Class of 2012

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 and in the Class Notes sections of Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine at

Stephanie Abbu, MSN’12, co-authored “Empowering Nurses: Creation of a Peer-reviewed Journal as a Catalyst for Innovative Nursing Research and Enhancing Evidence-based Nursing Practice,” published in the July/August 2020 issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration . She co-presented “Creating PICO Questions, Searching and Synthesizing the Literature,” and a poster, “Impact of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic on NICU Length of Stay,” at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Nursing Virtual Research Day in October. Stephanie co-presented posters, “Implementing the Couplet Care Model When Not Every Baby is a ‘Well Baby’,” “Neonatal Staff Engagement Strategies,” and “Nurses' Perceptions of Caring for the Substance Exposed Mother-infant Dyad,” and she presented a poster, “The Impact of NICU Graduate Reunions,” all at that year’s VUMC Nursing Research Day. Stephanie is an editorial board member of The Empowered Nurse: Peer-Reviewed Journal for Innovative VUMC Nursing Research, and was published in its second issue in November 2018. She received the Graduate Student Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes Tennessee Chapter in November 2017, and first place for a poster she co-presented at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Research Day in November 2016.

Chance Allen, MSN’12, welcomed a baby in February 2020. He was highlighted in a June 2018 USA Today supplement featuring men in nursing. 

Amy Alspaugh, MSN’12, was interviewed on WNCN’s My Carolina Today in Durham, North Carolina, in October 2015, to share information about breast cancer.

Whitney Anderson, MSN’12, is an assistant in medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center specializing in advanced heart failure (2020).

Wendy Johnson Araya, MSN’96, DNP’12, was featured in a March 2020 VUMC Voice article about Leap Day babies born at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where she is a neonatal nurse practitioner. She co-authored “Assessing and Addressing Practitioner Burnout: Results from an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Health and Well-being Study,” published in November 2019 in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners . Wendy has worked at Vanderbilt for over 25 years, starting as a licensed practical nurse in the newborn nursery in 1984.

Trish Baise, MSN’12, DNP’16, was promoted to chief executive officer of Mountain States' Franklin Woods Community and Woodridge Hospitals, as well as administrator of Overmountain Recovery, all in Johnson City, Tennessee, in December 2017. She was interviewed for a story about Franklin Woods while, at the time, she was chief nursing officer and associate administrator, and she served on the board of the Tennessee Nurses Association.

Lauren Barlew, MSN’12, is a women’s health nurse practitioner at OBGYN Centre of Excellence in Chattanooga (2020).

Tisha Barzyk, MSN’07, DNP’12, is a Nexus legal nurse consultant in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, specializing in the field of wound management and wound care cases, and a wound care consultant for Integumetrix (2018).

Leslie Binford, MSN’12, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and founder of PsychMed Solutions, in Nashville, specializing in medication management for the adult population (2018).   

Kalisha Bonds, MSN’12, is a fellow in the American Nurses Association Minority Fellowship Program and an instructor in the Oregon Health and Science University Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Portland. She is pursuing her PhD at OHSU School of Nursing.

Imma Bramlage, MSN’12, was featured on Nashville’s WTVF NewsChannel 5 in December 2018 for her work with South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. 

Asa Briggs, MSN’12, was featured in the “DNP Student Spotlight” on the Yale School of Nursing’s website in May 2020, and in Vanderbilt News in August for his career path to become program director of rural psychiatric services for Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina. He was named to the external advisory council of Clemson University’s Center for Research on Health Disparities in late 2020, where he will offer counsel and seek partnerships aimed at reducing population health disparities. Asa testified before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health in support of the District of Columbia Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact Act of 2019.

Taaka Cash, MSN’12, DNP’13, opened Privy Oasis, psychiatric mental health care for children, adolescents, adults and geriatric people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas (2016). 

Megan Childers, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at the Comprehensive Pain and Neurology Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (2020).

Carol Ann Moseley Claeys, MSN’12, is the founder of Strategic Health Care Advisors in Dickson, Tennessee. She volunteers in a rural church health and wellness ministry (2018). 

Colleen Clarke-Ariola, DNP’12, was promoted to senior vice president for patient care services at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in New Hyde Park, New York, in 2019. She is the co-chair of the New York State LeadingAge Doctors of Nursing Science Council. In 2016, Colleen received the Queens Courier Power Women in Business Recognition Award, as well as the National Association for Directors of Nursing Administration in Long-term Care’s Recognition for Excellence in Service and Dedication to the Long-term Continuum.

Janeen Cook, MSN’12, is director of operations at VillageMD and executive clinical specialist at Syneos Health in Atlanta, Georgia (2019).

Shawana Crawford, MSN’06, DNP’12, is a medical scientist with Gilead Sciences, studying liver disease (2017).

