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Photo of Joyce C. Clifford

Distinguished Alumna 1989

Joyce C. Clifford* (MSN 1969)


Joyce C. Clifford, PhD, RN, FAAN served as Senior Vice President and Nurse-in-Chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for more than 25 years before establishing The Institute for Nursing Healthcare Leadership, Inc. (INHL) where she served as president and chief executive officer. Dr. Clifford was described as the architect of nursing’s professional practice model — a model that has been recognized nationally and internationally in hospital and out-patient/community settings. This practice model has been studied and emulated by nurses and health administrators around the world. She was a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), a former president of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association. Her awards and honors included Sigma Theta Tau’s Founder’s Award for Promoting High Professional Standards, the Award of Honor of the American Hospital Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, a Living Legend Award from the AAN, and the Living Legend in Massachusetts Nursing Award. She was named the UAB School of Nursing's first Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 1989. Dr. Clifford passed away in 2011.

Photo of Marie L. O'Koren

Distinguished Alumna 1990

Marie L. O'Koren* (MSN 1958)


Marie L. O’Koren, EdD, MSN was Dean Emerita at UAB School of Nursing. Her nursing career spanned over 40 years, during which time she changed the landscape of nursing education in the state of Alabama. She joined UAB’s nursing faculty in 1964 as Assistant Dean and Chair of the Graduate Program. As dean of UAB School of Nursing, Dr. O’Koren found the resources to increase the number of master’s degree tracks and the development of the first doctoral program in nursing in the Southeast, thereby raising the UAB School of Nursing’s national prominence as a top 20 nursing school in the country. Dr. O’Koren was a charter member of the UAB School of Nursing Alumni Chapter and was instrumental in its growth. The Marie L. O’Koren School of Nursing Alumni Association Scholarship was endowed at UAB in 1996. Dr. O’Koren received many honors including an inductee in the Alabama Hall of Fame and the Leaders in Education Award; being listed in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Health Care, Who’s Who of American Women; the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award; the Exemplary Service Award; the Distinguished Alumni Award; and the Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. O'Koren passed away in 2012.

Photo of Kathleen G. Andreoli

Distinguished Alumna 1991

Kathleen G. Andreoli* (DSN 1979)

Kathleen G. Andreoli, DSN, RN, FAAN is the Kellogg Emeritus Dean of Rush College of Nursing and former Vice President for Nursing Academic Affairs at Rush University Medical Center. During her leadership for the American Association of Physician's Assistant Programs, the first Physician Assistant program and coronary care unit in America was developed and implemented at Duke University Medical Center. While serving as faculty at UAB, she collaborated with others to develop and define one of the first national Family Nurse Practitioner programs. She has authored a coronary care textbook and has published countless articles on nursing education. Dr. Andreoli is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau. She has served on national committees for the American Medical Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Board of Medical Examiners, Voluntary Hospitals of America, and the American Hospital Association. She was named an outstanding Dean by Sigma Theta Tau International, received the GE Healthcare American Association of Critical Care Nurses Pioneering Spirit Award and distinguished alumni awards from Vanderbilt and UAB Schools of Nursing. Dr. Andreoli passed away in 2022.

Photo of Jean A. Kelley

Distinguished Alumna 1992

Jean A. Kelley* (BSN 1956)


Jean A. Kelley, EdD, RN, FAAN is Professor Emeritus at the UAB School of Nursing, where she dedicated her entire academic career to the growth and development of nurse leaders. During her tenure with the UABSON, she served as Assistant and then Associate Dean for the Graduate Program. Dr. Kelley pioneered the advancement of graduate nursing education throughout the South and the nation through her curricular innovations and ongoing consultation to support innovative programs at the master’s and doctoral level. She personally drove a large motor home van to deliver a cooperative outreach master’s education throughout Alabama and the Deep South to improve access to graduate nursing education. Dr. Kelley also helped found and establish the first doctoral nursing program at UAB, in the Southeast, and one of twelve nationwide. Dr. Kelley is an inductee into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame as well as the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Because of her lifelong commitment to nursing education, the Jean A. Kelley Endowed Lectureship at the UAB SON was established in 1989. She has also received the UAB SON Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Kelley passed away in April 2018.

