Class of 1999

Every VUSN graduate has exciting things happening in her or his life, both professionally and personally. Class Notes – printed twice a year in the Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine and available online on this page – is an opportunity for you to not only learn what other alumni are doing but also share news about your life. We would love to hear what you've been up to! Please contact us with any updates, or call 615-322-4836. And, when posting on social media please tag us! #VUSN

Look below for news from your classmates as of June 30, 2022; items received since Jan. 1 are shown in red font.


Molly Payne Ainsworth, MSN'99, is a nurse practitioner at Birmingham Heart Clinic in Trussville, Alabama (2020).

Rob Allison, BA'89, MSN'99 , of Nashville passed away November 3, 2021.

Marcia Spear Barnes, MSN'99, DNP'10, spoke about wound care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in May 2017, and published "Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: Does It Matter?" in Plastic Surgical Nursing, an electronic journal of American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses in 2015. She edited the book, Skin Grafts: Indications, Applications and Current Research , published by IntechOpen in 2011. She is director of governmental affairs for the Tennessee Nurses Association Board of Directors.

Erika Benson, MSN'99, is a family nurse practitioner living in Finland as a Fulbright Scholar conducting research on sex education at a non-governmental organization (2021).

Leah Garrett Bowen, MSN'99, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at the Nashville Center for Hope and Healing (2021).

Sharon England Bryant, MSN'99, was interviewed by Clinical Advisor in August 2021 for the article, "Spotlight on Non-ventilator-associated Hospital-acquired Pneumonia." She co-authored "Postintensive Care Syndrome," published in Critical Care Nursing Clinics in December 2019.

Christina Chisenhall Dozier, MSN'99, is a family nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt Primary Care in Clarksville, Tennessee (2020).

Tracy Privette George, MSN'99, is lead author of "Virtual Collaboration in Academia," published in Creative Nursing in August 2020.

Martina Harris, MSN'99, was interviewed in July 2019 by the Chattanooga Times Free Press for an article about the shortage of nurses in that city. She is the director of nursing at Chattanooga State Community College, and president of District 4 of the Tennessee Nurses Association. 

Laura Hein, MSN'99, PhD'06, is an associate professor at University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Columbia (2018). 

Sharon Karp, MSN'99, PhD'08, is co-author of "Choking, Allergic Reactions and Pickiness: A Qualitative Study of Maternal Perceived Threats and Risk Avoidance Strategies during Complementary Feeding," published in April 2022 in Appetite . She was inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June. Sharon co-authored "Clinical Strategies for Addressing Obesity in Infants and Toddlers," published in The Nurse Practitioner in February 2021, and was named director of program evaluations at VUSN in June. She co-authored "Infant Feeding Beliefs and Practices: Effects of Maternal Personal Characteristics," published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing in May 2020, and "Family-Centered Care: How Close Do We Get When Talking to Parents of Children Undergoing Diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorders?" published in November in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders . Sharon was published in the March 2019 issue of Nursing Clinics and received the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award in May 2018.

Brenda McFarlin, MSN'99, was named a Woman of Wilson by The Wilson Post in May 2020. She is a nurse practitioner at Bradshaw Health in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Stephen Miller, MSN'99, is lead author of "Update on Cardiogenic Shock: A Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Approach," published in February 2022 in The Nurse Practitioner .

