Alumni, faculty inducted into Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame

Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame

By Amanda E.H. Pritchard

Six University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing alumni and faculty members are being inducted into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame. Each has significantly influenced the nursing profession and health care in the state of Alabama and throughout the nation.

The alumni being honored include Judy Bittinger, DSN, PhD, RN (DSN 1995), Carolyn B. Chalkley, MSN, RN (MSN 1971), Jennifer J. Coleman, PhD, RN, CNE, COI (BSN 1976), Joy P. Deupree, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN (BSN 1994, MSN 1997), Deborah “Pepper” Hoover, MSN, FNP, RN (BSN 1974, MSN 1977); and Dorothy Ray Scarbrough, MSN, BSN, RNC (BSN 1954).

The Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be November 9, 2023.

Judy Bittinger, DSN, PhD, RN (DSN 1995)

Bittinger is the Regional Director of Home Health and Hospice at LifePoint Hospitals in Haleyville, Alabama. Active in her community, Bittinger serves as chairman at the Health Care Authority of Haleyville and Winston County. Leading with a nurse’s heart, she continues living out the mission, vision and values of innovating and transforming health care that inspires the next generation of nurses.

Carolyn B. Chalkley, MSN, RN (BSN 1969, MSN 1971)

Chalkley is a retired nurse with more than four decades of experience specializing in cardiovascular health. Chalkley’s expertise and leadership in nursing provides support for the continuing development of high-quality academic programs for future nurses. While at UAB School of Nursing, Chalkley was one of the first students in the Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist Track. She has experience as a clinician, teacher, administrator, researcher, and consultant. She serves on the Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing Advisory Board.

Jennifer J. Coleman, PhD, RN, CNE, COI (BSN 1976)

Coleman is a professor at Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing. Called to nursing to encourage, empower and validate the efforts of others as they seek their special calling, Coleman is thankful to play a role in students’ journeys as they discover their purpose. She is a member of the National Black Nurses Association, Alabama State Association and on the grants and scholarship committee for the Birmingham Black Nurses Association. Coleman specializes in nursing diversity, nursing ethics, health disparities and culturally sensitive care. She was named a UAB School of Nursing Visionary Leader in 2020.

Joy P. Deupree, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN (BSN 1994, MSN 1997)

Deupree is a professor at the UAB School of Nursing in the Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care Department. An advocate for policy change for nurse practitioners in the state of Alabama, Deupree served as an appointed member to the Alabama Governor’s Health Care Improvement Task Force where she developed infrastructure for the Alabama Health Literacy Initiative. In May of 2023, she was named Co-Lead for the AARP and the Nursing State Action Coalition in Alabama for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, from which she is a former fellow of the program. A policy advocate at the state and national level, Deupree mentors students seeking to establish their voice in advocacy. She was named a UAB School of Nursing Visionary Leader in 2020.

Deborah “Pepper” Hoover, MSN, FNP, RN (BSN 1974, MSN 1977)

Hoover serves as the Program Director for Nursing at Wallace State Community College. Under her leadership, the nursing program has had two designations as a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing and a partnership was established between Wallace State and UAB that offers a concurrent degree program for associate degree and bachelor’s degree students. A member of the Alabama Board of Nursing, Hoover champions the cause to set students on the pathway of success for future nurses.

Dorothy Ray Scarbrough, BSN, MSN, RNC (BSN 1954)

Scarbrough became the first certified gerontological nurse in Alabama in 1983. Throughout her career and across America, Scarbrough has served as a staff nurse, teacher, program director, consultant and lecturer. Scarbrough also started the Geriatric Evaluation Unit at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Hospital where she previously served as an associate chief nurse of extended care. Due to her impactful commitment to training staff to care for aging patients, Scarbrough improved care nationwide and provided new real time training films and materials created by the American Hospital Association.

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