Page 1


2018 . VOLUME 1


Moving Diversity Forward Building a nursing school that looks like the world around it


Addiction Unmasked Addiction can take many forms. So can the creative expression of individuals who have been affected by the disease. “The Art and Photography of Addiction,� on exhibit in the School of Nursing auditorium lobby from Oct. 19 to Nov. 3, showcased a variety of moving artwork created by and about those dealing with substance abuse. Curated by registered nurse Justin Chaize (bottom photo), a student in the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program, the first exhibit hosted by the School of Nursing tackled the turmoil suffered by addicts and their loved ones, telling the stories and humanizing those in its grips while also providing a therapeutic outlet for those in recovery. Its ultimate aim was to raise awareness and fight the stigma surrounding substance abuse. Chaize, a lifelong art enthusiast, drew inspiration for the exhibit from his decade of experience as a health care provider in mental health and addictions. His open call for works drew responses from artists across the U.S., and as far away as Europe, and spanned a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and photography.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 1

A Message from the Dean

Dear Friends, Late on a Friday last fall, I was sitting at my desk on the third floor of Helen Wood Hall answering my emails as I normally do. As the weekend approaches, the bustle in the building starts to wind down and I can usually dedicate that time to catching up on some of my administrative duties in the relative quiet of the afternoon. But on this day, the phone rang with some unexpected happy news. On the other end of the line was the publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, calling to let me know that the University of Rochester School of Nursing had been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP Vice President, University of Rochester Medical Center

The HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, osteopathic, and allied health schools for their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the UR School of Nursing was one of only eight schools of nursing to be so honored in 2017.

Dean and Professor of Clinical Nursing and Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Nursing

As a leader in education, we have the awesome and critical responsibility of preparing the next generation of health care providers to give equitable, culturally competent care to all patients, and being presented with the HEED Award is a tremendous testament to the work we have done as a school in building an inclusive community that embraces diversity and hears and respects all voices. In this issue of NURSING, I invite you to read more about our diversity initiatives, explore our campus climate, and meet some of the people whose varied life experiences add richness to our learning environment. You’ll also find stories celebrating our student and faculty successes, the bench/bedside work of nurse scientists, a recap of Meliora Weekend, profiles of several of our alumni and donors, and much more. The UR School of Nursing has a long and rich tradition of innovation and vision, and I am convinced that through our combined efforts we will remain on the leading edge of the increasingly complex and ever-changing sphere of health care. Thank you all for your continued support and all that you do to make the School of Nursing such a wonderful place.

On the Cover‌ Illustration by Chris Lyons

2 NURSING 2018 Volume 1



page 4

page 13

page 38


18 Hands-On Programming Allows Teens to Explore Careers in Nursing 20 Pinning Ceremonies Mark a New Beginning After a year of demanding study, more than 120 grads are inaugurated into the nursing profession 22 Moving Diversity Forward Building a nursing school that looks like the world around it

DEPARTMENTS 4 Nursing News 34 Alumni Relations & Advancement 42 Class Notes

30 Celebrating Nurse Scientists Patients prosper when the “bench” is stationed at the “bedside”

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

University of Rochester Medical Center B. Chip Partner Associate Vice President Director of External Communications Public Relations and Communications University of Rochester Medical Center

Contributing Writers Reagan McNameeKing Associate, Public Relations

Jessica O’Leary Associate, Public Relations

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

Senior Science Writer, Public Relations

Art Director/Designer Kara Austin Design Manager Public Relations and Communications

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    

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 3

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 students. Luis Rosario-McCabe, an assistant professor of clinical nursing whose doctoral project focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating an interprofessional team-based transgender cultural education program at a women’s health clinic, was quoted extensively in a Minority Nurse article about how nurses can serve as advocates and provide the most sensitive care for transgender patients. Bob Dorman, pediatric trauma manager at Golisano Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of clinical nursing at the School of Nursing, authored a National Nurses Week essay for the Democrat & Chronicle, reflecting on some of the remarkable kids and families

that left a lasting impression on him over the course of his quarter-century as a pediatric nurse. A Democrat & Chronicle story featured Lisa Norsen, professor of clinical nursing and chief wellness officer for the Center for Employee Wellness, and her battle against breast cancer. Holly Vianco, client engagement manger for the Center for Employee Wellness, was quoted in a story in Community Health Magazine focusing on the benefits of CEW programming and the center’s new agreement to serve Ontario County employees in 2018.

Mary Tantillo, professor of clinical nursing, and Michelle Morales, parent peer mentor at the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders, were featured in the nationally syndicated public television show Second Opinion in a segment on University of Rochester Medical Center’s Project ECHO® Eating Disorders, a “gamechanging” innovation using videoconferencing technologies to help health care providers better identify, treat, and manage the disease.

4 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Karen Reifenstein, assistant professor of clinical nursing, co-authored an editorial for Minority Reporter examining the disproportionately high rates of death for African American women from breast cancer and urging women to get screened and take other precautionary measures to reduce their risk.

Dean Kathy Rideout, who has spearheaded the school’s commitment to issues of diversity and inclusion, was featured in two articles focused on increasing diversity among nursing groups. She discussed programs that help create a pipeline of underrepresented nursing students in a article, and spoke with INSIGHT Into Diversity about maintaining a commitment to faculty diversity amid a national shortage of nurse educators. Rideout and accelerated program alumni Tim Kuhmann and Stephanie Murphy also discussed the school’s diversity initiatives on an episode of Many Voices, Many Visions on WHAM-TV.


Knapp-Clevenger Joins SON Faculty, Named Wilmot CNO Rhonda Knapp-Clevenger, PhD, CPFNP, CCRP, joined the University of Rochester Medical Center on Dec. 1 as a faculty member at the School of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Wilmot Cancer Institute. “KC,” as she is known to her friends and colleagues, was hired after a national search conducted jointly by Wilmot and the School of Nursing. For the past 20 years, KC has built an impressive career in clinical nursing and research at the University of Colorado and its affiliate, Children’s Hos-

pital Colorado. Most recently she served as the Division of Nursing and Patient Care Services Director of Research and Senior Scientist at Children’s, and an adjunct assistant professor in the College of Nursing. Her primary responsibility was to develop a formal scientist program and provide leadership and direction for nurse-initiated research in line with the university’s mission and strate-

gic plan. In 2016, she launched the first research fellowship in the Division of Nursing and Patient Care Services on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. In the newly developed role of CNO at Wilmot, KC will oversee more than 300 nurses who work at Wilmot and its affiliates and have several programmatic responsibilities, such as leading Wilmot’s Patient and Family Advisory Council. She

will devote 10 percent of her time to the School of Nursing as a faculty member. “We’re thrilled to welcome KC to the School of Nursing,” said Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, who was a member of the search committee. “She is an exceptional leader who has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration. Her appointment represents yet another stepping stone in bridging the gap between the academic and clinical sides of nursing.”

School of Nursing Welcomes New Faculty, Postdoctoral Fellows The School of Nursing bolstered its research faculty at the start of the 2017-18 academic year, welcoming three new full-time faculty members: Jinjiao Wang, PhD, RN, joined the faculty as a tenure-track assistant professor. Wang recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in gerontological nursing at Vanderbilt University and earned her doctorate at Columbia University. Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH, is a new research associate and postdoctoral fellow working with mentors James McMahon, PhD, and LaRon E. Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP. She received her doctorate at Vanderbilt University. Maria Quiñones-Cordero, PhD, is a new postdoctoral fellow working with mentor

Jinjiao Wang

Chen Zhang

Maria Quiñones-Cordero

Kathi L. Heffner, PhD. Heffner, an associate professor in nursing, psychiatry, and medicine, was among two UR Nursing professors to be granted to tenure by the Board of Trustees this year. She joined the School of Nursing faculty in 2016 after eight years as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry, and recently added a new role as associ-

ate chief of research for the Division of Geriatrics and Aging. Susan W. Groth, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, also received tenure this year. She initially joined the School of Nursing in 1994 as an instructor of clinical nursing and went on to hold positions as an assistant and associate professor of nursing.

The Board also named Jane Tuttle, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, professor of clinical nursing emerita. Tuttle retired from the UR Nursing faculty in July after nearly a quarter-century as a faculty member and specialty director of the family nurse practitioner program. She will continue to teach at the school part time.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 5


Scholarship Program Expands to Fill Region’s Gaps in Health Care More than 30 health care professionals pursuing additional education have seen their tuition costs cut in half, thanks to an emerging scholarship program offered by the University of Rochester School of Nursing. The Finger Lakes Regional Scholarship provides substantial financial support in the form of a 50 percent scholarship to eligible students who live or work in select counties and are enrolled in UR Nursing’s RN to BS program or its Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP) program. Amid a rising demand for nurses nationwide, the Finger Lakes region is experiencing an acute need for health care providers. Its overall rate of vacant health care positions is nearly 10 percent, but that number is as high as 40 percent for key job titles, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners, according to March 2017 data from the New York State Department of Health. Infusing the region with graduates from these programs will address specific community needs, directly fill gaps in care, and help patients to achieve better health outcomes. “The University of Rochester is proud to expand access to our cutting-edge degree programs,” said Alexandria Duffney, director of enrollment management at the School of Nursing. “Our graduates in these key areas will help meet critical shortages in care delivery and play pivotal roles in strengthening care quality, improving prevention and management of chronic diseases, promoting health across populations, and controlling costs in the future.”

Now in its third year, a UR Nursing scholarship for RN to BS and Family Psychiatric Mental Health NP students has expanded to 18 counties in and around the Finger Lakes region.

6 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

To date, 31 students have received $344,000 in financial assistance under the scholarship program, which debuted in 13 counties in 2016. Financial awards have been split nearly equally between the two programs (16 RN to BS, 15 FPMHNP), and recipients have hailed from six different counties (Allegany, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, and Wyoming). Three Finger Lakes scholars have already graduated from their respective programs. Now in its third academic year, the scholarship’s eligibility area has expanded to include 18 counties in and around the Finger Lakes region. The area now comprises Allegany, Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. “We take our role as a community partner very seriously,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “Contributing to and improving upon the health and well-being of individuals and populations in our community is an important aspect of our mission, and this scholarship is just one way for us to help tackle the significant health care challenges our region faces.” For more information on the Finger Lakes Scholarship or the UR School of Nursing’s other scholarship opportunities, visit

Edington CBIZ Award Caps Banner Year in Employee Wellness The University of Rochester’s Center for Employee Wellness (CEW) capped a banner year by being selected to receive the 5th annual Edington CBIZ Next Practice Award for Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing. The national award, presented in August by CBIZ Inc. and Edington Associates LLC, recognizes and celebrates organizations that showcase a commitment to workplace health in an innovative and creative manner. Nominees were selected by a panel of 12 judges based on performance in five core areas: senior leadership, operational leadership, self-leadership, recognition and rewards, and quality assurance. The CEW, which offers workplace health programs to 35 employers in the Rochester area, extended its services to more than 5,000 newly eligible lives in 2017

and now serves more than 44,000 individuals across seven counties. It also signed a key agreement with Excellus to serve as the health insurer’s “preferred provider” of employee wellness services in the region, a potentially huge recruitment tool for an already rapidly growing program. The CEW’s offerings include a range of services that include biometric screenings with real-time results, online personal health assessments, one-onone condition management programs, as well as select lifestyle management programs. The thousands of employees who have participated in the program have experienced remarkable results (see infographic), which can have a long-lasting positive impact on their overall health and wellness.

Center for Employee Wellness: 2017 Program Participant Results

Passport Health Clinic to Deliver Yellow Fever Vaccine Amid Shortage The Passport Health clinic at the University of Rochester School of Nursing is among a limited number of sites chosen to administer yellow fever immunizations during a period of anticipated shortages of the vaccine nationwide. Sanofi Pasteur produces and distributes the YF-VAX ® yellow fever vaccine to more than 4,500 clinical sites across the United States, but the vaccine is currently unavailable for

order until mid-2018 while the company transitions to a new production facility. To meet the ongoing needs of military personnel and international travelers, the company has worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute Stamaril, a vaccine manufactured in France and distributed in more than 70 other countries, until U.S. production resumes later in 2018.

