how to properly hold the baby and encourage the latching on process. It was so rewarding, and I realized how much I enjoy the educational aspect of nursing. What’s a typical day like for you? Shanae: This is a three-semester program that includes clinical rotations in medical surgery, OB, pediatrics, and psychiatry. During the week, we have online classes from 9 am to about noon. Then we have an in-person lab from 1 to 3 pm. We do our in-person clinical work from 6:30 am to 2 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, we study because we usually have an exam early in the week. Ranae: It’s a very busy schedule, but we love it. We are planners and manage our time carefully. The program gives me such a feeling of accomplishment, which is a great reward. Sometimes, we also reward ourselves by watching movies and binge-watching Netflix. A lot of the shows we watch are medically related like "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Good Doctor." It’s fun to watch programs that cover topics we are learning in class. Last week, one was all about a cardiac issue. We knew exactly what they were talking about and understood all the jargon. [Watch how scholarship support has changed the lives of the McKenzie twins. ] What do you want to do after graduation? Shanae: I think I want to be a NICU nurse. When I was in that rotation, I realized how much I enjoyed working with infants. I also really love the team aspect of care—in NICU nursing and everywhere here. Ranae: Down the road, I see myself in the OB area, as a labor and delivery nurse or maybe a midwife. I’m not sure yet. The more I get exposed to different areas, the more I learn about myself. Like Shanae said, the team aspect is really a big part of what SON teaches and what we have expe-

Ranae (left) and Shanae McKenzie, born and raised in Jamaica, came to the UR School of Nursing from Kansas State University, where they majored in nutrition and kinesiology.

rienced in our clinical rotations. For instance, if a baby were breech, the doctor, the nurses, and a respiratory therapist would all work together to develop and implement a plan of care that was best for baby and the mom. What does scholarship support mean to you? Shanae: It means everything. We wanted to be here more than anything and getting these scholarships has meant that we aren’t burdened with financial stress—we can focus on our education. I don’t know if our donors really know the impact they’ve had on our lives—it’s huge. They’ve opened many doors for us and blessed us. Someday, we both hope to do the same. Ranae: I remember being back in Kansas when we got our acceptance letters. We were so happy to just get into the school. As we were reading the letters, we paused and saw that we got these scholarships, too, which was completely unexpected. We were speechless. We read the letter over five or six times, because we just couldn’t believe it. Then, we called our mom and our aunties, and everyone was so happy for us. We are truly grateful. NURSING 2021 Volume 1 35

Your Gifts Make an Impact on the School of Nursing Annual Giving Every gift, every year makes an exceptional nursing education possible. Annual Fund gifts from alumni are essential to providing the very best faculty, facilities, and research opportunities. Gifts directed to the Scholarship Annual Fund enable us to recruit the next class of promising students eager to pursue their passion for nursing at the University of Rochester.

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Outright Gifts Appreciated Securities Make a gift of appreciated stock or mutual funds to the school and take advantage of two tax benefits. Transfer securities, avoid capital gains tax, and enjoy a charitable deduction when you itemize on your federal tax return.

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impact. A provision in your will ensures that programs you care most about are supported. You can also name the school as a beneficiary of retirement assets, life insurance, or investment accounts. Already have the school in your plans? Please let us know, so we can thank you! Life Income Gifts Fund a charitable gift annuity and enjoy a charitable deduction today and fixed income for life for one or two beneficiaries. Fund a charitable remainder unitrust and enjoy a charitable deduction today and variable

income for life or a term of years, for one, two or possibly more beneficiaries. For more information about gift planning or to request sample will language or a personal life income gift illustration, contact: University of Rochester Office of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning; 1-800-MELIORA (800-635-4672) or 585-2758894; giftplanning@rochester. edu; or visit rochester.giftplans. org.

Giving Societies We delight in recognizing our alumni and friends who have made the School of Nursing a philanthropic priority.

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Diamond Circle members play an integral role in sustaining the School of Nursing and paving

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the way for its future. With the generous support of dedicated alumni and friends, the school is preparing the next generation of health care providers, educators, researchers, and leaders. Membership starts at $1,000 annually.

George Eastman Circle

The George Eastman Circle is the University of Rochester’s most impactful leadership giving society, recognizing fiveyear Annual Fund commitments of $1,500 and above to many areas of the university, including the School of Nursing.