Photo of Sue Ellen Turner

Distinguished Alumna 1993

Sue Ellen Turner (MSN 1981)

Brigadier General (R) Sue Ellen Turner, MSN, RN, USAF, NC is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Entering the Air Force as Second Lieutenant, General Turner rose to the top of her profession during a time in history when only two percent of the general officers were women. As Director of the Nurse Corps, she represented nearly 23,000 nurses who provided care on the ground and in the air during both times of peace and times of war. As Chair of the Federal Nursing Chiefs Council, she articulated the interests and concerns of nearly 100,000 nurses serving in the federal system to professional groups and the U.S. Congress. She founded a consulting firm after her retirement from the Air Force utilizing her more than 40 years of experience in the professional management of people, programs, and issues. She has consulted with hundreds of individuals and their organizations to create workplaces that attract and keep the very best people, compete favorably in today’s competitive environments, and make a difference in their communities. General Turner holds the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster. She has presented lectures, seminars, and conferences across the U.S. and 12 foreign countries. She was named the UAB SON Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 1993.

Photo of Joanne M. Disch

Distinguished Alumna 1994

Joanne M. Disch (MSN 1976)

Joanne M. Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN is a Clinical Professor and the Director of the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership, and holds the Katherine R. and C. Walton Lillehei Chair in Nursing Leadership at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She has extensive experience as an educator, chief nurse executive, researcher, leader, policy maker, and spokesperson. Dr. Disch has held numerous national leadership positions, including chair of the Board for AARP, president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), chair of the University Healthcare Consortium’s Chief Nurse Executive Council, chair of the American Nurses Association's Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines, and president of the American Academy of Nursing. Currently she is a member of the Boards of Directors for the Aurora Health System and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Disch has received numerous awards including two Founders Awards from Sigma Theta Tau International for Excellence in Fostering Professional Standards and Excellence in Leadership, Distinguished Alumni Awards from the UAB School of Nursing and the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, the GE Pioneering Spirit Award from the AACN, the President’s Award from the AAN, and the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She currently serves on the UAB School of Nursing National Advisory Council.

Photo of Joan M. Vitello-Cicciu

Distinguished Alumna 1996

Joan M. Vitello-Cicciu (MSN 1982)

Joan M. Vitello-Cicciu, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAAN is Dean of the Graduate School of Nursing at UMass Medical School. Previously, she served as Executive Director for Perioperative Nursing and Clinical Services at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. With over 30 years of experience in hospital settings, she previously was the Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer for Hallmark Health System. Dr. Vitello-Cicciu has extensive experience as a clinical specialist and healthcare executive. She has presented papers around the world on topics ranging from leadership, emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, and organizational change, to cardiovascular, emergency, and professional issues in nursing. Her extensive accomplishments as an author are evident with published articles having appeared in Focus on Critical Care, the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Critical Care Quarterly, Heart & Lung, Nursing Management, and the Journal of Nursing Administration. For ten years she has served as the co-editor of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. Dr. Vitello-Cicciu is a former president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the world's largest nursing specialty organization. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and has travelled to Honduras to provide humanitarian care for women and children. She was named UAB SON Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 1996.

