Linda H. Aiken (B.S.N. 1964, M.S.N. 1966) was named the 2017 recipient of the International Council of Nurses, or ICN, Christiane Reimann Prize. Aiken received the award at the ICN Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in May, where she was also a keynote speaker discussing the results of her research to improve quality and safety of hospital care and patient outcomes. The world-renowned ICN award is presented every four years to a nurse who has made a significant impact on the nursing profession internationally, or through the nursing profession for the benefit of humanity.
Deborah L. Cole (B.S.N. 1974) has retired after nearly 40 years as an operating room nurse. She completed additional training in 1979 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, to advance to the role of RN First Assistant at surgery, with a specialty focus in neurosurgery. She worked in Florida for 20 years, then as a travel nurse in Georgia, Maryland, Arizona and Washington, where she has settled near Seattle. During her career, she achieved certification in perioperative nursing and neuroscience nursing, and was one of the first 150 nurses in the entire United States to earn the Certified RN First Assistant credential. Retirement plans include some travel and working on genealogy for her family history. The biggest surprise discovery so far is that she is a Mayflower descendant!
Carolyn Hendrick Matthews (B.S.N. 1978) worked as a nursing instructor in the R.N. program at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg, Florida, for 24 years. She retired in May 2015. At the last pinning ceremony she attended as faculty, they presented her with the Carolyn Matthews Teaching Excellence Award, awarded to a nursing faculty member each year.
Audrey Colkitt Joiner (B.S.N. 1982, M.S.N. 1987) is the executive director of the Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine clinic, which is run by the Viera Health Department. This program provides free medical and dental care to uninsured residents of Brevard County, and the providers are community nurses, dentists and physicians who volunteer their services.
Deborah Marino (B.S.N. 1984, M.S.N. 1997) has been the executive director of the Florida Institute of Technology’s student health clinic for 18 years. As executive director, Marino runs the day-to-day operation and supervision of the staff for the clinic, which provides free health care for students of the Florida Institute of Technology.
Joan Garbutt (B.S.N. 1989) recently retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. She was the director of manpower, personnel and services at the Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. She was responsible for policies, programs and objectives involving the readiness, assignment, education and training, separation, retirement, career progression, classification, manpower, services support and quality of life for more than 94,000 active duty military and civilians, covering five naval air facilities, the USAFWC, 34 wings, 19 bases and more than 70 operating locations, as well as 49,000 total force Reserve and Guard partners.
Laurie Chapman Whidden (B.S.N. 1992) received the 2016 Emergency Medical Services for Children Award from the Florida Department of Health. Whidden is a UF Health ShandsCair pediatric flight nurse and one of 16 in Florida recognized for excellence in emergency medical services.
Stephanie Thatcher Weinsier (B.S.N. 1993, D.N.P. 2011) was recently selected as one of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, or AAOHN, 2017 Class of Fellows. This award was recognized at the AAOHN Annual Conference in New Orleans in April. AAOHN Fellows comprise a distinguished group of leaders who provide vision to advance skills, knowledge and abilities of occupational and environmental health nurses, influence formation of policy, contribute to research and exemplify highly effective management and clinical practices.
Nancy Hurley Pontes (M.S.N. 1994), an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden, has been inducted as a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, an interprofessional, national organization that advises governmental bodies on health care delivery in the United States. During the meeting, she also was inducted as a distinguished practitioner and Fellow of the Nursing Academy.
Patricia Draper (M.S.N. 1995) has been the manager for the past five years of the Heart Failure Management Clinic in Vero Beach. The clinic sees about 200 patients and has less than a five percent readmission rate. U.S. News & World Report recognized it as the “Best Regional Hospital” for heart failure. Draper is also on the publication committee for the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses journal.