FALL 2016 | VOLUME 31 | NUMBER ONE
to all our 65th Anniversary Celebration Gala attendees and those who have supported us throughout our proud history
Saturday, October 1, 2016 Navy Pier Grand Ballroom | 600 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago Host Dean Terri E. Weaver Master of ceremonies Nesita Kwan, former NBC 5 health reporter
6PM Cocktail Hour
7PM Dinner and Program
Susan Poser, PhD, JD, UIC Provost Melissa Vargas, MS ’17 Karla Nacion, PhD ’88, MS ’87, Alumni Board President
Followed by music and dancing
A Lasting Legacy
Vital Signs CHIEF EDITOR/WRITER Liz Miller EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sabrina Nodal PHOTOGRAPHERS Mark Mershon Alicia McConnell-Hatch Mary Auth ILLUSTRATOR Xochitl Vinaja GRAPHIC DESIGNER Patrick Falso, Allegro Design Inc. UIC COLLEGE OF NURSING OFFICE OF ADVANCEMENT Steven Anthony George, Assistant Dean Liz Miller, Director, Marketing and Public Affairs Matthew Campion, Associate Director, Development Sara Almassian, Assistant Director, Engagement and Participation Vital Signs is published for the alumni, faculty, students and friends of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. © 2016 Your comments are welcomed: University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing (MC 802) 845 S. Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60612 Phone: 312-996-7800 Email: email@example.com Web: nursing.uic.edu Facebook: UIC.CON Twitter: @uicnursing Instagram: uicnursing
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65 REASONS Pieces of the evidence for why we’re certain that the college’s future will be as celebration-worthy as its past
CLEAR EYES, STRONG MIND, G R AT E F U L H E A R T Melissa Vargas will graduate on schedule thanks in large part to the generosity of donors
1,427 MORE REASONS A peek at today’s students in the UIC College of Nursing
Message from the Dean 2016 has been a momentous year for the UIC College of Nursing. It marks 65 years since the college was founded by action of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. And we are indeed celebrating! Anniversaries are marvelous occasions. They bring communities together. They inspire pride. They prompt reflection about how we have approached our work in the past, who has brought us this far, and why our work matters today. And it is from these sentiments and contemplations that we’ve assembled this special anniversary issue of Vital Signs. Those of you who have been part of our community for a long time might read these pages and think, “What about [blank]?” or “I’m surprised [blank] was not included.” Indeed, given our exceptional history of contributions to the nursing profession and to health care in general, we could not capture all of our many historical highlights and singular achievements in a one volume. So please think of this issue as a medley of our achievements as a college. We hope it will ignite your own recollections of the people, places, programs and ideals that drew you to the UIC College of Nursing community and that invite you to stay connected for the long-term. Perhaps the most important reason to recognize anniversaries is to remind ourselves that we are stewards of a history—that the actions we take today are tied to those of decades past. The ship we steer carries the legacy of our first dean, Emily Cardew, who fought to put down roots with limited resources. It carries the triumphs of early researchers, like Harriet Werley, who challenged the notion of nurses as caretakers and order-takers. It carries the promise of current faculty member Gerry Gorman, whom hundreds of current and former students credit for teaching them the most important lesson: Never say, “I’m just a nurse.” And it carries the expectations of our alumni, friends and all members of our college community—expectations for our excellence in academia, our innovation in research, our commitment to students, and our responsibility to health care in the state and in the world. I’m here to tell you that we will continue to live up to those expectations. I believe with my whole heart that this year of celebration and contemplation has helped to set the stage for another 65 years of growth and progress that will make every member of our college community proud to be stand with us.
Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN Professor and Dean
The UIC College of Nursing has much to celebrate in its 65-year history
and much to be proud of today: life-changing research, service to underserved communities, continual contributions to global health and, most important, a legacy of excellence in educating nurse leaders. In the pages that follow, we round up 65 reasons—or, more accurately, 65 of the countless reasons—we’re confident that the next six and half decades will be as powerful and productive as the first.
6 CAMPUSES 6 LIVING LEGENDS 3 N A M E D S PA C E S 5 HOMECOMINGS 1 U N M AT C H E D T R A D I T I O N 5 S I G N AT U R E R E S E A R C H A R E A S 3 H A L L O F FA M E R S 19 E V E N T S T O E M P O W E R 1 W H O C O L L A B O R AT I N G C E N T R E 2 COMMUNITY CLINICS
Mary Kelly Mullane, 1962-1971
Mi Ja Kim, 1989-1995 Emily Cardew, 1956-1962
Helen Grace, 1977-1982
Joan Shaver, 1996-2009
Mary Lohr, 1972-1976 Mitzi Duxbury, 1983-1988 4
WHETHER OR NOT EVERY ALUMNUS CAN RECALL THE NAME OF THE SITTING DEAN DURING HER OR HIS TIME IN SCHOOL, IT IS AN IRONCLAD TRUTH THAT NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE HAPPENS IN A COLLEGE WITHOUT THE ACTION OF THE DEAN. FORTUNATELY, THE UIC COLLEGE OF NURSING HAS HAD EIGHT ENLIGHTENED AND VISIONARY LEADERS AT THE HELM.
DEAN EMILY CARDEW, 1956–1962 “With no provision for extra space, additional faculty and the like, we are all working hard . . . but pleased! Sometimes I feel like a mother who went to the hospital expecting one baby, but came home with quintuplets. I love them all, but wish I had more bassinets.”
DEAN MI JA KIM, 1989–1995 “Never before in our college’s history or in the history of our profession has education for nurses been more important than it is today. A sound education is a ‘sine qua non’ for nurses to assume the pivotal roles in patient care that our current complex health care system requires.”
— Writing in a 1962 letter to alumni — Writing in the college’s annual report for Fiscal Year 1989 DEAN MARY KELLY MULLANE, 1962–1971 “I hope you all share my conviction that the health of the college rests in a very special way upon the interest, support and thoughtful guidance of its graduates.”