Photo of Joan M. Engel

Distinguished Alumna 1998

Joan M. Engel (MSN 1981)

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Joan M. Engel, MSN, RN, FAAN, USN served in the United States Navy for 30 years. During this time, she held various clinical and administrative roles both overseas and stateside. She served as the 18th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, advancing the roles of over 5,000 Nurse Corps officers. She also served as the Assistant Chief, Education, Training and Personnel, directing the accession and training of 11,000 Medical department officer personnel and training of 29,000 hospital corpsmen and dental technicians. RADM Engel was the first Nurse Corps officer to hold the positions of Junior Nurse Corps Detailer, Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, the first non-physician to server as the Assistant Chief, Operational Medicine and Fleet Support. She was the first Nurse Corps officer to be selected by board action for promotion to Rear Admiral. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Photo of Marguerite R. Kinney Handlin

Distinguished Alumna 2000

Marguerite R. Kinney Handlin (BSN 1961, MSN 1967)

Marguerite R. Kinney Handlin, DNSc, RN, FAAN is Professor Emeritus at the UAB School of Nursing and a nationally recognized expert in cardiovascular surgical nursing. An award winning researcher, Dr. Kinney has studied the risk factors for premenopausal African-American women, the quality of life issues for cardiac patients as well as the professional nursing care as perceived by critically-ill patients. For more than 30 years, Dr. Kinney has been instrumental in establishing initiatives that showcase better patient outcomes through the demonstration of efficacy of health care when nursing and medicine work as colleagues. Her awards and honors are numerous and include the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and induction into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame. The American Heart Association honored her as one of four Pillars in the Field of Cardiovascular Nursing and presented her the Katharine A. Lembright Award for Excellence in Research. Having served as president for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the organization established an award which bears her name. A noted author, she served as editor of Focus on Critical Care for many years and editor-in-chief for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ publication Clinical Reference for Critical-Care Nursing and Andreoli’s Comprehensive Cardiac Care. She was named the UAB SON Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2000.

Photo of Susan J. Gennaro

Distinguished Alumna 2002

Susan J. Gennaro (PhD 1983)

Susan Gennaro, PhD, RN, FAAN is Dean and Professor of the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College. Prior appointments include the Florence and William Downs Chair in Nursing Research at New York University, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania where she was Director of the Doctoral Program and the Co-Director of the Center for Health Disparities. Dr. Gennaro’s research focuses on the improvement of perinatal nursing in the U.S., Malawi, and Uganda. Funded by the National Institutes of Medicine for over 20 years, she seeks to improve nursing education through innovative programs to increase the number of nurse scientists from a minority background trained to work with vulnerable populations. Dr. Gennaro is currently studying mechanisms underlying preterm birth in minority women, funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research. As the founder of the evidence-based practice program at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing, her goal is to translate research into clinical practice internationally. Dr. Gennaro is the editor of Sigma Theta Tau’s Journal of Nursing Scholarship, a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a McClure Scholar at New York University Medical Center, a lecturer at Harvard University’s Medical School, and a Distinguished Alumna at the UAB School of Nursing.

Photo of Nancy L. McCain

Distinguished Alumna 2004

Nancy L. McCain (PhD 1983)

Nancy L. McCain, PhD, RN, FAAN is the former Nursing Alumni Endowed Professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. Additionally, she was the Director of the Biobehavioral Science Core of the Center of Excellence in Biobehavioral Approaches to Symptom Management funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. With $8.5 million received in grant funding from numerous sources including the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health, National Cancer Institute and private foundations, her research has focused on stress management in persons with HIV infection and women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Through this work, Dr. McCain has significantly contributed to the advancement of knowledge related to biobehavioral mechanisms, measurement systems, and patient outcomes as well as biobehaviorally focused nursing interventions. Dr. McCain is a sought after presenter at the state, national, and international level and her honors include being named the 2008 Distinguished Alumna of the Decade from the University of Mississippi and the 2004 Distinguished Alumna from the UAB School of Nursing. Named as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing she also was honored as the Southern Nursing Research Society Distinguished Researcher in 2008.

