Page 1


HowWe How WeHelp HowWe Ask, Ask HowWe Help

January 28, 2016 Fourth-year nursing student Nicole Burkhardt, of Stafford, Va., teaches a youngster about blood pressure at Family Fitness Night in the Louisa County Public Schools, where Burkhardt doing a mentored health In South Africa’sisLimpopo Province,community women greet onerotation anotherunder with assistant a bow, the professor Vickie Sotheir theirpalms uthall. together. In that tradition, CNL students Lilly Ware word “aaah,” and

July 23, 2016

[left], Jennifer Stueve [next to Ware], and Mary Kay O'Brien [right] show their respect for seamstress Eunice Netshivodza, who created traditional garb for them to wear during presentations at the University of Venda in Thohoyandou. The trio's work—in collaboration with community partners and guided by associate professor Cathy Campbell—ultimately aims to create culturally tailored palliative and end-of-life care training and professional development for South African nurses and community health workers.

FALL 2016





How We Ask, How We Help 8





VIRGINIA NURSING LEGACY Editor: Jenny M. Abel School of Nursing Editors: Christine Phelan Kueter, Kelly Williams McCaskill


Virginia Nursing Legacy is published twice a year by the University of Virginia School of Nursing and Nursing Alumni Association.

SONAA Section Editor: Karol Kozak

University of Virginia School of Nursing Alumni and Development Office P.O. Box 801015 Charlottesville, VA 22908-1015 (434) 924-0138 (434) 982-3699 FAX

Alumni Council Communications Coordinator: Christa Janowski Hartch (BSN ’97)

Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean: Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN

Design: Communication Design Inc.

University of Virginia School of Nursing Established in 1901

Class Notes & News Editor: Andrea Ceniceros

Copy Editing: Aden Nichols Photography: Christine Phelan Kueter, Coe Sweet, and others as credited

Main Switchboard: (434) 924-2743 Admissions & Student Services Toll-free: (888) 283-8703

Visit us online: Virginia Nursing Legacy online: This publication won a 2015–16 Silver Award of Excellence from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), District III, in the Magazine/Tabloid Improvement category. Feedback Welcome! Please let us know what you think about this issue of Virginia Nursing Legacy by writing to us at or to the address at left. Virginia Nursing Legacy is published using private funds.


With domestic violence, it’s the stories that stay with you.


ne of our professors recalls a former patient who, at eight months pregnant, visibly bruised, and breathless from premature labor, claimed a refrigerator had fallen on her while she was scrubbing the floor. All these years later, that professor, Linda Bullock— now one of the nation’s foremost experts in intimate-partner violence (IPV)—remembers that woman’s steady gaze, sure she had been beaten.

“Acknowledgment of violence— both physical and emotional—is a primary step toward its remedy. ” Since her arrival at UVA, Bullock has attracted a legion of scholarly talent to our School of Nursing. Together, she and her colleagues spend time researching the best ways to ask and help women experiencing abuse.

link between violence and low birth weight. Other professors, like our newest IPV faculty member, Jeanne Alhusen, keep IPV a topic of intense study by garnering significant National Institutes of Health (and other) grants. Acknowledgment of violence—both physical and emotional— is a primary step toward its remedy. But the very first step is arming nurses and others with the courage to ask tough, personal questions in a way that is at once sensitive, frank, and compassionate. This is what we do, and it’s what we teach our students to do. We want to create resilient nurses—a new generation of nurse scientists willing to risk short-term discomfort and ask difficult questions, with the hope of alleviating suffering in the long term. Thank you for reading, consistently supporting our work, and celebrating the clinicians and nurse researchers in our School of Nursing. There is incredible work being done on these Grounds.

Dorrie Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean

But their impact doesn’t begin and end in the lab, at the test site, or with multimillion-dollar grants or publications. Sharing stories about IPV opens our students’ eyes. Involving them in research inspires them to screen their own patients for IPV and teaches them to implement evidence-based best practices—practices being studied and developed right here at UVA.


In the cover story of this issue of Virginia Nursing Legacy, we illustrate how generations of nurse researchers at the School have explored difficult questions about abuse, its detection, its impact, and its remedy. Not only are they expert clinicians, such as Kathryn Laughon, who leads the sexual assault nurse examiner team at UVA Medical Center, but they are foundational scholars—like professor emerita Barbara Parker, a founder of Baltimore’s House of Ruth, and Bullock, who, with Parker, helped establish the




Developing Researchers, Alumni among New Faculty RYNE ACKARD, assistant professor, came to the School of Nursing to direct the Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center. He previously worked in the Greenville Health System (South Carolina), where he managed the standardized patient program, collaborated with the clinical faculty, and oversaw simulation programming. A certified healthcare simulation educator and operations specialist, he recently completed his MS in medical/healthcare simulation at the New York Institute of Technology. HA DO BYON, assistant professor, joined the School as a developing researcher and Roberts Scholar after earning his PhD in nursing from the University of Maryland. Having come to nursing after attending business school, Byon’s research centers on patients’ violence toward in-home care providers, work for which he has received funding from Liberty Mutual and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. BETHANY COYNE, assistant professor, transitioned from part-time to full-time teaching at the School of Nursing for the 2016–17 academic year, while continuing her clinical practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatric Nephrology.

at Hampton University, the Riverside Health System, and the Medical Careers Institute; and worked as a nurse at Riverside Regional Convalescent Center and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. JULIE ROEBUCK, instructor, is a child and family psychiatric nurse practitioner and triple Hoo (BSN ’98, MSN ’04, PM-HSM ’04). She joined the School after working at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, where she headed a 12-bed unit and supervised the clinical treatment team. She has also worked with Augusta Psychological Associates, where she had a private practice.

TIM CUNNINGHAM (MSN-CNL ’09), assistant professor, is a graduate of UVA’s Clinical Nurse Leader program, a professional clown for Clowns Without Borders, and an alumnus of Upaya Zen Center’s Being with Dying program. A 2016 graduate of Columbia University’s doctor of public health program in population and family health, he has returned to his alma mater to teach, with 20 percent of his time devoted to Compassionate Care Initiative programs. KATRINA DEBNAM, assistant professor, came from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was an assistant scientist and research associate in studies related to youth violence prevention. A developing researcher and one of the UVA provost’s new “cluster hires,” Debnam’s teaching and research are split between the School of Nursing— where her office is located—and the Curry School of Education.

RAFAEL ROMO, assistant professor, completed postdoctoral work at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center, where he researched older adults’ understanding of their prognoses—scholarship that resulted in a JAMA Internal Medicine article. After earning his doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco, Romo joined UVA’s nursing faculty as a developing researcher and Roberts Scholar with interests in palliative care, gerontology, and end-of-life decision-making. +

TOMEKA DOWLING, assistant professor, earned her DNP from George Washington University’s School of Nursing in 2016 while working for Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. She previously worked with the Virginia Board of Nursing; taught

Fall 2016




In Brief May 9 Coinciding with National Nurses Week, two new segments of the radio documentary series Resilient Nurses, supported by UVA’s Compassionate Care Initiative, debuted on National Public Radio stations nationwide with a focus on nurses’ triumphs, heartaches, care, and coping in a demanding profession. The series is archived at

2016 April 8 PhD student and clinical instructor Holly Edwards collected another award for her diversity efforts (her second in 2015–16) when the University of Virginia honored her with its first Award for Excellence in Graduate Diversity. April 16 Assistant professor Ishan Williams received the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Pacesetter Award, given annually to alumni of the School of Health and Human Sciences who are exceptional scholars and leaders. Weeks earlier, the Southern Gerontological Nursing Society presented her with its annual Applied Gerontologist Award, and in July, the American Gerontological Society named her a fellow.

May 25 DNP student Laura Trissel (BSN ’07) received a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to fund her studies. Trissel, an oncology nurse who also earned an Oncology Nursing Society Foundation doctoral scholarship in May, works part-time at Sentara RMH Hahn Cancer Center in Harrisonburg, Va.