Wilson Society

The Wilson Society illuminates the philanthropic legacy of Joe ‘31 and Peggy Wilson and celebrates those individuals who have established a gift plan or included the University in their estate.

For more information about making a gift to support the School of Nursing, please contact Andrea J. Allen, director of advancement and alumni relations, at 800-333-4428, 585-613-2650, or 36 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

School of Nursing Honorees Celebrated at Dean's Diamond Circle Event After a one-year hiatus, the UR School of Nursing brought back its Dean's Diamond Circle donor recognition event in a virtual format. The 2021 event, held over Zoom on April 14, celebrated the contributions of three outstanding UR Nursing alumni. Recipients of the school’s 2020 awards were also recognized. Honored in the 2021 class were: • Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk ’92N (PhD), ’02N (PMC), who was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award • Jose Perpignan ’16N, who was presented with the Humanitarian Award • Joanne Clements ’77N, ’88N (MS), ’92N (PMC), who received the Dean’s Medal Melnyk is recognized globally for her clinical knowledge and innovative approaches to a wide range of health care and wellness challenges. She serves as vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at Ohio State University. She is also a professor of pediatrics at Ohio State’s College of Medicine and executive director of the Helene Fuld Health Trust National Institute for Evidence-Based Practice. She was recently honored with the prestigious Ada Sue Hinshaw Award by Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research for her lifetime of cutting-edge research. Her research has appeared in more than 450 publications and she has secured more than $33 million in sponsored funding from federal agencies and foundations as principal investigator. She is an elected fellow of many organizations, including the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Perpignan, currently enrolled in the BS-DNP family nurse practitioner program at the School of Nursing, is a float nurse on the cardiothoracic intensive care unit and critical care float



pool at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital. He is a founding member and current historian of the Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, where he helps to provide access and health care to underserved communities and serves as a youth mentor. He was nominated and won the grand prize in the 2020 “Healthcare Hero” contest by “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” Clements joined the UR Nursing faculty in 1988 and spent more than 30 years in clinical, education, administrative, and leadership roles at the school. She recently retired as an assistant professor of clinical nursing. For more than 15 years she was director of the baccalaureate programs at the School of Nursing while also serving as a nurse practitioner in the Center for Perioperative Medicine at the UR Medical Center. She most recently served the school as interim director of admissions and spearheaded an initiative to develop a mission-driven, equitable holistic admission review process to ensure selection of a diverse, capable pool of applicants with the attributes needed for academic and professional success. The 2020 Dean’s Diamond Circle event was cancelled last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards were announced and presented to the winners at that time, but they were also invited to the 2021 event to be recognized publicly. The 2020 honorees were: LaRon Nelson ’02N, ’04N (MS), ’09N (PhD), Distinguished Alumnus Award; Megan Reynolds ’19N, Humanitarian Award; The Andolina Family and the Karch Family, Legacy Award; Patrick P. Lee Foundation, John N. Wilder Award; Patricia Chiverton ’80N (MS), ’92W (EdD), Dean’s Medal; and Harriet Kitzman ’80W (MS), ’92W (EdD), presented with a special Dean’s Medal in late 2019. The event kicked off with remarks from Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, President Sarah Mangelsdorf, and URMC CEO Mark Taubman, MD. Student perspectives were provided from recent graduates Syed Mahmud ’19N and Stephanie Murphy ’17N.

Clements NURSING 2021 Volume 1 37


SON Study Session In this photo from the University archives, two UR School of Nursing students appear to be studying or perhaps comparing notes. Can you identify the location or the students pictured? Let us know what you think by commenting on this photo on our Facebook page (

2020 Volume 1 Photo Update No one reached out to us with successful identification of the women in this photo labeled "54 & 56 Bus Trip." If you have any other information on the photo, we'd love to hear from you. Write to us at 38 NURSING 2021 Volume 1