DEAN JOAN SHAVER, 1996–2009 “May we articulate the powerful ways in which we, as nurses, contribute to the health and welfare of people. Remember that ours is a profession of depth and substance, influence and honor.”
— Writing in a 1963 letter to alumni — Writing in the winter 1998 issue of Vital Signs DEAN MARY LOHR, 1972–1976 “It’s important that faculty define research projects and submit individual grants. My aim is that within five years, all faculty at the assistant professorship level and above will be involved in research relevant to nursing.”
DEAN TERRI WEAVER, 2009–PRESENT “Our health and well-being as individuals and as a nation are increasingly interconnected to the state of our world. . . . Tomorrow will demand leaders in world health, and the future will look to the UIC College of Nursing.”
— Extrapolated from minutes of a faculty meeting, Jan. 10, 1973 — Writing in the spring 2015 issue of Vital Signs DEAN HELEN GRACE, 1977–1982 “Conflicts within administrative hierarchy, the effects of sexism, and circumscribed roles for women are but a few of the constraints. Cast within this framework, doctoral education for nurses and in nursing is but another step within an overall struggle for independence and recognition of worth.” — Writing in a paper for the Journal of Nursing Education, 1978 DEAN MITZI DUXBURY, 1983–1988 “Too many see nurses as only the proverbial ‘Angels of Mercy.’ Too few recognize nursing’s complexities, its challenges, its opportunities. . . . We see the solution to this crisis as education. Not simply the education of more and better nurses, but the education of the population about nursing.” — Writing in the UIC campus paper during National Nurses Week, 1988
Terri Weaver, 2009-Present
CAMPUSES CHICAGO—FOUNDED 1951 Programs offered: BSN, Grad entry MS, MS, DNP, PhD
DEGREE PROGRAMS As the college has evolved over 65 years, it has continually upheld its commitment to preparing the most sophisticated and skilled nursing professionals for the current health care environment. Today, our six nursing education programs are offered through three departments: Biobehavioral Health Science; Health Systems Science; and Women, Children and Family Health Science. Each is a hub of excellence for education and research.
RN-BSN U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranks our fully online RN-BSN program No. 4 in the nation among all online bachelor’s programs, not only in nursing.
BSN One in every 23 BSN-holders in Illinois graduated from the UIC College of Nursing.
MS and Graduate-Entry MS USNWR ranks our master’s program No. 2 in Illinois and in the top 18% of all nursing MS programs nationwide.
DNP Six specialty programs in our doctor of nursing practice degree are ranked in the top 15 nationally by USNWR: family nurse practitioner (No. 7), nursing administration (No. 8), midwifery (No. 10), gerontology nurse practitioner (No. 10), pediatric nurse practitioner (No. 12) and psychiatric nurse practitioner (No. 13).
PhD A 2016 data review published in the May/June issue of Nursing Outlook showed our college to be fourth among all U.S. nursing schools in terms of NIH funding over 26 years.
Percentage of students who stay in the region/state to practice:
URBANA—FOUNDED 1972 Programs offered: BSN, Grad entry MS, MS, DNP
PEORIA—FOUNDED 1972 Programs offered: MS, DNP
QUAD CITIES—FOUNDED 1980 Programs offered: MS, DNP
ROCKFORD—FOUNDED 1991 Programs offered: MS, DNP
SPRINGFIELD—FOUNDED 2015 Programs offered: BSN, MS, DNP
By 1970, the UIC College of Nursing had moved from Navy Pier, through space in the College of Medicine buildings, and into its own, newly constructed tower on what was then known as the Medical Center campus. Its new home would soon be the root for the college’s growth across Illinois. That was because, also in the early ’70s, health care professions were the subject of increasing attention on the national stage. After the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education released a high-profile report documenting a shortage of health care providers nationwide, the federal government authorized funding for regionalized health care education to major universities in 11 states, including Illinois. The College of Nursing was ready. With a plan and a purpose, it was able to promptly open programs in cities beyond Chicago. And that mission has grown. Today, the college is delivering its stellar nursing education to students at six campuses throughout Northern and Central Illinois. Our newest campus, in Springfield, was established last year and accepted its first class of students in August 2016. “Our regional campuses allow UIC to transform health care for people throughout Illinois and neighboring states, and they let nurses outside Chicago grow in their careers where they live and work,” says Kathleen Sparbel, PhD, MS ’96, director of the UIC Quad Cities Regional Campus. “But the regional campuses also inform UIC nursing education overall because they add suburban and rural perspectives to the urban perspective that’s natural to UIC. It’s a diversity that enriches the education of every student.”
HARRIET WERLEY PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF RESEARCH, 1974–1979 SELECTED IN 1994
VIRGINIA OHLSON PROFESSOR AND HEAD OF PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING, 1970–1980 SELECTED IN 1995
“Harriet Werley really was a pioneer. When you think of nursing in the 1950s, research is not something you think of. Yet that’s when Harriet was the first chief nurse for the Walter Reed Department of Nursing Research, which was the first clinical research unit for nursing. Later she went on to seed nursing research throughout the Midwest on the faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, then UIC, then the University of Missouri-Columbia, then the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also founded or co-founded Research in Nursing & Health, the Annual Review of Nursing Research and Computers in Nursing. These are important, fundamental publications for our profession, and we have Harriet to thank for them.”
“When I came [as an instructor in the family nurse practitioner program] in 1978, Virginia Ohlson was my department head. Dr. Ohlson was extremely gracious, modest, genuine and thoughtful. She could immediately connect with people from all cultures. She embodied cultural acceptance and diversity long before it was well integrated into our nursing education. She was also the driving force for beginning the family nurse practitioner program at UIC in 1972-73 and assuring it was embedded in sound public health nursing principles. It was the first NP option offered at UIC, and was the first master’s NP program in Illinois. Virginia was a wonderful mentor, and it was an honor to have known her.
