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A Night of Celebration: School of Nursing honors alumni accomplishments, thanks generous donors

Posted: Nov. 12, 2013

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Dean Alexa Stuifbergen and members of the School of Nursing Advisory Council recognized the many outstanding achievements of four former students at a dinner at the Headliners Club in Austin, Texas. In addition, the event was an opportunity to say thank you to generous donors who have recently established endowments to ensure that the School continues to provide excellence in nursing education, research and service.

Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing

Ruth Anderson, PhD, MSN, MA, RN, FAAN

Dean Alexa K. Stuifbergen with Dr. Ruth Anderson

Dr. Ruth Anderson is the Virginia Stone Professor of Nursing, a senior fellow in the Center for Aging and Human Development, and director of ADAPT Center for Cognitive/Affective Symptom Science, all at Duke University School of Nursing.

Dr. Anderson has long been an advocate for improving the care of the elderly, which is reflected in her efforts to improve system operations of nursing homes. Her research has offered the health-care community the opportunity to improve patient outcomes through optimizing organizational structure to meet elderly residents’ needs, enhancing patterns of staff communication as well as interpersonal relationships between staff and families, and in strategies to address falls in nursing homes.

Dr. Anderson’s scholarship is dedicated to improving management of nursing homes, an area of rapidly growing need. Her research has been interdisciplinary from its inception, and she has collaborated with scholars at Duke University and across the country in schools of nursing, business, economics, engineering and medicine. She pioneered the application of complexity theory and management science in nursing in analysis of the institutional environment of the nursing home. Dr. Anderson is a well-respected researcher in and advocate for improving patient outcomes in nursing homes through strategies that positively influence the day-to-day operations in those facilities. Her studies showing the relationships between patient outcomes and organizational structure, interpersonal relationships and communication, and employee turnover have given researchers new tools for implementing evidence-based changes in the care-delivery practices in long-term care facilities.

A quick review of her publications is evidence of her focus on mentoring students who are involved in ethics topics, including research related to end-of-life issues, compassionate care of patients who require pain medication management, and care of those with heart failure and renal disease. Her research improves the care that nurses deliver, including staff interactions to optimize delivery of transitional care in skilled nursing facility, and in the overall health-care system, including the use of limited financial resources and decreasing frequent readmission to hospitals.

Mary Lou Bond, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN

Dean Alexa K. Stuifbergen with Dr. Mary Lou Bond

Through decades as a clinician and specialist in maternal health, nurse educator and academic leader, and educational administrator, Dr. Mary Lou Bond has worked tirelessly to delineate a vision for nursing as an inclusive profession and to assure a diverse health workforce. She has been a champion for the mentoring of students, particularly the development of Hispanic nurse leaders, and a highly respected colleague in both the classroom and the clinic.

Dr. Bond is a former professor of nursing and co-founder and co-director of the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health at the University of Texas at Arlington. She served as assistant dean and associate dean for UT Arlington and as interim dean for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She was the founding associate dean of the PhD in Nursing Program at UT Arlington, where she received HRSA and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grants to support mentorship activities for students. Her leadership in academic administration has been important to the success of the UT Arlington College of Nursing’s undergraduate RN-BSN, BSN, Master’s Education and PhD programs. She was both a champion for and a hands-on leader of new program development and growth to meet the criteria for program excellence.

Dr. Bond’s work and publications have received national attention and she has been invited to serve with many important national groups such as the Roster of Fulbright Specialists; Sullivan Commission Conference; Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and Organizations’ Technical Advisory Panel on Culture, Language and Health; and the Board of Trustees for the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. She received the President’s Award, National Association of Hispanic Nurses and was inducted into the National League of Nursing’s Academy of Nurse Educators. Although officially retired, she remains a visiting professor at Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, and adjunct professor and part-time academic advisor for the PhD in Nursing Program at UT Arlington.

Dr. Bond has received numerous awards including the Bethel Deaconess Hospital Distinguished Alumna, the Lucy Harris Linn Excellence in Teaching Award from Texas Christian University and the Minority Health Nursing Research Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society.

Rising Stars Alumni Award

Lisa Dugger, MSN, APRN

Dean Alexa K. Stuifbergen with Lisa Dugger

Lisa Dugger is project director and team leader as well as inpatient diabetes program manager at the Seton Family of Hospitals in Austin. She is a clinical expert in diabetes and has worked in diabetes education since 2002, focusing on improving diabetes care and outcomes for her patients. After graduating from UT Austin School of Nursing in 2012, Lisa learned that the quality model of diabetes education for persons with diabetes she had developed had garnered a $13.5 million grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as part of the Texas Health Care Transformation and Quality Improvement Program. The project works towards effectively decreasing hospital readmission rates of diabetics by implementing process improvements in health-care settings and across the continuum of care. Lisa belongs to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Nurses Association, the American Diabetes Association and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

James Pittman, RN, MSN

Dean Alexa K. Stuifbergen with James Pittman

After graduating in 2004, James Pittman began his nursing career in the DeBakey Heart Center coronary care unit at Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he joined the hospital’s Center for Professional Excellence. In 2006, he became project coordinator. During his tenure, James redesigned the graduate nurse residency programs, student nurse programs and initiated the Central Clinical Placement System, achieving increased clinical placements for nursing students. His team’s efforts were recognized by a $50,000 grant from the Texas Work Force Commission. He later became manager of clinical operations with the Methodist transplant team. In 2007, James became director of the Kidney Transplant Center at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, where he focused his attention on developing a living donor program. In 2011, James was elected as regional committee representative to the national organization appointed by the HRSA, which oversees organ allocation. In 2013, James was elected vice-chairman for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network United Network for Organ Sharing transplant administrators committee and was recently appointed an at-large member of that group’s policy and oversight committee.

Dean Stuifbergen and the School of Nursing also thanked the following people for their generous gifts to the future of nursing.

The Barbara Hall Chamberlain Endowed Graduate Fellowship

Created by her two sons, John and David Chamberlain, and her sister-in-law Emmie Lou Boston to recognize Barbara’s commitment to the nursing profession. This fund will provide fellowship support to graduate nursing students.

Martha C. Gooding Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Nursing

Created by her husband John Gooding, son John Gooding, III, and the support of friends and family through the Martha C. Gooding Foundation for Compassionate Nursing. This fund will provide support to undergraduate nursing students in their senior year of studies under the guidelines of the Endowed Presidential Scholarship program. Awards will be made with the intent to honor the beliefs exemplified in the 39-year nursing career of Martha, who believed in and promoted the importance of patient-centered compassionate nursing care.

The Jodie and Julie Fincher Moore Endowed Presidential Scholarship

Created by her son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Patricia Moores, to recognize the nursing career of Julie Fincher Moore (BSN 1983). This fund will provide support to junior or senior undergraduate students under the guidelines of the Endowed Presidential Scholarship program.