Early Graduate of UR Nursing NP Program Establishes Fund to Ensure Opportunities for Others Patricia Larrabee ’77N (MS) was looking for a change. A recent graduate from Brockport, she had been working as a staff nurse at Rochester General Hospital when her hopes of getting a job with Monroe County were dashed by a hiring freeze. Unsure what she wanted to do in the future, she applied to the UR School of Nursing’s fledgling nurse practitioner program after reading about it in the paper. Like the majority of the population in the mid-1970s, she wasn’t entirely sure what it meant to be an NP, since the role had begun in the West less than a decade prior. But she soon found herself sitting at the feet of the role’s co-creator, Loretta Ford, and a host of other talented faculty and students. It was a life-changing experience that set up Larrabee for an exhilarating career in patient care, research, and business. “It’s funny how things happen for a reason,” said Larrabee, founder and CEO of Rochester Clinical Research, who was a member of one of the school’s first few graduating NP classes. “I didn’t exactly know what the program was when I applied for it, but it seemed interesting, so I interviewed, and four weeks later I was in.” Well, first she got married and went on her honeymoon. Then, one week into the start of the semester, Larrabee arrived. But she immediately made lifelong friends with a tightknit group that – tongue firmly planted in cheek – referred to themselves as the “Best & the Brightest.” They very well could have been unironically referring to their faculty mentors. Not only did they learn from titans such as Lee Ford, but they also studied with brilliant young minds such as Harriet Kitzman and Mattie Schmitt. “It was a wonderful program. We had an amazing faculty. They did a fantastic job mentoring us and teaching what we needed to know and set the stage for being lifelong learners,” said Larrabee, who was honored by the school in 2012 with its Distinguished Alumni Award. “It really was a life-changing experience.” Larrabee went on to work in the Hypertension Service of the Nephrology Unit the University of Rochester Medical Center, before turning full time to research. She broke from the Rochester Medical Group in 1994 to start Rochester Clinical Research (RCR), along with Dr. Mervyn Weerasinghe and another UR SON grad, Sandra Van Camp, ’74N, ’76N (MS). What started as a tiny four-person enterprise now boasts almost 60 employees. RCR has conducted nearly 1,000 clinical trials and has a network of more than 50,000 study volunteers. Among its most recent and high-profile trials are the COVID-19 vaccine trials. RCR was able to enroll enough participants to take part in trials for almost all of the vaccines that eventually hit the market. Those trials alone required an influx of staff so large Larrabee needed to renovate the 2nd floor of the old school building the firm is located in to handle the volume.

Proud to be CEO of a woman- and nurse-owned business – “It’s funny in this day and age that people still make the assumption that a doctor owns the company or they’re surprised when I tell them that I own it,” she says – Larrabee also remains proud of her UR Nursing education. Last year she took steps to establish a lasting legacy at the school, creating an endowed scholarship fund. The Larrabee Family Nursing Scholarship will be used to assist with educational costs for students across all programs. “There’s not only a shortage of nurses, but a shortage of excellent nurses in particular. Knowing that UR Nursing graduates get a really solid skill set along with critical-thinking ability, and knowing that they make excellent nurses, I really wanted to support that,” said Larrabee. “I really just wanted to thank and give back to the folks that did such a good job educating me and make sure folks like that are around for the next generation.”

NURSING 2021 Volume 1 39


Walking on Air UR Nursing grad who suffered devastating injuries as a teen now provides the same hyperbaric oxygen therapy that saved her legs When one of her patients casts doubts from St. John on the power of hyperbaric oxygen Fisher College in therapy, Kim Olfano ’18N can testify to 2014. But as she its effectiveness. The treatment saved began her profesher legs. sional career, Olfano was just 18 years old and her mind drifted about to start her second semester back to the at Monroe Community College in trauma nurses at January 2009 when she and her twin Strong Memorial sister were involved in a chain-reaction Hospital, many accident on Interstate 490. Kim ended of whom told her up pinned between her SUV and the that she would car behind her. The force of the collision make a great shattered her legs. nurse. Two years The damage was so extensive later, Olfano was doctors feared that neither limb would accepted into be able to be saved. After more than the UR Nursing’s 30 reconstructive surgeries, time was Accelerated Kim Olfano ’18N, who overcame devastating leg injuries thanks to the help of running out. Olfano’s legs just weren’t Program for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is now a nurse in the hyperbaric suite at the Strong healing. But her mother, a nurse, Non-Nurses. Would Healing Center helping patients go through the same treatments that she needed. recalled reading about the healing “It wasn’t until powers of hyperbaric chambers. HyperI actively purbaric oxygen therapy involves placing sued a bachelor’s degree and I started every professional at the School of patients in pressurized chambers filled taking nursing prerequisite classes that Nursing who has left a permanent with 100 percent oxygen in order to pursuing a career in nursing became a impact on my career.” fight off infections, aid the formation of reality for me,” she said. “The official Upon graduation in 2018, Olfano blood vessels, and stimulate healing. acceptance into the UR School of joined the nursing staff at Strong. But Most paNursing was a last year she learned of an opening tients receive dream come in the hyperbaric suite at the Strong 40 treatments, true. I will never Wound Healing Center. The opportunity “The best part of being a Olfano said. forget that phone to help others in a way that was so nurse thus far is knowing She had 80. call from Nancy personal to her was too good to pass that I can make a positive “When Kita telling me up. you’re at the that I have been “I saw the job posting in July and impact on someone’s life.” point where accepted into the literally gasped out loud thinking how you’re about program.” awesome would it be to work with to lose your limb, you know this oxygen While she was elated to be part of patients that have gone through the will help improve blood flow and the program, her path into the professame treatments,” she said. “I know circulation to the area that is comprosion proved to be difficult. what it’s like to be in that chamber. I mised. And that’s what helped basically “My journey at the UR School of know how beneficial these treatments heal my leg,” Olfano said recently in an Nursing was not the typical journey for are, and can offer a lot of empathy and interview with Spectrum News. “Within most students. I was faced with many support to patients who may be losing two weeks, I noticed a change.” challenges and sought additional help hope. Olfano’s recovery was long – she through the CAPS program,” she said, “The best part of being a nurse thus used a wheelchair for four years – but citing her peer mentors and professors far is knowing that I can make a positive she regained full use of her legs. DeterKathy Hiltunen, Mary Tantillo, and impact on someone’s life. I do not mined to continue her education as she Maria Marconi for helping her navigate expect anything in return. I feel like I am healed, Olfano graduated from MCC in through the rigors of the accelerated just doing a job I am truly passionate 2012 then earned a bachelor’s degree program. “I am forever grateful for about.”