The Passport Health clinic in the UR School of Nursing is one of only 256 sites selected by Sanofi Pasteur and the FDA to administer Stamaril. “It’s a huge honor for our clinic to be one of the sites chosen to continue delivering yellow fever immunizations,” said Matthew Klapetzky, MS, RN-BC, clinical director of Passport Health at the UR School of Nursing. “There was a rather rigorous meth-

odology set up to help select the sites, and the fact that our clinic was chosen speaks highly of the effort and care in which we’ve delivered these critical services to our community for more than 20 years.” To set up an appointment at the UR Passport Health clinic, call 585-275-8884 or visit rochester.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 7


Hyekyun Rhee Honored with NY Distinguished Researcher Award Hyekyun Rhee, PhD, RN, PNP, FAAN, whose work with teens with asthma has spurred innovative approaches to help them better manage their condition, received the 2017 Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award from the Foundation of New York State Nurses on Sept. 15. “I am extremely grateful for the strong support of my colleagues and mentors at the School of Nursing who initiated this nomination,” said Rhee, a professor and Endowed Chair of Nursing Science in the UR School of Nursing. “I am thrilled that they value my contributions, and I will continue to work hard to make them proud.” Rhee joins a list of nearly a dozen UR School of Nursing faculty members recognized with the honor since it was first awarded in 1980. Past winners include Bethel Powers, Kathleen King, Thelma Wells, Madeline Schmitt, Jean Johnson, and more. The award honors nurse researchers who conduct studies that contribute to the advancement of nursing and patient care. Selection is based on the quality of research conducted, contributions to the science and art of nursing and health care, evidence of leadership in nursing research, and dissemination of that research to the scientific and clinical communities. Rhee’s line of research has focused on using technology and peer dynamics to improve asthma outcomes in adolescents. She has helped

8 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

to develop an award-winning wearable device that records and analyzes symptom patterns and triggers, leading to better condition self-management. Currently, she is conducting a clinical trial evaluating a peer-led asthma self-management program for inner-city teens in Buffalo, Baltimore, and Memphis. The Peer-Led Asthma Self-Management for Adolescents (PLASMA) program examines the effects of the training program in improving self-management and overall outcomes of asthma in teens. She has also been developing a clinical study of an interactive text messaging system to help teens and their parents with daily asthma management and facilitate parent-teen partnerships through information sharing in a timely manner. Rhee joined the University of Rochester School of Nursing faculty in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Catholic University in Seoul, South Korea; her master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo; and her doctorate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Madeline Schmitt Receives NCIPE Pioneer Award

Madeline Schmitt (second from right) was honored with the 2017 Pioneer Award at the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education Nexus Summit. Schmitt, a retired nurse-sociologist, has been a passionate advocate for interprofessional education and collaborative practice since the 1970s.

Madeline Schmitt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, professor emerita at the School of Nursing, was one of three legends recognized with the Pioneer Award at the 2017 National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (NCIPE) Nexus Summit. Schmitt and her fellow honorees, DeWitt “Bud” Baldwin of Rosalind Franklin University and John Gilbert of the University of British Columbia, were celebrated for their work establishing and advancing the field of interprofessional education and collaborative practice. All three were instrumental in establishing the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative and filled key editorial roles at the Journal of Interprofessional Care. Their work, according to NCIPE award announcement, left a permanent stamp on the field that continues to thrive and grow today, thanks to their vision and commitment. Schmitt, a nurse-sociologist, has focused on interprofessional collaborative practice models and interprofessional education since the 1970s. Although she retired from the School of Nursing in 2005, she remains active in interprofessional issues as a consultant, presenter, researcher, and publisher. She was one of two U.S. members of the WHO Task Force who co-authored the 2010 report, Framework for Action in Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice.

Nelson Inducted as Fellow in American Academy of Nursing LaRon E. Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and the Dean’s Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities, was among 173 nurse leaders inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) at the academy’s annual policy conference Oct. 5 to 7, in Washington, D.C. A leader in global research on HIV and AIDS, Nelson’s groundbreaking, internationally funded work has advanced network-based approaches to reducing disparities in HIV and sexually transmitted infections among socially marginalized groups in Ghana, Canada, and the United States. “This is an amazing accomplishment for LaRon. To be recognized as an AAN fellow at this point in his career speaks volumes about the significance and power of his work,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “I’m extremely honored to join this distinguished network of nursing leaders and scholars,” said Nelson. “These nurses have brought innovative solutions to nursing and other fields, ultimately improving health care on a global scale.” A public health nurse who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Rochester, Nelson’s research into HIV and AIDS prevention and care has reached new heights since returning to the School of Nursing as a faculty member in 2014. In 2016 alone, he was invited to present his research findings and lead panel discussions at a White House symposium on HIV stigma, received the Excellence in HIV Prevention Award from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, and was named the inaugural Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Chair in HIV Program Science for African, Caribbean, and Black Communities. Nelson has investigated using innovative intervention approaches and emerging technologies to help keep individuals engaged in their care and to facilitate communication with their health care providers. He has also studied how using mobile app tools can help mitigate the impact of stigma on patient engagement and retention. Those strategies are especially important in places like Ghana, where HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) is

15 times higher than the general population, but the stigma associated with same-sex behaviors and identities that don’t conform to traditional masculine gender norms can cause men to withdraw from care. “We have to create avenues for people to be engaged in health care without having to be exposed to situations hostile to who they are,” he said. “There are very serious implications to these men being disengaged, which can negatively affect their quality of life.” The AAN comprises more than 2,500 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 29 countries. Candidates for selection must provide evidence of significant contributions to nursing or health care, sponsorship of two current fellows, and be approved by a panel of elected and appointed fellows based on the impact of their career on health and wellbeing or health policy.

“We have to create avenues for people to be engaged in health care without having to be exposed to situations hostile to who they are.” – LaRon Nelson

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 9


Attin Recognized by American Heart Association Only 25 percent of patients who suffer cardiac arrest while hospitalized survive to hospital discharge. It’s a daunting statistic, but Mina Attin, PhD, RN, an assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, has been honored by the American Heart Association (AHA) for her work to improve those odds in patients with pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. Attin recently received the Young Investigator Award from the AHA’s Resuscitation Science Symposium for her top-scoring abstract, “Paced electrocardiogram prior to in-hospital cardiac arrest.” The honor recognizes abstracts submitted by early career investigators in cardiac and trauma resuscitation science. Attin presented the abstract at the Resuscitation Science Symposium in Anaheim, California in November. “I hope to ultimately make a difference in patient care and clinical practice,” said Attin. “The novelty of this study is that I found specific biomarkers in the electrocardiogram that should be monitored before the cardiac arrest; however a larger study should be conducted to validate the findings.” An electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity of the heart and is used for diagnosis and prediction of adverse events including cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Recognizing bradycardia – a dangerously low heart rate – is a critical red flag for identifying patients at risk of cardiac arrest at hospitals. But for patients with pacemakers and other implantable defibrillators that prevent bradycardia, detecting adverse events is more difficult, especially when telemetry is not equipped with advanced technology that alerts clinicians of impending cardiac arrest, Attin said. “The pacemaker is the backup system, so when the patient’s heart rate is 60,

“I hope to ultimately make a difference in patient care and clinical practice.”

10 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

– Mina Attin

clinicians do not assess patients for complications unless there is a highly detectable abnormal sign (e.g., high blood pressure) or when patients complain of specific symptoms such as pain,” said Attin. “But my findings have shown that clinicians should look for diagnostic biomarkers other than heart rate using telemetry – specifically in patients with implanted medical devices.” Attin’s research on in-hospital cardiac arrest began over seven years ago while she was on the faculty at San Diego State University (SDSU). Since joining the School of Nursing in 2015, Attin has expanded this research, engaging in collaborations with faculty from the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as the Hajim School of Engineering. The study has also provided opportunities for University of Rochester students to gain first-hand experience in a real-world lab environment. Students from the School of Nursing, the Hajim School of Engineering, and the Goergen Institute for Data Science all have participated in a variety of technical tasks to prepare data for analysis. One of their specific tasks was converting information gleaned from ECG paper traces into digital data which was then analyzed by the Research Facilitation Group at the School of Nursing. Attin credits the success of her abstract to a combination of factors: an exceptionally supportive environment at the School of Nursing, dedicated students, and productive collaboration with School of Medicine, in particular

with the cardiac electrophysiology team at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). “It's not just the individual,” said Attin. “The individual is usually praised for the result, but the work is the product of many factors such as the visionary leaders at the School of Nursing – including Dr. Kathy Rideout, Dr. Harriet Kitzman, and Dr. Kimberly Arcoleo – and the school’s supportive work environment.” The full study was published in the January 2018 edition of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. Attin plans to continue her research by collecting and analyzing new data at URMC and applying for NIH grants. “The ultimate goal is to understand the mechanism(s) of cardiac arrest and improve patient care, especially when we have such a high mortality rate after in-hospital cardiac arrest,” Attin said.

Meng Honored for Obesity Study

Emily Dhurandhar (left) and Tiffany Carson (right), chairs of the Obesity Society’s Bio-Behavioral Research section, presented an award to postdoctoral fellow Ying Meng at the national meeting in November for Meng’s research on excess weight gain during pregnancy.

Postdoctoral fellow Ying Meng, PhD, RN, was a winner in this year’s Bio-Behavioral Research poster competition at the Obesity Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting. Meng presented her research on genetic and environmental causes of excess weight gain during pregnancy at the meeting in National Harbor, Maryland at the beginning of November. Meng studies how the diets of mothers-to-be may interact with several obesity-related genes to impact how much weight they gain during pregnancy. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to obesity and negative health outcomes later in life for moms and their babies. In her award-winning poster titled “A SNP Close to the KCTD15 Gene Modified the Relationship between Dietary Fat Intake and Weight Gain during Pregnancy,” Meng showed that pregnant mothers’ fat intake could modify the effect of a specific obesity-related gene on weight gain during pregnancy. Women who had a specific form of this obesity-related gene gained more weight during pregnancy if they also consumed more fat. Her study points the importance of understanding interactions between diet and genes to create personalized weight management programs for pregnant women who may be at risk for excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Meng’s mentors, Susan Groth, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, associate professor in the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and Dongmei Li, PhD, associate professor in the UR Clinical and Translational Science Institute, were also authors on the poster presentation.

Morgan Honored by NYS Nurse Practitioner Association Graduate student Darcie Morgan, BSN, RN, CPN, was named Student Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the Nurse Practitioner Association (NPA) Darcie Morgan receives the NYS Student of New York Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award state. She was from Assistant Professor of Clinical presented with Nursing David Goede. the award at the NPA’s annual convention in Saratoga Springs on Oct. 21. The award recognizes student members of the NPA who exemplify educational excellence, both academically and clinically, and demonstrate an understanding of the role the NPA plays in a student’s education. Candidates for the award must be a student in an accredited nurse practitioner program, have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.5, and maintain membership in the NPA for at least three months. A student in the UR Nursing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program and a registered nurse at Panorama Pediatric Group, Morgan has been an active member of the NPA for two years and serves on the organization’s membership committee. At the UR School of Nursing, she is a member of the master’s program subcommittee and the school’s student representative to the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She has also been inducted into the Epsilon Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international nursing honor society. “Darcie stands out as a leader,” said Professor of Clinical Nursing Emerita Jane Tuttle, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP. “She was instrumental in re-establishing an NP student orientation program here and is also very active in recruiting student members to both the NP Association and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.” “I am so grateful to my advisor, Jane Tuttle, who steered me to the Nurse Practitioner Association, my ‘home base’ for knowledge, networking, and resources,” said Morgan. “The University of Rochester School of Nursing has supported my learning and helped me raise my expectations of my own success.” Morgan is expected to graduate with her master’s degree in May.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 11


University of Rochester Researchers Receive PCORI Community Engagement Award A $250,000 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Engagement Award will allow University researchers from the Warner School of Education and the School of Nursing to collaborate with community stakeholders to recruit and train two cohorts of older adults (age 55+) from communities in urban Rochester to actively participate in research projects with geriatrics health researchers. Funds from the Eugene Washington Engagement Award are supporting the new twoyear training program called Engaging Older Adult Learners as Health Researchers (ENGOAL). The goal of the program is to instruct older adults to become educated consumers of research and to partner with geriatrics researchers in developing community relevant research questions. The program will also develop participants’ health literacy, enabling them to advocate for themselves and members of their communities. Finally, the researchers hope to increase older adults’ engagement in their health care and foster their communication with health professionals. Over the past several years, the team of researchers and stakeholders for the new PCORI award has worked in underserved communities characterized by high levels of chronic disease, lack of access to health care, and low health literacy. They have observed

12 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

that underserved seniors are usually “subjects” in research, but rarely included as research partners. As a result, they concluded that geriatric research findings may be less meaningful to seniors and new findings may be less useful for geriatrics practitioners. “To our knowledge, ENGOAL is the only project of its kind currently underway in the United States,” said Craig Sellers, PhD, RN, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, professor of clinical nursing. Sellers and Sandhya Seshadri, PhD, MA, MS, CCC-SLP, assistant professor of clinical nursing, represent the School of Nursing on the ENGOAL team. They have previously studied how older adults transition from the emergency department to their homes and communities. With the new award, the interdisciplinary research team will develop and implement a training program that will include curriculum and instruction materials that provide unique opportunities for patient partners to engage in class sessions, seminars, journaling and verbal reflections, and apprenticeship opportunities with academic researchers at the University, as well as methods of assessment, such as surveys and interview guides. In addition to the in-depth curriculum and training, a key to the program’s success will be the team’s ability to develop a model that can be replicated in other communities

Sandhya Seshadri, assistant professor of clinical nursing, shares a laugh with Jean Clark during an ENGOAL class at the Warner School in January.

and contexts. Project results will be disseminated through publications, presentations at conferences, in communities and at forums on aging, and shared through a newly developed training model. The team will carry out all phases of the two-year contract, which began June 1 and continues through May 2019, in collaboration with stakeholders from North East Area Development (NEAD), Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition, the Rochester Housing Authority, and the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition.

Silvia Sorensen, PhD, associate professor of human development at Warner, is the principal investigator on the grant. Other members of the study’s leadership team include: Joyce Duckles, PhD, assistant professor of counseling and human development at Warner; Sellers; Seshadri; George Moses, executive director of North East Area Development; Doreen Young of the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition; and Rev. Phyllis Jackson, BS, RN, of the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition.