April 26 Clinical assistant professor of nursing and UVA vascular nurse practitioner David Strider (Grad Arts & Sciences ’79, BSN ’89, MSN ’92, ACNP ’97, DNP ’12)—lauded for his international work with PROSAMI, a group that promotes infant and maternal health in the Congo—received the 2016 Service Award from the UVA nursing honor society Beta Kappa. April 28 Arlene Keeling (BSN ’74, MSN ’87, PhD ’92), the Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing and associate director of the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, was inducted into the Raven Society—UVA’s oldest and most prestigious honor society—along with Cassie Ahrens (BSN ’16), Kate Ferner (BSN ’17), Mary Heekin (BSN ’17), and Emily Winchester (BSN ’16). The inductees joined four other nursing students inducted into the Society in fall 2015: Nicole Burkhardt (BSN ’16), Hannah Kaylor (Curry ’11, ’12, CNL ’16), Jessica Schwinck (MSN ’15, DNP ’16), and Megan Sepanski (BSN ’17).



June 1 Assistant professor Deborah Dillon began a two-year tenure as a columnist for the quarterly newsletter of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN), The Connection. An AAHFN member since 2009, Dillon became a Certified Heart Failure Nurse in 2010.

The BSN Class of 2020 919 67 22% 76 40% 14 5 2x APPLIED FOR



(13+ applications for every spot)

(10% increase since 2015)



June 13 Associate professor and assistant dean for research Jeanne Alhusen received the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses’ 2016 Award of Excellence in Research at its annual conference in Grapevine, Texas. Alhusen, who studies the link between maternal mental health and developmental outcomes in young children, is a boardcertified nurse practitioner.





June 28 Mary Gibson (BSN ’75, MSN ’86) [far right] was elected president of the American Association for Nursing History, bringing to four the number of current national nursing organization leaders who make UVA their academic home. Other leaders include [from left] Clareen Wiencek, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses' president; Pam Cipriano, president of the American Nurses Association; and Emily Drake (BSN ’85, MSN ’93), president of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses.


June 6 The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence bestowed $10,000 grants on each of five UVA nursing scholars, including PhD students Julie Crowder (MSN ’00), Caitlin Dreisbach [above], Trina Kumodzi, and Christina Weaver, along with DNP student Kim Albero (BSN ’06). The quintet joins more than 400 scholars around the country chosen from 140 schools as part of the center’s effort to boost the number of nursing faculty members in the United States.

Award, began the one-year funding cycle of her winning project, “Achieving Academic Support, Inclusivity, and Excellence in the BSN Program.” Funded by members of the Class of 1960 in honor of their 50th reunion, the Tyson Innovative Teaching Awards are given annually in support of projects or course development activities that result in excellent, innovative, or cost-effective teaching methods.

July 1 Associate professor of nursing Diane Szaflarski, recipient of the 2016–17 Margaret G. Tyson Innovative Teaching



July 9 Dean Dorrie Fontaine gave an address, “Compassion Is the Key to Quality Healthcare,” at the 2016 Contemporary Issues Forum, held at the Chautauqua Institution in New York and sponsored by the Chautauqua Women’s Club.


130 brand-new nurses (including 88 BSNs and 42 CNLs)


of BSN and CNL graduates were employed within 3 months of graduating

July 13 CNL students Dallas Ducar (Col ’14, CNL ’17) and Emily Rude (CNL ’16) were among 10 nursing graduate students chosen from hundreds across the country to serve as Board of Directors Student Scholars for the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

82% received job offers before graduation

66% of BSN and CNL graduates took jobs in Virginia

37% took jobs at UVA Medical Center

Fall 2016




Aug. 13 Five fourth-year BSN students— [from left] Joshua Moore, Megan Sepanski, Ashley Belfort, Hannah Zachman, and Daniel Poehailos—moved in to their rooms on the Lawn, marking the highest saturation of nursing students on UVA’s historic Lawn in recent memory. Aug. 18 A reception marked the official opening of a new resiliency room in UVA Children’s Hospital, a seventhfloor space for caregivers that came to fruition as a result of collaboration between the hospital and the School’s Compassionate Care Initiative, especially Ryan McFadden (CNL ’15). Sept. 17 The third annual Haney Interprofessional Conference: Honoring Differences at the End of Life was held in McLeod Auditorium, once again drawing hundreds of health professionals to the School to learn about palliative and end-of-life care issues and best practices. Clarification: In the spring 2016 issue of Virginia Nursing Legacy, the brief on the second annual NP.PharmFest, held at the School of Nursing in January, should have mentioned the event’s organizer, the Piedmont-region Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, which was instrumental to the event. We regret the omission.

Study: Stretching Could Unclench Stiff Arteries


arly results from a study by assistant professor of nursing Jeongok Logan on the effect of gentle stretches on arteries’ stiffness offer some compelling findings. The study assessed the association between trunk flexibility and rigidity of the carotid to femoral arteries, examining whether a single bout of stretching decreased arterial stiffness, measured using a pulse wave velocity (PWV) machine. Arteries naturally stiffen with age, and such stiffness is a known cause of hypertension, which in turn is a precursor to cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and high blood pressure. Thirty healthy middle-aged women followed a whole-body stretching demonstration for 30 minutes,



and their PWV was measured both before and after the exercise. Logan found that subjects’ arterial stiffness

significantly decreased after the gentle stretching—evidence that lifestyle changes, including the introduction of physical activity, may naturally ease arterial stiffness without drugs or surgery. Logan hopes to do further research to determine the most effective stretches for reducing central artery stiffness and ultimately devise a precise intervention easily adaptable to modern lifestyle. Although her work to date is preliminary, her recent study broadens the current understanding of how arteries stiffen and suggests new lifestyle and drug interventions to combat the condition. Logan will expand on the results of this pilot study and use them to inform her National Institutes of Health–funded study on arterial stiffness and stress. +


A Second Chance at a Second Act Carolyn Wellford (RN-BSN ’16, PhD Student)


arolyn Wellford doesn’t let much get in her way. When she walked the Lawn last May, Wellford was the oldest member of the RN-to-BSN Class of 2016. A former public relations professional who came to nursing as a second career, she was also barely past the six-month mark since being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Today, Wellford faces at least five years of medication and routine infusions to prevent bone-density loss, a common side effect of the therapy. And though she has oncology appointments scheduled well into 2017, she terms her progress “so far, so good.” She does experience some minor side effects, such as medication-induced sweats, but she takes them in stride. “I decided to embrace the [sweats] and make them fashionable by purchasing a Battenburg lace hand fan,” says Wellford, ever the optimist. “Now this Southern girl just fans away!”


After a routine mammogram in fall 2015 revealed ductal carcinoma—an event that took place just weeks into her second year in UVA’s RN-to-BSN program—Wellford underwent a biopsy and two surgeries to battle the disease. She signed on for an experimental therapy being offered at UVA Medical Center that involved a single blast of cancerkilling radiation, rather than the traditional six weeks of smaller, more spread-out doses. Keenly aware of the importance of research, she also eagerly enrolled in a clinical trial for her follow-up care.

In addition to working as a research assistant, Wellford (with three other nursing students and two Darden School students) was on UVA’s first team to compete in the statewide “Caring for the Caregiver Hack,” an annual competition focused on creating high-tech solutions for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. Wellford and her team created a web platform and app to help caregivers plan, access local resources, and improve their self-care.

“I have loved being a psychiatric nurse at UVA and look forward to the research that will be involved as I work toward my goal of earning a PhD.” Despite the challenges, Wellford completed her BSN (her second undergraduate degree after earning a bachelor’s degree in business in 1980) on time and with distinction while working full-time as a psychiatric nurse at UVA Medical Center. And starting this fall, she’s enrolled full-time in the School’s PhD program, aiming for a career that combines her love of research with bedside care. Her primary interest is Alzheimer’s disease, with a focus on caregivers of those with the disease, an area she has already explored as an undergraduate and a nurse.

“Our task was to develop a technology tool to help the caregiver stay healthy,” Wellford explains. “The stories of the caregivers really made an impression on me.”

