Class of 2009

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. 

The most recent listings appear first. More info may be available at www.vuconnect.com and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at https://www.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbiltnurse


Lisa Blount, MSN'09, is a certified nurse-midwife at Connectus Health in Nashville, where she sees patients who are uninsured, underinsured and fully covered, including a large Spanish-speaking population and people from Africa and the Middle East (2019).

Leanne Boehm, MSN'09, PhD'16, co-authored "Peer Support for Post Intensive Care Syndrome Self-management (PS-PICS): Study Protocol for Peer Mentor Training," published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in January 2021, and both "Benefits of Peer Support for Intensive Care Unit Survivors: Sharing Experiences, Care Debriefing and Altruism," and "Establishing a Peer Support Program for Survivors of COVID-19: A Report from the Critical and Acute Illness Recovery Organization," published in the American Journal of Critical Care in March. She co-authored a chapter, "The Role of the Volunteer across the Critical Care Recovery Arc," for the book, Improving Critical Care Survivorship: A Guide to Prevention, Recovery, and Reintegration , published by Springer Nature in April, and, in May, received the Borten Family Foundation Junior Investigator Award from the American Delirium Society. Leanne is co-author of "Assess, Prevent, and Manage Pain; Both Spontaneous Awakening and Breathing Trials; Choice of Analgesia/Sedation; Delirium: Assess, Prevent and Manage; Early Mobility; Family Engagement and Empowerment Bundle Implementation: Quantifying the Association of Access to Bundle-enhancing Supplies and Equipment," published in Critical Care Explorations in September, and  lead author of "Delirium-related Distress in the ICU: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis of Patient and Family Perspectives and Experiences," in the October International Journal of Nursing Studies . An overview of that study is in a video. In February 2020, Leanne co-authored "Monitoring for Delirium in Critically Ill Adults," published by Delirium , and is lead author of "Implementation of a Patient and Family-centered Intensive Care Unit Peer Support Program at a Veterans Affairs Hospital," published in Critical Care Clinics of North America that June. She co-authored "Implementation of an Intensive Care Unit Diary Program at a Veterans Affairs Hospital," published in Nursing Care Quality in August. She is lead author of "A Multisite Study of Multidisciplinary ICU Team Member Beliefs toward Early Mobility," published in Heart and Lung , and co-author of "Institutional Challenges and Solutions to Evidence-based, Patient-centered Practice: Implementing ICU Diaries," in Critical Care Nurse , both in October. That month, Leanne co-presented "Introduction to Implementation Science: Examples from Clinical Operations," at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Nursing Virtual Research Day, and, in November, co-authored "Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth after Critical Illness," in the American Journal of Critical Care . Leanne is co-author of "Implementation Science Training and Resources for Nurses and Nurse Scientists," published in the September 2019 issue of Journal of Nursing Scholarship . That year, she received an American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Impact Research Grant and a Vanderbilt University Provost Discovery Grant in support of her research into interventions for post-intensive care syndrome problems, and co-authored "Caring for Survivors of Critical Illness: Current Practices and the Role of the Nurse in Intensive Care Unit Aftercare," published by American Journal of Critical Care . She was featured in Vanderbilt University's MyVU in November 2018 as a new faculty member. Leanne earned the Best Poster Award from the American Delirium Society in June 2017, and presented a poster at the American Delirium Society meeting in June 2016.

Kelly Brown, MSN'09 , of Batesville, Arkansas, passed away December 9, 2016.

Lindsey Caldwell St. Cyr, MSN'09, is a nurse practitioner at Cleveland Clinic Canada in Toronto (2020).

Billy Cameron, MSN'09, was co-organizer of the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Critical Care Bootcamp at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in August 2018, and co-chaired the event's planning committee in 2017 and 2016. He presented "Assessment of the GI and Liver Patient," at VUMC in September 2018.

Pam Carney, MSN'09, retired from her position as a nurse navigator at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in February 2021.

Gina Clarkson, MSN'09, PhD'16, co-authored "Factors Affecting Time NICU Nurses Spend with Fathers: Results from a Larger Study," published in the October 2019 issue of Advances in Neonatal Care .  

Beth Anne Baus Connaway, MSN'09 , of Marietta, Georgia, passed away July 28, 2020.