Study to Explore 'Synergistic' Effects of Exercise, Brain Training in Preventing Dementia

Providers with SON Ties Join Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Efforts

Can a workout regimen for your mind and body help to fend off Alzheimer’s disease? Physical and mental activity have been shown to boost brain function in different ways, but a new study will look to see if the benefits of engaging in a rigorously designed program that includes both aerobic exercise and brain training will complement each other, producing greater gains in cognition than if both activities had been done independently. Feng Vankee Lin, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the University of Rochester School of Nursing and director of the Cog-T Laboratory promoting successful aging, and Fang Yu, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, are principal investigators on the five-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Aging. “This is the first trial to test the synergistic effects of a combined program of aerobic exercise and cognitive training on cognition and mechanisms relevant to Alzheimer’s disease-associated neurodegeneration in older adults with mild cognitive impairment,” said Lin. The study will test the efficacy of a specially designed six-month program that includes cycling and a speed-of-processing training intervention on cognition and associated mechanisms in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Researchers hope to quantify any added effects resulting from the combined activities to help inform future studies with an eye on ultimately delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s or slowing its progression. Aerobic exercise and cognitive training are promising non-pharmacological interventions with potential to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in high-risk populations. Aerobic exercise leads to increased aerobic fitness, which helps to improve brain structure and function, said Lin, while cognitive training – commonly in the form of online “brain games” – improves selective neural function intensity.

More than a month after Hurricane Maria demolished Puerto Rico, the island’s residents were slowly regaining access to necessities such as power and clean water. A team of providers from the University of Rochester Medical Center also made sure that they had access to the medical care and human touch they needed. Three current and forLuis Rosario-McCabe and mer UR School of NursArlene, a lawyer who lived next ing students were among door to the hospital in Fajardo the team of 11 URMC and provided translation health care professionals services to the clinicians. who volunteered for the two-week humanitarian mission. School of Nursing alumni Aida Santiago ’08N, ’14N (MS), a nurse practitioner in the UR Department of Neurology, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing Luis Rosario-McCabe ’93N, ’95N (MS), ’17N (DNP), as well as Chelsea Davis, an RN at Highland Hospital and current student in the UR School of Nursing’s RN to BS program, were deployed on Oct. 24 and returned to Rochester on Nov. 8 as part of a 78-member group of providers organized by the Healthcare Association of New York State. Working 12-hour shifts, the URMC team of seven registered nurses, two nurse practitioners, one licensed practical nurse, and one physician saw 150 patients per day over the course of their stay on the island. Without access to key supplies and equipment and occasionally losing power supplies, they often had to improvise solutions and methods to help patients get much-needed care. Though they provided a critical service for the residents of Puerto Rico, the experience also had a lasting effect on the providers whose lives were touched by the people they served. “My heart grew ten times in the time I was there,” said Rosario-McCabe. “I knew about humility in Puerto Ricans. I'm Puerto Rican and I grew up in Puerto Rico,” Santiago said. “But to see it so raw in the face of adversity will always stay with me.”

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 13


A Decade of Leading Change Clinically focused DNP prepares grads to meet rapidly changing challenges in health care As health care challenges have continued to intensify across the nation, the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has been preparing nurses to lead systems-level change for over a decade. In the fall of 2007, the School of Nursing enrolled its first four DNP students, becoming one of only two programs in New York to offer the degree. More than 10 years later, the school’s DNP program has become nationally recognized for educating doctorally prepared nurses who distinguish themselves as leaders and innovators in the field. Under the direction of Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, since 2014, the School of Nursing’s DNP program emphasizes scholarly inquiry, health care transformation, practice, and leadership as critical learning outcomes. “Advanced practice education is moving to the doctoral level because of the complexity of the health care environment and the needs for advanced practice nurses to have additional skills in other areas,” said Rotondo, who is also associate dean for education and student affairs. “Advanced practice nurses need other competencies that look at population health, systems, informatics, and policy.” A clinically focused doctorate for nurses practicing at the highest level, the DNP program educates nurses to

14 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

appraise any given environment through a lens of practice inquiry, said Rotondo. As a selective program in an emerging field, the School of Nursing has awarded 35 DNP degrees since the program’s launch in 2007; two more candidates plan to defend their final projects and graduate this May. Highlights of the program’s milestone academic year have included the second DNP Summit, the 10th DNP Project Day, and a new academic-practice partnership. DNP Summit: Impact and Education The School of Nursing hosted the second annual DNP Summit on Oct. 27, 2017. The intensive day-long conference welcomed more than 100 advanced practice nurses, policymakers, and scholars from across the country to explore and discuss the year’s theme, “Impact and Education.” Mary Terhaar, DNSc, RN, ANEF, FAAN, who is the associate dean of academic affairs at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, gave the keynote address on achieving DNP scholarship and impact. The summit closed with the University of Vermont’s Kate FitzPatrick, DNP, RN, NEABC, ACNP, FAAN, delivering a speech on the DNP degree as a pathway to advancing executive nurse leadership. In bringing together these leaders, the DNP Summit

Kate FitzPatrick

Mary Terhaar

establishes the UR School of Nursing as a presence in the national conversation about the evolving role of doctorally prepared nurses. “The DNP Summit leverages our history of leadership in nursing, particularly advanced practice education,” said Rotondo.

outcomes of health care or influencing health policy. Students conduct their projects independently, with guidance from a DNP committee and in close collaboration with practice partners and mentors. The summative scholarly product of the program, the DNP project requires students to employ the tools of clinical scholarship to develop new practice knowledge within their specific clinical settings. This year’s DNP Project Day featured podium presentations by students enrolled in DNP practicum courses who are developing and implementing interventions in specialty areas, as well as poster presentations by DNP students early in their programs of study who are beginning to explore potential areas of practice inquiry. Michael Brennan, FNPC, took to the podium to present his plan to optimize cardiovascular health in the uninsured through implementing clinical practice guidelines for statin manage-

DNP Project Day Highlights Students' Efforts to Improve Health Care On Jan. 26, the School of Nursing hosted its 10th annual DNP Project Day. Each year, the event showcases students’ areas of clinical interest and provides a forum for exchanging ideas and suggestions to strengthen scholarly work. “DNP Project Day is an opportunity for feedback: giving feedback, receiving feedback, and helping students to advance their thinking about the projects,” Rotondo said. All DNP students design, implement, and evaluate interventions focused on improving the delivery and

David Lent, MS, RN, PCCN-K, CCRN-K, presents his preliminary work examining sleep quality in intensive care settings at DNP Project Day.

Jenna Gonillo, MS, ACNPC-AG, CCRN, answers questions about her poster presentation. Gonillo is assessing ways to improve burnout in the critical care advanced practice provider population.

ment in high-risk patients. Brennan, clinical coordinator at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center and senior associate at the School of Nursing, said he plans to stay on in those roles after completing his doctoral degree. Denise Burgen, MBA, MSN, RN, FNP, a senior associate in the School of Nursing, designed an intervention guided by relational coordinator theory to improve interprofessional team performance in the home health care setting. Burgen said she will submit a manuscript describing her DNP scholarly project to Home Healthcare Now this spring and will continue teaching at the School of Nursing following graduation. Luke Angell, MS, RN, PPCNP-BC, evaluated risk factors for pediatric readmissions, including health literacy rates among caregivers. He implemented a nursing-focused standardized discharge education program for pediatric nurses in an inpatient medical-surgical

A New Path: DNP Practice Fellows Now in its second decade, the DNP program continues to pursue initiatives to transform health care through advanced practice nursing and education. This academic year, the program launched a new academic-practice partnership with Strong Memorial Hospital. Known as DNP Practice Fellows, a group of nine nurse executives and lead nurse practitioners identified and jointly sponsored by Strong Memorial Hospital and the School of Nursing have begun pursuing doctorates. “It's a great example of an academic-practice partnership, not only from the perspective of investing in these individuals who are leaders in the hospital,” said Rotondo, “but importantly, the work that they will be doing will be important to the institution.” This collaboration is an important opportunity for these practice leaders to demonstrate the value of the

setting as part of a bundle aimed at reducing hospital readmissions. In continuing his work as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Angell’s post-DNP Project Day plans come full circle. “As a researcher, I have grown to love numbers and statistics, but behind every number is a patient,” said Angell, a former Robert Wood Johnson Scholar. “Just over 25 years ago, I was born into this world three months early. As a result of the care and education from my health care team, my parents' dream of bringing me home from the hospital truly became a reality for them. “I am excited to continue to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to ensure parents and caregivers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to care for their child upon discharge, helping to make each parent’s dream of bringing their child home from the hospital a true reality,” Angell said.

DNP degree in their respective settings. Using the lens of practice inquiry, the DNP Practice Fellows will be prepared to craft evidence-based solutions that are theoretically driven to solve practice problems to address and improve the delivery and outcomes of care at the hospital, Rotondo said.


Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 Third Annual DNP Summit: “Vision & Visibility”

Keynote speaker & registration information: TBA

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 15


Outstanding Students Recognized at Opening Convocation Ceremony The University of Rochester School of Nursing recognized some of its leading scholars at its convocation on Sept. 5. More than 175 students and faculty packed the auditorium in Helen Wood Hall for the official event kicking off the 2017-18 academic year. They were greeted with welcome speeches from UR President and CEO Joel Seligman, Medical Center CEO and Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Mark B. Taubman, MD, and School of Nursing Dean and URMC Vice President Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP. Seligman, in an emotional address, reflected on the loss of a close friend’s adult daughter and stressed the tremendous impact that nurses and health professionals have on the lives of patients and their families. “You have a chance to touch human lives in a way that few other people do,” he

said. He also praised the School of Nursing’s commitment to achieving a truly diverse student body, and by extension, nursing workforce. “From my perspective, we want the best people Sheniece Griffin (left), a student in the Clinical Nurse Leader program, was to be our honored with the Michele Unger Award at convocation. DNP student Denise nurses,” he Burgen (right) was presented with the George Spencer Terry Jr. B’49 Fund in said. “GenNursing Entrepreneurship Award. der should never be tation, culture, and learning differences we all have is an issue, abilities,” said Rideout. “It’s critical.” nationality should never be important for us to not only Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, an issue, immigrant status appreciate the diversity of CNS, associate dean for should never be an issue, our classmates, faculty, and education and student affairs sexual orientation should never be an issue. We simply colleagues, but to really learn in the School of Nursing, from and about each other. presented six awards to want the best.” Whether you’re preparing returning undergraduate and “I’m very proud of the to be clinicians, health care graduate students. overwhelming diversity of leaders, or scientists, underour students in race, ethnicity, gender, faith, sexual orien- standing and enjoying the

Convocation Award Winners Kathyrine Resurreccion, an APNN student, was awarded the Clare Dennison Prize for outstanding proficiency in general nursing care. Christina Dopp, a student in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program, was honored with the Eleanor Hall Award as an outstanding master’s degree student. Dillon Dzikowicz received the Loretta C. Ford Fellowship, given to a student entering the doctoral program in nursing who demonstrates the highest potential for academic and professional success.

16 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Jahaira Capellen was the winner of the Jill Thayer Award, presented to the doctoral student whose research demonstrates a commitment to personalizing or enhancing access to health care. Denise Burgen was awarded the George Spencer Terry Jr. B’49 Fund in Nursing Entrepreneurship, given to a graduate student to support the design of innovative approaches to improve patient outcomes. Sheniece Griffin, a student in the Clinical Nurse Leader program, was honored with the Michele Unger Leadership Award.

Depressed Patients More Likely to be Prescribed Opioids A new study shows that patients with low back pain who were depressed were more likely to be prescribed opioids and receive higher doses. Understanding these prescribing patterns sheds new light on the current opioid epidemic and may help determine whether efforts to control prescription opioid abuse are effective. “Our findings show that these drugs are more often prescribed to low back pain patients who also have symptoms of depression and there is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse

and overdose of opioids,” said John Markman, MD, director of the Department of Neurosurgery’s Translational Pain Research Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and senior author of the study which appears in PAIN Reports, a journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., the most common condition for which opioids are a prescribed treatment. Additional co-authors of the study include Joyce Smith, PhD, RN, ANP (lead author),

Irena Pesis-Katz, PhD, and Bethel Powers, PhD, RN, FSAA, FGSA, with the UR School of Nursing, and Maria Frazer and Rob Fuino with the URMC Translational Pain Research Program. The study was supported with funding from the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The researchers compiled opioid prescription data from 2004-2009, which coincides with a steep rise in the prescription rates of opioids to treat lower back pain. The timeframe of the study also immediately preceded the introduction of a new gen-

eration of drugs designed to deter abuse and the implementation of a wide range of policies to address the opioid epidemic and will serve as an important benchmark to evaluate the impact of these efforts. The researchers found that individuals with low back pain who were positively screened for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid and received more than twice the typical dose of the drug over the course of a year.