A transplant from Tennessee, Wellford moved to Virginia almost eight years ago. Besides raising twin girls (now grown) with her husband, Dabney, she spent more than two decades in marketing and public relations. Having fallen in love with UVA when her daughters were college shopping, she never imagined she would be the one returning to Grounds, and not just for one degree but two. “It truly is beyond my wildest dreams,” she says. +

Fall 2016




How We HowWeHelp

UVA’s universe of intimate-partner violence scholarship, past and present STORY AND PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE PHELAN KUETER




inda Bullock still recalls the one and only time anyone asked if she was ever abused. She was dopey from painkillers for the pancreatitis that had landed her in the ER when a nurse conducting her intake turned to Bullock’s husband and asked if he abused her. As he shook his head “no,” his wife rejoiced at the intent and groaned at the execution. And although Bullock—today an endowed professor, associate dean for research at the UVA School of Nursing, and a leading scholar in the field of intimate-partner violence (IPV)— chuckles darkly in the telling, the memory highlights a cold, hard fact about IPV and healthcare’s role in its remedy: If you don’t ask, it persists. “Nobody’s asking,” laments Bullock, “despite the various mandates that we screen, screen, screen. As care providers, we’re the ones who have to start asking. Listening. And talking in ways that are compassionate and nonjudgmental.” Currently, between 20 and 25 percent of American women experience IPV at some point in their lives. That’s a statistic that will never change, Bullock asserts, “if we don’t ask about abuse—even, no especially, when it’s difficult to bring up.”


VA nurses, thankfully, have a long tradition of asking. When Bullock was a graduate student in Texas in the early 1980s studying the physical impact of violence on newborns, the field of IPV was virtually unknown, despite the burgeoning women’s movement. At the time, however, UVA’s Barbara Parker—one of the world’s first and most renowned IPV scholars—was already ankle-deep in IPV research. “There was no such thing as IPV,” recalls Parker, a UVA nursing professor emerita, from her Maryland home. There were “no shelters, no groups, no hotlines” for abused women, either. Masochist myths abounded (even Parker’s clinic

“There was no such thing as IPV,” re



supervisor thought women who stayed in abusive situations “secretly enjoyed it”), and those who experienced abuse tended to conceal it. Family violence, if a private shame, simply wasn’t anyone else’s business or problem to solve. But Parker, a psychiatric nurse whose patients often confided in her about abuse at home, suspected that IPV had lasting effects on women and children. Her early contributions, which established the link between partner violence at home and infants born with low birth weights, illuminated IPV’s wider consequences. By the time Parker established in a seminal 1977 study that abused mothers were significantly more likely to have daughters in abusive relationships, the idea that abuse affects only the battered recipient was crumbling. Children, Parker realized, proved to be the critical link for stirring public concern and action. Parker continued to gather data on violence and pregnancy. Nearly two-thirds of women abused before pregnancy were also battered during it, she found. Abused women were more likely to postpone prenatal care; gain too little weight; and smoke, use alcohol, or


Fall 2016




It’s important to remember that there are many routes into a conversation about violence at home. JENNIFER KASTELLO



“... assessment [itself] acknowledges abuse as a serious issu

Jennifer Kastello

do drugs. They were at a far greater risk of being killed than their non-pregnant counterparts. But when a clinician simply asked a battered woman about abuse, the positive impact 6 to 12 months later was dramatic—because, as Parker noted, “assessment [itself] acknowledges abuse as a serious issue.” By the time she arrived at UVA in 1993, Parker was one of a few scholars who had established nurses’ centrality to finding a remedy for IPV. Her appointment established UVA as a primary home for the next generation of IPV scholars, like current faculty members Linda Bullock, Jeanne Alhusen, Camille Burnett, Jennifer Kastello, Kathryn Laughon (BSN ’98, MSN ’01), and Donna Schminkey (PhD ’14). This noteworthy cadre also includes alumnae Melissa Sutherland (PhD ’08), a Boston College nursing professor, as well as Erica Metzler Sawin (PhD ’10), a James Madison University nursing professor and Fulbright scholar. Parker’s work also laid the groundwork for contemporaries like Bullock, who examine the best ways to ask women about violence and offer them help and support. Bullock’s National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Domestic Violence Enhanced Visitation Program (DOVE), inaugurated in 2005 with Johns Hopkins University colleague Phyllis Sharps, is emerging as a gold-standard assessment tool. The evidencebased screening and intervention program is delivered by home-visiting nurses, and has been painstakingly tested over six years among rural and urban women. DOVE is rooted in practical considerations—personalized safety plans, information about the cycle of violence, and data about long-term effects on children—and helps women understand the risks and make sound decisions for themselves and their children. And the results are conclusive: Bullock and Sharps found that recently-pregnant women who received the DOVE intervention experienced significantly fewer violent incidents in the two years after they gave birth compared to those in the control group. In fact, many in the intervention group had left their abusers, and those who remained were coping better (Journal of Women’s Health, September 2016). Results from Bullock’s follow-up trial, DOVE II—a $4 million NIH grant program that began in 2012—suggest early promise, too. This second trial assessed whether asking about IPV via computer was more effective than asking in person. The findings revealed roughly one-third more abused women were willing to confide in a computer than a home-visiting nurse. Together, the DOVE results have the power to affect policy and drive change in an area of growing public concern. Indeed, it is an area that receives $1.5 billion in federal dollars each year as part of the Affordable Care Act’s support of at-risk families enrolled in preventative care home-visiting programs. The work has filled a void in the United States and around the world, where Bullock routinely serves as a consultant to nursing staff and IPV advocacy groups as they incorporate screening and intervention programs into their models of care. “Measuring domestic violence intervention outcomes is messy at best,” admits Bullock, “but our results are exciting because they add to our knowledge base about how to ask and how to help. People like Barbara [Parker], who got us going, have made us better askers, assessors, and helpers—and that propels the entire field forward.”

“Abuse is absolutely toxic,” says A

buse occurring during pregnancy brings a larger, more critical set of challenges. Stressed relationships often grow more volatile during and after pregnancy as a cascade of factors—financial hardship, sleeplessness, and caregiving—exacts a greater toll on couples. And while the physical risks of IPV are well known, the long-term mental effects are equally concerning. Abused women tend to experience dramatically higher rates of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), issues that can be heightened during pregnancy. For clinicians, pregnancy coupled with IPV presents a natural opportunity to help. Although the US Preventative Services Task Force recommends IPV screening for all women of childbearing age, few physicians or nurse practitioners actually do it. The reasons vary: discomfort with the issue, uncertainty about broaching the topic, and/or simply being pressed for time. In her research, Kastello found that 40 percent of abused women screened positive for PTSD, a figure that rose to 80 percent among abused women aged 30 and older. Kastello also studied the efficacy of a single, self-rated mental health question (“How would you rate your mental health today?”) to correctly capture the risk for depression and PTSD, and found that the majority of abused women at high risk for depression self-screened positive. These results, Kastello explains, suggest that simple, easy-to-implement self-screening tools—ones that offer a safe, private way to divulge abuse—have a place in every prenatal and postnatal visit, where nurses and other health professionals

“... reformulating how we



can insert explanations of the risks that stress and depression exert on pregnancy. “It’s important to remember that there are many routes into a conversation about violence at home,” says Kastello, who notes that IPV during pregnancy can cause everything from preterm labor and birth to spontaneous abortion. “Pregnancy checkups offer us a moment to cover a lot of ground, answer questions, and build trust.” UVA research also suggests that once abuse is detected, there is a “best time” to introduce IPV support and interventions during pregnancy. In her assessment of 700 high-risk pregnant women who smoked, assistant professor Donna Schminkey examined women’s answers to questions about health, stress levels, and perceptions of social support, dividing the responses into seven gestational periods. The assessment included a metric for depression and abuse, which was considered alongside data about the birth weights and gestational lengths of the women’s babies. Based on these algorithms, Schminkey concluded that abuse adds scientific fuel to the fire for depressed women, whose babies were more likely to be born with low birth weight if the mother was depressed early in the first trimester or in the middle of the second trimester—suggesting “most critical” times for providing support to women experiencing IPV. Schminkey, a practicing midwife, is also investigating the interplay between a pregnant mother’s exposure to environmental stress, the effect on the placenta’s cell-signaling processes,

Fall 2016



My sense is that, from every angle, it behooves an employer to help. KATHRYN LAUGHON


lthough there is ample literature linking IPV to premature birth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age (SGA), UVA research has found that among minority women experiencing abuse, negative birth outcomes are even more pronounced. Associate professor Jeanne Alhusen, along with Schminkey and Bullock, found that among minorities, abused pregnant women who lived in urban areas were dramatically more likely to have SGA babies than their rural counterparts. These SGA babies have a much greater risk for attention disorders and cognitive problems while young, and for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes as adults. And although the biology isn’t yet fully understood, the UVA trio suspects that stress, depression, and abuse experienced by mothers over a lifetime may affect their babies’ development. Alhusen has spent 20 years studying the impact of depression on a mother’s ability to bond with her baby, and the ill effects when that bond is weak. She points out that countering these long-term pressures in women’s lives and their impact on infants takes a special, coordinated, compassionate touch: “Caring for high-risk populations can’t just focus on whatever the issue is at hand—a pregnancy, an illness, a prescription—but must zero in on the whole person, and across their life course, starting particularly in childhood,” she explains. “That’s when we should be talking about healthy