Melissa DeCapua, MSN’12, founded the blog, Modern Nurse , to “empower and inform nurses, create a dialogue among readers, and spread the word about the importance of the nursing voice” (2016). 

Lori Denmark, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at Saint Thomas Heart West in Nashville (2020).

Debbie Drake-Davis, MSN’04, DNP’12, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, passed away November 6, 2018. She was an adjunct instructor at VUSN. 

Katherine Abraham Evans, DNP’12, was a panelist for “COVID, Quarantining and Geriatrics: How Can We Help Elders Stay Safe and Strong This Winter?” in December 2020, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. She received the Alumni Award for National Leadership from the VUSN Alumni Association in October 2019. Katherine was named a fellow of the American Association for Nurse Practitioners in 2016, and delivered a talk about nursing's response to aging during VUSN Reunion Weekend's Patricia Meador Lecture and Continuing Education Program. She was named president-elect of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association in May 2015, and is chief nursing officer at United Healthcare Retiree Solutions in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kate FitzPatrick, DNP’12, was promoted to chief nurse executive officer at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in December 2020, where she had been senior vice president of nursing professional practice and clinical development. She was named chief nursing officer at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington in July 2015.  

Katherine Forsbach, MSN’12, is a family nurse practitioner at Tennessee Family Clinic in Savannah (2020).

Andrea Fuller, DNP’12, is lieutenant colonel and assistant professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland (2016).  

Katherine Letzler Gee, MSN’12, is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner in private practice in Nashville (2020).

Allie Gold, MSN’12, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Physicians and Midwives Collaborative in Northern Virginia. She got married in May 2016. 

Carol Gray, DNP’12, joined volunteers from Emory University Medical Center Midtown to assist residents of St. Croix with chronic kidney disease who were unable to receive dialysis due to damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Patients from the island were flown to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, where she provided vital care. She is a nurse practitioner at Emory Midtown in Atlanta.

Stacey Jackson Hall, MSN’12, married David Hall, BA’09, in February 2018. She is an advanced registered nurse practitioner at University of Florida, Gainesville.   

Lauren Hansen, MSN’12, DNP’15, opened Bloom Wellness and Aesthetics in November 2017, a boutique private practice in Nashville focusing on a comprehensive approach to women's wellness.

Eileen Campbell Hart, MSN’12, was appointed to the Vanderbilt University Alumni Board in December 2014.  

Kimberly Waldrop Hill, PMC’12, is a pulmonary nurse practitioner at Saint Thomas Medical Group in Nashville. She is adjunct faculty at VUSN and Belmont University in Nashville and South College in Knoxville, Tennessee (2017).

Tamika Hudson, MSN’12, received 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 received the VUSN Award for Faculty Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion in June and was named assistant dean for student affairs in October. She published “Vulnerable Patient Populations: The Role of Nurse Resilience,” in the winter issue of National Black Nurses Association News . She welcomed a son in May 2019 and was promoted to assistant professor at VUSN. Tamika co-authored “Writing a Diversity and Inclusivity Statement: Guidelines for Nursing Programs and Faculty,” published in Nurse Educator in November, and was featured in a WTVF-NewsChannel 5 story about VUSN’s poverty simulation, which she co-leads. She received the doctor of nursing practice from Samford University in May 2018 and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Her project was titled, “Evaluation of Distress Tolerance and Treatment Retention in Women with Substance Abuse Disorders.” Tamika was interviewed by the VUMC Reporter that July for an article about VUSN hosting undergraduate students from Fisk and Vanderbilt universities and the Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine. She coordinates VUSN’s program with UHSA. 

Sarah Jenkins, MSN’12, is a women's health nurse practitioner at Women Obstetrics and Gynecology in Nashville (2017).

Tracy Jensen, MSN’12, is director of aesthetic services and a women’s health nurse practitioner at Maxwell Aesthetics in Nashville (2020).

LaVonne Johnson, DNP’12, is a nurse practitioner with DaVita Medical Group in Colorado Springs, Colorado (2018).   

Ellie Kenemer, MSN’12, is a family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at the Nashville Center for Hope and Healing (2016).

Jen Kiggans, MSN’12, was elected to the Virginia State Senate in November 2019.

Maggie Kuch, MSN’12, is a certified nurse-midwife at Women & Infants Hospital’s New England Medical Group Women's Care in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She got married in September 2015. 

Erin Kyle, MSN’12, DNP’14, was promoted to editor-in-chief of Guidelines for Perioperative Practice , a publication of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses in 2020, where she is a perioperative practice specialist.

Laurie Lackland, MSN’12, is an adult nurse practitioner with HouseCallsMobile in central California (2020).

Rene Love, MSN’98, DNP’10, PMC’12, was named associate dean for academic affairs—graduate clinical education at the University of Florida College of Nursing in Gainesville, starting in February 2020. She received a grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration in October 2018, funding a partnership between the University of Arizona and MHC Healthcare, to increase the pool of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner doctor of nursing practice graduates able to assist patients with opioid use disorder. She is a member-at-large of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties board of directors, and was named a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2015. 

