Achievements & Accolades

    • December 19, 2012

Executive Nurse Fellows
Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN, (’99) was presented with the 2012 Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) at its “NightinGala” event on September 12 in Washington, D.C. This prestigious award is given annually to a nurse researcher whose work exemplifies a long history of scientific contributions in a field that advances understanding of human health and health care.

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Clinical Scholars
Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP, (’94) edited a book, The Public Health and Social Justice Reader, which was published in October. The book collects essays, including several from former Clinical Scholars, that collectively provide an in-depth examination and critical analysis of the impact that a health system founded on principles of equity and equal opportunity can have on society’s well-being.

Kelly Doran, MD, (’11) published a blog post for the Huffington Post, “Hospitals Should Never Discharge Homeless Patients to the Streets,” which argues that homeless patients who leave the hospital cycle through a revolving door of costly, inefficient, and dangerous care, returning to the streets or a shelter, and then back to the hospital again. The story was also included on

In October, Richard D. Krugman, MD, chair of the national advisory committee for the Clinical Scholars program, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Colorado–Denver, and dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, was selected for honors as a Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado–Denver. This is the most prestigious honor for faculty at the university.

Raina Merchant, MD, MA, (’07) was featured in a Wall Street Journal article explaining that despite the presence of more than one million automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, malls, and other buildings, they are exceedingly difficult to find and use. Merchant and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania completed a project called the MyHeartMap Challenge, a crowdsourcing project for Philadelphia residents to hunt down as many AEDs in the city as they could find.

Anisha I. Patel, MD, MSPH, (’06) received the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Outstanding Achievement Award in the application of epidemiologic information to child health advocacy. Patel’s NIH-funded K23 project, “Community Partnering to Encourage Healthy Beverage Intake through Child Care,” has focused on working with communities to develop school- and child-care-based interventions and policies to prevent childhood obesity.

Community Health Leaders
Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, (’04) was the subject of a story in People magazine (October 18, 2012) as part of the magazine’s “Heroes Among Us” series. The story describes Goldberg’s motivation in founding Kids Kicking Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing children who have cancer and other serious diseases with free lessons in martial arts, breathing techniques, and meditation. Goldberg is quoted: “When you see a child gain the ability to do this for themselves, and then see them light up in the midst of all this darkness—it’s the most beautiful light in the world.”

Judi Hilman, (’08) was quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune story (November 8, 2012) about the Utah Hospital Association’s non-endorsement of the Medicaid expansion offered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hilman, executive director of the Utah Health Policy Project, is quoted on the possibility of Utah’s ultimately accepting the Medicaid expansion.

Kristy Nichols, MS, (’06) was quoted in a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (October 30, 2012) about budget cuts for Louisiana State University’s 10-hospital health care system. Nichols, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Administration, is quoted as saying that the state “will be aggressive and responsible at the same time and do something that is truly transformational as far as medical education.”

Gabriel Rincon, DDS, (’11) received the 2012 Robert E. Allen Spirit of H.O.P.E. Award from the American Journal of Health Promotion in October. The award is presented annually to an individual who makes an outstanding contribution to serving the health promotion needs of an underserved population or to promoting cultural diversity within health promotion.

Eight Human Capital alumni were elected as new members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for 2012. The announcement was made on October 15. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Human Capital alumni elected in 2012 are:

Also elected to the IOM for 2012: Wayne Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, President of Meharry Medical College. The college is home to the RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College.

Executive Nurse Fellows
Debra Barksdale, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’11) and Barbara Wadsworth, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, (’09) as well as Mary Ann Fuchs, MSN, RN, (’02) and Tara Hulsey, PhD, MSN, BSN, (’06) were inducted as Fellows at the American Academy of Nursing’s 39th annual meeting and conference. The Academy is composed of more than 1,800 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research.

Judy Beal, DNSc, RN, (’08) dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Simmons University, received the Gold Award for the Best Regular Column in the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors’ 2012 Awards Competition. She was honored for her “Second Opinion” column in The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing.

Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’06) has been named the inaugural Bunting Professor at Johns Hopkins University. The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics established the Anne and George L. Bunting Professorship in Clinical Ethics, which combines bioethics and nursing.

Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, (’00) has been appointed dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, effective Jan. 14, 2013. She will also lead the school’s transition of its advanced practice program from the current master of science to the doctorate in nursing practice.

Patricia G. Morton, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAAN, (’11) professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, has been appointed editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing.

Linda Olson Keller, DNP, RN, FAAN, (’01) has received the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Public Health Achievement Award from the Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA). The award honors a person whose outstanding contribution to public health exemplifies MPHA’s mission to promote and protect the health of individuals, families, and the community.

Jerry Spicer, RN, MPA, NEA-BC, FACHE, (’08) has joined the advisory board of Spicer is the vice president of patient care services at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Spicer formerly was vice president for patient services and chief nursing officer for the Colorado-based St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center from 2003 to 2011.

