Class Notes – Spring 2013


Eunice Moe Brock, BSN ‘41, celebrated her 95th birthday and also welcomed two more great grandchildren in 2012 – Violet Elisabeth Voelker was born on Nov. 18, and Elon Hawkeye Kvares, her eighth great grandson, was born Dec. 8.

Virginia Maxwell George, BSN ‘47B, enjoys living in Belmont Village, an assisted living residence in Nashville.


Connie Reid, BSN ‘65, enjoys reading and her grandchildren in her retirement.  Son, Adrian, and his wife Rebecca, welcomed Eleanor Alma Reid in February 2012, the couple’s first child and Reid’s first granddaughter.  Daughter Megan and son-in-law Thom Saylors relocated their family that includes Jacob, 12, and Daniel, 10, to Franklin, N.C., for Thom’s new job as recreation manager in the U.S. Forest Service for the Nantahala Forestry District.

Donna C. Miller, BSN ‘66, is retired from her 46-year nursing career – the last 30 years in hospice care. Career highlights include becoming a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse and being named one of the “100 Great Nurses in Dallas/Ft. Worth” in 1998. She remains active as an organist and choir director in a Lutheran church and is grandmother to three, with another on the way.

Charlene Tosi, BSN ‘68, lives in Fenton, Mich., and has published a new book, “Discover Your Woman Within: Journey to Wholeness.”  It can be purchased on her website Her son designed the cover.


Elsie Wilson, MSN ‘74, PhD, CNM, ARNP, completed her PhD in Theology from International Seminary, Plymouth, Fla., graduating Magna cum Laude.   Her dissertation was titled, “Applying Principles of Midwifery to the Ministry:  A Comparison of Physical and Spiritual Birth.” She received an award for Outstanding Dissertation, and hopes to publish it sometime in 2013.  Although retired as a certified nurse-midwife who worked extensively in the Frontier Nursing Service, she plans to teach her dissertation principles to midwives, ministers and others.
Betsy Merlin Stewart, BSN ‘78, married Vanderbilt University alumnus Kent Taylor Stewart, BE ‘77, on Aug. 27, 2011, and resides in Nashville.


Anne C. Page BSN ‘80, is a Perianesthesia Specialist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where she blends direct patient care in Anesthesia with Quality Improvement projects and staff development.  She holds both CAPA & CPAN certification.  Anne and her husband, Philip, BE/ME ‘80, are the parents of Eloise Page Spetko, BA Mathematics ‘07. To celebrate their 30th reunion, Anne met fellow ‘80 BSN classmates Judy Baird Cunningham, Anne Chandler McAlister, and Pamela Petros Litchford in Sanibel Island, Fla., in November 2010.

Julie Lindley, RN, BSN ‘83, is the director of Health Service and Physical Education at Grapevine-Colleyville, Independent School District in Texas. She spoke at the Texas School Nurses 11th Annual School Nursing Conference on “Delegation: The Professional School Nurse Role” to 350 school nurses from across the state.  She also serves as the Governmental Liaison for the State School Nurse Association.

Beth Hartman Plonk BSN ‘84, MSN, CFNP 1989 and 1990 from the University of Virginia, lives in Durham, N.C., working as a case manager at Duke Homecare and Hospice. Beth received the Drew Award for Excellence in Hospice Nursing Practice and was also selected by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice as one of the top 50 home care and hospice nurses in the nation for 2012.

Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell, PhD, BSN ‘84, RN, FAAN, published two papers: “Urban Seventh Grade Students: A Report of Health Risk Behaviors and Exposure to Violence,” in the Journal of School Nursing, 28(2), 130-137 and co-authored a second paper with Susan Gresko, “Perceptions of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and How a Pulmonary Function Printout Influenced Practice” in Nursing Research and Practice, (Article ID 794585).

Sharon Adkins, MSN ‘88, RN, received the State Award for Excellence for increasing awareness and acceptance of Nurse Practitioners from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners at their annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.  Sharon is the executive director of the Tennessee Nurses Association.

Leigh Ann Chandler, MSN ‘91, GNP-BC, began a new hospice nurse practitioner job with Lifetime Care Hospice in Rochester, N.Y.  The job was a dream come true for her and she plans on working on her Palliative Care certification this year.