— Friend and admirer Mark D. Foreman, PhD ’87, John L. and Helen Kellogg Dean of Nursing, Rush University 8
— Former colleague JoEllen Wilbur, PhD ’84, MS ’75, Associate Dean for Research and Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing, Rush University
MARY KELLY MULLANE DEAN, 1962–1971 SELECTED IN 1996 “The [nursing administration] classes selected and designed by Mary Kelly Mullane were exciting, challenging and filled with rich experience. She was preparing us for the senior management roles we would soon enjoy. She reminded us that we would have to compete with seasoned managers, and that we needed to be taken seriously. She believed that we needed to respect and understand the various disciplines working in health care, so our classes were held with pharmacists, therapists, business majors and physicians. … Dr. Mullane was a mentor, a great teacher, and a very strong and positive influence in my life and my career. She will always be a legend in nursing for me.” — Former student Judith Hicks, MS ’75, President, Beechwood Health Solutions LLC
SINCE 1994, THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NURSING HAS ANNUALLY SELECTED FROM THE RANKS OF ITS FELLOWS A SMALL GROUP OF EXTRAORDINARY NURSING PROFESSIONALS TO BE NAMED “LIVING LEGENDS.” FOR EACH, THE HONOR RECOGNIZES DECADES OF EXCEPTIONAL AND SUSTAINED CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE NURSING PROFESSION, AND TO SOCIETY AT LARGE, ON A GLOBAL SCALE. THE UIC COLLEGE OF NURSING PROUDLY COUNTS THESE SIX LIVING LEGENDS AMONG ITS COMMUNITY.
HELEN GRACE DEAN, 1977–1982 SELECTED IN 2008 “Helen Grace is indeed a Living Legend. As I reflect on her many accomplishments, what stands out is how she was always ahead of the curve and setting the trends—a true trailblazer. She led the development of the College of Nursing PhD program. She was one of the first nurse scientists to focus on family systems research from a family strengths perspective. She recognized the importance of interdisciplinary and international connections long before the current emphasis on team science and global partnerships. She is a Living Legend with an enduring legacy of contributions to nursing and health care worldwide.” — Former colleague Kathleen A. Knafl, PhD, Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
SUZANNE FEETHAM HARRIET H. WERLEY ENDOWED RESEARCH CHAIR, 1996–2001 SELECTED IN 2011 “As a scientist, Suzanne Feetham is internationally recognized for changing the paradigm in family science from family-based deficits to family strengths. In terms of policy, Suzanne worked at both the NIH and HRSA, working to bring health care to families and underserved populations. The amazing thing about Suzanne is that she never stops. At this point in her long career, she is helping novice researchers (and even well-established ones) develop clarity in their science through her technique of Career Cartography. Throughout all these years in nursing, what has characterized Suzanne is her tremendous generosity, mentoring an untold number of nurse scientists. Her fingerprints are everywhere.” — Colleague Carol Ferrans, PhD ’88, MS ’82, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, UIC College of Nursing
MI JA KIM DEAN, 1989–1995 SELECTED IN 2012 “Mi Ja Kim is the very definition of a leader. She’s exceedingly good at recognizing potential in other people, then helping them see it in themselves. She has always valued growing leadership from within the college and within the discipline, and she’s been very giving of herself in order to help people reach their potential. In the last few years, she’s shown many of our faculty how and why to become fellows of the [American Academy of Nursing]—how they can portray themselves and their work in a way that’s equal to the standard of the Academy. She’s extraordinarily generous in helping the next generation gain leadership skills and then move into those positions.” — Colleague Julie Zerwic, PhD, Professor and Executive Associate Dean, UIC College of Nursing
NAMED S PA C E S After founding the Center for Narcolepsy Research in the UIC College of Nursing with a $1.5 million gift in 1987, Joseph Piscopo made a second multimillion dollar gift in 1996. With that, he endowed the center, ensuring the permanent continuation of the research, education and public information services housed there. The center was then named in his honor. “This gift is intended to perpetuate Joe Piscopo and his mother Marjorie at the center’s the current research and to permit dedication ceremony expansion and further development,” said Piscopo in 1996. “It’s something I believe is a lifelong endeavor.” Narcolepsy was personal for Piscopo, who suffered from the condition for nearly a decade starting at age 14. His narcolepsy caused him to get low grades in school and played a part in some 15 car accidents. He was finally diagnosed by his mother, Marjorie Piscopo, a 1979 graduate of the College of Nursing. The narcolepsy center at UIC remains one of the few research centers in the nation which studies the biobehavioral aspects of excessive daytime sleepiness.
When M. Christine Schwartz received her
BSN at the College of Nursing in 1970, the building was brand new. When she visited as an alumna decades later, it looked exactly the same. “I wanted to help [the college] create a welcoming environment for students in addition to enhancing the facilities Dean Weaver needed to support her teaching and research plans,” said Schwartz in Christine Schwartz 2014, discussing her $2.2 million gift. at the lobby’s dedication ceremony The funds were used to renovate 2,500 square feet of space on four floors. Among the most noticeable improvements is the first floor’s M. Christine Schwartz Lobby, as it is now known, which was remade into an inviting and highly functional space for individual study, group work and social functions. The gift also permitted expansion of the area now known as the M. Christine Schwartz Experiential Learning Laboratory, which is used to give students crucial experience in simulated clinical scenarios using high-fidelity models.