Heffner Embraces New Leadership Roles in Geriatrics Research An accomplished researcher focusing on the effects of stress and aging, Kathi Heffner, PhD, is now taking on new leadership roles in geriatrics research. An associate professor with a primary appointment in the School of Nursing and secondary appointments in medicine and psychiatry, Heffner was among a select group of scholars chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders in Aging Program, a yearlong national geriatric leadership development program, and has also been named associate chief of research for the for the Division of Geriatrics and Aging in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester. The Emerging Leaders in Aging Program, sponsored

by the Tideswell at UC San Francisco, The American Geriatrics Society, and the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs, is a hands-on, practical program aimed at augmenting and leveraging existing leadership skills to advance clinical, research, policy, and educational initiatives in aging. Utilizing principles emanating from the “start-up” culture in technology, the program builds on pressing challenges that new leaders are experiencing and helps them to develop strategies to address and sustain positive change. Heffner was one of only five scholars accepted into the 2017-18 research cohort. Her project is related to her recent CTSI Incubator Award aimed at developing

infrastructure for what she and her collaborators have named the Health Aging Research Program. Scholars participate in the program for one year, attending workshops and individual and small-group coaching and mentoring sessions. Her selection to the Tideswell program was a key factor that helped Heffner emerge as the top candidate in the Division of Geriatrics’ national search. In her role as associate chief of research, she will aim to help strengthen the research enterprise within the division, as well as expand collaboration among geriatrics and aging researchers across the university. “We’re excited about this partnership with the School of Nursing,” said Annette Medina-Walpole, MD, Paul

H. Fine Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Geriatrics and Aging. “Geriatrics is really an interdisciplinary field that involves members of many other disciplines and specialties. To have a faculty member from the School of Nursing join our division is a natural marriage.” “This is a wonderful opportunity to help advance geriatrics and aging research at the university,” Heffner said of her research appointment. “I really enjoy mentoring, connecting people for interdisciplinary collaboration, and helping investigators think through their research. I’m very excited to apply these skills to strengthening the impact of our aging research on older adults’ well-being and health care.” NURSING 2018 Volume 1 17

Hands-On Programming Allows Teens to Explore Careers in Nursing It is well known that there is an acute need for new nurses on a national level to stave off widespread shortages. But today’s college graduates are far more likely than their predecessors to bounce not only from job to job, but also from one industry to another in search of their next gig, which could result in longer delays before workers ultimately land their first nursing job, if they do at all. A couple of new outreach programs hosted at the UR School of Nursing are aimed at exposing the next generation of prospective nurses to the realistic benefits and challenges of the profession much earlier, helping them to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and if so, helping them to chart an educational path to get them into the workforce sooner. Dozens of high school students have gotten a hands-on introduction to nursing by taking part in related programs that provided an opportunity to explore the field and get a better understanding of the types of careers they can pursue within the profession. “Nursing: A Career that Never Gets Boring,” offered over the summer through the University of Rochester’s Pre-College Programs, welcomed 19 scholars from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the school for a five-day, non-credit course, the largest class yet in the years the course has been offered.

18 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

The school partnered for the first time with the Seneca Waterways Council in the fall to host the Nursing Exploring Post, bringing in 25 Rochester-area teenagers (ages 14-17) over an eight-week period for weekly learning sessions and demonstrations. And this spring, the School of Nursing is partnering with East High on a career transition program, bringing in more than a dozen students once a week for a 14-week program exploring the health professions. Vocational-type programs such as these can be pivotal for teens and young adults who, through their participation, can “try out” careers in a low-risk, low-cost way to see where their skills and interests intersect before they commit to an educational field or career path. They are especially critical in nursing, where the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for 1.1 million new registered nurses by 2022, which will make RN jobs more plentiful than any other profession in the U.S. “We can dispel myths and help break stereotypes and give students an opportunity to begin to understand what they may or may not like about the profession,” said Adam Tatro ’06N, ’12N (MS), ’16N (DNP), director of care management workflow design and reporting at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) who was advisor for the nursing

“They ended up having a much broader base of knowledge than when they started. They learned a lot about nursing specialties and the fields that nurses can go into. ” – Nan Meyer

post. “Once they begin to understand the aspects they like and don’t like, they can hone in and ask questions about educational paths. I think it gives them an understanding and respect of the profession, and it also gives them a new appreciation of how important nursing is and the scope of it.” The co-ed nursing exploring program, a component of the Boy Scouts of America, will be offered twice a year at the School of Nursing. Tatro; Senior Associate John McIntyre, MS, RN, CNL, CCRN; URMC Clinical Nurse Leader Deb Hurley ’08N (MS), ’17 (DNP); and Krista Simpson, MS, RN-BC, from Strong Memorial Hospital’s Center for Nursing Professional Development, created the curriculum for the fall program, which met once a week for 60-90 minutes and ran for eight weeks in September and October. The session included topics such as opioid overdoses, simulation lab demonstrations, electronic health record documentation, and meeting with other health professionals such as a pharmacist and respiration therapist. In their last session, the students listened to a panel discussion from nurses in a wide range of roles, including Daryl Sharp, ’93N (PhD), senior director of care management for URMC and Accountable Health Partners, and Kathy Parinello ’75N, ’83N (MS), executive vice president and chief operating officer of Strong. “We didn’t want to give them the sense that there was only bedside nursing,” said Tatro. “Nursing is a big field, so it’s hard to condense it into eight weeks. Our approach was to try to make it as hands-on as possible or they were going to get bored.” The pre-college program course held in July at the School of Nursing took a similar approach. Taught by Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing Kathy Hiltunen, MBA, RN, and Nan Meyer, BS, RN, CNOR, an assistant nurse manager and nurse educator in perioperative services, the course supplemented classroom discussion with lots of interactive exercises and demonstrations. The high school students learned how to calculate IV drip rates by hydrating water balloons, donned scrubs and gloves to observe real patient surgeries, and participated in caregiver simulation exercises meant to highlight the difficulties a nurse may encounter when seeing patients and families. “They’re high energy,” said Hiltunen, who has worked with adolescents for years as a school nurse at Wheatland-Chili

OPPOSITE: Students participating in the Pre-College Program in nursing at the University of Rochester pose in their surgical gowns with Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing Kathy Hiltunen. ABOVE: The students learned a number of skills, including how to calculate IV drip rates.

Middle School. “If you want to keep their attention, you have to have them do something.” The curriculum for the course was originally designed by Hiltunen and enhanced this year with new material by Meyer, a student in the UR Master’s in Nursing Education (MNE) program. It gave the students opportunities to participate in a number of different scenarios – from learning how to take vital signs to assembling disarticulated skeletal systems to dealing with infectious diseases. “They really liked a lot of the hands-on activities, and they enjoyed the simulation. They got a lot out of that,” said Meyer, who has been an operating room nurse for the past 29 years. “They ended up having a much broader base of knowledge than when they started. They learned a lot about nursing specialties and the fields that nurses can go into, such as advanced practice nursing. There was a lot of reflection, too, and giving them new thoughts on helping people and the struggles that people go through.” For the new partnership with East High, Hiltunen and MNE students adapted the successful components from the explorers and pre-college programs and added additional programming, such as CPR and Stop the Bleed training. Getting and keeping young students engaged in nursing is a crucial pipeline for the profession, which not only faces critical shortages in the quantity of nurses, but is also striving to recruit more men and underrepresented minorities into the field. “We are committed as a school to diversifying the nursing workforce,” Hiltunen said. “There’s a large nursing shortage, and we need to get new people – young people – interested in nursing,” Meyer said. “This program provides a means to encourage them and to let them know what they can do with a nursing career. Hopefully, they will choose to do that.”

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 19

Dean Kathy Rideout (above) addresses the graduates to kick off the pinning ceremony and congratulates LaMicah Hughbanks (below) as she walks across the stage to collect her pin.

August cohort student speaker Audra Hazel (above). The graduating class surprised longtime Student Affairs staff member Nancy Kita, calling her to the stage to be recognized for her unwavering support of students (below).

Photos by Jeff Witherow

Pinning Ceremonies Mark a New Beginning for Two APNN Cohorts After a year of demanding study, more than 120 grads are inaugurated into the nursing profession

20 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

December cohort student speaker Kevin Liu (above). Amy Smith gets pinned by her daughter Sierra as Lydia Rotondo, associate dean for education and student affairs, looks on (right).

Following the ceremony, graduates celebrated with family and friends at a reception in the Fairbank Alumni Lounge. Pictured are Ellie Sacks (left) and Teyanna Tyson (below).

August Cohort

December Cohort

Aug. 30, 2017

Dec. 20, 2017

63 graduates

61 graduates

51 female, 12 male

46 female, 15 male

Student speaker:

Student speaker:

Audra Hazel

Kevin Liu

Native countries: France, South Africa, Canada, China, Bosnia and Herzegovina

No. of Fuld Scholars: 5

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 21


Diversity Forward

By Patrick Broadwater

Building a nursing school that looks like the world around it. At the University of Rochester School of Nursing, cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion isn’t just important, it’s a priority. With the fullthroated support – and financial backing – of its leadership, the school’s sustained commitment to creating a community that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds and embraces their differences has placed it at the vanguard among its peers in higher education. On the following pages, read about the work the UR School of Nursing is doing to create a learning environment that mirrors the changing demographics of the real world, and get to know some of the students, alumni, faculty, and staff, whose life experiences contribute to the school’s inclusionary culture and broaden the spectrum of health care professionals making an impact on tomorrow’s patients.

22 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Creating a nursing workforce that more accurately reflects and can better care for our increasingly global society is a key initiative at the UR School of Nursing. That involves recruiting more individuals from underrepresented groups, including men, into the field.


hen Melita Hebert ’15N looks around her classroom, she sees a microcosm of the world outside. In her cohort of six in the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at the UR School of Nursing, there are students of Kenyan, Indian, and Iranian descent. “It’s not just one homogeneous group,” said Hebert, who is from the Philippines. The same can be said of her Med-Surg unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, where she works as an RN alongside a team of nurses from a wide array of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Together they must be adept at caring for patients from every pocket of Rochester, a city that has a huge refugee population and ranks among the nation’s highest in poverty. “We see a lot of different nationalities, cultures, and religious beliefs,” said Hebert. “The thing is, language should not be a barrier, and culture should not be a barrier to getting good care. I think the school really helped prepare me to be more open and accommodating – to be able to work with patients despite the differences in our culture and beliefs.” The bedrock of providing culturally sensitive care is that all patients deserve equal treatment. But having health care providers more finely attuned to the specific characteristics of a particular group

could improve patient outcomes and help chip away at health care disparities. The process of creating a better health care system – one built not only to address new models of delivery, but also focused on meeting the needs of an increasingly global community of individuals – begins with education. Creating an educational environment that is inclusive, welcoming, and accepting of diversity in all of its forms, therefore, is critically important. Particularly so in nursing, which is why the UR School of Nursing places such a heavy emphasis on issues of diversity. It’s one of the school’s core values, addressed in everything from the school’s mission to its strategic planning goals. Even the student handbook highlights the school’s goal of creating “clinical leaders who practice in a culturally sensitive manner.” “Nurses are often the face and voice dealing with patients and their families, and more and more we’re seeing patients that come to us from all over the world, from all different kinds of backgrounds,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “We need to ensure that we’re creating a workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of all kinds of individuals, not just those who look like we do or share our beliefs or values.” “When we talk about diversity, we’re really talking about being able

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 23

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine recognized the School of Nursing's diversity initiatives in 2017, presenting it with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.

“We need to ensure that we’re creating a workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of all kinds of individuals, not just those who look like we do or share our beliefs or values.”

to look past somebody’s differences – whether it be race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation – and being able to see them as an individual with unique skills and talents,” said Jonathan Wetherbee ’08, the School of Nursing’s staff diversity officer. “I think it’s recognized that the School of Nursing has been a leader in programming and creating structures around diversity, and it’s really represented in our student body and our graduation rates.” At the University level, both Rideout and Wetherbee have been honored with the Presidential Diversity Award, given to individuals for their leadership and contributions to creating a positive campus climate for all. And this past year, UR Nursing was one of just eight nursing schools in the country to receive the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, osteopathic, and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. “Being honored with the HEED Award is a tremendous recognition of the work we have done to build an inclusive community that hears and respects all voices,” said Rideout. It’s also an endorsement of several innovative programs and initiatives that support diversity efforts on campus and throughout

24 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

– Dean Kathy Rideout

the University of Rochester Medical Center The school puts substantial resources in its commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse class of students. One of only five schools in the country to receive all seven years of funding for the Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing program aimed at diversifying future nursing workforces, the school matched the scholarships and disbursed nearly $1 million in aid to students belonging to groups underrepresented in nursing, including men. Though the program ended in 2015, the school continues to draw about one-third of its students to its incoming accelerated bachelor’s program from underrepresented groups. And by adopting a holistic admissions process, the school is taking a more flexible, individualized view at applicants to assess how their experiences, talents, and attributes can contribute to the school’s overall mission. Holistic admissions focuses less on standardized test scores and traditional academic metrics, which in numerous studies are shown to favor particular individuals or groups over others, in favor of an approach centered on identifying the potential of individuals who are often overlooked in the admissions process. Once students are enrolled, the school’s Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS) offers tutoring, mentoring, and an early-study skills program to help guide students through the

Student Demographics (2016-17) critical first few weeks of classes. The student-led LIFT program (Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow) also provides opportunities for students to engage in learning and discussions related to leadership, advocacy, and diversity. The Dean’s Pre-Doctoral Faculty Award provides full financial support for students from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral education, and the school has recruited strong underrepresented candidates through its postdoctoral-to-assistantprofessor position, which allows faculty members to complete their postdoctoral experience with a commitment to hiring them directly to a tenure-track position. And beyond recruiting a faculty that’s ethnically and racially diverse, there has been a sustained push to address the curriculum so that it covers the compassionate treatment and care of different groups in a way that is both specific but also broadly applicable, so that students can take the lessons and apply them to their own lives, as well as the clinical setting. The school has also drawn praise for its Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness (CoDI). It includes elected faculty, staff, and students from across the school and hosts a number of lectures, workshops, and educational sessions to help spread awareness on issues pertaining to race, disability, spirituality, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more. While many educational institutions form diversity councils, two key factors distinguish the UR Nursing CoDI from its peers: The input and support of school leadership, and the widespread representation of members of the school community. Rideout not only serves as an active member of the CoDI, she supports the council financially, providing a dedicated budget – no other diversity council at the university can make that claim – to do the work the council deems necessary. But far from being driven by the dean, the council features two faculty diversity officers, a staff diversity offer – also the first of its kind at the University – as well as a student diversity officer, giving a voice and an outlet to every member of the school. “We might not be able to solve the problems at a national level, but we can find ways to ameliorate the situation for individuals who are being affected by them and we can bring awareness to individuals who are benefiting from those structures that may not even be aware that they’re beneficiaries of a system of inequality,” Wetherbee said. “Bringing awareness helps you have a sense of compassion and responsibility for the choices you make. It might just shift some people’s perspective enough to let them take a deeper look at their motivations or maybe the actions of the people around them. That on a large scale is going to promote a more welcoming or at least a more open culture here at the school.” Patrick Broadwater is a senior public relations associate in the School of Nursing and editor of NURSING magazine.