Kelly A. Wolgast, MSN ‘93, Founders Medalist, earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Executive Nurse Leadership in December 2012 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Kelly is an assistant professor at VUSN, teaching in both the Health Systems Management MSN Program and the DNP Program.  Kelly’s daughter, Marley, will be attending Penn State University this fall.  Kelly received her BSN from Penn State in 1985.

Nicole Swann, MSN ‘97, lives in Louisville, Ky. She became a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2011 and works part-time in private practice in Crestwood, Ky., at Positive Connections.  Nicole recently started a full-time position in community mental health at Communicare, in Bardstown, Ky.  She has two children, Savanna, 14, and Luke, 11.

Meredith Schrader Florentz, MSN ‘98, is in her 14th year as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Johns Hospital, Maplewood, Minn., and is busy raising two kids, two cats, and lots of fruits and vegetables in her garden.
Deborah Lanius, MSN ‘99, started working at the Veteran’s Administration Outpatient Clinic in Rock Hill, S.C., in June 2012.

Carl Wherry, MSN ‘99, has served as the senior nurse practitioner at UCLA Medical Center for neurocritical care since 2004. He is a member of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, and he and his wife are busy with 6-year-old twins.


Katie Moran Bostrom, MSN ‘00, was nominated for Real Awards for her achievements in neonatal nursing practice.  She recognized that the local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and its infants could benefit from improved developmental, kangaroo method, and family-centered care. She has chaired the committee, raised funds, presented on the topic, and revised policies. She has collected data to show improvement and used this to get further funding and support.

Katie Cope Murchison, MSN ‘00, welcomed daughter Emma Fraser Murchison on July 31, 2012, joining big sister Abby, 6. Katie continues to work in reproductive endocrinology with Fertility Center of Chattanooga and Knoxville, and is looking forward to precepting a VUSN Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program student this year.

Jacky Carver, MSN ‘01 was re-appointed to a second term on the Tennessee Medical Examiner Advisory Council by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.  Additionally, she serves on the advisory council of the Upper Cumberland Human Resources Agency and as the chairman of the board of the Smith County Help Center.

Amy Costner-Lark, MSN ‘01, DNP, APRN, is a heart transplant nurse practitioner at the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute and assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing.  Amy founded a Costner Medical Missions in 2004.  The non-profit organization has taken seven  medical/dental mission trips to Ecuador, Peru and the Galapagos Islands.  The next trip is May 18-26, and she recruits medical providers and non-medical volunteers who will treat around 500 patients in three days.

Leigh Lindsey, MSN ‘03, recently completed her PhD in Education and Organizational Leadership from the University of Louisville and teaches at Western Kentucky University.  The title of her dissertation is “Mentoring of Rural Nurse Managers.  The Experiences of New Rural Nurse Managers: Does Mentoring Make a Difference?”

Kate Carlson Wrammert, MSN, ‘03, and husband, Jens, welcomed twin boys, Grant Patrick and Lucas Andrew, in April 2012. Kate is an Oncology Nurse Practitioner at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, where she has worked since 2004.

Laura Beth Brown, MSN ‘04, president, Vanderbilt Home Care Services and vice president, Vanderbilt Health Services, was recognized with the Health Care Emerging Leader of the Year award by Leadership Health Care (LHC), an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council to nurture the talents of future health care leaders.  She was noted for her active participation in a range of programs and for serving as a role model.  She is also a former board member of LHC.

Terri Hartman, MSN ‘04, RN, HACP, is the Privacy Office director at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Both of her daughters graduated from college;  Lana, from the University of Louisiana, and Dana, from Southern Methodist University.  Dana is teaching English at the Hanvit School in South Korea, and Lana is teaching Latin and English at the Louisville Classical Academy.

Betsy Perky, MSN ‘04, is engaged to Brandon Kennedy, a graduate of David Lipscomb University who lives in Brentwood, Tenn.  The wedding is planned for May and the couple will live in Thompson Station, Tenn.

Liz Nacozy Wessel, MSN ‘06, and her husband, James, live in Huntsville, Ala. They recently adopted Kate, a 16-month-old baby girl from China, who joins daughters Molly, 2, and Anne, 4. They are planning several trips to Vanderbilt in coming months and years for surgeries for Kate’s cleft lip/palate.  Liz hopes to see classmates while in Nashville and is grateful to have such a solid nursing background.

