Alumna Disch honored by AACN

Named 2015 recipient of the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career; award is named for UAB's Dr. Margie Kinney Handlin
Photo: Alumna Joanne Disch honored by AACNThe American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently honored UAB School of Nursing alumna Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, with the 2015 Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career.

Disch — professor ad honorem at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis — received the award for exceptional contributions throughout her 45-year career to enhance the care of critically ill patients and their families, and furthering AACN’s mission and vision.

Established in 1997 and named for past AACN president and former UAB School of Nursing faculty member Marguerite Kinney Handlin, DNSc, the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career recognizes extraordinary and distinguished professional contributions that further AACN’s mission and vision of a health care system driven by the needs of patients and families where acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. Recipients of this Visionary Leadership Award receive a $1,000 gift to the charity of their choice, lifetime membership in AACN, and a crystal replica of the presidential “Vision” icon.

The award’s namesake, Margie Kinney Handlin, presented Disch with the award during the 2015 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, in San Diego, May 18-21. In bestowing the award, Kinney Handlin talked about how special it was to be presenting this award to one of her own students from the UAB School of Nursing. In Disch’s acceptance speech, she talked about how attending UAB was one of the best things she had ever done and was grateful that Kinney Handlin took a chance on her.

Throughout her career, Disch distinguished herself as a bedside clinician, manager, clinical director, chief nursing officer and hospital vice president. As an educator, she has been a practitioner/teacher, tenured professor and director of an international center for nursing leadership.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Disch worked as a staff nurse at the UW Hospitals and Clinics before earning her MSN from UAB in 1976. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan.

Disch taught nursing at Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania universities before moving to Minnesota to work as a chief nursing officer and hospital administrator. An adjunct faculty appointment at the UM School of Nursing led her to become a full-time professor in 2000.

At UM, she held the Katherine R. and C. Walton Lillehei chair in Nursing Leadership and served as director for the school’s Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership until 2012. As professor ad honorem, she continues to work with aspiring and existing nurse leaders and advocate for nurse-designed models of care.

Disch’s research has centered on nurse/physician relationships and quality and safety within healthcare organizations. For the past 12 years, she has been a faculty leader for the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative, which has educated more than 1,500 nursing faculty in safety science and in how to redesign nursing curricula to include this content. She also has published and presented nationally and internationally on issues related to quality, safety and leadership in healthcare and recently completed co-editing a text on “Person and Family-Centered Care.”

AACN previously honored Disch, who served as its national president and led its certification corporation board, with its Pioneering Spirit Award in 2007. She also has provided leadership to other national organizations, including a term as board member and chair of the National Board of Directors for AARP and as president of the American Academy of Nursing. Currently, she serves on the board of Aurora Health Care and is chair of the board of trustees of Chamberlain College of Nursing.

During her career, Disch received numerous other awards, including the Dorothy Garrigus Adams Award for Excellence in Fostering Professional Standards from Sigma Theta Tau International, and Outstanding Alumna awards from the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing. She also was honored with the establishment of the Joanne Disch Excellence in Medical Nursing Practice Award from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Read 8193 times Last modified on May 26, 2015

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