100% 24% 9%

Percentage of full-time students from underrepresented groups – nationally less than one-quarter of the estimated 3 million nurses are from diverse racial or ethnic groups Graduation rate for UR Nursing full-time students from underrepresented groups

Percentage of ABPNN students who are male, nearly three times the national average of males in the nursing workforce Percentage of student body identified as having a disability

Faculty/Staff Demographics (2016-17) Professor/Associate Professor Faculty

8% 12%

Percentage of individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups Percentage of males

Assistant Professor/Instructor Faculty


Percentage of individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups


Percentage of males

Administrative Staff


Percentage of individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups


Percentage of males

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 25

A Second Chance in Health Care Melita Hebert ’15N

Photo by John Schlia


s a family medicine physician in her native Philippines, Melita Hebert ’15N sometimes dipped into her own salary to buy medication for her most needy patients. At the state-run Philippine General Hospital in Manila, health care consultations and diagnostics were provided free of charge, but patients were responsible for purchasing their own meds, which many could not afford. When Hebert came to the U.S. in 2001 and began working as a practice administrator at an internal medicine clinic in New York City, she found some unfortunate similarities. Serving a mostly elderly and immigrant population, she spent a good deal of time working out creative payment solutions and educating patients on the basics of health literacy. “A lot of them didn’t have insurance, so you have to work within their budget to accommodate them. Not having insurance is not an excuse not to be treated,” said Hebert. “I was lucky because I had medical education in the Philippines, but still, I was new to the American health care system. People who hadn’t had that exposure to how things work, you have to explain to them this is how you take your medicine, this is how important it is. It’s basically educating your patients about the importance of their treatments and their lifestyle.”

still work as a health care provider, albeit in a different role. In 2015, she enrolled in the UR Nursing Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (APNN). “Finding the APNN program here was my second chance,” Hebert said. “I was like, ‘This is it! This is my vehicle towards working in health care again.’ It’s the same environment – it’s just a different way of thinking. Nursing depends on the patient. You have to tailor your treatment based on the patient’s needs. It’s dynamic. It was difficult at first shifting gears in my thinking from medicine to nursing.” As an undergraduate student, Hebert received a Helene Fuld Scholarship, which provided her with financial support, as well special seminars and learning experiences with the school’s leadership and alumni. The scholarship program helped Hebert discover opportunities to make the most of her career. “It gave me a model of how I can turn my career into a lifelong calling,” she said. Now working as an RN on a Med-Surg unit in Strong Memorial Hospital, Hebert is enrolled in the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program with an eye on pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree down the road.

“I love being able to make a difference. It’s always challenging, and it’s a lot of hard work, but I love being with patients, and I love the tough work,” Hebert Though she had completed her medical education, including a residency, said of nursing. “You need to have that calling to want to work with people. You Hebert could not practice as a physician in the U.S. without proceeding through have to have compassion. You can’t do this job if you’re not interested in being a stringent licensing process that includes a three-part exam and additional human enough to help another human being. residency. After getting married and moving to Rochester, Hebert held on to the “I wish I would have done it sooner, but I’m still happy. I’m glad I chose this hope of resuming her medical career, but came to the realization that she could school. It’s like home to me."

26 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

A Role Model for Success Yvette Conyers, RN, MSN, FNP-C, CTN-B

Photo by Matt Wittmeyer


vette Conyers, RN, MSN, FNP-C, CTN-B, wants her students to know that things will be OK. In nursing school, as in life, there will be peaks and valleys. The key is just to keep moving forward. An instructor of clinical nursing, Conyers talks freely with her students about her own struggles. Like how she fell out of her undergraduate cohort because she had to repeat a maternity course, how she failed in her first attempt to pass the NCLEX exam, or the obstacles she faced as a teenage single mom. “I tell nursing students these things not to scare them, but to let them know that it’s possible to overcome them,” said Conyers. “I want them to know that even if you don’t pass this course, even if you don’t pass your boards the first time, it’s OK. There will be more opportunities. You just keep going until you pass.” Forging ahead in the face of adversity was a choice Conyers made early on. As a high school student, she had designs on a career as a neonatologist, a physician handling the most complex and high-risk cases involving newborns. But when Conyers got pregnant during her senior year, she traded in the idea of medical school for a career in nursing. Two years after the birth of her son in January 2000, Conyers earned her associate degree from Monroe Community College. “I was really determined not to be a statistic in the African-American community,” Conyers said. “I was told by many people who were close to me that I wasn’t going to amount to much of anything. So, it was me telling them, but, more importantly, telling myself that I can do this.” Encouraged by her colleagues and mentors, Conyers continued to pursue advanced education. She got her bachelor’s degree at the UR School of Nursing in 2007, a master’s in nursing education in 2010 and a family nurse practitioner post-master’s certificate in 2013. This May, she’ll graduate with

“It’s been a long 18 years of stop and go, but it’s been worthwhile.” – Yvette Conyers her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. At the same time, she has worked in a number of clinical roles as an RN and family nurse practitioner. “Nursing is about relationships, and a lot of the relationships I built throughout nursing school and my first and second jobs opened up a lot of doors,” said Conyers, who joined the UR Nursing faculty in 2013. “It’s been a long 18 years of stop and go, but it’s been worthwhile.” Now, Conyers is intent on paying it forward to help the next generation. In addition to her DNP research, which is focused on developing cultural competence in health care providers in order to ensure that all patients – regardless of their background or identity – are treated equally, she is active with a number of organizations committed to providing opportunities for underrepresented groups. Among them, the Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority and Rochester Jewels, a nonprofit focused on empowering and equipping girls to lead productive lives while giving back to others. At the School of Nursing, Conyers is a member of the Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness and a faculty advisor for LIFT (Leading with Integrity For Tomorrow). “That’s what it’s about – reaching back, giving a hand and pulling people forward,” Conyers said. “It’s not just talking the talk, but let’s walk the walk together.”

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 27

Persistence Pays Off Stephanie Murphy ’17N

Photo by John Schlia


tephanie Murphy ’17N had all but given up on her dream of becoming a registered nurse. In the fall of 2016, she sat in the office of Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, and explained that after nearly a decade of study and hard work in health care, she didn’t have the financial resources to finish her final trimester in the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses. “I remember I cried,” said Murphy, a mother of three who first started taking her nursing prerequisites in 2009. “But I spoke to the dean, and she said ‘You are not going to give up.'" Instead, Rideout offered Murphy a scholarship on the spot and encouraged her to get a job to ensure that she would have the financial resources to finish her degree. And that's exactly what she did. Murphy had worked a variety of jobs in health care over the years to support her family and that’s when she discovered how much she enjoyed helping others. Among them was a part-time position as a patient care technician at Strong Memorial Hospital, which amounted to three months of service credit. All Murphy needed was nine more months of service to qualify for a substantial tuition benefit at the School of Nursing. She landed a job as a geriatric psych specialist at Strong, and was able to return to nursing school in May 2017 to finally complete her degree. Not content just to re-enter the program, Murphy utilized as many of the school’s resources as she could to help ensure her success. Before the trimester started, she met with a near-peer mentor, studied with a tutor, and audited classes she had taken previously to help re-introduce herself to the coursework. “I was so proud of myself. I made it to graduation,” said Murphy, who passed her NCLEX in the fall and now works as a nurse in the Emergency Department at Strong. “I honestly had given up. I almost took a job as an apartment manager. But I knew it was a job that would have prevented me from returning to a career in nursing.”

28 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

“This degree is not something that is handed to you. You have to earn the right to be called a nurse.” – Stephanie Murphy It had been a long, winding road for Murphy just to get to this point. When she graduated from high school, she enrolled at Buffalo State College in pursuit of a broadcast journalism degree. She later transferred to the College of Brockport and took a leave of absence in order to raise her family. She enrolled at Monroe Community College a few years later, taking nursing prerequisite courses, but when she did not successfully complete microbiology, she returned to Brockport and obtained her bachelor’s degree with a major in health sciences. Murphy went on to earn a master’s degree in health care administration from Roberts Wesleyan College, but wanted to bolster that with a nursing degree, which ultimately led her to the UR Nursing accelerated program. “My passion is to care for people,” she said. “Everyone’s path is different – that’s what I always hear and I believe it more now that I see that I’m doing something I really love. The driver was knowing that I am smart enough. I might have to try harder than Person A or Person B, and it’s going to take effort. But this degree is not something that is handed to you. You have to earn the right to be called a nurse. “There are only so many who can be in this club. And to be able to be in there is amazing to me.”

Finding His Voice as an Advocate Jonathan Wetherbee ’08 Photo by John Schlia


he rough blueprint Jonathan Wetherbee ’08 had for coming out included waiting until he had his own apartment and a stable job. But he also discovered that he needed a little inspiration. He found it at the School of Nursing. When he began working full time as an administrative assistant in 2008, Wetherbee had confided only in one of his friends that he was gay. But his daily interactions at the Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship with two nurses who were out and living very public lives helped embolden Wetherbee to do the same. “They really empowered me – both professionally and personally – and it was a real life-changer for me. The rest of the school was so accepting of them, and so welcoming of them. It just made it so much easier for me when I did come out,” said Wetherbee, who also credits Professor Mary Dombeck, PhD, DMin, APRN, with spearheading an open dialogue within the school about diversity, including issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. “I don’t know if I would have come out when I did if it wasn’t for the fact that I knew I was safe at work. That makes an enormous difference.” Having felt the warmth of a fire he hadn’t built, Wetherbee jumped at the opportunity when a spot opened on the school’s Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness (CoDI). A role in the council would be a perfect way for him to help shape the culture of the school going forward in an attempt to ensure that other members of the community feel just as accepted as he did. “I felt like I had been given this gift, and that I should repay it in some way,” said Wetherbee, who in 2018 received the University of Rochester Presidential Diversity Award for his exemplary leadership and contributions to fostering a campus culture of diversity and inclusion. “And everything kind of snowballed from there.”

In the past six years, Wetherbee has emerged as one of the University’s most passionate and eloquent advocates for a more welcoming and accepting campus community. He not only serves the School of Nursing as co-chair of the CoDI, but he was the first person to take on the role of staff diversity officer, a position now being implemented in units throughout the University. As co-chair of the University’s Pride Alliance, Wetherbee helps to lead and direct a group of employees dedicated to promoting a positive work environment that values and supports individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or gender expression. He is also a Safe Space training coordinator and helps to educate faculty, students, and staff while providing visible support and an identifiable network of allies for the LGBT community. Wetherbee is also a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center Executive Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. And he is on the speakers’ bureau for Rochester’s Out Alliance, which he was introduced to by his husband, Matthew. Through his involvement on campus, Wetherbee has cultivated an even greater appreciation for diversity in all of its forms, whether it’s advocating for racial justice or helping to organize workshops to discuss spirituality in the workplace. “I’m not just expected to focus on LGBT stuff because I’m a member of the community, I also get to be involved in activism around racial justice or racial equity. I have been able to do things to improve the situation for people with disabilities or who consider themselves differently-abled,” Wetherbee said. “There’s such a broad definition of diversity and inclusion here that I don’t have outside of this work that’s really refreshing for me, because it’s something that I’ve found that I’m very passionate about.”