Andrea Boohaker, MSN ‘07, and her husband, Michael, welcomed their first child, Robert Gabriel Dean, on Sept. 30, 2012. They live in Houston, Texas, where Andrea works for The University of Texas (UTHealth) as an orthopaedic trauma nurse practitioner.

Bethany Andrews, MSN ‘09, ACNP, married Kevin Rhoten on Sept. 29, 2012.

Brittany Haemmerlein, MSN ‘09, welcomed son Harrison Alexander on Dec. 24, 2012.  He joins big brother William Fieldon, 3.  She has also started a new position at Centerstone, a national not-for-profit provider of community-based mental health care.  In addition to her clinical practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, she has accepted the position of nursing supervisor.

Janye Wilson, MSN ‘10, announced the birth of her daughter, Eden Marie Wilson, born on July 22, 2012. Janye is a Clinical Research Management graduate.

Joanna Vallie, MSN ‘11, RNC-OB, C-EFM, is the nurse director of obstetrical nursing at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass.  She spent the last 20 years at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, where she was most recently director of maternal child health. She oversaw a number of administrative and clinical projects, including leading the organization in achieving a “Baby Friendly” designation.

Colette Bennett Andrews, MSN ‘12, and Thomas Douglas MacKinnon Wolford, both of Nashville, were married Oct. 26, 2012, at Saint Joseph Catholic Church.  Colette recently joined the AMG Critical Care Group at Centennial Medical Center as an acute care nurse practitioner.  Doug is an attorney with Community Health.

Sharon Foley, MSN ‘12, is a certified nurse-midwife with Geisinger Health System in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
Ellie Kenemer, PMHNP, MSN ‘12, moved to Carolina Beach, N.C., and is doing telehealth with ACT Medical Group in Wilmington. Ellie is enjoying her new career, and her dog, Celeste, enjoys her retirement on the beach.

Kathy Naifeh, RN, MSN ‘12, landed a position with the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs as a Nursing informaticist within one month of graduation.  She is the Nursing ADPAC (Automated Data Processing Application Coordinator) and VANOD (VA Nursing Outcomes Database) coordinator.  She notes that the learning curve is high, but it has been very satisfying due to the administrative and nursing staff support.

John Savage, DNP ‘12 , CRNA, APRN, pictured second from the left in this family portrait, is the Vice President of Operations at Community Care, Inc.  He presented his VUSN Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project poster, “The Current State of Anesthesiology Controlled Medication Security in Ambulatory Surgery Centers,” at the Tennessee Nurses Association Annual Meeting and at the American Nurses Association 7th Annual Nursing Quality Conference in Atlanta.

Angela Steadman, MSN ‘12, works for Carey Counseling Center in Paris, Tenn.  She loves VUSN and made lots of friends from all over the country while in nursing school.  She encourages other classmates to join the Facebook page:  “Vanderbilt University PMHNP Class of 2012.”

Angela Sterling, MSN ‘12, was recently promoted to Clinical Manager for the Rehab and Orthopedic Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Northwest in Houston, Texas.

Melinda Weaver MSN ‘12, recently became a provider for Cole Family Practice in Nashville. The practice group is owned by fellow Vanderbilt alumni, Amy Clark-Cole, MSN ‘07, and employees include Weaver and Annie Cole-Bradley, MSN ‘11.  The group recently opened its second location in East Nashville’s Riverside Village.

In Memoriam

Louisa L. Spell, BSN ‘41, died Aug. 2, 2012, in Emory, Va.

Bessie Balch, BSN ‘49, died in January, in Nashville.

Helen I. Pamintuan, BSN ‘54, died Oct. 3, 2012, in Norman, Okla.

Patricia Macbeth Short, BSN ‘58, died Oct. 30, 2012, in Williamstown Commons, Mass.

Betty Jane BJ Montfoort, NR ‘59, died Dec. 26, 2012, in Overbrook, Kan.

Linda Swann Dumat, BSN ‘63, died Sept. 16, 2012, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Phyllis L. Ratliff, BSN ‘70, died Oct. 3, 2012, in Blufton, S.C.