“HOMECOMINGS” Since 2012, the UIC College of Nursing’s dedicated Alumni Board has hosted an event each
JOIN US FOR THE SIXTH ANNUAL A L U M N I G AT H E R I N G ON MARCH 29, 2017. Details at go.uic.edu/CONalumni
spring, inviting all alumni to the Chicago campus to network and reconnect with friends, faculty and former classmates. No two of the five installments have been exactly alike, but each has involved a combination of terrific offerings: guest speakers, college tours, continuing education courses, celebrations of students, recognitions of alumni, fundraising for scholarships, toasts to milestone-year graduates and more. “We wanted to showcase the excellent faculty, researchers and clinicians, and also highlight students and how their role has evolved” says Sabina Dambrauskas, MSN ’76, BSN ’68, alumni board president in 2012. “After all, students are future alumni; engaging them early is an important goal of these events.” “The events offer time to share memories, get updated on the college, honor alumni and have fun at interesting venues in Chicago,” says Karla Nacion, PhD ’88, MS ’87, current alumni board president. “Alumni events at all of the UIC Nursing campuses will renew your professional spirit. I hope every alum will come and join us!” To be sure, these five all-alumni events have, in and of themselves, been meaningful occasions for the college, but what they point to is a number that simply wouldn’t fit in this round-up: the nearly 11,000 individual alumni who are the source of so much strength and pride for the College of Nursing. 11
It’s been happening for decades and is now one of the most widely admired traditions at UIC: the senior class pool jump. Intriguingly, no one really knows how or when it started, but each class of undergraduate students passes the tradition on to the next. “It’s been happening since I began working here in fall of 1981,” says college staffer Denise Rosen. “Then and now, it’s a way for the students to ‘wash off’ the stress of their undergrad years and celebrate and bond in a really unique way.” In the early 1980s, students took the plunge in swimsuits and their official nursing aprons, says Rosen. In recent years, the attire has been scrubs, and the jump usually follows a luncheon and pinning ceremony that happens early in the week of their commencement ceremony. Decades ago, the event was a favorite feel-good story covered by major Chicago newspapers and TV stations. In a grainy, undated photo from a Chicago Tribune clipping, students are captured mid-jump; a banner on the wall behind them announces “The Nightingale Plunge,” presumably a twist on the Nightingale Pledge. “I’m all about tradition, so since I [first] heard about it, I’ve just wanted to jump,” said Joey Nguyen back in 2012, standing at the edge of the pool in the UIC Sport and Fitness Center. “I’m still glad I did it,” says Nguyen today. He is now Assistant Clinical Nurse Officer in Charge at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. “It’s a fond memory for me because of the symbolism that it held. I feel like it made my UIC experience even more unique.”
U N M AT C H E D TRADITION
THE TRADITION GROWS!
BSN graduates of the college’s Urbana campus took the plunge for the first time in 2008.
Share with us a favorite memory or photo of your class’s jump or tell us what you know about the tradition’s origins. Find us at facebook.com/uic.com, on Twitter @UICnursing, and on Instagram at uicnursing—and be sure to use #UICpooljump in your posts. 13
Research happening in the UIC College of Nursing is vast—both
S I G N AT U R E RESEARCH AREAS
broad and deep—drawing national and international recognition for its faculty members and their contributions to health science. In 2016, leadership outlined five signature areas in which faculty have earned an outstanding reputation for excellence in producing and translating research. These pages feature some of the most impactful work from five of the most influential investigators in the college—or in the field, for that matter—but the content is far from exhaustive. Not only are these five scholars engaged in more studies than are outlined here, but they represent dozens more gifted scientists in this profoundly productive college.
HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION
SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE
SHANNON ZENK, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN
MARIANN PIANO, PHD ’88, MS ’84, RN, FAAN, FAHA
Professor, Health Systems Science
Nursing Collegiate Professor and Department Head, Biobehavioral Health Science
In the mid-2000s, residents in low-income and black neighborhoods in Detroit, Chicago and other U.S. cities were reporting lack of access to healthy foods, a circumstance now often described as “food deserts.” Residential environment, including healthy food availability, parks and walkability, clearly was related to obesity and health, but how?
Heavy episodic alcohol use is a serious public health problem in the U.S. and particularly on American college campuses. In fact, binge drinking rates and intensity are at an all-time high. The social ramifications are getting attention, but little is known about the health effects of binge drinking among young adults.
Zenk was among the first researchers to identify food deserts. Now, with few longitudinal studies to date, she is using electronic health record data from the Veterans Administration to lead a seven-year retrospective cohort study of the impact of the residential environment on obesity and metabolic risk (blood pressure, lipids, glucose) in more than 3 million adults nationwide. Even more novel is her work using GPS technology to conduct one of the first studies on “activity space” (locations where people conduct activities) and obesity-related behaviors, so that her perspective incorporates environmental exposures throughout the day as well as residential environments. 14
Piano and her colleagues were the first scientists to demonstrate that, compared to age-matched abstainers, young adults (18-25 years) with a history of binge drinking have evidence of premature vascular disease. The team was also the first to determine that a biomarker of heavy alcohol consumption, phosphatidylethanol, was significantly increased in young adult binge drinkers.
PREGNANCY OUTCOMES, INFANT HEALTH/PREMATURITY, AND HEALTHY FAMILIES BARBARA MCFARLIN, PHD ’05, MS ’84, BSN ’74, CNM, RDMS, FACNM, FAAN
Associate Professor and Department Head, Women, Children and Family Health Science THE PROBLEM
Birth before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy is the main contributor to perinatal morbidity and mortality and a leading contributor to developmental disability. Globally, 1.1 million infants die each year during the first four weeks of life due to the consequences of being born premature. THE RESEARCH
HEALTH DISPARITIES AND HEALTH EQUITY PHOENIX MATTHEWS, PHD
Professor, Health Systems Science THE PROBLEM
Racial minorities are at elevated risk for poor cancer-related outcomes due to the combined influences of behavior (e.g., smoking), discrimination, poor health care access, and other institutional-level factors. Add to this that the tobacco industry disproportionately targets African-American youth and adults with advertising of highly addictive brands of menthol cigarettes, resulting in increased dependency and lower cessation rates.
In three NIH funded studies, McFarlin used ultrasonic methods to discover that women who are destined to deliver preterm experience detectable changes in the microstructure of the cervix early in pregnancy. This groundbreaking discovery could help indicate which women would benefit from progesterone therapy, which can delay cervical remodeling leading to preterm birth. In this work, McFarlin leads an interdisciplinary research team of mechanical and electrical engineers, maternal-fetal medicine physicians, sonologists and statisticians. She is also studying the influence of chronic stress and racism on preterm birth in African Americans, who have the highest rate of premature birth in the U.S.