“This is relationships. That’s when to listen astutely for signs of trouble. That’s what preventative care really is. And it means reformulating how we deliver primary care.”


f a woman leaves her abuser, what happens afterward? Assistant professor Camille Burnett, who studies the plotlines linking abused women to the help they need, has found that the path to freedom can sometimes unintentionally hurt those already reeling from violence. Shelters routinely receive undependable and sporadic funding. Housing, social services, and legal aid agencies tend to work in silos. Getting assistance requires abused women to navigate labyrinthine bureaucracies. Advocates and shelter staff are often overworked and underpaid; they frequently leave their field due to burnout. It’s an “invisible world of systems and policies where structural violence persists,” says Burnett, “and although the help is well intended, [the cumbersome and inflexible nature of existing support] can actually re-victimize these women, making it even more difficult for them to reconstruct their lives.” Burnett’s recent qualitative study, based on hours of in-depth interviews with 36 shelter staff members across Virginia, aims to improve IPV support systems through what she terms “structural justice”: a way of reframing the narrative of help to tighten gaps, eliminate redundancy, and establish compassiondriven, efficient systems of assistance.

onstruct their lives.”

and her baby’s health outcomes. In a 2015 study, she assessed the blood profiles of 105 depressed pregnant women in their second trimester to look for the stress hormone cortisol as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (protein secretions that act as cell-to-cell communicators). The resulting paper for Biological Research for Nursing showed that women who were depressed mid-pregnancy had higher-than-normal levels of cortisol, which appeared to quash the cytokine balance found in normal pregnancies. This finding suggests that during pregnancy, abuse, stress, and depression (particularly when found in combination) have biological consequences with serious repercussions. “Abuse,” summarizes Schminkey, “is absolutely toxic. Mothers need to know that.”


how social movements and change happens,” says L If Burnett’s work aims to rejigger support systems, associate professor Kathryn Laughon’s examines how workplaces (including educational institutions) deal with violence, and whether policies might be crafted to better support employees. A forensic nurse examiner who spent the past two years studying a novel dye to better assess and highlight sexual assault injuries on rape victims of color, Laughon was also instrumental in guiding UVA’s Title IX policies. When Title IX was established in 1972, its aim was to eliminate sex discrimination in publicly funded educational programs and institutions. Initially focused on sports programs, Title IX’s mandates are now being enforced to a greater degree across entire institutions. While there is heightened awareness of student and campus sexual assault, the same can’t be said for the ways in which Title IX might be applied to faculty and staff who experience violence at home or in the workplace. Laughon says it’s a murky, largely uncharted domain. How should supervisors support workers who confide that they’re being abused? How do employees pursuing protective orders account for time off if they’re not allotted vacation time? And what responsibility does an employer have to address IPV-related safety considerations, such as changing employees’ office locations, amending their electronic footprints, and even altering their parking accommodations? Divvying subjects up by profession, position, and wage, Laughon’s current study will compile a narrative of how faculty and staff members navigate work policies as they cope with abuse. The study will use one university as a test site to sketch a portrait of “problems that exist everywhere.” “Our research will help formulate a policy that can serve as a model for institutions nationwide that want to offer the right kind of help,” says Laughon. “It may also enable us to make the case that it’s actually less costly to support victims of IPV than to look the other way. My sense is that, from every angle, it behooves an employer to help.”


early a quarter-century after Parker’s arrival at UVA, IPV work by the University’s nurse researchers continues to advance and resonate, even as our nation grapples with a regular diet of high-profile domestic violence cases, including celebrities such as professional football player Ray Rice and actors Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson, and Tom Sizemore—all of whom stand accused of abuse by former partners. Through scholarly articles, coast-to-coast presentations, and a robust presence at IPV conferences like this October’s “Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International” in Australia, UVA nursing scholars are propelling the field forward and combatting IPV’s unacceptable pervasiveness. But they haven’t forgotten the roots of their work. “UVA’s centrality in IPV scholarship is due largely to Barbara [Parker’s] very foundational work,” says Bullock. “We’re carrying on her legacy.” Parker, too, remains hopeful about nurses’ continued role in combatting domestic abuse, maintaining that “it is getting better. Today, people see IPV and say, ‘That’s wrong.’ That wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago.” Laughon agrees. Even eight months after the “No More” commercial aired during the 2016 Super Bowl, Laughon notes that America is at “a tipping point of awareness.” “This is how social movements and change happens,” says Laughon. “We’re finally reaching a collective sense of outrage.” +

Fall 2016




NUMBERS Faculty Research

EXTERNAL RESEARCH FUNDING over the past 6 years

FUNDING AGENCIES in the past 6 years


in 2016

IN FUNDED GRANTS in 2016 compared to 2015



over the past 3 years

FULL-TIME FACULTY (including 28 research faculty)

RESEARCH CLUSTERS (ordered by scale, based on number of faculty) • Compassionate and palliative care • Pediatric and family health • Health disparities • Chronic disease • Oncology • Resilience and mindfulness • Intimate-partner violence • Interprofessional education • Nursing history • Dementia and aging 14



Painkiller Abuse vs. Untreated Pain: Which Is the Greater Evil? Southwest Virginia a key battleground in this national debate



estimated number of Virginians who die each year from fatal prescription opioid overdose

estimated number of cancer patients in Leniwisco Health District who experience moderate to severe pain



t’s a dark paradox that hits uncomfortably close to home: Southwest Virginia has both some of the nation’s worst opioid abuse as well as cancer death rates that are 23 percent higher than the state average— facts that often leave care providers in a quandary when determining who gets pain-relief drugs and who doesn’t.

Source: Virginia Department of Health

But are tighter restrictions on opioid drugs leaving leagues of cancer patients awash in pain? UVA’s Virginia LeBaron (BSN ’96) suspects so. And with a $40,000 grant from the UVA Cancer Center, the oncology and palliative care nurse practitioner aims to create a first-of-itskind state map to offer a visual of the issue’s two sides: rates of advanced cancer and markers of access to pain relief on the one hand, and markers of opioid abuse and diversion on the other. An assistant professor and Roberts Scholar at the School of Nursing, LeBaron is no stranger to the effects of pain on patients and their families. While working with the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, she saw patients ravaged by disease who were unable to obtain relief using opiatebased drugs such as morphine. It’s a distressing memory. Untreated cancer pain is “grim,” she says, “and with the medications we have to lessen agony, it’s also unnecessary.” While safeguards exist to prevent opioid abuse, Southwest Virginia—considered ground zero in the OxyContin crisis, which heralded America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic— suffers from some of the nation’s highest rates of opioid addiction, overdose, and trafficking. The Leniwisco Health District (Lee, Scott, and Wise counties, plus the city of Norton), for example, has some of the state’s highest rates of drugpoisoning deaths. The district has been designated a “highintensity drug trafficking area” by the federal-level Office of National Drug Control Policy. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

“Cancer pain management and opioid regulation are commonly viewed as separate clinical and policy issues ...” Virginia LeBaron (BSN '96)



The Greater Evil?

Sex, Pregnancy, and Disability Assessing and ensuring access to care



“... there’s reason to believe the problem is even more acute in Southwest Virginia.” But the region also copes with a dramatic burden of cancer patients at risk for untreated pain. With cancer mortality rates in Leniwisco nearly 23 percent higher than the state average, it’s highly likely that patients there are suffering, LeBaron says. By some estimates, 60 to 80 percent of advanced cancer patients experience moderate to severe pain, so there’s reason to believe that the problem is even more acute in Southwest Virginia. And while the purpose of LeBaron’s study—which involves analyses of Virginia Medicare and Medicaid claims data, a tally of pharmacies’ average opioid stock supplies, data from the state’s chief medical examiner, and substance abuse admission information—is not to take sides, she hopes the results will give both policymakers and clinicians a wider view. “Cancer pain management and opioid regulation are commonly viewed as separate clinical and policy issues,” LeBaron says, “but my intent is to analyze their intersection and offer a visual representation of the core problems that clinicians and drug and law enforcement officers can then use as a starting point for joint problem solving.”


arol Hanson, 49, loves to draw. She likes to sing in her church choir. And she adores riding the gravity-bending Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World when she visits her brother in Florida. But most of all, Hanson—who has mild cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities, and lives in Charlottesville with the care of her older sister—really loves her fiancé, Brian, who is confined to a wheelchair. The couple’s dozen-year courtship, chaste but still immensely satisfying, is a point of both pride and reverence. “We kiss, hold hands, hug, and snuggle,” says Carol. “The first time we kissed, I saw fireworks!” And although sex may be off the table, the couple is content to go to movies together, watch TV side-by-side, and share their dreams and plans in nightly phone conversations. But many of the roughly one million American women living with disabilities are sexually active, and Jeanne Alhusen, an associate professor at UVA’s School of Nursing, surmises that they may also experience the same proportion of unintended pregnancies as the general population (50 percent). Alhusen’s broader question—whether women living with disabilities receive adequate reproductive healthcare—is the focus of a $500,000 National Institutes of Health–funded study taking place over the next two years.


“Contrary to popular belief, many women living with disabilities have active sexual lives,” says Alhusen. “It’s high time we ensure their access to reproductive healthcare by understanding what issues they face.” According to Alhusen, disparities in care for women living with disabilities stem from a variety of factors, including provider discomfort and inexperience, guardian protectiveness, and gaps in patients’ knowledge and education. With the closing of many American mental institutions, the advent of group homes, a more inclusive employment environment, and the passage of the Americans with

Inspired by a former patient living with cognitive disabilities who suffered longterm consequences of untreated sexually

LeBaron begins her analysis this fall and expects to have her map completed by spring 2017. +


transmitted infections, Alhusen’s work is the first of its kind to assess contraception access and experiences of unintended pregnancy among women living with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. Her ultimate aim: to inform initiatives that could boost this population’s ability to access reproductive health services in the long term.

Jeanne Alhusen

“Our hunch is that women living with disabilities are more often going without access to reproductive healthcare services, which adversely impacts their health.”

Disabilities Act (1990), it’s shortsighted to ignore the sexual health of those living with disabilities at a time when they are increasingly integrated into mainstream society, she says.

“Family planning—which enables women to strategically space, plan, or delay pregnancies—has been called one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century,” Alhusen says. “Our hunch is that women living with disabilities are more often going without access to these services, a factor which critically and often adversely impacts their health outcomes, their ability to parent, and their child’s long-term social, physical, and emotional success.” +

an unintended pregnancy than those who did not receive such services. With counsel from a nine-member community advisory board of women living with diverse disabilities who have given birth, Alhusen and her colleagues will recruit approximately 50 urban and rural women living with disabilities for qualitative interviews focused on unintended pregnancies, exposure to violence, and discrimination. These

Carol Hanson receives regular reproductive healthcare from a Charlottesville midwife.


Alhusen’s new study will draw from the National Survey for Family Growth dataset, which includes a subset of nearly 2,000 women living with varied disabilities who were queried about family planning and unintended pregnancy. She will use the data to assess whether women living with disabilities who received family planning services were less likely to experience

The project, led by Alhusen, who is overseeing a team of nursing, psychology, sociology, and psychiatry professionals, will be completed by spring 2018.


“While the association between access to family planning and unintended pregnancies is well established, it’s not clear that women with disabilities are as able as other women to benefit from these services,” says Alhusen—suggesting the need “for specially designed services or initiatives to improve their access.”

women will also be asked to share their experiences about social and economic hardship, along with physical barriers that might inhibit their access to reproductive health services, such as lack of transportation, provider unavailability, or rural isolation.

Fall 2016




New Brodie Faculty Fund Will Honor Nursing History Pioneer The professorship will be one of the first of its kind in the country


ursing history as a field might still begin and end with Florence Nightingale if not for pioneers like Barbara Brodie. The professor emerita’s work from the 1970s onward made her a legend in nursing as she has worked for decades to elevate nursing history to an area of serious scholarship. Brodie’s legacy at the School of Nursing and beyond will be cemented even more firmly through the newly established Barbara M. Brodie Endowed Faculty Fund in Nursing History at UVA. The endowment has attracted more than $500,000 in gifts and pledges from friends and former students so far. A total of $2 million is needed for a fully funded professorship. Once it reaches that level, the fund will support one of the first nursing history chairs in the United States. Brodie, for her part, is “very pleased” with the initiative. “The Center is now an acknowledged leader in the field of nursing history,” she says. “To assure this position, it needs an academic leader that carries the rank of an endowed professorship in nursing history—a rank that bestows honor and prestige on its occupant and her academic scholarship.” Besides honoring Brodie, the new fund will help ensure the longterm health, leadership, and growth of UVA’s Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, which Brodie founded in 1991 and directed until her retirement in 2002. “That the UVA School of Nursing is home to a world-class history center is testament to our founder, Dr. Barbara Brodie,” beams Dean Dorrie Fontaine. “We honor her work by seeking support for this professorship, and know that even in an era



From left: Dean Dorrie Fontaine with the three Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry directors, Arlene Keeling (BSN ’74, MSN ’87, PhD ’92), director emerita and current associate director; Barbra Mann Wall, current director; and Barbara Brodie, founding director.

of intense competition for nurse historians, our students will always need to understand our profession’s history. It’s the kind of knowledge that leads to improved care for all.” A postdoctoral fellowship at the School was previously established at the Center in Brodie’s honor, upon her retirement. Since then, the Center director’s baton has passed twice, first to Arlene Keeling (BSN ’74, MSN ’87, PhD ’92) and in 2015 to Barbra Mann Wall. The new endowment will put the Center even more at the forefront of this burgeoning field, which provides important insights into current issues (e.g., nurse shortages) as well as a sense of professional identity and context—all vital to the education of today’s nurses. “As we consider innovations needed to overcome problems in American healthcare today, we can turn to history for answers,” Wall reflects. “This endowment will enhance the Center’s ability to preserve, study, and disseminate nursing and healthcare history, as well as facilitate faculty networking across disciplines. I’m very grateful for this effort and for the terrific groundwork laid by my predecessors.”

“As we consider innovations needed to overcome problems in American healthcare today, we can turn to history for answers.” Barbra Mann Wall, Director, Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry



To learn more or make a gift, contact Kelly McCaskill, executive director of development, at (434) 924-0097 or Until the endowed fund reaches $2 million, gifts will support the faculty associated with the Bjoring Center. +

NURSING ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Connect with the SONAA, fellow nursing alumni, and School of Nursing leaders, faculty, and students!

From the President Instagram: UVANURSINGALUMNI



hope you all enjoyed the special spring 2016 edition of Virginia Nursing Legacy, honoring the centennial of the School of Nursing Alumni Association (SONAA). So far this year, I had the pleasure of welcoming new graduates to the SONAA at Final Exercises, met many of you at the alumni reception in Arlington, and celebrated my 35th reunion in June. Thank you to all who have attended one of our gettogethers, reached out to students with thoughtful advice, or made a gift to the Nursing Annual Fund. The SONAA has a long history of service to fellow nursing alumni and the School of Nursing. Your Nursing Alumni Council, a group of nine alumni volunteers, continues that tradition by meeting three times a year to discuss ways to engage nursing alumni with one another and with the School. This past summer, we bade farewell to two longtime members of the Council and welcomed three new members. Betty Dunning (BSN ’74, DNP ’15) and Martha Schneider (RN-BSN ’04, MSN ’08, DNP ’13) each served two three-year terms; we are so grateful for their service. Sara Wassel (BSN ’09, MSN-FNP ’14), Matthew Lemieux (CNL ’11, PNP ’15), and Susan Winslow (MSN ’87, DNP ’13) joined the Council and will continue the alumni awards program, focus on alumni communications, and recruit alumni volunteers. I am excited to announce that Christa Janowski Hartch (BSN ’97) has stepped into the role of president-elect and will assume the SONAA presidency when I leave office in July 2017; in addition, Amanda Faircloth (BSN ’00) was elected vice president. Both will lead the Council as we enter a second century of supporting our School and the next generation of “Virginia nurses.” Finally, you may recall from the spring issue of the magazine that the Council made a special gift in honor of the SONAA’s centennial to support the School’s faculty. I am so pleased to see the first impact of that investment as we welcome two SONAA Fellows: Katrina Debnam and Ha Do Byon, both newly hired assistant professors (see p. 3).

