Fogger connects the classroom with real-world nursing experience

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Fogger insideSusanne Fogger, DNPWith more than 40 years of experience as a clinician, Susanne Fogger, DNP, has worn just about every hat in her field of psychiatric nursing: clinical expert, scholar, leader, teacher, mentor, role model. This year, she donned a new cap — President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching-winner.

As a professor in the Department of Family, Community and Health Systems, Fogger is an expert in psychiatric nursing, addictions and mental health care for under-served populations, focusing specifically on those with HIV and veterans. She applies her scholarship in real-world scenarios in UAB’s 1917 Clinic, where she works as a psychiatric nurse practitioner twice per week, and during her nearly two decades as a nursing educator, she has trained more than 300 psychiatric nurse practitioners, many of whom practice in Alabama and other Deep South states — a region known as a low-resource area with mental health professional shortages. According to Mental Health America’s 2019 annual report, Alabama ranked 48th among 50 states and the District of Columbia in the availability of access to mental health care and fifth highest in number of adults with substance-use disorder.

In the classroom, Fogger is known for being an engaging and committed instructor on topics ranging from HIV and AIDS to opioid addiction and the effects of substance abuse, specifically on women and infants. She regularly collaborates with other faculty, professional colleagues and students on conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications — in 2018, one of her student’s poster presentation took home the People’s Choice Award from the World AIDS Day Symposium.

“Dr. Fogger is a thought-provoking teacher who challenged me to connect real-world experience, clinical guidelines and theory into a valuable contribution to patient care,” wrote one student. “Her style of teaching facilitates vision to conceptualize the patient-lived experience and environment impact patient outcomes and inspiring changes. Dr. Fogger promotes scholarship.”

Fogger also is known as a proponent of professional development. Colleagues note that she consistently refines and revises her course content to ensure they remain current on theory and technology, and she also works with junior faculty on their scholarly work and as a mentor to doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students — even after they have left UAB.

“Dr. Fogger’s continued engagement in my success, even following my graduation, enables my professional development to exceed expectations as a nurse practitioner in my clinical setting and to be a contributing expert in my field of practice,” one student wrote.

Fogger has received numerous awards, including the 2017 President’s Award for Service and the 2015 Education Award from the International Nurses Society on Addictions.