Alumni Awards - 2009

The Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing: Donna M. Herrin, MSN ’91

The alumni award for Excellence in Nursing is presented annually to a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing who is a national or international leader in nursing issues.

Donna Herrin, vice president for Patient Services for Methodist Health Systems, created the Nursing Institute of the MidSouth. This 501(c)(3) brings together nursing practice and academic leaders to address nursing workforce issues facing the Shelby County area.

A long-time member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), this year Herrin serves as president. She is widely published in peer-reviewed journals, and she serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Nursing Administration. She is a clinical associate professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and holds faculty positions at the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences. She is currently a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and certified as a Nursing Administrator, Advanced by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.


The Alumni Award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing Sara H. Hampshire: BSN ’71, MSN ’75

The alumni award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing is presented to a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing for proficiency in clinical, patient-centered practice.

Sara Hampshire is a family nurse practitioner with Tennessee Women’s Care in Nashville. Obstetrician/Gynecologist Phil Bressman, MD, has practiced with Hampshire for 27 years and said, “for the past four years, we have worked together exclusively in collaborative practice. I am truly fortunate to have her as a colleague and as a dear friend.”

She currently volunteers with Siloam Clinic and anticipates future opportunities to assist and mentor young children with their reading skills. A wife and mother of two, Sara has serves as a model for peers and patients with her ability to balance work, life, family and fun.


The President’s Award of Distinction: Sheila H. Ridner, MSN ’00, PhD ’03

The President’s Award of Distinction is presented to graduates of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing who are recognized for distinguished contributions to nursing and to their communities.

Since 2003, Sheila Ridner, PhD, has given presentations on Lymphedema at the Annual Oncology Nursing Congress, the First International Lymphedema Network Patient Summit and the National League for Nurses International Conference on Lymphedema. She has spoken at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Hardin Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center and at various YMCAs for their After Breast Cancer Programs. Sheila has numerous peer-reviewed articles, including in Oncology Nursing Forum, Journal of Advanced Nursing Research, and Supportive Care in Cancer.

In addition to receiving her MSN and PhD from Vanderbilt University, Sheila earned a Master of Health Services Administration from the College of St. Francis Graduate School.

Her fundraising efforts have brought in more than $500,000 to fund Lymphedema research.


Friend of Nursing: James (Jim) Carell

For over 40 years, Jim Carell has looked ahead to health care needs and provided options to meet them. Carell is a longtime supporter of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. His daughter graduated from the School of Nursing in 2005 as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In that same year, he and his wife Jan established the James and Janet Carell/Tina Marie McIntosh MSN, CPNP Scholarship for Nurses to benefit nursing students demonstrating merit and financial need. During recent renovations at VUSN, Carell generously provided one of his own buildings for the students to use.

From his leadership as general agent of a Mutual of Omaha agency to his founding of CareAll (a home health-care agency primarily for seniors) in 1985, Carell has insisted that employees must provide high-quality value to chronically ill patients and their families.


Honorary Alumnus: Patricia Champion Frist

The Honorary Alumnus is awarded in recognition of significant contributions to the nursing school by an individual whose academic credentials were obtained elsewhere.

Patricia Frist is a community volunteer. She has served on the boards of the Nashville Community Foundation, YWCA, Harpeth Hall, Ensworth School and Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC). A partner at Frist Capital and president at Frisco, Inc., Frist is president of the Patricia C. Frist and Thomas F. Frist Jr. Foundation. She has been an independent director of SunTrust Banks Inc. since 2000.

The Frist family invested in the Patricia Champion Frist Hall at VUSN. The 25,000 square foot building includes a student lounge, an 80-seat multi-media classroom, two multi-purpose rooms, a 30-seat classroom, 35 faculty offices, three conference rooms and the state-of-the-art Frist Nursing Informatics Center.