May 5, 2016, alumni event in Arlington

Nursing Alumni Meet Up at Conferences and in Arlington


P.S. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Nursing Alumni Council or an ad-hoc committee, contact us at


Judy Etheridge Bilicki (BSN ’81) President, School of Nursing Alumni Association, Alexandria, Virginia


uring the spring of 2016, the School of Nursing hosted three networking receptions in Virginia. In February, Dean Dorrie Fontaine welcomed faculty, students, and alumni for a gathering in Williamsburg in conjunction with the Southern Nursing Research Society meeting. Later, Associate Dean Christine Kennedy met up with alumni and students attending the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners conference at the Omni Homestead resort in Hot Springs. In addition, alumni from Northern Virginia convened in Arlington on May 5 to network and hear from Dean Fontaine and Dr. Tina Brashers. Make sure you are on our invitation list for alumni networking events! Send your current contact info and e-mail address to, or update your UVA alumni profile at http://hoosonline

Fall 2016




Recognizing Extraordinary Alumni Each year, the School of Nursing Alumni Association honors individual alumni for their contributions and service to the nursing profession. To nominate an outstanding alumna/alumnus for next year’s awards, contact the Alumni and Development Office at or (434) 924-0138. Nominations are due March 15, 2017. More info:


Candace Beaman Moore (BSN ’75)


andace Beaman Moore retired from the US Department of State (DOS) in 2012 after a 29-year career in the Foreign Service. After receiving her MSN/FNP from Virginia Commonwealth University, Moore provided primary

Moore’s Alumni Award nominators (BSN ’75 classmates Mary Wright Baylor, Nancy Stief Douglas, and Sallie Eissler) agreed she is a “true blue Wahoo,” always eager to reconnect with UVA and the Nursing School through alumni events, volunteering for reunion committees, and serving as a preceptor to current students.


or war zones where he witnessed resilience through laughter, playfulness, and the simple act of communities coming together. A newly appointed assistant professor at the School of Nursing and assistant director of UVA’s Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI), Cunningham is interested in how and why people develop and sustain resilience. As a student, he facilitated CCI retreats on early-life healthcare. His Alumni Award nominator, Michael Swanberg (an instructor and PhD student at the School), commented: “You learn a lot about a person as they care for a family and their grief surrounding the loss of their infant. The grace and presence Mr. Cunningham demonstrated during the first week of his nursing career is an arc I have watched rise higher each year.” +

Tim Cunningham (MSN-CNL ’09)


care services to US diplomats and their families as a family nurse practitioner in various US embassies, including those in Niger, Senegal, Ecuador, Hungary, Bulgaria, Honduras, and the United Kingdom. She was also the deputy chief of foreign programs and deputy director of medical providers with the DOS, which recognized her leadership and deft handling of emergency situations. Though Moore is officially retired, the DOS still calls on her to assist abroad. She resides near Charlottesville and works part-time at the Thomas Jefferson Health District, where her patients include refugees brought to the United States by the International Rescue Committee. Moore is particularly passionate about this work on behalf of more than 200 area refugees, for whom she performs physical assessments, takes down medical histories, and refers serious cases to specialists. 20


im Cunningham earned his BA in English from the College of William and Mary and worked as a professional actor and teacher before venturing into nursing by enrolling in the Clinical Nurse Leader program at UVA. After earning his MSN, he worked as a pediatric and adult trauma/emergency nurse at Cornell Medical Center, Children’s National Medical Center, and UVA before completing his doctorate in public health—with research focused on narrative medicine—in 2016 at Columbia University. While in Boston, he worked with Partners In Health, traveling to Sierra Leone to care for victims of the Ebola virus and educate medical providers. A former executive director of Clowns Without Borders USA, he has worked in 20 countries as a performing artist or clown—often amidst epidemics

2016 Faculty Award Winners The Nursing Alumni Association recognizes three faculty leaders annually for their contributions to the School and the nursing profession.

Left to right: Williams, Westphal, and Haugh FACULTY LEADERSHIP AWARD Ishan Williams Assistant Professor of Nursing EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD Kathy Haugh (BSN ’79) Associate Professor of Nursing Coordinator, RN-to-BSN Program DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR AWARD Richard Westphal (PhD ’04) Professor of Nursing and Chair

SONAA Celebrates 100 Years with Advice to Students and New Grads

New entries welcome! Send them to or to the UVA School of Nursing, Alumni and Development Office, P.O. Box 801015, Charlottesville, VA 22908.

“In nursing, there are so many details that are very important … but always

remember to step back and look at the entire patient.” Joanne Hopkins (BSN ’75)

“Support others and develop meaningful relationships. … If you have an amazing support system, you can get through anything. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.”


We asked; you answered! What’s your best advice for nursing students and/or recent graduates?

Jenn Arcilla (BSN ’15)

“Get more rest before clinicals. I pulled many almost-allnighters to get care plans ready and then was a zombie for the actual clinical day.”

“Take time for stress relief— walk, run, do yoga, listen to music, call your mom or dad or best friend. Even a 10-minute break from it all will make you feel better!”

Mary Wright Baylor (BSN ’75)

Karen Harris Keeter (BSN ’80)

“I enjoyed the close camaraderie with my classmates at the time we were in school. But I didn’t

“Realize healthcare delivery is a team sport. The ability to learn with my team is really what … keeps me in the game 40 years later.”

realize how these friendships would keep growing.” “Invest time in getting to know your professors. Make study groups and invite those who you may not know very well. You all are going to be one cohesive unit these next few years and it makes all the difference.”

Patricia Booth Woodard (BSN ’69)

Sallie Eissler (BSN ’75)

“Love what you are learning and doing! It is with you the rest of your life.” Karen Donckers Doherty (DIPLO ’63)

Amanda Panholzer Hammack (BSN ’12)

“Study first, play second … and enjoy this amazing University! Wahoowa!” Nancy Stief Douglas (BSN ’75)

“Try putting yourself in your patients’ shoes—be empathetic to their needs.” Holly Sherberg (BSN ’79)

“You have your whole life to be a nurse;

take advantage of all the random and cool opportunities and experiences UVA has to offer!” Allie Tran (BSN ’10)

Special thanks to all who joined in the first School of Nursing alumni community phonecast on September 7! If you missed this event, which was part of the 100-year anniversary celebration of the School's Nursing Alumni Association, you can listen to a recording at

Fall 2016



To register for Reunions Weekend events, contact the UVA Alumni Association at (434) 243-9000 or visit www. For more information on nursing alumni events, contact the Alumni and Development Office at (434) 924-0138.




Reunions 2017

1957 1962 1967 1972 1977 1982 1987 1992 1997 2002 2007

35-, 40-, 45-, 50-, 55-, and 60-Year Reunion Classes and the Thomas Jefferson Society

School of Nursing Alumni Luncheon for Classes of 1967 and Prior Saturday, June 3 Noon–2 p.m. Newcomb Hall Ballroom

Classes of 1982, 1977, 1972, 1967, 1962, and 1957

Nursing Alumni Reception Saturday, June 4 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Pavilion IX Garden, West Lawn

Celebrating reunions June 1–4, 2017 School of Nursing Building Tours McKim Hall, McLeod Hall, Claude Moore Nursing Education Building Friday, June 2 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m. * Meet in the McLeod Hall lobby at 2:30. Faculty and students will lead tours.

5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-Year Reunion Classes Classes of 2012, 2007, 2002, 1997, 1992, and 1987 Celebrating reunions June 8–11, 2017 Nursing Alumni Picnic Lunch Saturday, June 10 Noon–1:30 p.m. Pavilion IX Garden, West Lawn

Do you have photographs, letters, or other memorabilia from your time as a UVA School of Nursing student or from the early days of your nursing career? Consider donating these items to the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry to add to your reunion experience and help preserve nursing history. Contact the Center’s staff at or (434) 924-0083.