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1970s Regina Bodnar ’78N, executive director of Carroll Hospice since 2015, has been promoted to assistant vice president of hospice and palliative services for LifeBridge Health. She has more than 35 years of experience working in hospice and palliative care, as well as oncology nursing and nursing administration. She is immediate past president of the Hospice and Palliative Care Network of Maryland.

2000s Jennifer M. Dunivent ‘00N, ‘04N (MS) was a finalist for the 2021 ATHENA Internation-

al Young Professional Award presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Dunivent is director, customer delivery, for Clearsense LLC. Jess Lippa ’09N is an associate professor, director of the associate degree in nursing program, and co-chair of the nursing department at Alfred State College. She is also a family nurse practitioner, a member of her local fire and emergency services department, and an adviser to the Hope for Health Club. She earned her master’s degree from St. John Fisher in 2015 and earned a DNP from the University at Buffalo in 2019. She joined the Alfred State

Join the more than 7,500 members of The Meliora Collective, our innovative online platform to connect the University of Rochester community for professional and personal exploration. Featuring advanced tools—including a job board and dozens of groups—networking and making connections has never been easier.

faculty in 2015 and continues to practice at a number of different facilities. Deborah Penoyer ’09N (MS) has been named nursing program director at Genesee Community College’s Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing. Penoyer previously spent 17 years in child and adolescent care at Golisano Children’s Hospital and was nurse manager in college health at SUNY Geneseo for 10 years.

2010s Julie Dewey ’12N has joined Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. in Oneida County as a nurse

practitioner. Her duties include visiting hospice and palliative patients in their homes, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and Hospice’s four-bed residence at the Siegenthaler Center. A family nurse practitioner and certified nurse educator, she earned a master’s degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. Nuwangi Dias ’14N was honored with an ANGEL Award from Golisano Children’s Hospital. This award recognizes nurses who go above and beyond for pediatric patients. Dias is a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at Golisano.

SPECIAL GROUP: UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER SCHOOL OF NURSING Connecting School of Nursing alumni, students, and faculty—this group—aims to celebrate achievements, develop career paths in healthcare, and tackle the challenges of the nursing profession.





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Carrie Yamamoto ’14N (MS), a pulmonary medicine nurse practitioner certified by the American Association of Critical Care Nursing, recently joined Northern Nevada Medical Group (NNMG). Prior to joining NNMG, she served as an advanced practice nurse practitioner for a pulmonary and sleep medicine clinic. Sarah LaRiccia ’15N (MS) was honored with the 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Finger Lakes Community College. She was honored in a virtual ceremony in the fall. She is currently a nurse practitioner in the medical intensive care unit at Rochester General Hospital. A 2006 graduate of FLCC, she earned a bachelors degree in nursing from Keuka College and completed her NP program at the UR School of Nursing.