Photo of Constance Smith Hendricks

Distinguished Alumna 2007

Constance Smith Hendricks (BSN 1974, MSN 1981)

Constance Smith Hendricks, PhD, RN, FAAN is the former Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professor at the Auburn University School of Nursing. Previously she was a Professor of Nursing at Tuskegee University and Southern University, in addition to serving as Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing at Hampton University. Having served as the principal investigator and project director for many funded grants, Dr. Hendricks’s recent research primarily focuses on rural health and the adolescent lifestyle. She has published her findings in many peer reviewed journals including the Journal of National Black Nurses Association, the online Journal of Health Ethics, and the Journal of Multicultural Nursing and Health. Additionally, she has presented her findings at conferences at the international, national, regional, state, and local level. Dr. Hendricks has been recognized for her outstanding work in nursing by numerous groups and organizations and was featured on the cover of the Black PhD/EdD Magazine in the 2008/2009 edition. She was selected as an Outstanding Alumni by Concordia College-Selma, Alabama, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and as a Distinguished Alumna by the UAB School of Nursing.

Photo of Patricia E. Thompson

Distinguished Alumna 2008

Patricia E. Thompson (MSN 1971)

Patricia E. Thompson, EdD, RN, FAAN retired in 2017 as Chief Executive Officer and past president of Sigma Theta Tau International. Previously she served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, Arkansas. Her research focusing on initiatives that improve student success received $3 million in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration as well as the Little Rock Workforce Investment Board as part of the US Department of Labor. She has published her findings in numerous journals including MEDSURG Nursing and Nurse Educator and presented at the international, national, and state level. Her awards and honors are numerous and include being named a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Additionally, she was inducted into the Northwestern State University Hall of Distinction as an Outstanding Alumni and was named an Honorary Alumni of UAMS College of Nursing. She was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame at the Louisiana State Nurses Association and was named a Distinguished Alumna at the UAB School of Nursing.

Photo of Karen H. Morin

Distinguished Alumna 2009

Karen H. Morin (PhD 1987)

Karen H. Morin, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN is Professor Emerita at The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Areas of expertise include maternal-infant nursing, nursing education, and leadership. She is the first Canadian to serve as President of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. She has had funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Nursing, and from nursing organizations to conduct research. She has held numerous professional organization leadership positions including President of the Delaware Nurses Association, board member of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), co-chair on the program committee for the AWHONN National Convention. She has served as a grant reviewer for the American Nurses Foundation and Sigma Theta Tau International. Her award and honors include being named a Fellow in the Academy of Nurse Educators; Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; the National Excellence in Teaching Award from the National League for Nursing; and the National Excellence in Nursing Education Award from the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, National Honor Society Recognizing Leadership and 8 chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society.

Photo of Sandra B. Dunbar

Distinguished Alumna 2011

Sandra B. Dunbar (PhD 1982)

Sandra B. Dunbar, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA is the Associate Dean of Academic Advancement and holds the Charles Howard Candler Professorship of Cardiovascular Nursing at Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. She is a cardiovascular nurse researcher and educator. Through funded studies by the National Institute of Health, Dr. Dunbar’s work focuses on testing integrated self-care approaches for persons with heart failure and diabetes and the testing of an intervention to improve outcomes for caregivers of patients with heart failure. She recently completed a study testing a family focused intervention to improve self-care by patients with chronic heart failure and conducted a clinical trial to test a psychoeducational intervention to improve outcomes of high risk arrhythmia patients treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Dr. Dunbar is an active volunteer for the American Heart Association‘s Council of Cardiovascular Nursing. She is a former president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and is a member of the editorial board of several major nursing journals including Heart and Lung and Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association, and received the Katherine A. Lembright award from the American Heart Association for her contributions to cardiovascular nursing research. She was named the UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2011.

Photo of Marcia K. Stanhope

Distinguished Alumna 2012

Marcia K. Stanhope (PhD 1981)

Marcia K. Stanhope, PhD, RN, FAAN is Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. While at the University of Kentucky, she has served as the principal investigator for the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Master's Program Component and the Community Nursing Services Administration Master's Program Component funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Nursing. She was principal investigator for the Public Health Clinical Specialist Masters Program Component, funded by DHHS, Division of Nursing. As an expert in Community Health Nursing, Stanhope has also contributed to numerous national tasks forces on health care reform. Her areas of research interest include community health and administration, nurse managed care, home health, and nurse practitioner productivity. She has presented papers at the local, national and international level, including for the American Public Health Association and the International Congress of Nurses. In addition, Dr. Stanhope is the author of Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered Health Care in the Community (8th edition), continues to be the "gold standard" text in community health nursing. This well-respected resource gives students a solid foundation in community and public health nursing concepts; interventions for individuals, families, and communities; health promotion; and the multifaceted role of the community-oriented nursing.