New Leadership, New Heights for UVA’s NICU Rachel Nauman (BSN ’01) BY ANNA BROWN MILLSAPS


hen Rachel Nauman took a job in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Medical University of South Carolina shortly after graduating from the University of Virginia, she knew next to nothing about the ins and outs of the unit. The NICU was not yet part of UVA nursing students’ clinical rotations at that time. “I was drawn to the type of people working in the unit and to the patient population,” Nauman recalls. “It was fascinating, and I knew it would challenge me.” Now in her 10th year at the UVA Children’s Hospital NICU, Nauman celebrated two major accomplishments this past spring. First, she was named nurse manager after ascending the hospital ranks from bedside nurse to shift manager to assistant nurse manager. In addition to her promotion, Nauman and her NICU team, including Erica Weiler (BSN ’07), won the UVA Health System’s 2016 Charles L. Brown Award for Patient Care Quality, given annually to a team that has implemented initiatives demonstrating excellence in patient care. Their winning project, “Breastmilk Errors in the NICU,” addressed incidents of breastmilk misadministration. Since its implementation two years ago, the NICU has had zero incidents. As a result of their research, Nauman and her team were able to secure equipment to keep breastmilk at the bedside so milk is no longer stored in communal refrigerators or mixed at communal mixing stations.

“Our team is phenomenal—everybody is so dedicated to quality and doing the right thing for the patient. It’s just a really inspiring place to work.”

Looking ahead, Nauman hopes to work with colleagues to get an inventory breastmilk freezer system to further enhance patients’ NICU experiences. As Nauman says, “We’re using technology to our advantage and making great leaps in patient safety and quality because of it.” In the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Children’s Hospitals, UVA’s NICU jumped 12 spots (to No. 38) from the previous year. Undoubtedly, Nauman’s leadership has contributed to the unit’s success, though she refuses to take credit for what she sees as a true group effort: “Our team is phenomenal—everybody is so dedicated to quality and doing the right thing for the patient,” Nauman reflects. “It’s just a really inspiring place to work." It’s also an inspiring place to learn. With the School preparing to accept applications later this fall for a new neonatal nurse practitioner track, along with a second new master’s track for acute-care pediatric nurse practitioners, the partnership between UVA’s NICU and nursing students and faculty has never been stronger. +

Fall 2016




Class Notes

at UVA Children’s Hospital. She works diligently with the Be Safe culture and was awarded (along with her NICU team) the 2016 Charles L. Brown Award for Patient Care Quality (see more on p. 23).

1950s Catherine Hager (DIPLO ’54) was selected by the pharmaceutical company Genentech to be interviewed before a large audience regarding a patient’s perspective on a medication manufactured by the company. She is also contributing to a Genentech newsletter geared toward patients taking the medication.

1960s Gretchen Ballard (BSN ’66) was honored on March 16, 2016, at the Harrisburg, PA, YWCA’s annual Tribute to Women of Excellence for her “incredible impact on the Harrisburg community since 1975 through her involvement with the Community Check-Up Center of South Harrisburg” that serves uninsured women and children of Harrisburg. She has been volunteering at the center for the past 17 years, including six as board president and volunteer executive director.

owned by the Mary Brundage DeLashmutt (BSN ’67) family. They toured nearby St. Michaels, went on a boat ride, had a crab feast, and talked late into the night, regaling each other with stories of classes, clinicals, and McKim. Seated in photo above, from left: Elizabeth (Betsy) Hoffler Dodd, Betty Davis Mitchell, Jeanne Ball Burger, Susan Donckers; standing, from left: Mary DeLashmutt, Rebecca Smith Taylor, Anita Moore Thiel, Cynthia Zeliff Mara. Deborah Sherman Ring (BSN ’69) and husband Jesse B. Ring have opened a farm winery in Giles County, VA, called JBR Vineyards and Winery, which grows grapes and makes two kinds of wines: Riesling and pinot noir. A three-year plan for upgrading facilities and expanding the vineyard is underway.


Susan Waldrop Donckers (BSN ’67, NP ’93) and seven other Class of 1967 alumnae enjoyed a mini reunion June 12–15, 2016, at Knapps Narrows Marina (in Maryland),



Denise DeForest Pastoor (BSN ’78) spoke at Scripps’ Sixth Annual Integrative and Holistic Nursing Conference, held April 30–May 1, 2016, in San Diego, CA. She focused on self-care and the importance of shifting from “doing to being” through mindfulness, meditation, and movement.

1980s Mary Ellen Zator Estes (BSN ’81, MSN ’83) was inducted as a new American

Association of Nurse Practitioners Fellow at the organization’s annual conference in June 2016. Kelley M. Anderson (BSN ’88) had her book The Advanced Practice Nurse Cardiovascular Clinician published by Springer in October 2015.

Barbara A. Cross-Jones (PhD ’03) has been appointed the chair of the Institutional Review Board for the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Hampton, VA. She also chairs the Virginia Nurses Association’s Committee on Ethics and Human Rights and serves on the Ethics Committee at the Hampton VA Medical Center.

1990s Rita Hundley Pickler (PhD ’90) has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research at the National Institute of Nursing Research. The council meets three times a year to provide recommendations on the direction and support of research that forms the evidence base for nursing practice. Alexandra Quinn (BSN ’97) earned her MSN/NP in adult gerontology from the University of Delaware on May 27, 2016.

2000s Rachel Nauman (BSN ’01) was appointed nurse manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Rebecca Deal Poston (BSN ’03) was appointed to the Virginia Board of Nursing by Governor Terry McAuliffe. Rebecca is an assistant professor of nursing at Old Dominion University.

Audrey E. Snyder (BSN ’89, MSN ’91, ACNP ’98, PhD ’07), a former UVA professor; Teresa M. Haller (MSN ’87); and Victoria Menzies (MSN ’00) are being inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as new fellows during a ceremony in October 2016, the Academy announced in June. The three alumnae were among 164 highly distinguished nurse leaders chosen to receive this honor from the world’s premier nursing leadership organization.

Nursing alumni, we want to hear from you! Submit your class notes and news items to nursing-alumni@

Jason Diamond (BSN ’14), a nurse in the University’s Coronary Care Unit, was named the UVA Medical Center’s Beginning Practitioner of the Year.

Lauda Hartman Harmon (BSN ’04) and husband Jacob Harmon welcomed a son, Stephen Somerled, on February 11, 2015. In May 2015 the family relocated from Phoenix to Germantown, MD, where Jacob works for Comtech EF Data.

Tara A. Albrecht (BSN ’05, MSN ’09, PhD ’11) received a 2016 Emerging Nurse Researcher Award from Sigma Theta Tau. Tara is an assistant professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. 

In Memoriam

On August 6, 2016, the much-beloved service dog “Arrow,” a fixture at many School of Nursing events, was put to sleep following eight years of faithful service to Valerie Smith Kirkman (BSN ’75). Arrow aided her with balance issues due to multiple sclerosis.

Emelia Hylton Johns (DIPLO ’39) Wytheville, VA

Betty Dyke Vansant (DIPLO ’51) Virginia Beach, VA

Dorothy C. Weaver (DIPLO ’56) Torrey, UT

APRIL 16, 2016

MAY 17, 2016

FEBRUARY 3, 2015

Dorothy Sandridge Gloor (DIPLO ’42) Charlottesville, VA

Nancy Murphy Williams (DIPLO ’51) Wilmette, IL

Phyllis A. (Snow) Davis (BSN ’57) Newport News, VA

JUNE 21, 2016

JUNE 20, 2016

APRIL 2, 2016

Bonnie Miller Taylor (DIPLO ’43) Rockingham, VA

Nancy T. Johnson (DIPLO ’52) Greensboro, NC

Nedra Sanchez (DIPLO ’59) Charleston, WV

Mary Anne (Alfriend) Noland (DIPLO ’70) Richmond, VA

FEBRUARY 11, 2016

JUNE 12, 2016

APRIL 12, 2005

MAY 15, 2016

Shirley Porterfield Berry (DIPLO ’44) Richmond, VA

Jane Nicholls Burk (DIPLO ’53) Oak Hill, WV

Linda Scott Masri (BSN ’61) Midlothian, VA

Helen Jenkins (BSN ’72) Tampa, FL

JUNE 14, 2016

JUNE 12, 2016

APRIL 24, 2016

JANUARY 24, 2015

Genevieve Whitmore Van Patten (DIPLO ’46) Broadway, VA

Patricia Murphy Derian (DIPLO ’53) Chapel Hill, NC

Pamela S. (Jones) McClendon (BSN ’66) Eureka, CA

Mary Beth Kastelberg Morgan (BSN ’85) Richmond, VA

MARCH 14, 2016

MARCH 28, 2016

Mary Ann Blount (BSN ’70) Dothan, AL

Susan J. Goode (BSN ’87) Troy, VA

MAY 7, 2016

MAY 27, 2016

MAY 5, 2016

MAY 20, 2016

Alice L. Wallenborn (BSN-Ed ’48) Charlottesville, VA

Jacqueline Bryant Alexander (DIPLO ’56) Winterville, NC

FEBRUARY 21, 2016

JUNE 29, 2016

Fall 2016





July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016




Graduate Student Scholarships



School of Nursing endowment total as of June 30, 2016


Nursing Annual Fund giving (76%+ contributed by Dean’s Circle members)


Reunion giving from nursing classes (graduation years ending in 1 or 6)

346 $26,882

graduate students (42%) supported in 2015–16

New donors of approximately 1,600 total

Raised on “GivingToHoosDay” (24-hour, University-wide giving day on April 12, 2016)

“I am so grateful for the scholarship awards that are making my career advancement possible, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve in my community as a family nurse practitioner.” Carrie Beth Ferrel (MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, Class of 2018)



Gifts and Commitments by Designation


Scholarships 60%


$5.7+ million

Faculty Support 8% Programs 6%

New CSLC Equipment

Compassionate Care Initiative Unrestricted 6% 20%


The Nursing Annual Fund provided new equipment for the Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center, including a voice modulator that presents students with more realistic simulation scenarios.