Alana Ludwick, MSN’05, DNP’12, was named director of nursing at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington, in 2016.  

Lisa Lunsford, DNP’12, published "Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pediatric Pain in Mongolian Nurses," in Pain Management Nursing in June 2015.  

Matt Martin, MSN’12, DNP’14, is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board. He is director of regulatory and accreditation services at HCA Healthcare–Clinical Operations Group in Nashville and a lecturer at VUSN.

Cathy Maxwell, PhD’12, co-authored “’This Is Me!’ Perceptions of Older Adult Simulated Participants in an Aging and Injury Simulation Experience,” in the January/March 2021 issue of the Journal of Trauma Nursing , and “The Administration of Moderate Sedation and the Role of the Radiology Nurse,” published in January 2020 by the Journal of Radiology Nursing . She was featured that summer by WMC-5 in Memphis, 12 News in Flint, Michigan, and WJET/WFXP in Erie, Pennsylvania, in a story about steps to prevent frailty. She is lead author of “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 in September, and of “Development and Testing of a Frailty-focused Communication (FCOM) Aid for Older Adults,” published in the November/December issue of Geriatric Nursing . Cathy was featured in a Nashville Public Television Aging Matters documentary on fall prevention in December. She was also a panelist for “COVID, Quarantining and Geriatrics: How Can We Help Elders Stay Safe and Strong This Winter?” part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. She co-authored “Moderate Sedation Education for Nurses in Interventional Radiology to Promote Patient Safety: Results of a National Survey,” published that month in the Journal of Radiology Nursing . Cathy was named one of three Valere Potter Distinguished Dean’s Faculty Fellows at Vanderbilt and received the VUSN Dean’s Award for Faculty Achievement in Research Endeavors, both in June 2019. That summer, she spoke about frailty to the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Summer Geriatric Institute at Saint Louis University in Missouri. She co-presented a poster, "A Multi-modal Workshop to Teach Frailty-focused Communication," that received a blue ribbon at the Gotterer Health Professions Education Research Day at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that October. Cathy was featured in a December 2019 interview in The Tennessee Tribune about the comprehensive handbook she wrote on aging called Aging & Injury. In 2018, Cathy was named a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and co-authored both “Home Health Nurses' Perspectives and Care Processes Related to Older Persons with Frailty and Depression: A Mixed Method Pilot Study,” published in the Journal of Community Health Nursing , and “Biological Processes and Biomarkers Related to Frailty in Older Adults: A State-of-the-Science Literature Review,” published in Biological Research for Nursing . She was a featured guest for a Nashville Public Television’s Aging Matters program, which first aired that November. Cathy received the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Innovation Award in July 2017. She delivered a talk about frailty during the 2016 VUSN Reunion Weekend's Patricia Meador Lecture and Continuing Education Program, and received the American College of Surgeons 2016 Trauma Quality Improvement Program Best PI Abstract Award. She recently served on the VUSN Alumni Association Board.

Kathryn Braunlin McNabb, BS’10, MSN’12, presented “Cerebral Aneurysm Management,” at the American Association of Nursing Practitioners conference in June 2019, and co-authored "Postintensive Care Syndrome," published in Critical Care Nursing Clinics in December. She is an instructor at VUSN. 

Ellie Menefee Millan, MSN’12, was interviewed by The Bulletin in September 2020, about children missing regular vaccinations during the COVID-10 pandemic. She is pediatric medical director of Mosaic Medical, a federally qualified health center serving Central Oregon.

Dana Nelson-Peterson, DNP’12, was a panelist for “Compassion Fatigue during COVID-19: How Nurses and NPs Can Stay Grounded,” in November 2020, part of the VUSN Dore to Door Alumni Forum. She wrote “Witnessing Characteristics of a Care Exemplar,” featured on the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation’s website. She is vice president of nursing and associate chief nursing officer of Virginia Mason Hospital and Seattle Medical Center in Washington State.

Joanna Nolte, MSN’12, received the Florida Gateway College 2020–21 Nursing and Health Sciences Faculty of the Year Award. She started RenewNow CE, an online continuing education company for nursing that is nationally accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and is a volunteer with Helping Hands, a clinic for the uninsured and homeless in Gainesville.

Ashley O’Barr, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Kennedy Outpatient Clinic in Chattanooga, Tennessee (2020).

Julie Omishakin, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at Neighborhood Health in Madison, Tennessee (2016).

Patsy Ramey, MSN’12, has published three articles in various epilepsy magazines and presented five posters at the American Epilepsy Society annual conference, where she was inducted as a fellow. She works at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in neurology/epilepsy (2018). 