Hannah Diaz, MSN'09, provided weekly blog posts following each episode of Season 10 of the BBC television show, Call the Midwife , airing on Nashville Public Television in spring 2021. She was a blogger for Season 9 of the show, which aired in 2020, and Season 8 in 2019. She is a certified nurse-midwife at Vanderbilt Nurse-Midwives & Primary Care for Women.

Monica Greenwald Dohrman, MSN'09, is owner and provider at Front Porch Pediatrics in Phoenix (2020).

Lauren Drees, MSN'09, opened Haven Birth and Wellness in Nashville in May 2017 and was quoted in a Nashville Ledger story that month, "Natural Way: Midwife Aided, Mother Approved."

Leanna Copeland Dugan, MSN'09, co-presented "Look at Pediatric Sexual Assault Exam Findings and Their Significance within the 2018 Adams Classification Scale," in September 2019 at the International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice.

Dana Parry Estevo, MSN'09, is a certified nurse-midwife at Mendocino Community Health Clinic in Ukiah, Lakeport and Willits, California (2020).

Devin Frost, MSN'09, is an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner at the Advanced Care Group in Nashville (2020).

Addie Graham, MSN'09, was quoted in a May 2017 Nashville Ledger story called "Childbirth in the Age of Social Media," and interviewed by the Daily Nurse blog that December about her career as a nurse-midwife.

Courtney Hammond, MSN'09, joined Concordia Life Plan Community in Oklahoma City as the company's first on-site nurse practitioner in September 2020. She is an expert in INVU Care telemedicine software.

Angela Hanor, MSN'09, is the student programs director for Christian Community Health Fellowship, in Memphis, Tennessee (2016). 

Susan Hellervik, MSN'09, was interviewed in a Vanderbilt Magazine article in February 2021 about the emotional impact of caring for COVID patients on Vanderbilt University Medical Center providers. She presented "Nasal Cannula and Non-invasive Ventilation," at the American Association of Nursing Practitioners conference in June 2019.

Ryan Henderson, BA'06, MSN'09, is an assistant in anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville (2020).

Holly Houston, MSN'09, is a certified nurse-midwife at Connectus Health in Nashville (2020).

Amy Howard, MSN'09, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021.

Meegan Jones, MSN'09, is a nurse practitioner at San Diego Cardiac Center, an outpatient cardiology practice with specialization in advanced heart failure and electrophysiology (2016).

Lauren King, MSN'09, received an Excellence in Patient Experience Award from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in October 2021. She was interviewed by My Southern Health in July 2019 for a story about children's headaches triggered when they return to school after summer break, and was highlighted in the VUMC Reporter in May 2016 for a study about family history and concussion recovery. Lauren is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Vanderbilt Children's Neurology where she specializes in headache and migraine.

Jennifer Parker Kurkowski, MSN'09, contributed to the book, NASPAG's Protocols for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology: A Ready-reference Guide for Nurses , published by Springer in October 2020, and co-authored "Contraceptive and Reproductive Care in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus," published in the December 2019 issue of Women's Healthcare . She received the VUSN Alumni Award for Clinical Achievement in Nursing presented by the VUSN Alumni Association during the school's annual awards ceremony, and co-presented at the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health conference, both in October 2018. In 2016, Jennifer received second place for a poster at the NPWH conference and co-presented about sexual health in teens at the Texas Children's Hospital Advanced Practice Provider Conference. 

Claire Leezer, MSN'09, co-authored "Pain Management," in the December 2017 issue of Critical Care Nursing Clinics .

Kanah May Lewallen, MSN'09, co-presented a four-part educational course for family caregivers of individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's, hosted by the Vanderbilt University Child and Family Center in winter/spring 2021, and was promoted that June to assistant professor at VUSN. She co-presented, "Using Simulation to Teach Office-based Screening of At-risk Older Adult Automobile Drivers," in December at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Health Professions Education Research Day. Kanah welcomed a baby in June 2020 and received the VUSN Dean's Award for Faculty Achievement in Informatics Endeavors in July. She was named Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing by the National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence in September 2019. That October, Kanah received the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association's Excellence in Education Award at its conference, and co-presented a poster, "Gifted High School Students Excel in Challenging Interprofessional Course Evaluating Social Determinants of Health," at Vanderbilt University's Health Professions Education Research Day. She was featured on the GAPNA website as a Rising Star, and presented "Delirium across the Care Continuum," at its national conference, both in September 2018. Kanah presented "Sundowning: A Symptom of Alzheimer's Disease," at the Boomers, Elders and More lunchtime series at VUMC in September 2017, and was featured by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching in its December Junior Teaching Spotlight. She welcomed a baby in November 2016.