Katie Tomion DeMitry ’15N has been named nurse manager of 2West and 3North at Geneva General Hospital. She was appointed nurse manager at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in 2017 and previously was assistant nurse manager in a surgical step down unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.

We've got more to show you!

Rosemary Shairer ’16N, ’20N (MS) joined Samaritan Internal Medicine, and Samaritan Pediatrics in Corvallis, OR as a family nurse practitioner. Originally from northern California, Shairer looks forward to moving back west to be closer to her own family. Ilhana Mehanovic ’17N was honored with an ANGEL Award from Golisano Children’s Hospital. This award recognizes nurses who go above and beyond for pediatric patients. Mehanovic is a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse at Golisano.

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Recognize someone outstanding today! The University of Rochester School of Nursing recognizes the achievements of School of Nursing alumni through the alumni awards program. Awards are presented annually at the School of Nursing’s signature event, the Dean’s Diamond Circle dinner. All School of Nursing alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are encouraged to nominate SON graduates for the 2022 awards listed below: •

Established in 1984, the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate whose exceptional professional achievements, contributions to one’s chosen field, and service to the School of Nursing have brought honor to the individual and to the University of Rochester.

Established in 2013, the Humanitarian Award honors a graduate whose work as a practictioner, administrator, volunteer, or researcher has had a profound impact on those most in need. 42 NURSING 2021 Volume 1


POWER Join the University’s new volunteer-led Women’s Network and be part of a rich community focused on connecting and supporting fellow alumnae through dynamic programming and engaging conversations.



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Stealthily Wealthy UR Nursing alumna Evelyn Lutz may have lived frugally, but she amassed a small fortune she left to the universities that shaped her By all accounts, Evelyn Lutz ’55N, ’63 lived modestly. A child of the Great Depression, she retained the ethos of that time, living simply and stretching every dollar to its fullest. She shopped carefully, purchasing only the things she needed and avoiding costly name brand items whenever possible, and she thoughtfully repurposed and reused items others would consider disposable. Meanwhile, she was quietly socking away cash and investing it smartly, building a portfolio that allowed her to support charities and organizations that were dear to her heart. A truer sense of her generosity and selflessness became apparent after she died. When she succumbed on Nov. 21 at the age 86 from complications of COVID-19, Lutz left more than $2 million to universities that helped shape her life as a nurse, professor, and college administrator. Among the donations provided for in her estate was a $641,000 gift to the University of Rochester School of Nursing to establish the Dr. Evelyn M. Lutz Nursing Research Endowment. The fund will support the school’s efforts in data analysis, pilot funding, research project coordination activities, and recruitment.

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“Research is critical to the nursing profession because it provides the foundation for comprehensive, evidence-based clinical practice,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “Evelyn’s tremendously generous and thoughtful gift will ensure that future generations will now have more opportunities to make critical discoveries that improve human health.” Lutz left a similarly sized gift to Case Western Reserve University, and more than $1.3 million to the University of Colorado. Lutz, who received her nursing diploma in 1955 and her bachelor’s degree in 1963 from the University of Rochester, earned a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and her doctorate from Case Western. She went on to hold teaching and leadership positions at Case Western, Kent State and Xavier University and authored several books on nursing. In retirement, Lutz moved back to her hometown of Elmira, where her parents had owned a meat market and Lutz worked part time in order to put herself through college. She never married and had no children, but she was active in her church and the community. And she never forgot the impact the universities she attended had on her life. Always a steady donor, Lutz was a

charter member of the George Eastman Circle at the University of Rochester and had notified UR officials of her plans to leave a sizable gift to the School of Nursing, but the final amount was more substantial than anticipated. The understated nature of her gift fit with Lutz’s overall philosophy. She never wanted to draw attention to herself or her wealth, said Sue Mower, Lutz’s second cousin who became her caretaker. “She led such an interesting life,” Mower told the Elmira Star-Gazette. “She was extremely private and didn’t like to be celebrated or recognized.” With one exception. In 2010, Lutz returned to the School of Nursing to accept the John N. Wilder Award, which honors an individual, family, corporation or foundation whose philanthropy inspires others in support of an “Ever Better” University of Rochester. In that, she no doubt succeeded.