SEXUAL MINORITY HEALTH TONDA HUGHES, PHD ’89, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Global Health, Nursing Collegiate Professor, Health Systems Science
Matthews developed culturally competent outreach methods that have improved the recruitment of minorities into smoking-cessation treatment trials, and she developed culturally tailored treatments for African-American smokers (as well as tailored programs for LGBT and HIV-positive smokers). After a successful collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Matthews’ expertise on smoking among African Americans contributed to a 2013 Chicago City Council ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products—including menthol products—within 500 feet of schools. Before this, no jurisdiction at any level had ever included menthol as a flavor in the myriad laws that regulate flavored tobacco.
To read more about the work of all researchers at the UIC College of Nursing, visit go.uic.edu/CONresearch.
Compared with heterosexual women, sexual minority women have been shown to be at higher risk for a number of risky health behaviors and negative health outcomes including overweight and obesity, smoking and substance abuse. THE RESEARCH
Health disparities among sexual minorities have long been explained on the basis of excess stress resulting from being part of a marginalized and stigmatized population group. However, in the longest and one of the only longitudinal studies focused on sexual minority women’s health, Hughes has found very high rates of childhood abuse and victimization among sexual minority women (and men), pointing to another, potentially even more critical factor underlying health disparities in this group. 15
H A L L O F FA M E R S Though only in its sixth year, Sigma Theta Tau International’s Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame has become a revered honor society for the profession. It recognizes nurse researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national or international renown and whose research has improved the profession and the people it serves.
CAROL FERRANS, PHD ’85, MS ’82, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean for Research INDUCTED IN 2014 With her Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index now translated into 21 languages, Carol Ferrans’ innovative research is world-renowned. In groundbreaking work to address health disparities, Ferrans and her team showed that cultural beliefs contribute directly to laterstage diagnosis of breast cancer in AfricanAmerican and Latina women in Chicago. Most importantly, they found these beliefs can be changed. Her findings were cited by the American Cancer Society in its guidelines for screening, and were used as evidence in writing the Illinois Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities Act, which focuses on access to screening and quality of mammography statewide. As a result of Ferrans’ and others’ work, Chicago’s black/white disparity in breast cancer deaths has decreased by 35 percent. 16
TONDA HUGHES, PHD ’89, RN, FAAN
Nursing Collegiate Professor and Associate Dean for Global Health INDUCTED IN 2015 Tonda Hughes is an internationally acclaimed researcher on sexual-minority women’s health and substance use. Over the past 25 years she has received more than $20 million in grants and was among the first researchers to draw major funding for research with this population. She conducted the first ever NIHfunded study of lesbians’ drinking behaviors and related risk factors. Hughes has served as a consultant to numerous federal agencies and institutes and to researchers on nearly every continent. Her first book, “Addiction in the Nursing Profession,” won the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year award in 1989. Most recently, she was awarded the 2016 Achievement Award from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
EILEEN COLLINS, PHD, RN, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor INDUCTED IN 2016 Eileen Collins develops interventions to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness. She was the first to demonstrate the benefit of controlled breathing that enables COPD patients to overcome physical limitations and return to a more active lifestyle; this was heralded as seminal work in the field by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the American Thoracic Society, as well as the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, of which she was named a fellow. Collins is also collaborating on a pilot study to learn if music can help patients with painful peripheral arterial disease stick with an exercise regimen. She has received more than $22 million in research funding throughout her career.
EVENTS TO EMPOWER
On a November day in 1998,
Then dean Joan Shaver speaking at the inaugural Power of Nursing Leadership event: “It’s important for us to acknowledge our stars who happen to be shining at any one time. But it’s also important for us to acknowledge that there is a supporting galaxy that allows the star to emerge.”
nurse leaders from all over Illinois made their way to the Chicago Cultural Center in the Loop. They assembled for a celebration that would become a highlight of every fall for the next 19 years: The Power of Nursing Leadership event. The event was conceived by then dean Joan Shaver, PhD, who felt that the UIC College of Nursing had an obligation as the major source of nurse leaders in Illinois. “We have decided to act on the college’s responsibility, by virtue of our rank, positions and legacy, and by virtue of the positions its alumni have assumed,” wrote Shaver in the spring 1998 issue of Vital Signs, where she announced the first Power of Nursing Leadership event. There she wrote that the event “will celebrate both the development and recognition of nursing’s collective leadership in the state and beyond.” By its 10th anniversary, the Power of Nursing Leadership event had moved to the Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom to
accommodate the more than 600 participants. Over the years, the event has featured inspiring keynotes from celebrated voices including writer Maya Angelou (2002), journalist Linda Ellerbe (2004), attorney Ted Kennedy Jr. (2010) and former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher (2011). “I’m proud to be continuing this indispensable event,” says Terri Weaver, current dean of the College of Nursing. “It’s vital that we take one day each year to laud the impact of nurse leaders who are shaping health care.”
To be precise, the 19th Power of Nursing Leadership event is right around the corner: November 4. Day-of registrations are welcome. Visit www.nursing.uic.edu/pnl. 17
W H O C O L L A B O R AT I N G CENTRE In June 1986, the World Health Organization
designated the UIC College of Nursing as a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for International Nursing Development in Primary Health Care, and more specifically, as the world’s first WHOCC focused on nursing/midwifery. The designation built upon the college’s growing commitment to global nursing development, shepherded by Beverly McElmurry, EdD, RN, FAAN, then associate dean for international studies. Since then, the college’s designation has been renewed six times and is now current through 2019 in large part due to the stellar leadership of centre co-director Linda McCreary, PhD ’00, MS ’93, BSN ’73. WHOCCs serve as resources to nurses around the world, continually working with the World Health Organization to promote technical and educational cooperation among countries and to initiate collaborative research projects of regional and international significance. At present, there are 40 WHOCCs for nursing and midwifery throughout the world. Over the decades, the College of Nursing’s commitment to advance nursing education and research worldwide has only deepened. The WHOCC is now just one part of the college’s overarching Global Health Leadership Office. The GHLO facilitates partnerships between the College of Nursing and institutions in 18 countries. Here, we call out just a few to represent the many. Linda McCreary Beverly McElmurry
BELIZE Each year, UIC clinical professor Carrie Klima, PhD, MS ’86, CNM, FACNM, co-leads a group of nursing students from UIC and Loyola University Chicago to Belize. The team provides numerous services, including vision testing and screening for hypertension, diabetes and cancer. They also lead in-service workshops for health care personnel and health-education classes for residents in the villages.