Julia Cain Phillippi, MSN'99, co-authored "Innovations in Prospective Perinatal Research as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic," published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health  in February 2022, and "A Comparison of Methods to Identify Antenatal Substance Use within Electronic Health Records," in the March issue of American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology . In April, "Hypothyroidism: Diagnosis and Evidence-based Treatment," which she co-authored, was published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health . Julia co-presented "Sexually Transmitted Infections: Updates and Gender Inclusive Care" and "I Have No Choice Here: Experience of Decision-making for Home Breech Birth," at the American College of Nurse-Midwives conference in May, where she was named JMWH Peer Reviewer of the Year 2021 and had an article honored as JMWH Review Article of the Year. That month, she was featured in Vanderbilt University Research News in "Moms Who Research Moms: Spotlighting VU Research on Motherhood," and was promoted in June to professor at VUSN. Julia co-authored "Challenges in the Triage Care of Low-risk Laboring Patients: A Comparison of 2 Models of Practice," published in the April/June 2021 The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing . She was a panelist for "What a Nurse Can Do: The Surprisingly Broad Range of Expertise among Nurses/Nurse Practitioners," in May, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum, and co-authored "Review of Evidence-based Methods for Successful Labor Induction," published that month in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health . Julia is the subject of "'Secret Shopper' Study Sheds Light on Barriers to Opioid Treatment for Women," that June in VUMC Reporter , and lead author of "Reproductive-age Women's Experience of Accessing Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: 'We Don't Do That Here'," published in Women's Health Issues in September. She gave a grand rounds talk at Carle Health in October and, in November, the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health named her and 15 others recipients of the inaugural Outstanding Peer Reviewer Award for the decade 2011-20. Julia was invited by Obstetrics & Gynecology to write an editorial, "Community Birth: The Value of Collaboration," which was published in the November print edition, a unique honor for a nonphysician. She was featured in a video on why it is important for women of childbearing years to still seek preventative care during a pandemic, part of the Vanderbilt University Ask an Expert series. In February 2020, Julia co-authored "Group B Streptococcal Bacteriuria in Pregnancy: An Evidence‐based, Patient‐centered Approach to Care," published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health , and "A Collaborative Model of a Community Birth Center and a Tertiary Care Medical Center," in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology . In July, she co-authored "The Association between Longer Durations of the Latent Phase of Labor and Subsequent Perinatal Processes and Outcomes among Midwifery Patients," published in Birth Issues in Perinatal Care . Julia gave the keynote address on "Integrated, Person-centered Care: Building Systems that Facilitate Inter-professional Collaboration," at the Innovative Models of Care for Reducing Inequities in Maternal Health workshop hosted by the National Institute on Nursing Research, and co-authored "Receptivity of Hospitalized Older Adults and Family Caregivers to Prognostic Information about Aging, Injury and Frailty: A Qualitative Study," published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies , both in September. In December, a commentary she wrote, "COVID‐19 and Perinatal Care: Facing Challenges, Seizing Opportunities," was published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health . Julia shared a Top 5 Blue Ribbon Award at the 2019 Vanderbilt Health Professions Education Research Day for a poster, "Interprofessional Simulation between Nursing and Divinity Students: Learning beyond Roles and Checklists," and was appointed to the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy. That year, she wrote "You MUST Read Dreyer's English," on the Edge for Scholars blog in April, co-authored "Applying a Physiologic Partograph to Consortium on Safe Labor Data to Identify Opportunities for Safely Decreasing Cesarean Births among Nulliparous Women," published in May in Birth Issues in Perinatal Care , and became director of the VUSN nurse-midwifery specialty in June. She co-wrote two items for Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health: "Preventing Cesarean Birth in Women with Obesity: Influence of Unit‐Level Midwifery Presence on Use of Cesarean among Women in the Consortium on Safe Labor Data Set," published in August, and "Using the Robson 10‐Group Classification System to Compare Cesarean Birth Utilization between U.S. Centers with and without Midwives," in September. In 2018, Julia was named a fellow by the American Academy of Nursing, was quoted in Daily Beast about the increasing popularity of midwives, and received a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to study an interdisciplinary team-based maternity care model. She received the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter Research Nurse of the Year Award, wrote a chapter in the textbook Women's Gynecologic Health , 3rd ed., and co-authored a chapter in Best Practices in Midwifery , 2nd ed., all in 2016.

Brenda Truman Pun, MSN'99, is co-author of "Effects of a National Quality Improvement Collaborative on ABCDEF Bundle Implementation," published in January 2022 in the American Journal of Critical Care . She was interviewed by the VUMC Reporter in January 2021 for co-authoring an international study that has shown a substantial degree of acute brain dysfunction among COVID-19 intensive care unit patients. She co-authored "Monitoring for Delirium in Critically Ill Adults," published by Delirium in February 2020, and "Organizational Characteristics Associated with ICU Liberation (ABCDEF) Bundle Implementation by Adult ICUs in Michigan," published that August in Critical Care Explorations . Brenda was quoted in a February 2016 University of California San Francisco Science of Caring article about delirium. She is director of data quality at the Vanderbilt Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction and Survivorship Center.

Kathleen Quinn, MSN'99, is chief healthcare officer at Discovery Integrative Healthcare and Psychotherapy Centers, with offices in Pass Christian, Mississippi, San Antonio and New Orleans (2018). 

Clay Satterfield, MSN'99, is a family nurse practitioner at the Franciscan Prompt Care–Canyon Road Clinic in Puyallup, Washington (2016).

Kristin Brandt Stovern, MSN'99, is a nurse practitioner specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri (2020).

Melissa Bailey Swinea, MSN'99, served as president of District 10 of the Tennessee Nurses Association (2018). 

Todd Warren, MSN'99, is a nurse practitioner at Orthopeadic Specialists in Arrington, Tennessee (2017).

Angela Weaver, MSN'99, is co-recipient of the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors in May 2021, and co-presented a poster, "Cracking the Code: Building an Escape Room Challenge Using Innovative Strategies through a Team-building Approach," at the National League for Nursing Summit that September. She is a member of a team whose project, "Educational Innovation to Assess PreSpecialty Students' Ability to Demonstrate Clinical Judgment, Effective Communication and Teamwork during an Escape Room Simulation," was accepted for funding from the VUSN Faculty Scholarship Program in March 2020.

Helen Weems, MSN'99, is founder and director of All Families Healthcare in Whitefish, Montana (2020).

Carl Wherry, MSN'99, is president of the West Los Angeles North Chapter of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners as well as speaker of the house for its annual House of Delegates (2016).

Angela Wilson-Liverman, MSN'99, received the Mary Jane Werthan Award from the Vanderbilt University Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center in March 2018 for her contributions to the advancement of women at the university. In 2017, she received the Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing presented by the VUSN Alumni Association at the school's annual awards ceremony in October, and the Advance Practice Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter. Angela presented "Initiating Medication in your Gestational Diabetic Patient," at that year's American College of Nurse-Midwives conference. She is director of advanced practice for obstetrics/gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the School of Medicine.

Jennifer Ezell Wilbeck, MSN'99, PMC'06, is co-author of "Bridging Didactic Learning and the Complexity of Practice through Clinical Immersion: Evaluating the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Trainee Experience," published in the Journal of Forensic Nursing in January 2022. She led a group in authoring the 2021 Emergency Nurse Practitioner Competencies , endorsed by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. Jennifer was interviewed in the summer of 2021 for the NP Schools blog on "Day in the Life of an Emergency NP: Two Experts Share Their Perspectives." She is co-author of "Revisioning the ENP among Emergency Workforce Changes: Specialty or Population?" published in Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal , in July/September, and a contributing author for the first edition of Emergency Nurse Practitioner Core Curriculum, published by Springer in August. She presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners conference in September and was interviewed for the NP Pulse: The Voice of Nurse Practitioners podcast in November. Jennifer was featured by Prevention in March 2020 in an interview about fevers and what to look for regarding COVID-19. She moderated a panel, "Recommendations for Improving National Nurse Preparedness for Pandemic Response: Early Lessons from COVID-19," hosted by the American College of Medical Toxology in June, and received a Certified Nurse Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She co-authored "Ensuring Relevance and Currency for the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Profession: A Call for Collaboration," published in the October/December issue of the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal . In April 2019, Jennifer co-presented "Trauma-informed Care for the Sexual Assault Survivor," at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses regional section conference, and co-authored "Dental Pain Relief in the Age of ALTO," published in the July/September issue of Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal . Also that year, she co-published "Supporting Program Rigor in Newly Developed Specialty Academic Programs: Use of a Self-evaluation Reporting Tool for Emergency Nurse Practitioner Academic Programs," for Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in August, and a poster she co-presented received first place at the International Association of Forensic Nurses conference that September. Jennifer was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in October. Jennifer became director of VUSN's emergency nurse practitioner program in June 2018. She received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Academic Endeavors and the Advance Practice Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter, both in 2017. She was named fellow by the American Association for Nurse Practitioners in 2016.  

Melody Riggenbach Wilkinson, MSN'99, co-presented "Teaching Academics," at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners conference in June 2019, and was named a fellow of the AANP in June 2018. Melody is assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Dana Wirth, MSN'99, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.