2014 Circle of Excellence

Circle of Excellence awards recognize and showcase excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The awards program is designed to align with the association's mission and vision focusing on outcomes responsive to professional and environmental issues in acute and critical care nursing.

AACN would like to acknowledge and thank the following companies for their generous support of the 2014 Circle of Excellence program:


Nominations are evaluated by a panel of volunteer reviewers and rated on the basis of how well the nominees achieved the following criteria:

  • Relentlessly promotes patient-driven excellence
  • Models skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision-making and meaningful recognition
  • Transforms thinking, structures and processes to address challenges and remove barriers to advance patient-driven excellence
  • Furthers AACN’s mission and key initiatives at influential forums
  • Enriches own and other organizations by influencing and mentoring others in achieving excellence
  • Achieves visible results that validate impact of individual leadership contribution to organizational excellence

2014 AACN Individual Circle of Excellence

The following AACN members have been selected to receive 2014 awards and will become permanent members of the AACN Circle of Excellence Society.

Jean Balaguras, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-CSC
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Indiana University Health Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana

Lead Open Heart Clinician
El Camino Hospital
Mountain View, California

Nadine R. Brooks, RN, MSN, CCRN
Nurse Manager, CVICU
Palmetto Health Heart Hospital
Columbia, South Carolina

Ninotchka B. Brydges, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC
Manager, Mid-Level Provider, Department of Critical Care
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Barbara Elizabeth Callens, RN, CCRN
Clinical Nurse III
El Camino Hospital
Mountain View, California

Michelle E. Deckard, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-CMC
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiac Medical Critical Care
Program Coordinator, Hypothermia Post Arrest
IU Health Methodist Hospital
Indianapolis, Indiana

Ellen B. Fales, RN, BSN, CCRN
Clinical Leader, ICU
South County Hospital
Wakefield, Rhode Island

Carolyn K. Holder, RN, MN, ANP-BC, CCRN, CCNS
Clinical Nurse Specialist Critical Care/Pulmonary
Emory University Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia

Luke R. Kinzie, RN, BSN, ACLS, CCRN, CMC
Charge/Staff Nurse
Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Portland, Oregon

Cindy Little, RN, MSN, MBA, CCRN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Surgical Trauma ICU
Surgery Acute Critical Care Service Line
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

Barbara Ann McLean, RN, MN, CCNS-BC, NP-BC, CCRN, FCCM
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Grady Memorial Hospital
Atlanta, Georgia

Janice Mink, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN
Quality and Safety Coordinator/Patient Safety Officer
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics
Tyler, Texas

Carrie C. Ogilvie, RN, DNP, ACNS-BC, CCRN
Associate Vice-President, Critical Care and Trauma Services
Lakeland Regional Medical Center
Lakeland, Florida

Tanya Lynn Prachar, RN, MSN, PMHNP, CNRN
Clinician IV, Nerancy Neuro ICU
University of Virginia Health System
Charlottesville, Virginia

Catherine Robichaux, RN, PhD, Alumnus CCRN, CNS
Assistant Professor
Adjunct Department of Health Restoration and
Care Systems Management
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Jill Slade, RN, BSN
Nurse Manager
Surgical/Trauma ICU
The Queen’s Medical Center
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sheri L. Testani, RN, MSN, NE-BC
Administrative Director
Critical Care and Specialty Services
Harper University Hospital – DMC
Detroit, Michigan

Tamekia L. Thomas, RN, MSN, PCCN, ACNS-BC
Critical Care Education Coordinator/Certification Coordinator
Christiana Care Health System
Newark, Delaware

Kathleen N. Turner, RN, BSN, CCRN-CMC, CHPN
Clinical Nurse III, ICU
University of California San Francisco Medical Center
San Francisco, California

Mary Lou Warren, RN, DNP, CNS-CC, CCNS, CCRN
Advanced Practice Nurse, Department of Critical Care
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Cynthia L. Webner, RN, DNP, CCNS, CCRN-CMC, CHFN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Aultman Hospital
Canton, Ohio

Debra L. Wiegand, RN, PhD, MBE, CCRN, CHPN, FAAN, FAHA
Assistant Professor
The University of Maryland School of Nursing
Baltimore, Maryland

Rachel Zastrow, RN, MSN, CCRN, CPPS, LSSBB
Patient Safety Program Coordinator
Cadence Health
Winfield, IL

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2014 AACN Chapter Circle of Excellence

AACN chapters that have made a difference in the healthcare profession and their communities will receive 2013 Circle of Excellence awards.

Excellence in Collaboration

AACN Chapter at UCLA
Los Angeles, California

Broward County Chapter
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Greater Boston Chapter
Boston, Massachusetts

Excellence in Educational Programming

Denver Chapter
Denver, Colorado

Northwest Chicago Area Chapter
Arlington Heights, Illinois

San Diego Area Chapter
San Diego, California

West Houston Chapter
Katy, Texas

Excellence in Leadership Development

Awarded in memory of Sharon Connor, AACN director of membership and chapters from 1985 to 1997, for her advocacy of volunteerism and dedication to the success of chapters.

Greater Portland Chapter
Portland, Oregon

West Houston Chapter
Katy, Texas

Excellence in Promoting the Value of Certification

Oklahoma City Area Chapter
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

San Antonio Chapter
San Antonio, Texas

Excellence in Community Education & Public Service

Albuquerque Chapter
Albuquerque, New Mexico

San Francisco Chapter
San Francisco, California

President’s Award for Chapters

Recognition for effectively integrating the theme, Dare To, in activities and programs throughout the year.

Greater New Orleans Chapter
New Orleans, Louisiana

Oklahoma City Area Chapter
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

San Antonio Chapter
San Antonio, Texas

West Houston Chapter
Katy, Texas

ICU Design Citation

The 2014 ICU Design Citation, an award cosponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Institute of Architects Academy on Architecture for Health, which recognizes the successful combination of functional ICU design with the humanitarian delivery of care, will be awarded to:

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Newborn & Infant Critical Care Unit
Los Angeles, California

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