Mark Reinhardt, DNP’12, became professor and dean of the University of Lynchburg School of Nursing in Virginia in 2019, and delivered the keynote address at the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society induction in May 2018. He served as associate professor at Texas A&M University College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Corpus Christi, where he was also chair of the population health and health systems leadership department, and family nurse practitioner program coordinator. He presented a poster about rural emergency department patients and alcohol abuse at the 2016 National Doctors of Nursing Practice Conference.

Imelda Reyes, DNP’12, is an associate editor of Advances in Family Practice Nursing. She was named a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June 2018, and is pediatric acute specialty coordinator and doctor of nursing practice population health track coordinator at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia.

Caitlin Nicholl Rissler, BA’10, MSN’12, is owner and provider at Music City Peds in Brentwood, Tennessee (2020).

Meghan Rowland, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at East Nashville Family Medicine clinic (2016). 

Alice Sattler, MSN’12, presented "Red State Solutions for Transgender Healthcare Access: Provision in Low Resource Areas," in September 2017 at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference.

Heather Sevcik, MSN’12, co-presented “A Tale of Two Births: Newborn Resuscitation and the Use of CPAP in the Out-of-hospital Setting,” at the American College of Nurse-Midwives in May 2018. She is a certified nurse-midwife at Baby + Co. in Nashville. 

Barbara Shultz, MSN’12, administrative director of surgical services at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, was quoted in the “Questions & Answers” section of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Nursing newsletter in September 2018. She received the VUMC Five Pillar Leader Award in August 2016. 

Laura Sidlinger, DNP’12, was named chair of the Kansas Community Mental Health Centers' Organization of Medical Directors and Psychiatric Staff in August 2017. She is director of medical services at Valeo Behavioral Health Care in Topeka.

Emily Partin Sitomer, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner at Cool Springs Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Franklin, Tennessee (2016). 

Panayiota Smeathers, MSN’12, joined the Deaconess Clinic gastroenterology department in Evansville, Indiana, in July 2015 as an advanced practice registered nurse.  

Randy Smith, MSN’12, completed his doctor of nursing practice at the University of South Alabama in Mobile in December 2019.

Joshua Squiers, MSN’01, PhD’12, is director of the acute care nurse practitioner program and assistant professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing in Portland, and assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine (2020).

Joseph Sweat, MSN’12, is owner and clinic director at Revital Health and Wellness Clinic in Smyrna, Tennessee (2020).

Lisa Taylor, MSN’12, DNP’14, received the 2018 State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence for New Mexico from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is a family nurse practitioner in primary care and diabetes management at the Veterans Administration in Albuquerque. 

Joshua Thornsberry, MSN’12, is past-president of the VUSN Alumni Association Board, and an adult nurse practitioner at Wellstar Health System–Cardiovascular Medicine Department in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sheila Umayam, MSN’12, DNP’14, accepted a position as pediatric nurse practitioner at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2019. She got married in October 2016 and went on a medical mission trip to Colombia that year.

Mia Wallin, MSN’12, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Saint Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she also provides adolescent care in a school clinic (2016).

Sarah Sexton Walters, MSN’12, is a nurse practitioner in the pediatric otolaryngology division of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2017).

Brian Widmar, PhD’12, was named assistant dean for academics, advanced nursing practice, at VUSN in August 2019, and presented at the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Teaching Institute meeting in May 2018. He is a member-at-large of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties board of directors.

Brandi Wilkerson, MSN’12, joined the Carthage Pediatric Clinic in New York in August 2016, as a pediatric nurse practitioner

Ty Williams, MSN’03, DNP’12, is a member of the VUSN Alumni Association Board. He is co-author of “Supporting Student Success: A Meaningful and Efficient Teaching Strategy to Document Practice Hours,” published in Nurse Educator in July 2020. Ty received the 2019 DAISY Award for Small Group Facilitator at the DNP Level at VUSN where he is assistant professor.

Carol Ziegler, MSN’06, DNP’12, was promoted to professor at VUSN in January 2020 and appointed to the Vanderbilt University Sustainability Advisory Council in February. She was selected to create and teach one of Vanderbilt’s new interdisciplinary courses that spring, “Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice,” which was open to students from across campus. Carol received a Southeastern Conference faculty travel grant to collaborate with the University of Tennessee on climate change and inter-professional education, and was quoted in NP Schools for “Tennessee NPs: The Fight for Full Practice Authority.” In April, she was quoted in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle about the effects of air quality on health and, in May, she presented at the Nursing Summit on Environmental Health hosted by the Alliance of Nurses of Healthy Environments. Carol received the VUSN Tradition Meets Innovation Award for Faculty in June. In 2018, Carol was featured by the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching in its Junior Teaching Spotlight, and was on the faculty of "Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Adaptation Strategies," an interprofessional series taught by five instructors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt.