Class Notes — Summer 2017


Ellen Durham Davis, BSN ‘63, is a consulting associate at Duke University School of Nursing.

Cindy Stone Monroe, BSN ‘66, and her husband, Jim, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June 2016.



Marie Annette Brown, BSN ‘70, was inducted into the Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

Beth Colvin Huff, BSN ‘74, MSN ‘79, received the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology 2016 Distinguished Service Award.

Ginny Place Myer, BSN ‘75, was appointed to the Vanderbilt University Alumni Board, where she joins Eileen Campbell Hart, MSN ‘12.

Marilyn Dubree, MSN ‘76, was honored by the Academy for Women of Achievement in Nashville in October 2016.

Betsy Kerr Hay, MSN ‘76, is the president of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt University.

Patricia LeDrew Jones, MSN ‘77, is a professor at the Loma Linda University School of Nursing.

Joyce Grimes Safley, BSN ‘77, MSN ‘83, joined the Law Office of Melinda Jacobs in Franklin, Tennessee.



Darlene Armstrong Franklin, MSN ‘81, was published in the Worldwide Leaders in Health-care; she is on faculty at the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Pam Orebaugh Jones, BSN ‘81, MSN ‘92, DNP ‘13, was awarded the 2015 State Advocate Award from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Michael Mezmar, MSN ‘81, is the mayor pro tem and commissioner for Harlingen, Texas.

Donna Ray Iverson, BSN ‘82, and her sister, Lisa Ray Pascale, BSN ‘83, are on staff at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, in the behavioral health unit.

Melanie Hall Morris, BSN ‘83, MSN ‘86, was awarded the 2015 Research Paper of the Year from American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, and was the 2015 Scholarly Writing Contest winner from the Tennessee Nurses Foundation.

Suzanne McMurtry Baird, BSN ‘84, MSN ‘95, started an organization called Clinical Concepts in Obstetrics Inc.

Robin Rosen Schuman, BSN ‘84, received the 2015 Employee of the Year Award from the law firm of Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein & Deutsch in New York City, where she practices as a senior medical consultant.

Sharon Adkins, MSN ‘88, was honored by Nashville Medical News in May 2016 at their annual Women to Watch Breakfast

Barbara Boone McGinnis, MSN ‘89, was named chairperson of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Executive Committee and president of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.



Ginny Moore, MSN ‘90, received the Women’s Health Research Award from National Association of Nurse Practition-ers in Women’s Health.

Sharon Hendrix, MSN ‘91, was named Public and Commu-nity Health Nurse of the Year by the Tennessee Chapter of the March of Dimes.

Kimberly Troy Sales, MSN ‘91, is a nurse practitioner at Community Health Care’s Hilltop Regional Health Center in Tacoma, Washington.

Julie Tipton Higdon, MSN ‘93, leads a new Baptist Health walk-in clinic for the Lone Oak school community in Paducah, Kentucky.

Leslie Welch Hopkins, MSN ‘93, was named a 2016-17 SEC Academic Leadership Develop-ment Program Fellow at Vanderbilt University.

Kelly Ambrosi Wolgast, MSN ‘93, received the President’s Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives of Middle Tennessee.

Greta Fowinkle, MSN ‘94, DNP ‘11, is co-leading a population health course for BSN-level RNs at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Charleston, where she is director of Case Management/Care Transitions.

Francie Likis, MSN ‘94, published the 3rd edition of her textbook, “Women’s Gynecologic Health,” in summer 2016. Julia Cain Phillippi, MSN ‘99, wrote a chapter; Mary Ellen Egger, MSN ‘06, and Amy Hall Hull, MSN ‘94, were reviewers.

Bridget Wilson, MSN ‘94, was elected to the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification and serves on the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing as secretary/treasurer.

Gina Haldeman, MSN ‘95, and her husband have created and launched an app called Step-by-Step Pregnancy Care.

Sharon Heinrich, MSN ‘96, traveled to Nigeria with a team of Rotarians from the U.S. and Canada to support polio eradication.

Connie Chenosky-Miller, MSN ‘97, works at the Cheyenne Veterans Administration Medical Center in a satellite clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Jenny Hannagan Kim, MSN ‘97, published her DNP scholarly project in the Annals of Long Term Care, May 2016.

Margaret McKinney Buxton, MSN ‘98, is clinical director of Baby+Company in Nashville, which delivered its 100th baby on Mother’s Day 2016. Lauren Drees, MSN ‘09, and Heather Sevcik, MSN ‘12, are on staff.

Patricia Detzel, MSN ‘98, and Soheyl Asadsangabi, MSN ‘04, DNP ‘13, staff the new Vanderbilt Center for Women’s Health clinic in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.

Julia Cain Phillippi, MSN ‘99, and Melody Castillo, MSN ‘14, co-authored a chapter in “Best Practices in Midwifery, 2nd Edition.”

Clay Satterfield, MSN ‘99, is

a family nurse practitioner at

the Franciscan Prompt Care–Canyon Road Clinic in Puyallup, Washington.

Carl Wherry, MSN ‘99, is president of the West Los Angeles North chapter of the California Association for Nurse Practition-ers, as well as speaker of the house for its annual House of Delegates.



Nancy Hollingsworth, MSN ‘00, is president and CEO of the Saint Agnes Medical Center Board of Directors in Fresno, California.

Patrick Palmieri, MSN ‘00, co-authored “Global Advances in Human Caring Literacy.” He was awarded the degree Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad María Auxiliadora in Peru in October 2016.

Liz Sharpe, MSN ‘02, is an assistant professor at University of Alabama Birmingham School of Nursing.

Valerie Turpen, MSN ‘02, joined Deaconess Primary Care for Seniors as a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner.

Traci Warner, MSN ‘02, is co-piloting a faith-based community health initiative in Nicaragua called Helping Hands. She trains lay people with some medical experience to meet the physical and spiritual needs of members of their community.

Kiersten Brown Espaillat, MSN ‘03, was appointed to the American Heart Association Greater Southeast Affiliate Board, where she serves on the Tennessee Advocacy Subcommittee.

James Askew, MSN ‘05, is an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner in the pediatric intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

April Kapu, MSN ‘05, DNP ‘13, received the Tennessee Hospital Association’s Clinical Nurse of Distinction Award.

Bette Moore, PhD ‘05, was named a 2016 American Academy of Nursing Fellow.

Nikole Gettings, MSN ‘06, started a new position in May 2016 at West Cancer Clinic in Memphis as a certified nurse-midwife/nurse practitioner.

Julie McFarlane Hamm, MSN ‘06, was awarded the Middle Tennessee Advance Practice Nurses President’s Award.

Paul Kadetz, MSN ‘06, was named chair of the Department of Public Health at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

Amber Worrell Vermeesch, MSN ‘06, is an associate professor at the University of Portland School of Nursing in Oregon.

Emily Wachs, MSN ‘06, married Robert Kane in July 2016; she is a nurse practitioner at San Francisco Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group.

Letizia Baxter Smith, MSN ‘07, and Valery Parham, BE ‘07 (Engineering) opened BuyWearShare, an online marketplace for peer-to-peer renting and selling of women’s clothing; the site debuted in November 2016.

Linda Upchurch, MSN ‘07, was named director of Ogeechee Area Hospice in Statesboro, Georgia.

Richard Aries, MSN ‘08, has a new position in medical staff services at Swedish Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle.

Louise Dobkins, MSN ‘08, is an adult nurse practitioner at Swedish Primary Care at Mercer Island, Washington. Her daughter, Caroline Leithner, graduated from Vanderbilt this year with a dual MSN/MDiv.

Stephanie Fisher, MSN ‘08, was selected for the 2016 Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

Cameron McGregor, MSN ‘08, was named among the Dayton Business Journal’s 2015 Class of Forty Under 40 Winners.

Christine Gerson Suriani, MSN ‘08, is on staff at Centre Pediatric Associates in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Angela Hanor, MSN ‘09, is the student programs director for Christian Community Health Fellowship.

Melissa Weinand Purvis, MSN ‘09, was named chief nursing officer at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg, Florida, in November 2016.



Jie Deng, PhD ‘10, was honored as a 2016 American Academy of Nursing Fellow.

Melissa Armstrong Glassford, MSN ‘10, is a junior faculty teaching fellow in the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.

Melinda LaLonde McCusker, MSN ‘10, completed her Ph.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Patty Sengstack, DNP ‘10, was named a Fellow by the American Academy of Nursing in 2016.

Mary Lauren Whitehead Pfieffer, MSN ‘11, and her husband, Brandon, welcomed a new baby in June 2016.

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.

Cathy Maxwell, PhD ‘12, received the American College of Surgeons 2016 Trauma Quality Improvement Program Best PI Abstract Award.

Julie Omishakin, MSN ‘12, is a nurse practitioner at Neighborhood Health in Madison, Tennessee.