Kelly Luskin, MSN'09, was quoted in February 2019 by Clarksville Online for a piece on cervical cancer prevention. She is the director of reproductive and women's heath for the Tennessee Department of Health in Nashville.

Stacy Ochsenrider, MSN'09, joined the West Michigan Cancer Center and Institute for Blood Disorders in March 2016, in Kalamazoo, working as a nurse practitioner in radiation oncology.  

Katie Stewart Page, MSN'09, led a team of volunteers from the Virginia affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives to successfully advocate for that state to, in the spring of 2021, recognize certified midwives and allow certified nurse-midwives to practice to the full extent of their education and clinical training and be regulated without physician control. In May, she presented "Advocacy in Action!" as part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum and at the ACNM annual meeting. Katie was named a fellow of the ACNM at its national conference in May 2019, where she presented about using bundles to reduce primary cesareans and how to use data for quality improvement. She shared the results of the 2019 National Midwives and Liability Survey at the Midwifery Works meeting that October. Katie is a certified nurse-midwife at Centra Medical Group Women's Center in Lynchburg and chair of the Professional Liability Committee of the ACNM and president of its Virginia chapter.

Vikki Pedigo, MSN'09, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Urology Associates in Nashville (2017).

Courtney Young Pitts, MSN'09, DNP'11, was named a 2021 Rising Star Nurse Leader in February by the Tennessee Action Coalition, Tennessee Nurses Association and Tennessee Hospital Association, and was inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June. That month, she co-presented, "Bolstering Diversity in the Health Professions Applicants' Pool," at the Academic Units for Primary Care Training and Enhancement Conference. In August, Courtney was appointed for a four-year term to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Education and Practice by the U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and co-presented, "Connecting with Readers through Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity," at the International Association of Nursing Editors conference. Courtney was interviewed in February 2020 by Diverse Issues in Higher Education about two Health Resources and Services Administration grants received by VUSN to grow the number of nurse practitioners in rural, underserved areas that lack primary care providers. She welcomed a boy in June and edited an e-book, Sexually Transmitted Infections, An Issue of Nursing Clinics, published by Elsevier Health Sciences in August. Courtney co-authored and "Pharmacologic Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Common Chronic Conditions," in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners in March 2019, and presented "HIV and Primary Care: Clinical Updates for the Nurse Practitioner," and a poster, "Hand Pain during and after Pregnancy," at the AANP conference in June. That October, she co-authored "A Checklist for Faculty and Preceptor to Enhance the Nurse Practitioner Student Clinical Experience," published in Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners . She co-authored "Writing a Diversity and Inclusivity Statement: Guidelines for Nursing Programs and Faculty," published in November by Nurse Educator . Courtney welcomed a son in August 2017.

Melissa Weinand Purvis, MSN'09, was named chief nursing officer in October 2017 for Greystone Healthcare Management, a Tampa-based company that operates 27 skilled nursing locations in Florida and eight in Ohio.

Jen Heath Ragan, MSN'09, is a cosmetic injector at Elan Skin in Nashville (2020).

Brian Ramirez, MSN'09, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Tucson, Arizona (2021).

Sheryl Redlin-Frazier, MSN'09, gave a podium presentation, "Radiology Resource Nurses: A Novel Nursing Role Transforming the Patient Experience and Creating a Strategic Framework for Improving Quality and Safety in Radiology," at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Nursing Virtual Research Day in October 2020.

Nicole Lee Rhoden, BA'07, MSN'09, is a nurse practitioner at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance in Nashville, Cookeville and Dickson, Tennessee (2020).

Bethany Andrews Rhoten, MSN'09, PhD'13, co-authored "Perceived Effects of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms on Functional Status in Early-stage Huntington Disease," published in February 2021 in the Western Journal of Nursing Research , and "Perceived Benefits of a Brief Acupuncture for Sleep Disturbances in Post-deployment Military Service Members," in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine in March. She is lead author of "Impact of an LGBTQ Cultural Competence Training Program for Providers on Knowledge, Attitudes, Self-efficacy and Intensions," published in the Journal of Homosexuality in April. She co-authored "First Data from OUT: The National Cancer Survey of LGBTQ+ Survivors," published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in May, and "Acupuncture for Sleep Disturbances in Post-deployment Military Service Members: A Randomized Controlled Trial," published in Clinical Nursing Research , and "Factors Associated with Risk of Body Image-related Distress in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer," in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery in July. Bethany is lead author of "A Qualitative Examination of Patient Priorities and Preferences during Treatment Decision-making for Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer," published in Supportive Care in Cancer in May 2020, and "Priorities and Preferences of Patients with Head and Neck Cancer for Discussing and Receiving Information about Sexuality and Perception of Self-report Measures," in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in August. She co-authored "Randomized Clinical Trial of a Legacy Intervention for Quality of Life in Children with Advanced Cancer," published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine in September, and "Measuring Functional Status in Huntington's Disease," published in Movement Disorders , and "Assessing Preferences in Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Phase I and II of Questionnaire Development," in Cancers , both in October. That month, VUSN announced that she is co-primary investigator for OUT: The National Cancer Survey, a research project to document experiences of LGBTQI+ people with cancer. Bethany was named one of three Valere Potter Distinguished Dean's Faculty Fellows at Vanderbilt in June 2019. That year, she received the Sexual Tipping Point Mental Health Award from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America and the MAP Education and Research Foundation, and co-authored "A Comparison of Symptoms among Patients with Head and Neck or Truncal Lymphedema and Normal Controls," published in Lymphatic Research and Biology . She received the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter Nurse of the Year Award for research and was selected by VUSN doctoral students to receive the Dean Colleen Conway-Welch Award for PhD faculty, both in 2018. She was awarded an American Cancer Society grant in 2017 to investigate the impact of head and neck cancer treatment on a patient's sexuality. Bethany is an assistant professor at VUSN.

Julie Riedel, MSN'09, is a family nurse practitioner at Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tennessee (2017).

Jenny Slayton, MSN'09, co-authored "A Systems Approach to Addressing Covid-19 Health Inequities," published in the January 2021 issue of NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery . She was promoted in July 2020 to senior vice president for quality, safety and risk prevention at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and is a member of the Healthcare Executive Forum.

Julie Booher Smith, MSN'09, is a family nurse practitioner at Cookeville Pediatric Associates in Tennessee (2020).

Lisa Smith, MSN'09, joined Connectus Health in Nashville as a family nurse practitioner in August 2019.

Christine Morrill Stengel, MSN'09, is a nurse practitioner specializing in anti-aging and functional medicine, hospital medicine and internal medicine at her private practice in Nashville (2020).

Jannyse Starks Tapp, MSN'09, DNP'11, welcomed a daughter in August 2021 and is co-recipient of the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Award, presented by VUSN and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, for her work educating students, faculty and staff about the effects of poverty on health. She published "Vaginal Irritation in Prepubertal Girls: Age-Specific Considerations in Primary Care," in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners in September 2019, and was featured in November in a WTVF-NewsChannel 5 story about VUSN's poverty simulation, which she co-leads. Jannyse is an assistant professor at VUSN.

Kristin Vollrath, MSN'09, is a family nurse practitioner at Pediatric Associates of Franklin in Tennessee (2017).

Britney Whitaker, MSN'09, got married in April 2016. 

Dani Williamson, MSN'09, is author of the book, Wild & Well: Dani's Six Commonsense Steps to Radical Healing , published by Morgan James in November 2021, news of which was in the Williamson Herald . She was interviewed in November 2020 by Nashville's WSMV about suicide prevention and how to help those who may be at risk and received the 2019 FranklinIs Sizzle Award for best family practice in Williamson County, Tennessee. Her Integrative Family Medicine was the only nurse-led practice nominated for the award.

Linda Zajac Woods, MSN'09, completed the Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast triathlon in Panama City Beach, Florida, in May 2018.