Main Line Health named Barbara Wadsworth, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, (’09) its chief nursing officer. Wadsworth brings 26 years of nursing and leadership experience to her new role. She most recently served as senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Abington Memorial Hospital.

Adele Webb, PhD, RN, AcRN, FAAN, (’02) has been appointed president of the new Cleveland campus of the Chamberlain College of Nursing. Webb has more than three decades of experience in the health care industry in a range of education and health care leadership roles, including contributions to consulting projects for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and the World Health Organization.

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program
Research by Deidra Crews, MD, SCM, FASN, (’10) was featured in a November 2 article in U.S. News & World Report. The article discusses Crews’ recent study that found that poor nutrition is strongly associated with kidney disease among lower-income African Americans. Those with incomes of less than $20,000 had more than three times the risk of excessive protein in the urine—an indicator of chronic kidney disease—than African Americans earning more than $75,000. Those with incomes between $20,000 and $35,000 had more than double the risk of kidney damage when compared with African Americans of higher income. This trend was not seen among whites. “Dietary interventions tailored to meet the needs of this population may help to reduce disparities in kidney disease,” Crews said in a news release. Researchers hope that this study can lead to an increase in kidney disease screenings and innovative approaches to addressing the health needs of the poor. The study was also featured in Health Central and HealthDay, and on Black Entertainment Television.

Health & Society Scholars
On November 5, the University of Minnesota (UMN) featured Sarah Gollust, PhD, (’08) as an Academic Health Center Gamechanger on their “Health Talk” blog. Gollust, whose work explores how media coverage of health issues affects the policy process, public opinion, and public policy, was recognized for her unique research methods and her work’s “transformative potential throughout the University of Minnesota and across the country.” Gollust is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at UMN, where she developed and teaches a class in public health ethics.

Summer Hawkins, PhD, MS, (’09) assistant professor in the graduate school of social work at Boston College, has been awarded a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for her study, “Early Determinants of Childhood Obesity: Etiology Disparities Policy Analysis.”

David Van Sickle, PhD, MA, (’06) is co-founder and CEO of Asthmapolis, a company that develops innovative tools for the management and surveillance of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. At the HealthTech Conference (sponsored by Health Tech Capital) on October 26, 2012, Asthmapolis was cited as the “Most Promising HealthTech Company of 2012.” Van Sickle accepted the award, noting that his company “is committed to leading the field of mobile health innovation, and together with our world-class customers and partners, we are making significant headway in reducing the costs and improving the day-to-day management of asthma.”

Christopher Wildeman, (’08) assistant professor of sociology at Yale University, gave a talk at Bucknell University on November 7 titled, “Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of Inequality.” The talk was part of Bucknell University’s Social Science Colloquium series, “Mass Incarceration in the United States.”

Matt Wray, PhD, MA, (’06) a sociology professor at Temple University, was interviewed by the Temple News about his book-in-process. The book examines a problem Wray first discovered in 2001 while working at the University of Las Vegas: the extremely high suicide rate in Las Vegas. “The usual explanation that everyone leaps to is that it must be involved with gambling and gambling losses,” Wray said in the interview. “It turns out to not really describe the problem very well. There’s actually a whole lot more that is going on. So then it became kind of an empirical puzzle that I wanted to solve. You know, if it’s not gambling, then what is it?”

Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research
Gary Taubes (’08) co-founded the Nutrition Science Initiative, an organization that aims to reduce the economic and other burdens of obesity. The initiative, officially launched in September, intends to fund research by nutrition scientists.

New Connections
Alumnus Keith Elder, PhD, MPH, MPA, (’09) was recently appointed chair of the department of health policy and management at Saint Louis University.

Naa Oyo Kwate, PhD, (’07) Healthy Eating Research–New Connections alumna, was one of just ten leaders under the age of 40 selected for an RWJF Young Leader Award. Kwate is also the recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

Nurse Faculty Scholars
Matthew McHugh, PhD, RN, JD, MPH, (’11) Maria Katapodi, PhD, RN, (’10) and Randy A. Jones, PhD, RN, (’09) were inducted as Fellows at the American Academy of Nursing’s 39th annual meeting and conference. The Academy is composed of more than 1,800 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research.

Scholars in Health Policy Research
Damon Centola, PhD, (’06) was one of five semifinalists for the RWJF Young Leader Awards, and was recognized by the awards panel for his accomplishments and promise as a leader in health and health care.

An article by Jonathan Ketcham, PhD, (’02) “Sinking, Swimming, or Learning to Swim in Medicare Part D,” was featured in the October issue of the American Economic Review. The article examines senior citizens enrolling in Medicare Part D and what factors caused them to decide to switch plans.

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