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 29

Celebrating Nurse Scientists Patients prosper when the “bench” is stationed at the “bedside” by Leslie Orr


he seventh floor of the Wilmot Cancer Center, with its panoramic views and 31 private, light-filled hospital rooms, hums with a calmness that contradicts the reality of life-threatening emergencies that can take place at any minute. Nearly every room is filled with people whose conditions can fluctuate by the hour; 55 skilled nurses monitor and care for them with compassion during high-risk treatments and for serious complications from cancer or the therapy they received. WCC7 is also the research “bench” for investigations to improve patient care and nursing practice. The up-and-coming research champions on the unit – Sara Luzunaris, BS, RN, a WCC7 nurse manager who’s been a nurse for eight years, and Shannon O’Leary, BSN, RN, OCN, an assistant nurse manager who’s been a nurse for five years – proudly call themselves “the research nerds.” “We’re determined to get past the theory that, ‘We’ve always done things this way,’” Luzunaris said. “Nursing in general is becoming evidence-based in nearly every way and this means taking into account not only clinical experience and patient desires, but the current findings from data and the literature.” Their data helps to manage the intensity of taking care of very sick patients. Recently O’Leary led a project known as the acuity study, which was presented at this year’s national Oncology Nursing Society’s annual meeting. The goal was to capture in detail and with precise accuracy the level of sickness for each patient on WCC7, improving the ability to assign a proper nurse-to-patient ratio. When patients arrive they’re usually assessed in standard ways: by their vital signs, medications, and the professional but subjective judgment of a nurse. O’Leary wondered if the standard method was accurate enough. As part of a nursing practice research internship, she reviewed the scientific literature and found an oncology-specific acuity tool that was deemed valid and reliable. O’Leary then designed a study to investigate the acuity tool’s value for WCC7. Co-workers agreed to test the new assessment and they were able to chart trends in the health of patients, as well as how well the tool predicted fluctuations during a nurse’s assignment. O’Leary further broke down the data to find trends in the numbers of patients per nurse. As a result, she was able to create a graphic that visually demonstrated the sharp turns in patient

30 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

sickness each day, from shift to shift, and throughout their hospital stay. “Ultimately we wanted to show with real data how sickness impacts the patient, the whole unit, the flow of work, and how nursing assignments could be altered,” O’Leary said. “I love research and finding my niche has been wonderful. We have a group here that really appreciates data, and if they know that our research will benefit patients, they’re all for it.” Next up: Luzunaris says the Wilmot Nursing Research Committee, a group comprised of nurses from various inpatient and outpatient locations, will evaluate ways to improve communication by using technology similar to a smartphone. Designed for the medical community, these types of devices stream vital signs, send alarms, and notify appropriate team members. They also have a text messagelike feature while keeping information secure. Luzunaris believes the technology will simplify and speed up decision-making. “Sometimes all that’s needed is a quick ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” she said. But, as scientists, she and O’Leary know it’s important to first take a step back and investigate the effectiveness, costs, and efficiency of the communication devices. “We have a lot of nurses who question things here, and that’s good,” Luzunaris said.

Invasion of the “research nerds” Cancer research is often described as a “bench to bedside” process, starting in a controlled laboratory with fundamental science to understand the roots of the disease and ending, ideally, closer to the patient’s bedside with a new discovery about cancer or how a treatment might impact an entire population of patients. When nurses do research, their benches look a lot different. They work on the front lines, and they’re educated to see the whole person, from the biological to the spiritual side. Nurses bring a different perspective to the complex world of cancer research – one that focuses on patient experiences and quality of life. “My lens is different than that of a radiation oncologist or a molecular geneticist in a basic science lab,” said 13-year cancer survivor Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “The scope of research has

Sara Luzunaris, BS, RN, and Shannon O’Leary, BSN, RN, OCN, are leading data-driven nursing on WCC7.

Photo by Matt Wittmeyer

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 31

changed, and it’s important for patients who are getting that research is being done infused with chemo and better on every front. Being able ways to identify troubling to provide the tools to live symptoms and side effects with a chronic disease among cancer patients. She is just as important as a also discovered surprising cure.” patterns among the thousands The possibilities are of telephone calls that come endless. Nurse scientists into Wilmot from worried resolve urgent clinical patients and families. The problems, such as phone patterns revealed, preventing medication for example, that lung and errors or infections; gastrointestinal cancer service they investigate tools lines received the most calls and systems to manage proportionately, and that pain care; and they tackle complaints and test results behavioral issues related were the chief reasons for the Marie Flannery, PhD, RN, AOCN, and Jamie Oliva, PhD, ANP-C, BMTCN, to cancer prevention, calls. Wilmot became more study patient-reported outcomes and ways to improve care. coping with getting sick, proactive as a result of her and living well beyond study and hired two additional the diagnosis. In the end, nurse investigators have the same nurses to manage the intake, Flannery said. The data was goals and objectives as other researchers: to supply valid and published in the Journal of Oncology Practice. meaningful evidence to every decision made in an outpatient Lately, her work is focusing on Wilmot’s Geriatric clinic or at the bedside. Oncology Program and finding ways to use electronics and Wilmot nurses are formalizing their approach by launching the MyChart system to better connect patients with their a nursing research committee and encouraging collaboration caregivers. across disciplines. For example, in a National Cancer Institute-approved study, As Rideout notes, a key distinction for an academic facility Flannery’s team is studying whether electronic reporting is a is that every member of the care team – from the physician, reasonable way for cancer patients to tell of pain, depression, to the nurse, to the social worker – brings not only their and other symptoms. Patients seen by four cancer center individual expertise but “their own body of evidence to oncologists are being asked if they are willing to complete support decisions and a respect for team science. And when symptom surveys on MyChart and are being given iPads to patients know what the latest evidence shows, it really take the surveys in clinic waiting rooms. resonates.” Past research has established that patient reporting of “The day of the lone researcher is really past us,” said symptoms results in improved outcomes. However, it is not Jamie Oliva, ’98N (MS), ’16N (PhD), a researcher, nurse clear how to make the process go smoothly, and thus the practitioner, and instructor of clinical nursing. “The questions goal of the study is to establish whether the tool is feasible in today are so complex and the problems so numerous that all a busy clinic. team members need a seat at the table.” “We want to involve patients as much as possible, and by providing data in real time, the health care team can intervene earlier,” Flannery said. “It’s pretty powerful.” Making things happen Oliva is using modern technology to develop a separate Marie Flannery, ’86N (MS), ’03N (PhD), has been part of study that would allow patients who’ve received treatment Wilmot’s rich history of nursing research since the 1980s. from Wilmot’s Samuel E. Durand Blood and Marrow She built on those early opportunities to advance her own Transplant (BMT) program to monitor their health at home studies and initiatives, and now as a nursing faculty member and call in with concerns between scheduled oncology has the responsibility of training the next generation of nurse visits. Based on her specialized clinical practice in BMT, Oliva scientists. completed a doctoral thesis in 2016 that investigated graft “By becoming a researcher I could help more than one versus-host disease, a transplant complication. patient at a time,” said Flannery, an assistant professor at the Patients with leukemia or lymphoma who receive stem School of Nursing who has presented her research nationally cells from an outside donor are more prone to graft-versusand internationally. host, where the donor’s immune cells attack the patient’s Some of her past projects looked at ideal nurse ratios tissues and organs. Medications can control the disease but

32 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

“This is why we do research... to find something better for our patients and to make the practice of nursing more evidence-based.” – Karen Abbas, Wilmot Cancer Center nurse

scientists do not fully understand the pathophysiology. Oliva investigated whether the number of T cells, a type of immune cell, in a patient’s blood sample was associated with graft-versus-host disease. In the next phase of her research, she’s exploring the use of a software program that would allow patients to keep track of their graft-versus-host symptoms on their own. As more nurses like Oliva seek advanced degrees, enrollment in research-focused doctoral programs has also climbed, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Teaching students to dig for evidence is a critical piece for translating science to clinical care. “Once the evidence is in,” Oliva said, “we can make things happen in the clinic.”

Nurses as troubleshooters Knowing how to use data appropriately to benefit patients is the essence of an academic institution. Nurses play a crucial role in this effort because they’re tuned into clinical problems, big and small. A primary example is the nearly one million patients who fall and injure themselves each year in U.S. hospitals, making it one of the most common complications of patient care, according to The Joint Commission, the accrediting body for hospitals. Although it’s a widespread problem, Karen Abbas, MS, RN, AOCN, and Tammy Clarke, ’05N (MS), are determined to reduce the risk of falling at Wilmot with an evidence-based approach. They astutely recognize, however, that falling is not just a physical issue. “People with cancer can come into the hospital otherwise healthy, but treatment will weaken them and they don’t always realize it. And they want to maintain their independence,” Clarke said. “Cancer patients express a loss of control,” added Abbas. “Their body has betrayed them and now they’ve lost the ability to simply walk around the room when they want to, and it’s very distressing.” Wilmot nurses had been using a tool provided by Strong Memorial Hospital to assess the fall risk of cancer patients as they arrived for admission to the cancer center. Classifying

Karen Abbas, MS, RN, AOCN, and Tammy Clarke, MS, RN, OCN, BMTCN, focus their research on reducing patients’ risk of falling.

risk accurately can go a long way toward preventing falls, and they had concerns about the special needs and classifications for people with cancer, who are often older adults. Abbas and Clarke discovered that the Cleveland Clinic developed a validated, fall-risk tool particularly for oncology, and launched a study to compare the standard tool to Cleveland’s tool. They’ve retrospectively reviewed 50 cases of people who fell and examined their initial risk assessment. It’s early in the investigation, but Abbas believes the eventual result will allow Wilmot’s team to design their own cancerspecific tool that suits the needs of this region’s unique population. “A more accurate assessment will help nurses do their jobs and patients better understand their limitations,” Abbas said. Two years ago, they took on a similar research project – this one involving small blood clots related to a certain type of central-line catheter for chemotherapy – and the results showed, to their surprise, that an older catheter produced fewer blood clots than a newer model among 75-100 leukemia patients. Like patient falls, peripheral-line blood clots are an issue that nurses, patients, and hospital systems grapple with across the country. Abbas was invited to share her study at a podium presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society 2016 annual meeting. “This is why we do research,” Abbas said. “To find something better for our patients and to make the practice of nursing more evidence-based.” Leslie Orr is a senior science writer in the University of Rochester Medical Center.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 33

Weeken d 2017 Thousands of University of Rochester alumni returned to campus Oct. 12 to 14 to celebrate Meliora Weekend. The School of Nursing welcomed back graduates from its classes of 1947 through 2012 for traditional homecoming events including the alumni luncheon, the presentation of the Class of 1959 Scholarship (to Samuel Salter), and the Clare Dennison Lecture.

34 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Five Honored at Dean’s Diamond Circle Dinner Five members of the School of Nursing family were honored for their extraordinary careers and the impact they’ve had on others at the annual Dean’s Diamond Circle dinner, Sept. 8 at Monroe Golf Club. This year’s recipients were: Christine Tebaldi ’96N, ’01N (MS), Terry Jean Yonker ’03N (MS), Pamela York Klainer ’80W (EdD), Barbara “Buzzy” Vallone, and Carol Brink ’56N, ’62N. Brink, an internationally recognized scholar known for her groundbreaking work on urinary incontinence in older

women, received the Dean’s Medal for extraordinary service, philanthropy, and leadership. Tebaldi, director of clinical business development and director of psychiatric emergency services at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Yonker, a family nurse practitioner and telemedicine clinical care coordinator at Finger Lakes Community Health, was the recipient of the School of Nursing’s Humanitarian Award. A successful entrepreneur, financial expert,

philanthropist, and author, Klainer received the Legacy Award, recognizing individuals and families who have made a significant commitment to the School of Nursing in honor or memory of a nurse affiliated with the school. Vallone, retired after a 40-year career as a nurse, was honored with the John N. Wilder Award, which recognizes those individuals, families, corporations, and foundations whose philanthropy inspires others in support of an “Ever Better” University of Rochester.

Dean Kathy Rideout recognized five distinguished nurses, educators, and philanthropists at the Dean’s Diamond Circle dinner Sept. 8. Pictured left to right: Christine Tebaldi, Barbara “Buzzy” Vallone, Terry Jean Yonker, and Pamela York Klainer. Not pictured: Carol Brink, who was presented with the Dean’s Medal Oct. 13 at Meliora Weekend.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 35

36 NURSING 2018 Volume 1


Bird’s eye view: A streetcar passes in front of the brand new Helen Wood Hall in this photo taken from the roof of Strong Memorial Hospital in March 1926. The streetcar line in the median of Crittenden Blvd. was originally a rail line for bringing supplies during the construction of the Medical Center (1922-25).

2017 Volume 1 photo update: Several readers, including Mary Ann Donnelly Daley ’56N, Sharon Mason Johnson ’56N, Carol Vogt Nichols ’56N, Ann Marie Kelley Guiffre ’56N, and Patty Spaine Curran, contacted us to identify members of the Class of ’56 featured in our previous issue. The photo was taken in May 1955 in the garden behind Helen Wood Hall by a photographer from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Sitting on the ground (from left) are: Jan Gregoire, Ann McSweeney, Margaret McDonald, and Diana Smith; sitting in the middle row: Mary Test, supervising nurse Marie Polizotti, and Evelyn Morrison; standing, back row: Jocelyn Chapman, Patricia Wood, Carol Vogt, Barbara Linder, Dorothy McCarthy, Ann Donnelly, and Sharon Mason. The 13 second-year nursing students were about to leave for nursing duty in London as part of a summer-long excursion to Europe. Check out the following pages for a brief history of the short-lived educational travel program and the lasting impact it had on some of those students who traveled abroad. NURSING 2018 Volume 1 37

Picking peas to patient care Post-war European travel program provided nursing students with formative internationa l experiences


n early 1952, three nursin g students from the University of Rochester were selected for an overseas trip to assist Europe with its massive post-war rehabi litation. Sponsored by the National Student Association, a multinationa l team of volunteers was sent to a work camp in England, where they lived in tents and performed farm duties, such as picking peas, for a small stipend. At the conclusion of their three-week tour of duty, the students were free to spend the rest of the summer explor ing the continent on their own. The modest work assign ment was the start of a short-l ived educational travel progra m in what was then the Department of Nursin g at the University of Rochester. Over a six-yea r period (1952-57), nearly six dozen second- and third-year nursin g students had the opportunity to visit England, France, Germa ny, Switzerland, Denma rk, Italy, and severa l other European countr ies. Accord ing to papers in the Eleanor Hall collection in Miner Librar y, the progra m was aimed at stimulating and enrich ing the educational experience for students while improv ing internationa l relations and understandin g, and laying the groundwork for the possibility of a student exchan ge progra m. Students were assigned to work camps for the first two years of the progra m, but in 1954 a nursin g tour was arranged. That summer, 15 University of Rochester students spent four weeks workin g at a genera l hospital at The Hague before embarking on their own individual fourweek tours of Europe. “We had come to The Hague not only to observe nursin g care but to give it to those who were sick,” wrote Evelyn Lutz ’55N and Marie Johnson ’55N in a 1956 article about the trip published in the American

38 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Journa l of Nursin g. “The people of The Hague opened their homes to us, and we spent many happy hours with Dutch families.” Students were divided between multiple hospitals across Great Britain for the next two summers before return ing to The Hague in 1957. The 1955 trip, with hospitals selected by the British Student Union and student representatives servin g as hosts in each countr y, was considered the most successful of the tours. “We left on June 1, 1955 to visit various hospitals for severa l weeks. Patricia Wood and I were assigned to learn and assist with patient care at St. James Hospital in Tootin g Bec, London,” said Carol Vogt Nichols ’56N. “Other members of our group were assigned to various hospitals. The rest of the summer was a marvelous tour of Europe, return ing to Rochester on Sept. 7, 1955. What a summer that was!” The experience abroad had a lasting impact on many of the students who were fortunate enough to participate. “When we arrived in a countr y, we were met by a student from that countr y (mostly men). They led sight-seeing tours and social outings. We could still see the remains of some WWII bombed-out buildin gs,” recalled Mary Ann Donnelly Daley ’56N, who was also part of the 1955 excursion. “We had a great deal of fun and learned a lot about Europe, life, responsibility, and the importance of friendship!” “We bade farewell to our new friends and were thank ful for the knowledge of Dutch customs and culture we had gained, the different techniques that we had seen used, and the memor y of many fascinating experiences we had had with the people of The Hague,” wrote Lutz and Johnson. “Our friendships will never fade; it will be kept bright by pens across the sea.” Europea n travel ephemera courtesy of Evelyn Lutz ’55N.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 39


The Conductor's Legacy Eight-decade connection with nursing inspires Messina scholarship gift

As a history student at the University of Rochester in the mid-1950s, Don Messina ’56 ’57 used to enjoy going for a dip at the end of a long week of classes. The University pool was open for a free swim period on Friday nights, and students from across the campus would meet up there for a mix of athletic leisure and social activity. Messina was doing freelance advertising and photography work at the time, and he got to know the nursing students at the pool so well that they asked him to take their class photo in front of the UR quadrangle. His friendship with nursing students was far from his first connection with nursing and health care, though. His father, Harry, was a beloved barber, who when he wasn’t at his shop in downtown Rochester, worked on his off days cutting hair at Highland Hospital. His father’s relationships with doctors and staff paved the way for Messina to get his first job at age 16 in the hospital’s x-ray department. There the teenager took x-rays, developed them, handled patient transfers, and worked as an EKG technician. But Messina has also dealt with chronic health issues, having been diagnosed with a heart condition at age 3. “I’ve been in the hospital many times for my heart and for different procedures that I’ve had,” said Messina, now 83. “Nurses were always very helpful to me, and I will always remember and be grateful for all the care received during my critical times.” So when Messina retired from his longtime career as a high school history, English, and driver’s education teacher, and decided to do some estate planning, he wanted to recognize the role that nurses have played in his life. He also wanted to give back to the University of Rochester, which offered

40 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

In his retirement, Don Messina has focused on pursuing activities related to his lifelong connection to music and health care. In addition to creating and conducting the St. Andrews Chamber Orchestra, he has established a rotating scholarship to maximize his support of UR School of Nursing students.

him scholarships to help with his undergraduate and graduate education, and where as a high school student he was proud to be the first person to receive a diploma in double bass from the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department. “As you get older, you want to leave your affairs in proper order, so I thought it’s wise to get rid of any excess that I have, and I certainly thought nursing would be one way to help,” he said. “My first major heart operation was at Strong, where I was often a subject of study for UR medical students guided by my cardiologist, Dr. Paul Yu. So, I thought, why not express my gratitude to my alma mater? There’s no better recipient.” Once he chose the UR School of Nursing, Messina set his mind on maximizing the impact of his gift. He set up a rotating scholarship that spreads the proceeds to three different groups of students over a three-year period. One year, it goes to an undergraduate nursing student; the second year to a nurse practitioner student.

The third year’s distribution goes to a student pursuing a career in nursing education. “That spreads out the benefit even further. Each nursing graduate will touch many, many lives,” he said. “I thought about this for quite a while. It took me two to three months to figure it out, but then it came on like a light bulb in my brain. This is the way to do it.” Messina said that as he has aged, he’s become more motivated to express himself to the world. One way he has done that is by pursuing his longstanding love of music; he created and has conducted the St. Andrew’s Chamber Orchestra since 2003. Another way is through his philanthropy. “You want to create a meaningful, lasting, vibrant legacy to do the most good,” he said. “Happily, my School of Nursing scholarship achieves that!”


A Writer’s Life

Dow spins ‘Nightingale Tales’ about her adventures in nursing Carolyn Chaloner Dow ‘59N didn’t want to be a nurse. She had dreams of going to Vassar and being a writer. But her life and career aspirations were rocked at age 13 by the sudden death of her father. The family, with a brother in medical school and a sister in nursing school, was now financially strapped. No longer could her mother entertain the idea of sending her daughter off on impractical pursuits. She was adamant. Dow needed to choose an occupation that would provide her stability and financial independence: nurse, teacher, or secretary. So, Dow chose nursing, in part because her love of the Sue Barton novels she had devoured as a child. Written by Helen Dore Boylston, the series followed the exploits of the titular character as she earned her degree, started a family, and embarked on a career in nursing. “I really do think of Sue Barton as my fictional role model,” said Dow, who grew up in the Hudson Valley in a small town south of Albany. “I wanted to be like her. Not so much her nursing qualities. But she was spunky and adventuresome. That’s what I admired about her.” Dow enrolled at the University of Rochester sight unseen. A cousin was in medical school at the University and spoke highly of it. On her first visit after being accepted, Dow and some of her classmates went on an unscheduled field trip with some of the junior nurses, and she knew then that she had made a good choice. “I had a lot of good vibes from that. That’s when I decided that this was the right career for me.” Though she enjoyed the closeness and camaraderie of her classmates and came to relish her ability to take charge of a situation, Dow thought that her transition into adulthood and responsibility meant her opportunities for ad-

venture were over. But she later came to realize that her ensuing 50-year career as a staff nurse, head nurse, teacher, and mentor, was a journey in itself, chock full of twists, turns, and challenges. After graduating from Rochester, Dow worked at Strong Memorial Hospital and Albany Medical Center before moving to the West Coast. She eventually settled at the University of California San Francisco, working in various positions over a 40-year period, including 15 years as a nurse educator. While working with other nurses, Dow found that stories from earlier in her career were an extremely entertaining – and effective – teaching tool. When she retired in 2007 and joined a writing group, she began to put those stories down on paper as a way of preserving them. As they began to add up, it became clear that they could form the basis of a book. It took about five years for Dow to write the book and find a publisher. Nightingale Tales: Stories from My Life as a Nurse was released in October 2017 by She Writes Press. “There was always a little bit of doubt – I don’t think I have the discipline, I don’t think I’ll get to the point where I’ll have a book in my hand – but I did it,” said Dow. “This was the culmination of everything. “Nursing provided me with all these opportunities. Even though I stayed in the same organization for a long time, I was always challenged by new opportunities and more responsibility. That’s the beauty of nursing. If I had stayed and done the same thing the whole time, I wouldn’t have had anything to write about. “It’s all been a big adventure.”

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 41


1930s Faith Barnum Norton ’39, ’40N marked a milestone birthday with long-stemmed red roses and a celebration with her friends and neighbors. The alumna and former nursing instructor turned 100 years old in April 2017 at home at Acacia Village, an independent living retirement community in Utica. In honor of the occasion, the Acacia Village Residents Association presented her with a bouquet of roses, and fellow residents joined her for a special Friday night Happy Hour celebration. “I feel like I’ve been blessed because of the experiences I’ve enjoyed and the people involved,” Norton said. Norton, who moved to Acacia Village in 2007, enjoys music, reading, sharing her wonderful sense of humor, and spending time with her friends. She is also involved in many of the residential community’s activities. She retired in 1979 after a long career in nursing and education. Upon graduating from the University of Rochester, she worked for a year at Strong Memorial Hospital and pursued graduate study at Columbia University before joining the U.S. Army during World War II. She served as a nurse in Texas and Washington, where she helped to care for men returning from active duty overseas. After the war, she completed her master’s degree and was associate professor of nursing at Syracuse University, where she met her husband, Aaron. They married and moved to Old Forge, N.Y., where they both worked for 42 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

the Town of Webb School for many years. Faith was the school nurse and also taught health education.

1950s Marsha M. Steininger Ford ’58N also celebrated a milestone birthday and is already looking forward to Reunion Weekend 2018. She recently wrote us, “I am turning 80 this year and doing well. I hope my class plans on having a reunion soon. Next year will be our 60th – an excellent time to meet again.” Ford earned her PhD from Texas A&M University in 1988 and is now a retired professor from the University of Texas School of Nursing.

1970s Nancy Heller Cohen ’70N, a registered nurse turned award-winning novelist, recently released Hair Brained, the 14th book in her Bad Hair Day Mysteries series. Susan Arana Furdon ’76N recently received the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) Navigator Award. This national award recognizes exemplary mentorship. Furdon received the honor at NANN’s national meeting in Providence, Rhode Island in October. Furdon is a neonatal nurse specialist/nurse practitioner at Albany Medical Center. She and her husband, William, live in Saratoga Springs and have two daughters, Laura (Miller) and Kristen (Nicastro).

UCSF Names Catherine Gilliss Nursing School Dean Catherine Gilliss ’79N (MS) has been appointed dean of the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing. Gilliss, who previously served as nursing dean at Duke University (2004-14) and Yale University (1998-2004), returns to UCSF to serve as associate vice chancellor for nursing affairs. She was chair of the UCSF School of Nursing Department of Family Health Nursing from 1993-1998 and also earned her PhD at the university. A former president of the American Academy of Nursing, Gilliss stepped down as Duke’s dean in 2014 and spent a year as a fellow in the Stanford University Distinguished Careers Institute. Gilliss is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and Sigma Theta Tau International, and has been honored as a distinguished alumna by both UCSF and Duke. In October, she was honored by Duke with the University Medal, the school’s highest award for service.

1980s Peggy Compton ’82N, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, was the keynote speaker at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing’s 20th Annual Bullough Lecture. Her talk, “Addiction, Opioids, and Pain: Exemplar Nursing Science,” explored the overlap between pain and addiction disorders, how opioids can alter pain perception, strategies for responsibly prescribing pain medication, and how to recognize substance abuse disorders in patients with chronic pain.

Beth Quinn Jameson ’84N was recently awarded the National Association of School Nurses Endowment Research Grant for her proposal topic: Developing a Workload Instrument for School Nursing. She also co-authored a research paper for The Journal of School Nursing titled “Factors Related to School Nurse Workload.” She is a teaching fellow and PhD candidate at the Rutgers University School of Nursing. Fran Panzella London ’86N, ’90N (MS) recently received the Excellence in PracticeProfessional Development Award from the Health Care

Education Association. London disseminates the latest research in patient education on Twitter (@notimetoteach) and on her blog, www. London has worked for 22 years as health education specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and has published several books and articles on patient education. April Bray Haberyan ’89N, ’93N (MS) was honored with Park University’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award last April. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in helping students define and achieve their academic goals. Haberyan is an associate professor of psychology at Park. Patricia Tabloski ’89N (PhD) recently published Redefining Retirement for Nurses: Find-

ing Meaning in Retirement with co-author Joanne Evans. Through the shared stories of 26 retired nurses from around the world, the book provides advice, guidance, and tools nurses need to envision the retirement of their dreams. Tabloski is an associate professor at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College.

2000s Gina Nickels-Nelson ’01N (MS), a family nurse practitioner, has joined the primary care team at Community Health Programs Berkshire Pediatrics in Pittsfield, Mass. She specializes in pediatric urgent care and wellness care, and is currently completing her doctor of nursing practice degree at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Alumna Honored with Career Award from AACN The American Association of CriticalCare Nurses (AACN) has honored Pamela Thompson ’79N (MS) with the 2017 Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career. She received the award for her exceptional contributions to the care of critically ill patients and their families and her role in enhancing the AACN’s mission and vision. Thompson is chief executive officer emeritus of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) after having served as AONE CEO for 16 years. She was also senior vice president nursing/chief nursing officer of the American Hospital Association. Prior to joining AONE and AHA, she was vice president for the Children’s Hospital, Obstetrics Psychiatric Services, and Strategic Planning at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Her nursing career spans more than 40 years, beginning as a staff nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit and emergency departments at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 43

CLASS NOTES Swantz Presented with UR Witmer Award for Distinguished Service Anne Swantz ’88N (MS) was recently honored with the University of Rochester Witmer Award for Distinguished Service. The prestigious award is presented to staff members whose careers have been characterized by outstanding and sustained contributions to the university. Swantz joined the university in 1978 as a pediatric nurse before quickly advancing to leadership positions. Today, she leads more than 500 nurse practitioners and physician assistants as associate director of the Sovie Center for Advance Practice. Under her leadership, the program has grown into one of the largest advance practice networks in the country. Swantz is a strong leader and role model who personifies the institution’s values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence. Colleagues supporting her nomination cite Swantz’s creativity as she helped design and develop Advance Practice Provider (APP) residency programs for emergency medicine and critical care to help them better acclimate to high-stress clinical environments. She also partnered with the Physician Wellness Committee to make the group’s physician wellness educational sessions available to APPs. “Anne is recognized by her peers and colleagues for her commitment to excellence, collaborative spirit, and her ability to successfully execute complex initiatives,” writes Patricia Witzel ’75N, associate vice president and chief nursing officer.

2010s Aaron Williams ’10N recently joined Finger Lakes Health’s team of medical providers, seeing patients at the Clyde and Dundee family health centers. A certified family nurse practitioner, he earned his BS degree in nursing with honors from the University of Rochester School of Nursing and his master’s degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He started his career as a CNA in long-term care at Finger Lakes Health’s Waterloo facility, and worked as an RN at Strong Memorial Hospital and the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The UR School of Nursing Stands Apart from the Rest The University of Rochester School of Nursing is one of only a few nursing schools in the country with a Biobehavioral Laboratory. This unique environment is where our nursing researchers and faculty use cutting-edge tools and resources to expand initiatives in education, research, and practice. Your gift helps to support the lab’s most important work: • Pioneering research in the prevention and management of chronic disease • The treatment of eating disorders through multifamily group therapy • Suicide prevention education for students Visit to make an impactful gift today.

44 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

Susan W. Groth, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAANP Director, Biobehavioral Laboratory Associate Professor of Nursing

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.

Make your gift online

Visit annualfunds. To make a secure one-time contribution or set up

an automatic payment plan, click on “Make a Gift” and choose School of Nursing in the Gift Designation section. We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Send a gift by mail

Personal checks payable to “University of Rochester School of Nursing” may be mailed to us at: University of Rochester Gift Office P.O. Box 270032 Rochester, NY 14627-0032

Make a gift in honor or memory of a loved one

Visit annualfunds. Make your gift online and enter the details of your tribute gift. Or select and print the Giving Form PDF, fill it out, and mail to us at the address above. Be sure to indicate your preferred method of payment, as well as the designee of your tribute gift.

Apply for a matching gift

If your business or company has a matching gift program, you can multiply the size of your

gift. Be sure to include your company’s matching gift form with your donation. To find out if your company matches gifts, contact your human resources office or visit www.rochester. edu/advancement/annual-giving/ how-to-give/matching-gifts.

Make a gift with securities or stocks

If you are interested in making a gift of securities, please contact (or have your broker contact) Debra Rossi in Gift and Donor Records at 585-275-3903.

Gift Planning Gift planning enables you to make a current or future gift to the School of Nursing in ways that best meet your financial and philanthropic goals for you and loved ones.

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.

IRA Charitable Rollover Individuals 70.5 and older can make a charitable distribution directly from an Individual Retirement Account tax free. A charitable distribution counts toward your required minimum distribution (RMD) up to $100,000 per person.

Deferred Gifts Bequests and other Testamentary Gifts A bequest to the School of Nursing is simple to accomplish and allows you to have a future

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. Need sample language to share with your estate attorney or advisor? 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 (800-6354672) or 585-275-8894;; or visit

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

Dean’s Diamond Circle

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

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 five-year 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.

Questions? Contact us

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, 585-276-4336 or

NURSING 2018 Volume 1 45


From Diabetes Patient to Educator

Heidi Button ’10N continues to challenge expectations in new role helping others manage chronic diseases “If somebody had said to me in high school that I would be a nurse, first of all, I would have laughed,” said Heidi Button ’10N. “And then I would have said, ‘No way!’” But over the years, Button has made a habit of defying expectations, both personally and professionally. After receiving a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 6, she went on to play sports competitively throughout high school and is now an avid cyclist. Button grew up learning skills to self-manage the condition but didn’t picture herself helping other people with diabetes. She enrolled at Ithaca College with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer. But after two years, it didn’t feel like the right fit, and Button transitioned into a

While studying at the School of Nursing, Button learned about the many opportunities in the field beyond the role of the bedside care provider, she said. Now, Button is blazing trails as a leader in diabetes care. Button joined the staff at Highland Hospital on the general medicine unit immediately after completing the ABPNN in 2010. In her seven years on the unit, she went on to complete a master’s degree and became a clinical nurse specialist, then proposed that the hospital create a diabetes clinical nurse specialist (CNS) position. Button leads Highland’s diabetes resource team comprising a nurs-

"As an advanced practice nurse, I can work with the system as a whole, with the individual nurse, and with the individual patient in any way possible to try to improve outcomes." community health education program. “That was when it spoke to me,” Button said. “I realized I needed to do something with diabetes.” Button set a new goal of becoming a certified diabetes educator. The certification requires licensing in an accepted discipline such as nursing, psychology, or social work, along with two years of professional experience in the field. “Nursing is what was going to take me there,” said Button, an alumna of the Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN), “I chose the University of Rochester School of Nursing because I had already been in school for four years and I wanted to become a nurse as soon as possible. I immediately knew that it was where I wanted to go to nursing school.”

46 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

ing representative from every unit. As a CNS, Button is providing the frontline staff with crucial knowledge needed to care for patients with complex diseases. Through improving providers’ knowledge of diabetes management, Button hopes to improve outcomes for all patients with the condition. “I love the hospital setting, but I noticed an overall gap of knowledge related to the care of patients with diabetes in the health care system,” said Button. “As an advanced practice nurse, I can work with the system as a whole, with the individual nurse, and with the individual patient in any way possible to try to improve outcomes. “In a health care setting, patients get labeled with this term of non-compli-

ance and non-adherence. To me, that's so frustrating because sometimes the patients don't have everything they need to be compliant. “It's a disease that takes so much to manage properly. I always ask myself, has this patient been given the knowledge, resources, or access to those resources to self-manage their disease? I feel it's important to transfer every piece of knowledge that I have to somebody else, because we cannot assume they have been given the needed education.”


Word has reached us of the passing of the following alumni and friends. The School of Nursing expresses its sympathy to their loved ones. Bean (Mohney), Elizabeth Anne ’47N

Gilbride (Barnetson), Anne ’45N

Mlinar, Janet ’75N, ’78N (MS)

Oct. 11, 2017, Bozeman, MT

April 14, 2017, Houston, TX

June 7, 2017, Rochester, NY

Boulay (Jones), Susan ’60, ’61N

Griffith (Fries), Suzann ’53N

Motondo (Young), Nancy ’50N

April 25, 2017, Rochester, NY

March 27, 2017, Kennett Square, PA

July 2, 2017, Rochester, NY

Brannick (Marshall), Almera ’47N

Harris, William ’65N

Panick, Junice ’54N

April 9, 2016, Orange, TX

April 16, 2017, Ovid, NY

June 20, 2017, Fairport, NY

Brumet (Willoughby), Lee ’51, ’52N

Healy (Spaulding), Jo-Anne ’90N (MS)

Richer (Nash), Barbara ’50N

April 26, 2017, Bethesda, MD

Oct. 7, 2017, Naples, NY

Carson, Uzara ’90N (MS) April 21, 2017, Rochester, NY

March 27, 2017, Elmira, NY Sullivan (Schmidt), Carol ’59N

Herzog (Darcy), Ruth ’45, ’46N March 30, 2017, Kansas City, MO

Dean (Morse), Janet ’45N

June 24, 2017, Irondequoit, NY Vineberg Davis (Spoor), Judith ’49N

Jan. 26, 2017, Lansing, NY

Hohl, Mary Jo ’92N

DeRiemer (Greenlar), Barbara ’45, ’46N

Inzana (Naab), Ann Marie ’80N

May 8, 2017, San Diego, CA

July 10, 2017, Laurel, MD

Durfey (Gillette), Mildred ’45N

Kelly (McFadden), Dolly ’51, ’55N

March 13, 2017, San Diego, CA

July 11, 2017, Dansville, NY

Ervin (Berning), Virginia ’41N

May, Maureen ’91N (MS)

July 11, 2017, Tampa, FL

June 18, 2017, Albuquerque, NM

May 1, 2017, Webster, NY

Oct. 8, 2016, Fort Worth, TX Weider (Anderson), Barbara '58, '59N Dec. 7, 2017, N. Palm Beach, FL

Mary Sue Jack ’85N (PhD) Mary Sue Jack, a former professor and assistant dean of student affairs at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, died Nov. 4, 2017. A dedicated pediatric nurse practitioner, teacher, and mentor, she was an accomplished professional who was equally engaged in a life of service. She received her nursing degree from the University of Michigan, completed her master’s degree at the University of Colorado, and earned her PhD at the UR School of Nursing, eventually going

on to teach at all three institutions. Jack joined the UR Nursing faculty in 1985 and served as assistant dean of student affairs from 1992-99. In that role, she was a beloved advisor and surrogate mother figure for so many young students. She was an active member of the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG), holding leadership positions on its Board of Managers, including a four-year stint as president of its Gallery Council and chairing the successful 2016 MAG gala,

“An Artists' Affair.” She was also a devoted member of East Avenue’s Third Presbyterian Church, where she was recently named a deacon. She was also an avid equestrian and knitter. She is survived by her husband, Richard Kreipe, MD; a brother, a sisterin-law; and a niece. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating, or having a friend or relative donate, life-saving blood or platelets in Mary Sue's memory ( NURSING 2018 Volume 1 47

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 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.

Name __________________________________________________ Class Year _____________ (include maiden name, if applicable) Address ________________________________________________________________________ City _________________________________________________ State, Zip _________________ Email __________________________________________________________________________ Phone ( ____ ) ____ - _______

Cell Phone ( ____ ) ____ - _______

Occupation _____________________________________________________________________ Employer _______________________________________________________________________ Family information (Spouse, children names) _______________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ Here is my news ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

48 NURSING 2018 Volume 1

A Life-Changing Investment Nursing has been a lifelong passion for Barbara “Buzzy” Vallone. From her first position in the intensive care unit to serving as a nurse manager in the medical outpatient department, she has nurtured her own talents and those of the nurses she worked with in countless ways. “She is a true visionary leader who invested in us,” said one of those nurses. Recently, Barbara invested in the future of education by endowing two School of Nursing scholarships in memory of her late husband: one to benefit undergraduate nursing students, and the other for graduate students who aspire to become nursing faculty. “I believe that if you are going to change someone’s life, you need to provide them opportunity, and this is my way to be a part of that,” she said. Barbara used outright gifts that maximize her charitable deduction and support the Barbara and Romanio Vallone Nursing Scholars now, and charitable gift annuities that provide her with tax benefits and guaranteed income for life. She also provided for her scholarships in her will, ensuring a permanent legacy of life-changing opportunity for nursing students and the patients for whom they care.

I m ag I n e yo u r l e g ac y. P l a n to d ay to m a k e I t h a P P e n . To learn more about charitable gift annuities and other planned giving methods, contact the Office of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning (800) 635-4672 • (585) 275-8894 • Sample Charitable Gift Annuity Rates













Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 780 Rochester, NY 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 643 Rochester, New York 14642 Change Service Requested

Parting Shot

School of Nursing PhD student Martez Smith puts the "I" in "Meliora" as he takes a selfie during Meliora Weekend.

Photo by J. Adam Fenster

Profile for University of Rochester Medical Center

NURSING Magazine | 2018 | Volume 1  

Moving Diversity Forward: How the University of Rochester School of Nursing is building a nursing school that looks like the world around it...

NURSING Magazine | 2018 | Volume 1  

Moving Diversity Forward: How the University of Rochester School of Nursing is building a nursing school that looks like the world around it...

Profile for urmc