Class Notes – Fall 2012


Virginia Maxwell George, BSN ‘47B, MSN, MA (’72 Peabody) VUSN faculty emerita, moved into Belmont Village, an assisted living residence in Nashville.  She is happy at her new home and invites friends to visit.


Bonnie Weaver Battey, MSN ‘59, PhD, is a professional educator, administrator, facilitator and consultant in fields of communication and health professions. She has served as chair of nursing departments and initiated two new nursing programs – a program in associate degree nursing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and an RN completion baccalaureate program at Memphis State University. She is an author of numerous articles and three books.


Phoebe Giffen Hood, BSN ‘60, MPH, has joined Consults in Wellness in Wilmington, N.C., as a family nurse practitioner.  She focuses on functional medicine, a more holistic, natural way of treating the causes of disease, and still runs her Bed and Breakfast at Mallard Bay.

Carrol “Ditto” Smith, BSN ‘64, PhD, RN, is spending a year in Rwanda as part of a team assisting with upgrading the five nursing schools and two medical schools. She is also a full-time faculty member of the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Doreen James Wise, BSN ‘68, MSN, MEd, sold her business in December 2011.  She spends most of her time hiking and fly fishing in Wyoming and Arizona. She plans to become more active in College Forward, a charity dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged youth colleges.


Judy Heffron Sweeney, BSN ‘70, MSN ‘75, VUSN professor emerita, is enjoying retirement after 36 years of teaching and directing the VUSN Pre-Specialty program.

Ginna Betts, MSN ‘71, JD, reunited with some Psych/ Mental Health MSN classmates and faculty this spring (Gloria Calhoun, Linda Pearson and Freida Outlaw) to talk about their divergent and wonderful careers in nursing and health care.

Sally Hughes Lee, BSN ‘71, MSN ‘72, PhD, is happily retired in Rocky Face, Ga., after a very active 52-year career as a nurse,  family nurse practitioner and nursing faculty member.

Melissa Coate Hauck, BSN ‘72, works with Centennial Heart Cardiovascular Consultants LLC.  She is a fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society and recently co-chaired a session at the group’s annual scientific session.  She is a Certified Cardiac Device Specialist.  She and husband, Christie, love spending time with their seven grandchildren, ages 18 months to 10 years.

Susan Alford, BSN ‘74, retired from health care marketing/sales in 2009 and got married in 2010.  She is enjoying retirement which includes horseback riding and volunteer work.

Rose Ziesch Alvin, MSN ‘74, PhD, recently retired after a career that included doing startup work for private practices, community clinics, child development collaborations and staff nursing.  She has also assisted with communication links for nurses, like practice issues, graduate education and legislative work. She is a mother, grandmother, reader, gardener, music lover and soon-to-be Pilates instructor.

Carol Caine Guess, BSN ‘76, MSN, lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has three married daughters, one grandbaby, and one on the way. She is working in a geriatric clinic, Alexian Brothers PACE.

Linda Garver Breum, BSN ‘77, MSN, is the chief nursing officer at a small community hospital, Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.  She lives, and walks every morning, on the beach, and is an avid cyclist, riding about 75 miles a week.

Ann Hotter Tescher, BSN ‘77, MSN, had a research study published, “All At-Risk Patients Are Not Created Equal: Analysis of Braden Pressure Ulcer Risk Scores to Identify Specific Risks,” in the Journal of Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing (2012:39(3):282-291).  Third-grade daughter, Margaret, keeps her busy.

Kathryn Wolff Heller, RN, BSN ‘79, PhD, is a professor at Georgia State University in the Physical and Health Disabilities Special Education graduate program and works as a nurse in the hospice program at Visiting Nurse Health System.

Stacy Reckeweg, BSN ‘79, RN, CHPN, is clinical informatics director for Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Fla.  She lives with her husband, Jim Ketchum, and two teenage sons in Fairhope, Ala., volunteers as a parish nurse and serves on the executive board of Murray House Assisted Living Facility, a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of the Gulf Coast.


Stephanie Davis Burnett, BSN ‘81, MSN, DNP, ACNS-BC, CRRN, was named the Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year by the National Black Nurses Association during a gala in Orlando, Fla. She is an advanced nurse coordinator at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Carolyn Van Bochove-Melcher, BSN ‘81, is enjoying her work as a substitute school nurse. Her daughter, Eloise, is looking at colleges, and son, Will, is a student at Maine Maritime in Castine, Maine.  Her husband is a ship captain.

Vicki Wineland Perry, BSN ‘81, recently remarried and moved to Fort Smith, Ark., after living in Florida for 27 years and working for the Florida Department of Health. She and her husband, Jim, have three “wonderful” daughters and feel that life is very good.

Deborah Schafer Wilson, BSN ‘82, has earned an MSN/Ed and is a doctoral student at Morgan State University.  She teaches nursing at Wor-WIC Community College in Salisbury and is a certified childbirth educator and doula. She and her husband, Darrell, have two adult children and a baby grandson.

