Meet Joanna Burgess, RN, CWOCN, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Cary, N.C.
Burgess was honored as this years Great Comebacks National Award recipient at a ceremony held at the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Societys 44th Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., in June. In 2011, she was named the South Region award recipient. The program honors outstanding individuals who inspire others to live life to the fullest after ostomy surgery.
Burgess was diagnosed with a rare type of bladder cancer at age 3. Urostomy surgery and radiation therapy saved her life but led to a lifetime of complications. The strong cobalt radiation affected the growth of her bones, and for much of her life she has had difficulty walking.
Declared “disabled,” Burgess nevertheless pursued her passion to become a nurse, initially specializing in pediatrics, and traveling on mission trips around the world. Based on her personal experiences, she developed a special interest in supporting patients with an ostomy and, in 2008, became a wound, ostomy and continence nurse. Burgess is working to establish an outpatient ostomy clinic, to make it possible for more patients to work with a specialty-care nurse through all stages of their follow-up care after surgery.
Fort Hood (Texas) military bases Thomas Moore Clinic — Rose Herrera, RN, education nurse, has earned the American Nurses Associations Immunity Award for her efforts to raise immunization rates and improve vaccine program efficiency. Herrera helped organize immunization efforts and ensure that vaccine records for 16,000 Army soldiers and family members who visit the clinic are entered into the electronic health records system. She educates nursing staff in immunization competencies, developed standardized procedures for immunization administration and helps enforce standing immunization orders for dependents of the more than 46,000 soldiers at the base.
Emory University, Atlanta — Michelle Dynes, CNM, MSN, MPH, a fellow of interdisciplinary global health research, has been awarded a $5,000 nursing scholarships by the March of Dimes for graduate studies in the field of maternal-child nursing. The March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship promotes excellence in the field of nursing care for mothers and babies. Dynes is pursuing a doctor of philosophy degree in nursing. Her dissertation focuses on the factors that encourage teamwork among community health workers in Ethiopia. After graduation, Dynes plans to participate in a post-doctoral fellowship and create programs that allow adolescents, minority or refugee women in the U.S., and those in low socio-economic areas access to prenatal, birth and postpartum care.Anne L. Hedges, RN
Charlotte Regional Medical Center, Punta Gorda, Fla. — Kristine Conroy, RN, was honored with the Nurse of the Year award given by Health Management Associates for exemplifying commitment and teamwork. She also was named Nurse of the Year at CRMC. Gail Parks, RN, who works in the resource management department, received the Nurse of the Month award in April.
Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Fla. — School Health Administrator Anne L. Hedges, RN, MSN, NCSN, retired after nearly 15 years at the helm of the School Health program. Hedges developed the program with the goal of placing an RN in every public school in the county. The program has matured into a comprehensive clinical operation of more than 200 full-time RNs in 169 public schools who help keep 170,000 students healthy and ready to learn.
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston — Robin L. Bissinger, APRN, PhD, NNP-BC, associate professor, has been named associate dean for academics at the College of Nursing. Bissinger will provide leadership in managing all facets of the academic nursing programs including faculty and student affairs, program coordination, and resource development and allocation.
CVS Minute Clinic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. — The Association of Womens Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses presented its Nursing for Womens Health Excellence in Writing Award to Jessica Watkins Smith, RN, MSN, FNP-C, for her article “Polycystic ovary syndrome: Evidence-based strategies for managing symptoms and preventing long-term sequelae.” Smiths co-author on the article was Julie Smith Taylor, RN, PhD, WHNP-BC, of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The 2012 Excellence in Writing Award honors the lead author of an original paper published in Nursing for Womens Health during 2011.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston — The Good Samaritan Foundation honored the winners of the 2012 Excellence in Nursing awards. Jessica Peck, RN, MSN, CPNP, CNE, assistant clinical professor in the School of Nursing, is a gold medal winner in nursing education, faculty. Award winners are nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of nursing leaders. This years winners were honored in September at a luncheon at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston. •