Alumni in the News

Our graduates frequently appear in the media.  Here are links to stories that feature or cite our alumni; the most recent appear first. For class notes published in Vanderbilt Nurse, please visit the Class Notes page.

  • Ginger Manley, BSN '66, MSN '81, has a new book, Proud Flesh, that was published in March, with a book launch and signing in April at Parnassus Book Store in Nashville. 
  • Annie Santucci, MSN '80, is on faculty at the Free University of Brussels School of Public Health. 
  • Nikita Smith, MSN '14, joined Adventist Health Physicians Network in Hanford, Calif., as a family nurse practitioner.
  • Cindy Blalock, MSN '14, was featured in the April issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life magazine for her inspiring weight loss story. 
  • Pat Hickman, BSN '69, is acting operations manager of ITNMemphis, a nonprofit that provides rides to seniors and visually impaired. 
  • Bethany Sanders, MSN '06, participates regularly on Nashville Public Television's Call the Midwife blog. 
  • Julie Sumner, MSN '97, read her work at Williamson County (Tenn.) Public Library's "poets who heal" event in April. 
  • Chris Hulin, MSN '95, was interviewed by WSMV in Nashville for a story about an alternative to opioids for surgery. 
  • Janie Geyer, MSN '15, and Jennifer Parker Kurkowski, MSN '09, co-presented about sexual health in teens at the Texas Children's Hospital Advanced Practice Provider Conference.
  • Aimee Holland, MSN '02, received a rising nurse educator award at National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. 
  • Royce Ryker, MSN '97, joined the Corvallis Clinic Gastroenterology Department in Ore., in January 2016. 
  • Britney Whitaker, MSN '09, married Chris Carlton in April 2016 in Flowery Branch, GA. 
  • Sydney Bridges, MSN '10, announced her engagement to Ryan Colby Richards. 
  • Heather O'Dell, MSN '11, and Lindsay Smith Ramsey, MSN '14 spoke at Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Aprilfest in Nashville. Mary Fran Hazinski, BSN '74, gave the keynote address. 
  • Ellen Tosh-Benneyworth, MSN '95, is a nurse practitioner at Alive Hospice in Nashville. 
  • Carrie Donnell, MSN '10, spoke about child abuse and neglect during Vanderbilt University Medical Center's clinical grand rounds. 
  • Dana Nelson-Peterson, DNP '12, is associate CNO at Virginia Mason Medical Center.
  • Terrah Foster Akard, MSN '01, PhD '08, was approved for tenure as an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University.
  • Julie Vasher, DNP '14, helped create the California Material Quality Care Collaborative toolkit to support vaginal birth and reduce primary cesareans. 
  • John and Ruth Stepulis, both MSN '77, are volunteers for the Hawaii Community Foundation as scholarship ambassadors.
  • Melanie Keiffer, DNP '14, is associate professor at University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions.
  • Mary Reagan Butler, BSN '57, is president of South County Democratic Club of San Luis Obispo, Calif. 
  • Sharon Holley, DNP '10, was a panelist for What to do With Patient Refusal of Care on Labor and Delivery panel at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 
  • Kathie Krause, MSN '92, CNO at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, wrote her reflections on nursing for the hospital's celebration of Nurses Week. 
  • Jacqi McMillian-Bohler, MSN '97, was featured as a National League for Nursing/Jonas Scholar in Villanova Nursing magazine. 
  • Carolyn Whitaker, BSN '62, MSN '72, was quoted in the Herald-Citizen for a story about nurse practitioners. 
  • Lynnette Clancy, MSN '98, is a nurse practitioner at Prevea Health in Green Bay, Wis. 
  • Sharon Holley, DNP ’10, will be inducted as Fellow into the American College of Nurse-Midwives at its annual meeting in Albuquerque in May, 2016. 
  • Katherine Evans, DNP ’12, Dawn Vanderhoef, MSN ’00, and Jennifer Wilbeck, MSN ’99, Post-Master’s ’06, were selected as Fellows in the American Association for Nurse Practitioners. They will be inducted at the AANP meeting in San Antonio, June 21, 2016
  • Florencia Kantt, MSN ’13, won an award from Lane County, Ore., for her post “Straightforward Office Visit With A Teenager Turns to Something Much More” on the KevinMD blog 
  • Linda Beuscher, MSN ’96, was elected to Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice and the Nursing Academy as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow. She will be inducted into the NAP on April 8-9 in Baltimore. 
  • Kappu Deshpande, MSN ’92, earned the promotion to EMS assistant chief by the Nashville Fire Department 
  • Stacy Ochsenrider, MSN ’09, joined the West Michigan Cancer Center and Institute for Blood Disorders, working in radiation oncology  
  • Bob Spencer, MSN ’78, was named director of Freed-Hardeman University at Dickson’s nursing program
  • Dani Williamson, MSN ’09, now owns Integrative Family Medicine in Franklin, Tenn. 
  • Elizabeth Cooper, MSN ’07, DNP ’11, was appointed director of the BSN program and then Dean of the Aquinas College School of Nursing 
  • Tricia Ten Haaf, MSN ’94, is director of the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, MO 
  • Barbara Boone McGinnis, MSN ’89, was named partner at Elder Law Practice of Timothy L. Takacs in Hendersonville, Tenn. 
  • Colleen Clarke-Ariola, DNP ’12, celebrated her first year appointment as vice president for Patient Care Services at the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in New Hyde Park, NY 
  • Brenda Pun, MSN ’99, was quoted in a UCSF article about delirium 
  • Abby Parish, MSN ’05, was featured by the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching, as a junior faculty teaching fellow 
  • Amber Vermeesch, MSN ’06, a nursing professor at University of Portland, was selected to represent nursing faculty at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing National Faculty Intensive Program where eight nursing faculty from across the country will convene to discuss health care policy
  • Karen Hughart, MSN ’88, was appointed senior director of Nursing Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center 
  • Sandy Seidel, MSN ’92, associate in Ambulatory Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, presented “Reflective Practice” during VUMC’s grand rounds 
  • Sara Morris, MSN ’10, and Jeremy Garner were married in Nashville in October 2014  
  • Nicole Herndon, MSN ’92, DNP ’13, is the corporate director of Women’s and Children's Services for Community Health Systems. She is a member of the ANA Nursing Scope and Standards Advisory Council and the ANA Workplace Violence and Incivility Professional Issues Panel 
  • Patrick Palmieri, MSN ’00, is founding an organization called the Instituto Nacional de la Enfermería del Peru (National Institute for Nursing). 
  • Sheryl Banak, MSN ’91, has been on faculty at Baptist Health College Little Rock for 11 years, teaching in the LPN/paramedic to RN program. 
  • Misty Evans, DNP ’15, had an abstract accepted for poster presentation at the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation conference in February. She is starting a local chapter for the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses. 
  • Abigail Moss, MSN ’03, has been at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo for 20 years.  She was recently voted Readers’ Choice Award for favorite NP in Prentiss County. 
  • Vania Brown, DNP ’15, is on faculty at West Coast University, Dallas campus.
  • Brittany Powell, MSN ’13, is a nurse practitioner at Health Central Women’s Care in Dallas. 
  • Jamie Hollowell, MSN ’06, is a critical care nurse practitioner at Duke University Hospital.  She, husband Lee and sons Garrett and Easton, live in Hurdle Mills, NC. 
  • Joanie Jeannette, BSN ’83, MSN ’04, is Administrative Director for Inpatient Heart and Medicine at Vanderbilt. 
  • Mary Day, MSN ’75, retired after a career including director of the Nurse Midwifery program at University of California Los Angeles, faculty member at University of California San Diego, and certified nurse-midwife with Kaiser. 
  • Tanicia Washington, MSN ’14, is a nurse practitioner with Carolinas HealthCare System. 
  • Melinda Leigh Phillips-Freeman, MSN ’06, joined Optimum Internal Medicine and Pediatrics office in Dickson, Tenn.
  • Nicole Herndon MSN '92, DNP '13, is the corporate director of Women’s and Children's Services for Community Health Systems. She is a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Nursing Scope and Standards Advisory Council and the ANA Workplace Violence and Incivility Professional Issues Panel.
  • Avni Cirpili, DNP ’13, is leaving after five years as chief nursing officer for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital to become senior vice president and chief nursing officer at the Menninger Clinic in Houston 
  • Alisa Haushalter, MSN ’97, has been selected as the new health department director for Shelby County, Tenn.  She was senior director at Nemours Health and Prevention Services for population health programs, and held a similar position at the Metro Public Health Department in Nashville
  • Alana Ludwick, MSN ’05, DNP ’12, was named director of Nursing at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash. 
  • Amy Cochran, MSN ’05, is a nurse-midwife with Covington Women’s Health Specialists in Covington, GA
  • Jeanne Latimer, BSN ’75, was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for term set to expire in 2021.  She lives in San Antonio 
  • Liz Peck, MSN ’01, and her husband, Rob, were featured in a story about their health care work in Africa
  • Evelyn Blaylock, BSN ’55, and husband, James, of Tulsa, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in December, 2015.  The couple met on a blind date while attending Vanderbilt 
  • Chelsia Harris, MSN ’08, appeared on OzarksLive! TV program to discuss her new book, Created & Called.  She is an associate professor of nursing at College of the Ozarks, and a speaker at local, regional and national nursing conferences.  Chelsia, husband Paul, and their infant daughter live near Branson, MO  
  • Mimi Boyd, Peabody College School of Nursing alumna, of Shreveport, LA, celebrated her 102nd birthday in December, 2015 
  • Maggie Kuch, MSN ’12, married Matthew Bretschneider in September, 2015.  Bridesmaids included classmate Amy Alspaugh.  Maggie is a certified nurse midwife with Twin Tier Women’s Health Team in Elmira, NY 
  • Florencia Kantt, MSN ’13, and Jessica Criser, MSN ’15, joined Community Health Centers of Lane County, Ore.  Both see patients in clinics located in Eugene 
  • Lisa Lunsford, DNP ’12, published "Knowledge & Attitudes Regarding Pediatric Pain in Mongolian Nurses" in Pain Management Nursing.  She is an assistant professor at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio 
  • Christian Ketel, DNP ’14, co-authored “Evidence-based development in nurse-led interprofessional teams” published in Nursing Management 
  • Melissa Hauck, BSN ’72, and husband, Christie, opened Goozy, a restaurant featuring grilled cheese, dessert and wine, in Nashville 
  • Debbie Gregory, BSN ’84, authored two chapters in a book, Planning and Design for Healthcare Environments: A Nurse’s Perspective.  She’s a senior clinical consultant with Smith Seckman Reid 
  • Taaka Cash, MSN ’12, DNP ’13, opened Privy Oasis, LLC, psychiatric mental healthcare for children, adolescents, adults and geriatric people in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.  Nneka Jon-Ubabuco, MSN ’11, is a nurse practitioner at the clinic 
  • Connie Hill, MSN ’15, was named vice president of patient services at St. Bernards in Jonesboro, Ark.  She served as chief executive officer of Cardiology Associates, and was recently honored as a finalist for Nurse of the Year in the Healthcare Heroes program sponsored by Arkansas Business 
  • Greg Ross III, MSN ’94, joined Merit Health Medical Group in Brandon, Miss. 
  • Janet Darfus, BSN ’74, received the 2014 Fleming A. Thomas Faculty Information Literacy Award.  She is an assistant professor of Nursing at Northwestern State University of Louisiana 
  • Mimi Gerber, MSN ’91, is a nurse practitioner at East Nashville Family Medicine clinic along with Elizabeth Morse, MSN ’11, DNP ’14, and Meghan Rowland, MSN ’12 
  • Anna Elise Cottle, MSN ’10, is a nurse practitioner at Mercy Clinic Gastroenterology in Oklahoma City 
  • KarlaAnne Rella, MSN ’11, joined the medical staff of Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor, ME 
  • Michelle Wilson, MSN ’02, is a nurse practitioner at the Baptist Health clinic at Paducah Tilghman High School in Kentucky 
  • Todd Ambrosia, MSN ’98, has been appointed dean of the Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York 
  • Tina Hodges, MSN ’03, was recognized by Inc. Magazine as an Impact 50 Award winner.  Tina is chief executive officer of Advance Financial in Nashville 
  • Meredith Anne Morgan, MSN ’11, married Samuel Donovan Kaffenberger in Nashville, October, 2015/
  • Leslie Higgins, BSN ’72, MSN ’75, was named as the recipient of the Tennessee Nurses Association Nursing Excellence – Nursing Education award.  She is professor of nursing and director of the Belmont University Graduate Studies in Nursing program 
  • Marilyn Dubree, MSN ’76, and April Kapu, MSN ’05, DNP ’13, gave the podium presentation, “Optimized Efficiency and Effectiveness: Impact of an Academic Medical Center APRN Workflow Analysis” at the 2015 National Magnet Conference.  Margie Gale, BSN ’73, MSN ’76, co-presented “Green Dot: A Bystander Initiative to Prevent Lateral Violence” 
  • Carolyn Whitaker, BSN ’62, MSN ’72, received the Tennessee Nurses Association Lifetime Achievement Award.  She opened the first nurse practitioner-led clinic in Tenn., located in Red Boiling Springs 
  • Mary Leyden Johnson, BSN ’72, and husband, Torry’s daughter Caroline was married in June, 2015 
  • Amy Alspaugh, MSN ’12, was interviewed on WNCN in Durham’s My Carolina Today to share information about breast cancer
  • Melissa DeCapua, MSN ’12, writes a blog, Modern Nurse, to “empower and inform nurses, create a dialogue among readers, and spread the word about the importance of the nursing voice” 
  • Linda Beuscher, MSN ’96, received the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association’s Award for Excellence in Research.  Megan Simmons, MSN ’05, DNP ’13, earned GAPNA’s first-ever Rising Star Award.  Both are on faculty at VUSN 
  • Dawn Vanderhoef, MSN ’00 , is director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at VUSN.  She received the Award for Excellence in Education from the American Nurses Psychiatric Association 
  • Morgan Kleine, MSN ’15, is a certified nurse midwife at Goshen Birth Center in Ind. 
  • Stephanie Boyd, MSN ’11, DNP ’15, was voted as the recipient of the Northeast Ohio Organization for Nurse Executives Aspiring Nurse Leader Award.  She is director of the Aultman Heart Center at Alliance Community Hospital in Ohio 
  • Tricia Stanley, DNP ’11, was featured in Professor Bonnie Pilon’s blog, Healthcare in the Shadows.  She is the director of clinical operations for Wellness for Life Medical, which operates clinics in Ind. and Virginia 
  • Caroline Phillips, MSN ’15 , was engaged to marry William Bennett Rainey II, in Rosemary Beach, Fla, in September, 2015 
  • Anna-Gene O’Neal , BSN ’88, MSN/MBA ’92, has been elected to the board of the Nashville Healthcare Council for a one-year term.  She serves in a director seat for an outstanding alumnus of the Council Fellows initiative, and is president and chief executive officer of Alive Hospice 
  • Panayiota Smeathers, MSN ’12, is an advanced practice registered nurse in Deaconess Clinic's gastroenterology department in Evansville, Ind. 
  • Jessica Gardner, MSN ’13, is an adjunct clinical faculty member at Louisiana State University of Alexandria.
  • Mary Kate FitzPatrick, DNP ’12, is chief nursing officer at the University of Vermont Medical Center 
  • Nancy Brook, MSN ’91, was interviewed by KPIX in San Francisco about her career and San Jose nursing jobs.  She is a nurse practitioner with Stanford Health Care 
  • Sara Atteberry, MSN ’13, and husband, Austin, were featured on NBC’s Today Show website for the organization they started, the Sing Me a Story Foundation 

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