HAITI The nonprofit medical group Little by Little was founded by clinical assistant professor Susan Walsh, DNP, MS ’00, C-PNP, to help address medical needs in Haiti. At least twice a year, a group of nurse practitioners and students— along with physicians, registered nurses and pharmacists—completes a medical mission trip to a rural clinic near Port-au-Prince, where they treat more than 200 patients per day over the course of a week.
MALAWI Our college’s 15-year partnership with the University of Malawi’s Kamuzu College of Nursing involves research capacity-building, support and development of PhD-trained nursing faculty, along with community-based interventions in HIV prevention and group antenatal care. Eight Kamuzu faculty have completed graduate studies at UIC, then returned home to strengthen nursing education and research in Malawi.
WEST ASIA Panchgani, INDIA
Pamplona, SPAIN Solna, SWEDEN Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UNITED KINGDOM Oslo, NORWAY
CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA Corozal, Belize Port-au-Prince, HAITI São Paulo, BRAZIL Santiago, CHILE
Hong Kong, CHINA Kunming, Yunnan, CHINA Beijing, CHINA Tokyo, JAPAN Seoul, SOUTH KOREA Chiang Mai, THAILAND
AFRICA Zomba, MALAWI Kigali, RWANDA Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN AND SPAIN The UIC College of Nursing hosts groups of visiting undergraduate nursing students from South Korea, Japan and Spain for a multifaceted summer study abroad program. UIC undergraduates join them for a course on global health, where students examine shared concerns like pediatric and maternal health issues, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and social determinants of health.
INDIA Our college’s 10-year partnership with Bel-Air Hospital and College of Nursing in Panchgani has progressed from the establishment of that college to development of a new medicalsurgical nursing master’s subspecialty in HIV/AIDS, a first for India. Currently, external funding supports the exchange of UIC and Bel-Air faculty and students to strengthen this unique program.
RWANDA The Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program is a seven-year initiative through which a consortium of U.S. universities, including UIC, aims to strengthen the health professions education system in Rwanda. U.S. faculty in nursing/midwifery and other health professions work with their Rwandan counterparts to develop strong curricula and clinical practica and to improve standards of care.
COMMUNITY CLINICS Through Integrated Health Care, the UIC College of Nursing is leading an innovative program of nurse-managed health centers in the metropolitan area. Two clinics are currently serving underserved neighborhoods: New City on the South Side and Humboldt Park on the West Side. Both clinics are led and primarily staffed by advanced nurse practitioners (APNs) focused on providing disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, both physical and mental. And that’s what is truly innovative about IHC: It is responding to the evidence showing that individuals with serious mental illness are at higher risk for serious physical conditions, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Typically, delivery of mental health care is completely separate from—and often not well-coordinated with—medical/physical health care. IHC
has developed and maintained an integrated, evidenced-based system, delivering mental and physical health care to any given in patient in one location. As a result of its innovative model, the practice has observed benchmark-breaking health outcomes and near-perfect patientsatisfaction ratings. Not surprisingly, IHC has won numerous awards, including the American Academy of Nursing Raise the Voice: Edge Runner Award. “Nurses—by training and by nature—put people at the center of their own care,” says Nancy Valentine, associate dean for practice, policy and partnerships. “So the fact that nurses lead our clinics is at the heart of our holistic, coordinated approach. We provide individuals and families with comprehensive care, close to home, regardless of their ability to pay, and we work very closely with community partners and referral sources to make sure this happens.”
CLEAR EYES, STRONG MIND, G R AT E F U L H E A R T
Melissa Vargas is about to graduate . . . on schedule. She knows that was made possible by donors whose scholarship gifts got her started and kept her on track.
When Melissa Vargas decided to become a nurse, she knew what it meant. She wasn’t imagining the tumultuous glamour of General Hospital, the dramatic rescues of Grey’s Anatomy, or any other fiction of the field. Vargas had already spent two years in underserved communities abroad, working with the nonprofit Timmy Global Health. During four months in the Dominican Republic, she promoted public health and delivered women’s health education in “bateyes,” depressed, rural company towns surrounding banana plantations miles from cities. “We teamed up with local labs and OB/GYNS and got the residents free paps,” recalls Vargas. “We taught them about cervical cancer and ways to prevent it.”
In Santo Domingo, Ecuador, Vargas often led orientations for newly arriving health care volunteers (these were nursing students from another U.S. college).
Her second trip, to Ecuador, was supposed to be a two-month internship. It ended up as a full-time job. For 18 months, she found herself joining community health workers focused on chronic care management and school health, as well as working on medical brigades traveling around the country to deliver care. “I worked with MDs and DOs, but I found myself having more in common, ideologically, with the nurses and NPs,” Vargas says. “As much
Vargas in Quito, Ecuador, walking and talking with a regular patient at her clinics. 22
as I believed in the importance of addressing population needs, I wanted one-on-one work with patients.” Though she already had bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health, she decided to pursue becoming a nurse—to enhance her career, not change it. “I wanted to merge my public health education with a nursing education to be a stronger, wiser advocate for my future patients.” THE STARTING PLACE When she started looking at nursing programs, Vargas couldn’t help but evaluate them through a lens curved like the globe itself. She didn’t adopt her international view of health care in the DR or Ecuador. Nor did she acquire it while earning her master’s degree in Bordeaux, France. It’s been with her since childhood. Though she was born in Indianapolis, Vargas’ family is traditional Peruvian. She recalls a trip to Peru in her late teens to visit an aunt who was sick with brain cancer. “I got to see the state of health care in Peru,” she says. “The hospital waiting room was outside in the rain. It was one of the first experiences that made me realize I wanted to have some say in health care—to stand up for patients and give them a voice.” She was first drawn to UIC’s graduate entry master’s program in nursing because she “needed a big city, with different populations, languages and challenges.” Vargas also appreciated the college’s deep concern for health issues around the world, manifest through its Global Health Leadership Office (which, once she enrolled, “I immediately became involved in and harassed until they hired me as a graduate assistant, which I still am today,” she says). A FAMILIAR CHALLENGE Vargas is the only child of a single, immigrant mother who earned a low income but tried to provide for her daughter in every way. College, though, was another matter. “To even consider college was a luxury for me,” she recalls. “No one in my family knew how college worked, especially in the U.S. I had to be resourceful, to teach myself, not only how to apply for and prepare for college, but how to pay for it.” Her impressive high school career translated into a series of scholarships that got her through her undergraduate degree at Purdue University. For her first master’s degree, she went to Europe expressly because tuition there is a miniscule fraction of that for comparable programs in the States. “But coming back to graduate school in the U.S.,” she says, “I didn’t have as many readily available options. Tuition was so high, scholarships were scarce and competition was tight.” THE WAY FORWARD The graduate entry master’s program at the UIC College of Nursing is intense. Course work is rigorous, and students move from rotation to rotation every seven weeks starting in the second semester. “Holding a full time job would have been impossible for me, so my funding had to come from loans and, I hoped, scholarships,” Vargas says. Her hopes became reality when she received two, one-year scholarships covering a large part of tuition. After that first year, however, life changed for her. “My mother found herself unemployed,” says Vargas. “She provided for me whenever I needed it when I was younger, and I knew it was my turn to be the provider for her.”
Fortunately, in her second year of the program, she was awarded even more support in the form of the Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship. Between the scholarship and pushing herself to take on two parttime graduate assistantships, she was able to stay in the program, to fund her education and to support her mother for the eight months it took for her to find employment. “Without the financial support I received through the College of Nursing, we would not have been able to get by without compromising my studies or even putting them on hold.”
Why I support UIC Nursing “I had a wonderful, cutting-edge education that prepared me for a great career. I also believe in the mission.” — Janet A. Deatrick, PhD ’82
A LEADER WHO FITS RIGHT IN Now Vargas is almost finished at UIC; she will graduate in December 2016 with her advanced generalist master’s degree. “My classmates, clinical instructors and faculty confirmed that I made the right decision to come to UIC,” she says. “They’re passionate, hard-working people, all aiming to achieve the best care for their patients. I feel the exact same passion, and UIC has nurtured it in an environment of like-minded people.” Vargas is indeed passionate and hard-working. For two years, in addition to her studies, she has maintained volunteer roles with five nonprofits in Chicago: as a soccer and writing coach for America SCORES; as an assistant chef for Common Threads; teaching English as a Second Language at Pilsen Academy; and as general support at Working Bikes and at Mujeres Latinas en Accion Proyecto Juventud. Add to all this that she has been president of the Urban Health Program College of Nursing Student Association for the past year. But none of that is what she’s most proud of. “I’m most proud of the way my whole cohort has developed and sustained [a principle of] collaboration, in school and in the clinical teams we’ve been on through our rotations,” she says. “I never felt competition, only ever support and collaboration.” THE LAST CHAPTER It was in her rotation in community health nursing that Vargas felt that last confirmation she craved: that she had met her goal to marry public health and nursing. “Throughout my rotations, my clinical instructors led by example in helping me fully develop into an advocate for my patients,” she says. “But during my community health rotation, my instructor, Gerry Gorman, told me that she saw an ability in me to heal through honest discussion. She told me she was glad I chose nursing. “I cried,” she confesses with a laugh. Now, Vargas is “very excited” to get into the field. Even while contemplating an immediate application to a family nurse practitioner DNP program, she plans to stay active in community health education. Specifically, she’d like to work in reproductive health education for adolescents and teens. Looking back from this vantage point, Vargas knows how she got here: hard work, personal resolve, support of her peers, and encouragement from the faculty. She also knows she owes a great deal to the support of scholarships, and to the donors—individuals and foundations—that made those scholarships possible. “This is my personal story, but there are many stories like mine, where a scholarship has made the difference between staying in and dropping out of school,” she says. “I hope our donors know how much they lighten the load and let us put our efforts toward our profession and, most importantly, our patients.”
“I am so appreciative to have been taught by such talented faculty at the College of Nursing. Seeing that level of teaching extended to students in the regions has been a real thrill for me as a lifelong downstate resident.” — Chris Whippo, MS ’88, BSN ’73
“It is a world-class university that gives opportunities to students from all backgrounds, and … it’s financially possible for the brightest minds to pursue a career in nursing no matter their socioeconomic background.” — Rachel Newhouse, MS ’12
“The UIC College of Nursing provided an excellent foundation for the 43 years of my nursing [career]. I want that standard of education to continue for nursing students of the future in order to provide outstanding care to all of the patients that we serve.” — Virginia Davis, BSN ’69
“I am grateful for the excellent education I received.” — Sally West Brooks, BSN ’63
“The college develops and supports nursing leaders that impact policy, nursing education and clinical practice both nationally and globally.” — Maryann Alexander, PhD ’02
“It’s one of the best nursing schools in the country!” — Lois Platt, BSN ’73
“I was nurtured, not only during my schooling, but throughout my career by UIC grads and students. Thank you for the excellent nurses you grow.” — Julia Harrison, MS ’81
1, 4 2 7 MORE REASONS
2016 has filled the UIC College of Nursing with joy and pride as it celebrates 65 years of educating nurse leaders. And it is with equal joy, equal pride, that the college community looks forward. The future of UIC Nursing is in the capable, compassionate, diverse and determined hands of today’s student body—1,427 students strong in fall 2016! During orientation activities, Vital Signs asked undergraduate students at the Chicago campus how they came to join the college.
“I CHOSE THE UIC COLLEGE OF NURSING BECAUSE . . . ”
“I WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE MISSION OF THIS COLLEGE TO BRING A BETTER QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE TO DIVERSE MINORITY GROUPS.”
“IT’S ONE OF THE BEST IN THE NATION. GETTING A [DEGREE] FROM THE UIC COLLEGE OF NURSING WILL LET ME STAND PROUD.”
- Gloria Galvez
- Emmanuel Acheampong
“I KNOW I’LL HAVE HANDS-ON PROFESSORS AND ALSO BE IN THE WORLD-RENOWNED CITY OF CHICAGO.”
“I LOVE BEING NEAR THE CITY. AND IT TURNS OUT THEY MAKE AWESOME, TOP-GRADE NURSES!”
“IT WAS HARD WORK TO GET IN, BUT IT’S ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST AFFORDABLE PROGRAMS.”
- Shelby Randolph
- Maya Imala
- Yehuda Polsky
“WHY NOT GO BIG OR GO HOME, RIGHT? THIS IS A TOP NURSING SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY, AND HERE I AM!” - Emilia Mazur
“IT’S A GREAT PROGRAM AND VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY ALL THE NURSES I’VE EVER SPOKEN TO.” - Olivia Bimbi
“IT’S ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATED NURSING SCHOOLS IN CHICAGO AND IT’S A GREAT RESEARCH SCHOOL.” - Deborah Adeoye
Call for Nominations DISTINGUISHED NURSE ALUMNA/US AWARD Nominate yourself or an alum you admire for the 2017 award by February 3 Find criteria and nomination forms at go.uic.edu/CON AlumAward. Mary Nies, PHD ’88, RN, FAAN, FAAHB 2016 Distinguished Nurse Alumna
COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION DEAN Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN Julie Zerwic, PhD, RN, FAAN ASSOCIATE DEAN, GLOBAL HEALTH Tonda Hughes, PhD ’89, RN, FAAN ASSOCIATE DEAN, PRACTICE, POLICY AND PARTNERSHIPS Nancy Valentine, PhD, MPH, RN, FNAP, FAAN ASSOCIATE DEAN, RESEARCH Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD ’85, MS ’82, RN, FAAN DEPARTMENT HEAD, HEALTH SYSTEMS SCIENCE Lorna Finnegan, PhD ’93, MS ’88, BSN ’80 DEPARTMENT HEAD, WOMEN, CHILDREN AND FAMILY HEALTH SCIENCE Barbara McFarlin, PhD ’05, MS ’84, BSN ’74, RDMS, FACNM, FAAN DEPARTMENT HEAD, BIOBEHAVIORAL HEALTH SCIENCE Mariann Piano, PhD ’88, MS ’84, RN, FAAN
REGIONAL CAMPUS ADMINISTRATION PEORIA DIRECTOR Elaine Hardy, PhD ’11, RN QUAD CITIES DIRECTOR Kathleen J.H. Sparbel, PhD, MS ’96 FNP-BC ROCKFORD DIRECTOR Kelly D. Rosenberger, DNP ’12, APN, WHNP-BC, CNM SPRINGFIELD DIRECTOR Cynthia Reese, PhD, MS ’95, RN, CNE URBANA DIRECTOR Krista Jones, DNP ’11, MS ’09, MSN ’07, APHN, RN
NURSING ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Board of Directors 2015–16 PRESIDENT Karla Nacion, PhD ’88, MS ’87 VICE PRESIDENT Mary Doherty, BSN ’80 SECRETARY Judith McDevitt, PhD ’97, BSN ’88
ASSISTANT DEAN, ADVANCEMENT Steven Anthony George
TREASURER Celeste Presperin-Pearson, BSN ’81
ASSISTANT DEAN, BUSINESS, FINANCE AND HR Herminio (Jon) Morelos Jr., JD
PAST-PRESIDENT Sabina Dambrauskas, MS ’76, BSN ’68 DIRECTORS Rowena Abasolo, MS ’10, BSN ’04 Margaret Beaman, PhD ’87, MS ’82, BSN ’78 Holli DeVon, PhD ’02, MS ‘82 Rhys Gibson, BSN ’09 Gloria Henderson, MS ’70 Pat Lewis, PhD ’93 Rachel Newhouse, MS ’12 Linda Olson, PhD ’95 Harlene Pearlman, MS ’95 Phyllis Pelt, MS ’95, BSN ’67 Lauretta Quinn, PhD ’96 Jan Spunt, MS ‘83, BSN ‘74
EXTERNAL ADVISORY BOARD Laura Calamos Nasir, PhD, FNP, RN, FHEA Calamos Investments LLC
65TH ANNIVERSARY GALA PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIR Terri E. Weaver, PhD, RN, FAAN
Janet A. Deatrick, PhD ’82, RN, FAAN University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
PAST CO-CHAIRS Kevin Crowe, CNP Linda Scott, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Suzanne L. Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN Children’s National Medical Center– Washington D.C.
DEPUTY CHAIR Katie Corboy
Judith E. Hicks, MS ’75, RN Beechwood Health Solutions LLC Lynn F. Lenker, MS ’95 SSM Integrated Health Technologies Karla Nacion, PhD ’88, MS ’87 College of Nursing Alumni Association Jill Rogers, PhD ’96, RN ViLiving M. Christine Schwartz, BSN ’70, RN TCS Group, LLC
Sara Almassian Matt Campion Clare Delaney Mary Doherty, BSN ’80 Steven Anthony George Shannon Hynes Leo Klein Carrie Klima, PhD, MS ’86 Teresa Krassa Brigid Lusk, PhD ’95 Alicia McConnell-Hatch Liz Miller Barbara Simmons, MS ’76 Karen Vuckovic, PhD ’13
Judith Lloyd Storfjell, PhD, RN, FAAN President, Lloyd Consultants LLC
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