Mark Reinhardt, DNP ‘12, is an associate professor of Nursing at Texas A&M University College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Barb Shultz, MSN ‘12, received Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Five Pillar Leader Award; she is administrative director of Surgical Services at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Emily Partin Sitomer, MSN ‘12, is a nurse practitioner at Cool Springs Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Tennessee.

Sheila Umayam, MSN ‘12, DNP ‘14, married her college sweetheart of 11 years in October 2016. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Premier Medical Group, a pediatric walk-in clinic in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Mia Wallin, MSN ‘12, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans, where she also provides adolescent care in a school clinic.

Brandi Wilkerson, MSN ‘12, joined the Carthage Pediatric Clinic in Tennessee.

Bronwyn Backstrom, MSN ‘13, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.

Courtney Cook, DNP ‘13, was promoted to assistant professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Karen Hande, DNP ‘13, was named a 2015 American Nurses Advocacy Institute Fellow by the Tennessee Nurses Association.

Therese Jamison, DNP ‘13, was named in November 2016 to head the new nursing program at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.

John Shields, DNP ‘13, received the Clinical Excellence Award at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia’s annual gala in June 2016.

Lauren Barber Shurson, MSN ‘13, is a nurse practitioner at Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care in Washington state.

Sarah Allen, MSN ‘14, is a family nurse practitioner at the Family Health Center in Ashland City, Tennessee, along with Joni Bauguss Cutshall, MSN ‘14, and Gretchen Burchett, MSN ‘15

Meagan Hingle Casey, MSN ‘14, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans where she was the first PNP hired in the Emergency Department Fast Track.

Cindy Cunningham, Post-Master’s ‘14, joined Fellowship Health Resources in Delaware.

Aaron Hirsch, MSN ‘14, received the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Five Pillar Leader Award in May 2016. Hirsch is manager of the Urologic Surgery unit and two surgical stepdown units.

Kassie Padgett, MSN ‘14, is on staff at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, and is an instructor at Baylor College of Medicine.

Charleen Tachibana, DNP ‘14, is senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

Julie Vasher, DNP ‘14, was honored as Outstanding Alumnus by Northland Pioneer College.

Tanicia Washington, MSN ‘14, is a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Occupational Health Clinic.

Cherise Williams, MSN ‘14, is a cardiothoracic surgery nurse practitioner at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Pennsylvania.

Maggie Logan Berghoff, MSN ‘15, started a virtual practice for functional medicine consulting called Higher Health Solutions LLC.

Kaitlin Divinnie, MSN ‘15, married Richie Lopez in October 2016; classmate Rachael Prusha was a bridesmaid.

Melissa Ferniz, MSN ‘15, is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Janie Geyer, MSN ‘15, is an instructor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Gordon Gillespie II, DNP ‘15, was named to the American Academy of Nursing 2016 Class of Fellows; he is an associate professor and deputy director of the Occupational Health Nursing Program at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing.

Phyllis Raynor,’15, was selected for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-funded American Nurses Association Minority Fellowship Program. She received her Ph.D. and is a first honor graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Sally Callaway, MSN ‘16,

married John Noel Rader in Birmingham, Alabama, in July 2016.

Jesi Campbell, MSN ‘16, was hired by her preceptor, the St. Louis Women’s Healthcare Group in Chesterfield, Missouri.


In Memoriam

Charlotte Conaway Scott, BSN ‘45, October 2016, Mobile, Alabama.

Verne Feeback Nesbitt, BSN ‘47, August 2016, Syracuse, New York.

Nancy Butts Armistead, BSN ‘49, July 2016, Decatur, Alabama.

Martha “Copie” Copeland Likins, BSN ‘52, July 2016, Eureka, California.

Mary Walley McCoy, BSN ‘54, July 2016, Tampa, Florida.

Patricia Patterson Tennent, BSN ‘56, May 2016, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan.

Susan Hurley DeConcini, N ‘58, April 2016, McLean, Virginia.

Barbara Kiel Kaley, N ‘59, August 2016, Rancho Mirage, California.

Carol Thomas, BSN ‘63, September 2016, Sacramento, California.

Ann Keidel, BSN ‘69, July 2016, West Newton, Massachusetts.

Beth Inman Jordan, BSN ‘74, October 2016, Sea Island, Georgia.

Twila Williams Harmon, MSN ‘87, October 2016, Oneonta, Alabama.

Frances Carson, former faculty, July 2016, Franklin, Tennessee.