Jane Bass Turner, BSN ‘84, MSN ‘89, lives in Carthage, Tenn., with her husband, Larry, and daughter Lilly.  She enjoys being a stay-at-home mother and keeps busy with volunteer activities at her daughter’s school and in the community.

Sherry Owen Murray, BSN ‘87, recently received her MSN from Belmont University and is certified as a family nurse practitioner.  She works for Take Care Health in Lebanon, Tenn.  She and her husband, Brian, have two adult sons and an Italian Greyhound, Fat Tony.

Anna-Gene Chalfant O’Neal, BSN ‘88, MSN ‘92/MBA ‘92, was named CEO/President of Alive Hospice, an organization committed to serving the Nashville community along the final stages of life.  She and her husband, Scott O’Neal, (VU ‘88) recently celebrated their 24th anniversary.  They have two children: Ayla is a sophomore at Mississippi State University and Bates is a junior at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville.

Lisa Cavin-Wainscott, MSN ‘88, RNC, MSN, APRN, CPST, is a perinatal clinical nurse specialist at Olathe Medical Center in Kansas.  The business publication, Ingram’s, recently presented her with the 2012 Ingram’s Heroes in Healthcare Award for her work in perinatal education, bereavement and volunteer work in the community.


Elizabeth Neile Chesnut, MSN ‘91, started working at Emory University Hospital after graduation from VUSN in 1991.  She recently celebrated her 20th anniversary of working at Emory – 17 years as a cardiac transplant coordinator.

Lee Ann Hanna, MSN ‘93, PhD, CPHQ, FNAHQ, works as the director of Education for TriStar, Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.  She is certified as a Healthcare Quality Fellow in National Association of Healthcare Quality.   She and husband, Anthony Warren, have a son, Thomas Dale, and daughter, Katherine Elizabeth.

Amy Hull, MSN ‘94, is a VUSN program coordinator and instructor. She recently received the Rodney Appell Continence Care Champion Award at the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA) annual awards luncheon.  SUNA granted her $20,000 to examine the comparative benefit of different exercise programs for women with stress urinary incontinence. Her research has been published in nursing and physician-reviewed journals.

Francie Likis, BS ‘93, MSN ‘94, recently received the American College of Nurse-Midwives Best Book of the Year Award for the second edition of the textbook “Women’s Gynecologic Health.”  She is the co-editor.
Mark Young, MSN ‘96, was promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve in March.  He is currently serving as Rear Detachment Commander of the 4203rd U.S. Army Hospital.

Kristin Sohn, MSN ‘97, MD, recently graduated from the Nevada School of Medicine and is a pediatric resident at University of California Davis Medical Center.  She received honorable mention placement in the Gold Foundation’s Humanism in Medicine Essay contest. She and her husband live in Sacramento, Calif.

Marilyn Davis, MSN ‘98, graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s (TCSPP) program in Clinical Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy specialty this fall in Pasadena, Calif., in her pursuit of a doctorate in Clinical Psychology by 2015.   She works as a registered nurse at University of California Irvine (UCI) Medical Center.

Rene Love, MSN ‘98, DNP ‘10, received the 2012 Jeanette Chamberlain Award for Service from the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses at their national conference in Atlanta for her sustained service at the regional, state and national levels in mental health disaster response. She serves as the American Red Cross State Disaster Adviser for Health and Mental Health Services and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Anne Gingerich Brenneman, MSN ‘99, is the Simulation Program Manager at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.  The hospital is building a new simulation suite set to open this fall and is establishing a hospital-based simulation program for interdisciplinary team training.


Kimberly Box, MSN ‘01, ACNP-BC, gave birth to Hannah Reagan Box on Sept. 2, 2011. She weighed 7 lbs., 14 oz. and was 19 inches long. Big brother, Hayden, is 7. She has been practicing in Tupelo, Miss., for the past five years. Her husband, John, is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Shannon, Miss.

Kirstin Curtis, MSN ‘02, APRN, celebrated her first year as owner/family nurse practitioner at Mount Shuksan Family Medicine in Washington: Her practice is thriving, with a special focus in dermatology.  She has been a guest lecturer for the British Columbia Nurse Practitioner conference, among other groups. She loves what she does and thanks Vanderbilt for its excellence.

Charlotte Ellerby, MSN ‘02, started a house-calls company with her sister, Anitra Ellerby-Brown, (MSN ‘08). The company opened its first clinic in Columbia, Tenn., called Medicine inMotion Primary Care. Ellerby’s son, Clarkston, is 13.

Eleanor Bell Hall, BSN ’85, MSN ‘02, graduated in October 2011 with a PhD in Nursing from the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing, Georgia State University. For the last five years, she has been an assistant professor in the Nursing Division at Thomas University, Thomasville, Ga.

J. Scott Johnson, MSN ‘02, is enrolled in the PhD in Nursing Science program at VUSN, focusing his research in symptom management of dyspnea in the geriatric population.