Photo of Carol Z. Garrison

Distinguished Alumna 2013

Carol Z. Garrison (MSN 1976)

Carol Z. Garrison, PhD, MSN is former President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and an alumna of the UAB School of Nursing. Previously, Dr. Garrison served as provost and interim president at the University of Louisville, and was a faculty member, department chair, dean and provost at the University of South Carolina. During her presidency at UAB, she also chaired the board of the UAB Health System, which includes UAB Hospital, The Kirklin Clinic, and other of UAB's nationally-ranked patient care facilities. During Dr. Garrison's tenure, the institution enjoyed remarkable growth, both physically and academically. Dr. Garrison was named the UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2013.

Photo of Nancy B. Moody

Distinguished Alumna 2014

Nancy B. Moody (PhD 1991)

Nancy B. Moody, PhD, RN has served as president of Tusculum College since 2009. During her tenure, she led the college’s successful reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and secured a $45 million community facilities direct loan for the construction of two new residence halls and a science and math facility. In addition, Moody has been instrumental in bringing several new undergraduate and graduate programs to the college, including nursing, chemistry, criminal justice, psychology and a master of business administration degree. Prior to joining Tusculum College, Moody was president of Lincoln Memorial University for seven years. A registered nurse, Moody began her academic career as a nursing instructor for Lincoln Memorial University in 1974 and advanced to hold several academic leadership positions there, including dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health. Her career includes serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Center for Nursing; assistant professor of nursing in the College of Nursing at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville; associate professor and department chair in the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University; and president of Lincoln Memorial University from 2001 to 2009. She is a member of the board of trustees and executive council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, chair of the NCAA DII South Atlantic Conference, and an advisory board member for the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Readiness Consortium funded through an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant funded by the U. S. Department of Education and awarded to the Niswonger Foundation. Moody previously served on the NCAA DII President's Council, was chair of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, and was a member of the Board of the Appalachian Colleges Association.

Photo of Cathy R. Ward

Distinguished Alumna 2015

Cathy R. Ward (BSN 1977)

Cathy R. Ward, PhD, RN, NEA-BC retired in 2017 as Chief Nursing Officer at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Mattel UCLA Children’s Hospital. She also held the appointment of Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCLA School of Nursing. Dr. Ward was responsible for nursing care in the inpatient and observation areas in two hospitals, which are comprised of 24 nursing units and 455 licensed beds, over 2800 employees, including 1900 Registered Nurses. Dr. Ward received her PhD. from UCLA; Master’s of Science from Boston College; and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the UAB School of Nursing. Dr. Ward has provided leadership and direction at UCLA for the past 30 years in various management roles. Prior to the appointment at UCLA, Dr. Ward was Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Nursing; Clinical Nurse Specialist at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and Cardiovascular Nurse Clinician in Cardiac Surgery at the University of Alabama. Dr. Ward also served as a member of the Executive Transition Team in the planning and opening of the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in June of 2008. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Mattel UCLA Children’s Hospital have been designated Magnet hospitals since 2005. In 2011, Dr. Ward received the Nurses Week, National Nursing Excellence, Nurse of the Year Award in Management and in 2013 represented all nurses in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Nurses’ Float. In 2015, Dr. Ward received the UCLA Visionary and Transformational Nursing Leadership Award. She was named UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2015.

Photo of Larry G. Hornsby

Distinguished Alumnus 2016

Larry G. Hornsby (BSN 1981, BS 1985)

Larry G. Hornsby, BSN, CRNA is a highly recognized expert in the business of anesthesia. He has owned and managed numerous health-related companies, including an anesthesia billing company, an anesthesia management and billing consulting service, multiple anesthesia companies providing anesthesia services to hospitals, surgery centers, and physician practices, an anesthesia staffing company, and an anesthesia continuing education seminar company. He is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Diversified Professionals, Inc. Prior to this role, he was Senior Executive Vice President of Operations for the AmSol division of NorthStar Anesthesia, which employs 2,000 nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists in 21 states. Mr. Hornsby is a Past-President of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and received the organization’s highest honor in 2013, the Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment. Prior to his term as president, he served on the AANA Board of Directors for four years, holding the offices of Region 7 Director, Vice President, and President-Elect, respectively. Notably, he served as Chairman of the AANA Commission on Anesthesia Economics and Reimbursement and as Chairman of the Anesthesia Payment Advisory Panel to the AANA Board of Directors. He chaired the AANA CRNA Political Action Committee for six years, bringing in record-breaking contributions during his term. He also served on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Ambulatory Professional Technical Advisory Council for six years. His most notable accomplishment during his AANA service was negotiating the federal supervision opt-out directly with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, which now allows CRNAs in 17 states to work without any physician supervision requirements. Prior to his AANA service, he served the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists (ALANA) as a member of its Board of Directors, serving two terms as president and chairing several committees. Mr. Hornsby is a member of the UAB School of Nursing’s National Advisory Council. In 2010, he was named one of the UAB School of Nursing’s 60 “Visionary Leaders.” He was named UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2016.

Photo of Phyllis N. Horns

Distinguished Alumna 2017

Phyllis N. Horns (PhD 1980)

Phyllis N. Horns, PhD, RN, FAAN was named Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences at East Carolina University in 2009. As Vice Chancellor she is responsible for the Brody School of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, William E. Laupus Health Sciences Library, East Carolina Heart Institute, East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute, and the NC Agromedicine Institute. The Health Sciences Division has approximately 4,600 students (including medical & dental residents), over 2,600 employees and utilizes over 1,600 clinical agencies for its educational programs and patient care services. Dr. Horns earned her BSN at East Carolina University, MPH at the UNC Chapel Hill, PNP certificate at the University of Rochester, and PhD at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2001. Dr. Horns is married to Mr. Frederick Horns (for 38 years) and has 2 adult sons John and Justin. She served as Dean of the East Carolina University College of Nursing from 1990 to 2009, a period of extensive growth for the College. From 1981 to 1988, she was Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Studies, at University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has served as 1) Chair of the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; 2) President of the Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, SREB; 3) President of the NC Council of Deans; and 4) Board member and Treasurer of the NC Institute of Medicine. She was honored as one of ECU’s 100 Incredible Women in 2007 and as one of ECU’s Women of Distinction in 2009. In 2011 she was honored as the East Carolina University College of Nursing Distinguished Alumni and inducted in the College of Nursing Hall of Fame. She was selected as one of the recipients of the 2012 Women of Achievement award by the General Federation of Women’s Club of North Carolina, Inc. Recently, she was awarded the North Carolina Hospital Association’s 2016 Meritorious Service Award. She was named UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2017.

Photo of Wipada Kunaviktikul

Distinguished Alumna 2018

Wipada Kunaviktikul (PhD 1994)

Wipada Kunaviktikul, PhD, RN, FAAN is a Professor and the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, Thailand. She is the Director of Nursing Policy and Outcome Center and the Head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Development. Dr. Wipada received her doctoral degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, and was a research fellow at the Harvard University School of Public Health, USA for one year. In 2013, she was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Wipada has over two decades of research experience, specifically in the areas of nursing administration, policy, health care system, and quality of care. She has served as the Chair of the Master Degree Program in Nursing Administration for the past 10 years and is Chair of Graduate Studies and a member of the Doctoral Administrative Committee at the Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University. Her publications have been widely published in Thai and international journals, and she is a much sought after speaker throughout the region and across the world. She has delivered talks on health promotion, nursing education, research, partnership, leadership and administration. She has received several national and international awards e.g. 2011 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame award from Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing, USA, The UAB School of Nursing’s Visionary Leader award, and 2010 National Distinguished Professor in Health Science Award. Most recently she was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Professional Women Leaders Award from the Federation of Business and Professional Women of Thailand. She received the UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018.