Evelyn Lutz '55N, '63, received the John N. Wilder Award in 2010 from then-dean Kathy Parker. In her lifetime, Lutz quietly amassed a small fortune that she left to several academic institutions that helped shape her, including the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

UR Trustee Sandy Parker, chair of SON National Council, remembered for dedication to Rochester, education University of Rochester Trustee Sandra (Sandy) Parker—com munity advocate, philanthropist, and admired business leader— passed away on June 6 at the age of 75. She dedicated her professional life to revitalizing the economy of Greater Rochester and made extraordinary contributions that improved the community. She prominently served as president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance (now known as the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce) from 2005 until her retirement in 2014. Instrumental in establishing the RBA as the region’s “voice of business,” she was recognized in 2006 for her leadership in the Fair Share Coalition, which was formed to seek parity in state aid for Rochester. That initiative grew into the Rochester Community Coalition, which brings together business, labor, local government, education, faith organizations, and nonprofit organizations to seek state investment in projects to create long-term jobs and boost the regional economy. Parker was a devoted board member and supporter of the University of Rochester for nearly a decade. In August 2020, Parker became chair of the School of Nursing’s National Council. She was also a leader at the University’s Warner School of Ed ucation as a former chairperson of the Center for Urban Educa tion Success (CUES) Advisory Council, which supports Warner’s efforts to strengthen the success of K–12 urban schools. A generous supporter across the University, she made lead gifts

to the Warner School, the Eastman School of Music, and the Medical Center, among other areas. “Sandy’s death is a huge loss for the University of Rochester and the Greater Rochester community,” said University President Sarah Mangelsdorf. “She was a skillful unifier, a tireless advocate for this community, and a great friend.” Parker grew up in the community and loved Rochester. She generously gave of her time, serving on numerous boards in addition to the University’s Board of Trustees, including roles at Nazareth College; YMCA of Greater Roches ter; the Center for Governmental Research; and the MCC Founda tion Council. One of the inaugural recipients of the ICON Award by the Rochester Business Journal, she was also given a Key to the City of Rochester in 2006. In 2002, she received the prestigious ATHENA Award, given each year to a wom an for outstanding contributions to business and community. University flags were lowered on Parker June 29 in her memory.

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Kathleen B. King ’76N (MS), ’84N (PhD) Kathleen King, PhD, RN, FAAN, an influential researcher who served on the UR School of Nursing faculty for more than two decades, died on Jan. 10, 2021. She was 70. A fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and in the Cardiovascular Nursing Council of the American Heart Association, she authored more than 50 articles, primarily focusing on women coping with cardiovascular illness and coronary heart disease. She received the Professional Advancement Award from the UR School of Nursing in 1999 and was honored with the Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award from the Foundation of the New York State Nurses Association in 1993. King earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Brockport in 1973, a master’s degree in medical-surgical nursing and a PhD in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in 1986 and stayed at the UR School of Nursing until 2007. She also earned an acute care nurse practitioner

post-master’s certificate at the school and was honored as a professor emerita upon retirement. Survivors include a son; a daughter; eight siblings; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nurse-Family Partnership at: https://www.urmc. nurse-family-partnership. aspx. Be sure to select Nurse Family Partnership under gift designation.

Joyce Ferrario Joyce Ferrario, a former UR School of Nursing faculty member who went on to serve as longtime dean of SUNY Binghamton’s Decker School of Nursing, died on Jan. 23, 2021. Ferrario served as clinical chief and chair of gerontological nursing at the University of Rochester School of Nursing for four years before joining the Decker School in 1985 as an assistant professor. She progressed to full professor and served in many administrative roles at the school, including associate dean. She was named interim dean in 2002 and was appointed dean in 2005. During her 10 years as dean of the Decker School, Ferrario helped establish the school’s graduate program in gerontological nursing and its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. She stepped down as dean in 2015 and remained on the school’s faculty until 2018. A gerontological and psychiatric nursing specialist, Ferrario earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of

California-San Francisco, a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston University and a doctoral degree in gerontological nursing from Case Western Reserve University. Before joining Binghamton University, she worked at Belmont Hills Psychiatric Hospital in California and Foxborough State Hospital in Massachusetts. She also taught at California State University-Chico. Photo Credit: Binghamton University

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Word has reached us of the passing of the following alumni and friends. The School of Nursing expresses its sympathy to their loved ones. Barbara Jean Becker ’56N Nov. 25, 2020, Madison, AL

Elaine (Lamberson) Hopkins ’58N Sept. 25, 2020, Johnson City, TN

Mary (Travis) Parkinson ’46N Feb. 19 2021, Rensselaer, NY

Jane (Brandon) Binns ’63N Jan. 17, 2021, Hilton Head, SC

Marilyn R. (Brownell) Jones ’55N Jan. 29, 2021, Alexandria Bay, NY

Marie Pike ’53N Dec. 9, 2020, Troy, NY

Barbara A. (Floyd) Blank ’57, ’58N Dec. 8, 2020, Penfield, NY

Diane (Forbes) Kaufman ’58N Oct. 10, 2020, River Edge, NJ

Virginia Reeves ’47N Jan. 11, 2021, Jamaica Plain, MA

Helen (Buckholtz) Church ’46N May 4, 2021, LeRoy, NY

Audrey (Emanuel) Kliman ’68N Oct. 9, 2020, Silver Spring, MD

Janet Allen Schroeck ’67N March 19, 2020, Denver, CO

Jean (Ritchie) Cooper ’51, ’52N Dec. 14, 2020, Newtown, PA

Arlene E. (Miller) Koerner ’44N Dec. 27, 2020, Penfield, NY

Winona (Fenton) Scott ’47N Feb. 10, 2021, Ontario, NY

Virginia Romano Duffy ’80N (MS), ’92N (PhD) April 6, 2020, Rochester, NY

Carol Ann (Hammond) Laniak ’58N Dec. 22, 2020, Tucson, AZ

Rochelle Sobel ’55N Jan. 10, 2021, Rochester, NY

Evelyn M. Lutz ’53N, ’63 Nov. 21, 2020, Elmira, NY

Mary (Auman) Steele ’44N Oct. 5, 2020, Marshfield, MA

Angeline C. Mastromatteo ’63N Dec. 21, 2020, Rochester, NY

Ann (Esmond) Towers ’47N Feb. 26, 2021, Guilderland, NY

Suzanne (Jacobs) McKim ’73N March 28, 2021, Rochester, NY

Patricia (Crowley) Trimble ’53, ’54N April 21, 2020, Erie, PA

Elizabeth (Kingsley) Miller ’75, ’76N, ’80N (MS) Feb. 6, 2021, Pittsford, NY

Caroline (Bedette) White ’65N Nov. 12, 2020, Prescott, AZ

Thirza Jean Ecker ’44N March 23, 2021, Saranac Lake, NY

Carole (Curry) Federer ’53N Dec. 4, 2020, Hurricane, WV

Marjorie (Fenton) Garrett ’47N Dec. 19, 2020, Torrance, CA

Elizabeth L. (Cayley) Gruner ’63N (MS) Feb. 25, 2021, Rochester, NY

Linda L. Hamilton ’66N Jan. 12, 2021, Cohocton, NY

Cheryl Ann Oppelt-Barbieri ’93N, ’04N (MS) Feb. 4, 2021, Rochester, NY

Joan (Linhos) Whittenberg ’80N (MS) April 26, 2020, Rochester, NY

Kyle P. Hennicke ’85N, ’95N (MS) Nov. 22, 2020, Sanborn, NY

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Your classmates want to know your news! Did you receive a promotion? Move to a new city? Publish your research findings? Email us at or visit to share your news and get it published in NURSING magazine.

Information Update Have you moved or changed your email address, or do you have news you want to share with School of Nursing alumni and friends? Fill out the form below and mail it back to us at School of Nursing Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center, P.O. Box 278996, Rochester, NY 14627-8996. Or submit your news online at Today’s date _ _ /_ _ / 20 _ _  This is new information which I’ve not submitted before.  Please publish my news in NURSING magazine.


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48 NURSING 2021 Volume 1

Unite. Engage. Empower.

ASHLEY N. CAMPBELL ’ 09, ’ 10W (MS), cochair of the Black Alumni Network | photo by Jenny Berliner


UNITE. ENGAGE. EMPOWER. The University’s new Black Alumni Network fosters, promotes, and celebrates an inclusive community. Join and expand your personal and professional circles while sharing your life’s experiences, advocating for change, and connecting with students and fellow alumni.


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Parting Shots The vertical expansion of Helen Wood Hall is taking shape. These photos taken in late May show the progress made on the exterior above the Loretta C. Ford Education Wing. Follow along on building updates and learn more about the project by visiting the Helen Wood Hall expansion blog at Photos by Mary Carey

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Profile for University of Rochester Medical Center

NURSING Magazine | 2021 | Volume 1  

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