Christopher S. Castle, MSN ‘03, is a nurse practitioner at Greeneville Orthopaedic Clinic and the pastor at Phipps Bend Freewill Baptist Church. Cooper, his 4-year-old son, has mitochondrial disorder. Castle organized a sanctioned 5K race in September in order to educate, advocate and bring awareness to mitochondrial disorders. His vision is to promote the race at the local, regional, national and international level each year.

Nichole Berglund Clark, MSN ‘04, FNP, is celebrating her nurse practitioner-owned clinic’s second anniversary. Hope Medical Clinic was awarded Best of the Best Medical Clinic for 2011 by Van Buren County, Ark.

Kristi Hazlewood, MSN ‘05, and husband, Jody, have three children, ages 16, 14 and 11. She is a Certified Pediatric and Family Nurse Practitioner practicing at Milan School Health Clinic.  She earned her FNP degree from Northern Kentucky University in 2009.

Paul Kadetz, MSN ‘06, graduated with a PhD from the University of Oxford, Department of International Development, in March.  He is an Associate of the China Centre for Health and Humanity, University College London and is starting a post as a lecturer and coordinator of the MPH program at the University of the West Indies.

Heather Murphy, MSN ‘06, relocated to Hattiesburg, Miss., where her husband is working on his master’s in Theatre at the University of Southern Mississippi.  She is practicing full scope midwifery in a local community health center and at Rush Hospital. Son, Hawthorne Sage, is 2 1/2 and will welcome a new sibling in November.

Amy Clark-Cole, MSN ‘07, FNP/CNM, is expecting her first baby in October. Cole Family Practice is doing well and currently employs two Vanderbilt nurse practitioner graduates.

Jennifer Nelson, MSN ‘07, is a full-time pediatric nurse practitioner with Rainbow Kids Clinic in Clarksville, Tenn.  She also works part-time as an RN on the pediatric cardiology pod at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Her son, Forrester, is working on his master’s degree and daughter, Emily, was married last year.

Keith Adkins, ANP-BC, MSN ‘08, transitioned from a cardiology hospitalist position at Vanderbilt to a position with the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute’s atrial fibrillation program.

Michelle L. Drew, MSN ‘08, DNP, MPH & TM, CNM, FNP-C, RN, received her DNP from Texas Women’s University.

Stephanie Fisher, MSN ‘08, is an assistant professor of nursing at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore.

Lesley J. Mathis, MSN ‘08, ACNP, works as the nurse practitioner for the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute.  She lives in Nashville with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, Harper.

Keith McKernan, MSN ‘08, recently accepted a position of Market Director of Risk Management at Shands Lakeshore Hospital in Lake City, Fla., where he oversees risk management services for three rural community hospitals in North Central Florida.

Tammy Hakim, MSN ‘09, is the executive director of the Patient Advocate Ministry (PAM) located in Brentwood, Tenn.  PAM offers a faith-based nurse navigator to guide patients through a variety of issues to ensure meeting the patient’s wishes and desires.  PAM is free and available to all senior citizens within Williamson and neighboring counties.

Emily Eckert, BS ’09 VU, MSN ‘10, lives in Nashville and works as a research nurse practitioner for the Department of Surgery at Vanderbilt. Her research team is conducting studies investigating the mechanism by which bariatric surgery reverses type 2 diabetes in excessively obese subjects.

Pamela Finley, MSN ‘10, ACNP-BC, has taken a new job as a nurse practitioner with The Bone Marrow Transplant program at Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

Melinda McCusker, MSN ‘10, is starting a PhD in Nursing program at the Medical University of South Carolina.  She hopes to become a preceptor for medical and nurse practitioner students.

In Memoriam

Ann Looney Cole, BSN ‘36, of Franklin, Tenn., died on March 16, in Louisville, Ky.

Louise Lambert Drake, BSN ‘36, died on April 13, in Gastonia, NC.

Mae Elizabeth Beeler Isaac, BSN ‘37, died on April 16, in Danville, Ky.

Willie Woosley Causey, BSN ‘42, died on May 7, in Anderson, SC.

Lorraine Rupp Albin, BSN ‘47B, died on Dec. 5, in Flora Vista, NM.

Barbara Lou Cornett, BSN ‘48, died on March 25, in Salinas, Calif.

Eleanor Hoover White, BSN ‘48, died on Feb. 9, in Springfield, Va.

Joyce Inabinet McCroskey, BSN ‘56, died May 10, in Maryville, Tenn.

Janie F. Sullivan, MSN ‘62, died on March 29, in White House, Tenn.

Rebecca Raines Green, MSN ‘79, died on Jan. 31, in Nashville.

Krista Michelle Carver, MSN ‘05, died on May 1, in Nashville.

Donald Paul Jacobs, ACNP student, died on April 4, in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. He was scheduled to graduate in August from the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program with an Intensivist Care Focus.

Stanley Bernard, M.D., past chair of the Julia Hereford Society, died on July 14, in Nashville.