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Distinguished Alumna 2019

Kristi Henderson (DNP 2010)

Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, FAAN, FAEN is a healthcare executive with over 25 years of experience as a digital health leader, innovator, health advocate, educator, researcher and clinician. She is currently leading clinical operations for Amazon Care and new healthcare initiative for Amazon employees. Before joining Amazon, she designed and launched AscensionConnect a national hub for Ascension’s virtual care, digital health and patient access operations. She holds an appointment as a Clinical Professor of Population Health at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas-Austin with a successful track record using digital health tools to enable and scale new models of care. She is well known for her statewide Telehealth model in Mississippi which has been recognized as one of only two Centers of Excellence by HRSA. Henderson is known for her expertise in design of innovative healthcare models using technology and for her keen ability to execute and sustain these models in advance of them becoming an industry standard. This includes extensive work in advancing policy and regulations necessary to implement the new models of care. She has testified before multiple U.S. Senate committees and given numerous presentations across the country, including TEDx and SXSW, to advance telehealth policy and share innovative new models of care. A few of her other leadership roles include service as an executive board member for the American Telemedicine Association; AAMC Telehealth Committee member, ANA co-chair for Committee on Connected Health and NQF Telehealth Committee. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Emergency Nurses Association. Henderson received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the UAB School of Nursing in 2010. She maintains national certification as a family and acute care nurse practitioner. She received the UAB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.

Photo of Linda Norman

Distinguished Alumna 2022

Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN (DSN 2001)

Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN is a DSN 2001 graduate of the UAB School of Nursing. She has been active in nursing practice and nursing education for over four decades and is recognized as a national and international leader in nursing. Dr. Norman started her career as a staff nurse on a neurosurgical unit and expanded her role in nursing after graduate school to care of the chronically ill. She was named dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in July 2013 and served until June 2021. She is currently Dean Emerita and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Dr. Norman joined Vanderbilt in 1991 and served in a variety of capacities at the school for 30 years, including as Senior Associate Dean of Academics. During her tenure, she led innovative curriculum transformations, introduced several new academic programs and helped the School rise to become one of the top graduate nursing programs in the country. Linda spearheaded curricular innovations ranging from blended learning, interdisciplinary education, quality improvement, disaster management and doctoral distance learning. She found herself drawn to nursing education as a way to make a profound difference on the profession she loves. In 2004, she was recognized for her myriad contributions to the field by being inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. In 2010, she was named a UAB School of Nursing Visionary Leader.

Dr. Norman has a rich history serving on corporate, professional, and nonprofit boards. She is a recognized expert in quality improvement in health professions education which leads to enhanced patient safety. She was the first woman and first nurse to serve on the Span America Medical Systems Corporate board, a publicly traded company that manufactured therapeutic matrasses and surfaces for long term and home health care agencies. She was chair of the Nominating Governance Committee and was elected as Vice Chair of the board, prior to the sale of the company. Subsequently, she was selected as the first nurse for the Nemours Foundation (Children’s Health System) board and currently chairs the Operations, Safety, and Quality committee. She is a board member at large of the World Pediatric Project Executive Committee, member of the Tennessee Hospital Association’s Tennessee Center for Workforce Development board and the Leah Rose Senior Living Center board.

Linda continues to publish in established journals and has been responsible for more than $7.5 million in external funding. A sought-after consultant in evaluation, served as the director of evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation and Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future Program. She has been actively engaged as a co-investigator on several of the Buerhaus research teams related to nursing workforce issues. Most recently she served on the research team for a national study investigating the primary care workforce for frail elders funded by the Betty and Gordon Moore Foundation.