Fall 2016




A Violet Battle Flag BY ANNE McCLURE (RN-BSN ’17)

The UVA School of Nursing’s 14th annual student writing contest, sponsored by the Compassionate Care Initiative, offers students a chance to share their experiences with one another and the world through reflective and creative writing. Reprinted here is an excerpt of one of five winning entries from last spring.


found myself genuinely, internally distressed about color choices I was debating for a room in the upstairs of my new house. … Would this one complement existing colors? Would it go well with the furnishings? I was seriously concerned, bouncing back and forth between a final, concrete choice of nimbus cloud versus what could possibly be just settling for chromium gray. This was before I met you. You are preceded on the Intensive Care Unit by a respiratory therapist setting up your ventilator machine. Once securely attached to your ET tube, air forced into your lungs will ventilate you, perfusing you, sustaining your life, for at least a time. … The nurse tech readies the cardiac monitor for application to your chest. This will continually survey and record any sways in your existence and blast noxious alarms when you start to stray away from us. Your wife is arriving now from the emergency department. … Stunned, and reeling from the blare of the prospect of a life without you, she manages to begin the actions that will summon paramedics who then will begin this war to save you from yourself. This is the war that we join here, now, as this battlefield expands from your bathroom (where she found you, face down this afternoon) into your hospital room. …

She’s hugging herself with one arm underneath her wonderfully violet purple jacket while sitting at your bedside … a rare splash of virile color in this wasteland of hospital taupes and beiges. A short time later she rouses out of her daze as our pace and intensity increase around you. … We brought our artillery into our battle for you, combatting your systemic acidosis, hypoxia, respiratory failure, and hypotension. Sometimes, we briefly won. But, your pulmonary edema is worsening. Your nurse is a veteran at managing patients with severe issues related to opiate overdoses. She is fundamentally undeterred by the complications you silently aim in her direction as rhythmic counterattacks to any progress she makes in this losing fight. Eventually, our resources taxed and our surrender forced, our battle to save you from yourself ends. … The majority of your body has succumbed to the spreading gray of cold in death, but in contrast to the unsettling chill, your left hand, just minutes ago released from a strenuously loving grasp, is still warm. As a nursing student, participating in and witnessing the war waged for you has left me with a tiredness I cannot adequately describe. … I find myself at home with a pan, a roller, and a gallon of wonderfully potent, violet purple paint. Now, facing a large blank wall, my story as a nurse truly begins, with you and your wife at the heart of the tale. This room, once finally transformed into an office, will house nursing diplomas, certificates, and certifications fixed high to the bright walls. This is where I will sit and think of you, wonder how your wife is doing … [and] reconfirm my position in the war on the opiate epidemic as an inner city, ICU staff nurse. Never will I forget my days as a nursing student. Never will I forget the day I met you. Never will I doubt, wherever you are now, that your left hand is anything but wonderfully warm. +

“Our resources taxed and our surrender forced, our battle to save you from yourself ends ... [while] my story as a nurse begins, with you and your wife at the heart of the tale.” Amid gentle questioning, your wife softly, haltingly responds that she knew you had used drugs before, but you would never, ever use heroin. That just wouldn’t be like you. … In a few weeks she will start to feel stupid for not seeing or recognizing the warning signs from the initial stagnation of overwhelming addiction. Once or twice she’ll secretly admit to herself that maybe she had some denial about your true condition. … Eventually, she will crush herself with the unrelenting weight of her own guilt compounded by regret for allowing herself to get slowly blinded by the fog of lies your addiction spread to survive. … 28


Read McClure’s full essay (and other winning entries) at student_writing.



Beyond Borders

I Courtesy of Esther Miller Thatcher (BSN ’01, MSN ’08, PhD ’14), one of the founders of NSWB at UVA and a participant in the NSWB Russia Initiative; with thanks to the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry.

n 1999, UVA nursing students established a group dedicated to international nursing: Nursing Students Without Borders (NSWB). Its purpose was, and still is, to empower underserved communities through health education, the creation of networks that offer healthcare resources, and distribution of material donations—all while expanding UVA nursing students’ perspectives and experiences. The majority of NSWB participants are nursing students; however, others routinely participate as well, united by a commitment to the well-being of people around the globe. As the founding chapter among at least 10 other affiliates nationwide, the UVA unit has the most extensive outreach program of all NSWB chapters. Over the past 17 years, teams from the University of Virginia have gone to Central America, Russia, and Africa to provide community health classes and screenings, help build and run clinics, and provide care. In 2001 and 2002, UVA students completed two trips to Kysmolovsky, Russia (shown in the photos above). Some of the group’s ongoing, groundbreaking work falls under its Migrant Health Initiative, which has been followed by many other schools. +

Fall 2016



University of Virginia Health System School of Nursing

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 164 Charlottesville, VA

P.O. Box 801015 2410 Old Ivy Road, Suite 207 Charlottesville, VA 22908-1015 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Calendar of Events

MAY 12

End of spring semester exams



School of Nursing Pinning and Hooding ceremonies


Final Exercises/School of Nursing ceremonies


CCI Lecture Series: Tim Cunningham, “Storytelling as Salve: Easing Compassion Fatigue and Caregiver Trauma”


CCI Educational Series: “Healing at End-of-Life: Vietnam Veterans and Their Families”


Homecomings: Nursing alumni reception and brunch (Pavilion IX)


Nursing History Forum: “Nursing Dreams of Empire: US Nurses in the American Occupied Territories,” presented by Winifred C. Connerton, 2016 Brodie Fellow


Zula Mae Baber Bice Memorial Lecture: Poet and nurse Cortney Davis, “When the Nurse Becomes a Patient”; book signing to follow


Wisdom and Well-Being Speaker Series: TBD


CNE opportunity: 14th Annual Breast Conference: Personalized Breast Care


UVA Family Weekend and the Virginia Film Festival


CCI Lecture Series: Patricia Jennings (UVA Curry School of Education), “The Effects of the CARE for Teachers Program on Teachers’ Well-Being and Classroom Quality” * Location TBD

How We Ask, How We Help PAGE 8

22–25 Alumni Reception* in conjunction with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Houston

JUNE 9–12 Train-the-Trainer Faculty Development Program: Interprofessional Education Faculty Development for Educators 15

Nursing History Forum: “Through the Eyes of Nursing: Nursing Education at the University of Texas, 1890–1990,” presented by Barbra Mann Wall


Nursing Alumni Reception: Richmond, VA (The Wine Loft)


End of fall semester exams

JANUARY 2017 18

Spring semester begins


Alumni Council winter meeting

MARCH 4–12 Spring break


Black Alumni Weekend

TBD Alumni Council spring meeting


Reunions: Classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, and 1982


Reunions: Classes of 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012

24–28 Alumni Reception* in conjunction with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses’ Annual Convention in New Orleans

THE LATEST EVENTS INFORMATION: Main School of Nursing Calendar: Admissions Information Sessions: /information_sessions Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry: Continuing Nursing Education (CNE): -education Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI):

Virginia Nursing Legacy Fall 2016  

The fall 2016 edition of the University of Virginia School of Nursing's biannual magazine for alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the...

Virginia Nursing Legacy Fall 2016  

The fall 2016 edition of the University of Virginia School of Nursing's biannual magazine for alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the...