2009 Circle of Excellence Award Recipients

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 2009 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 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

The following AACN members have been selected to receive 2009 awards and will become permanent members of the AACN Circle of Excellence Society.

Karol Cerosky, RN, BSN, CNRN
Assistant Nurse Manager,
Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

Michelle Dyes, RN, BSN, CCRN-P
Department Educator, Pediatric ICU
Medical Center of Central Georgia
Macon, Georgia

Sharon Engle, RN, BSN, CCRN
Unit Manager, CICU/COU
St. Vincent’s Health System - Medical Center-East
Birmingham, Alabama

Bradi Granger, RN, PhD
Clinical Nurse Specialist - Duke Heart Center
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

William Hallinan, RN, MS, EMT-P
Clinical Director, Artificial Heart Program
Strong Memorial Hospital
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York

Mary Beth Happ, RN, PhD, FAAN
Associate Professor, Acute/Tertiary Care
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sonya Hardin, RN, PhD, CCRN, ACNS-BC, ANP-C
Associate Professor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina

Lisa Herlihy, RN, BSN, CCRN
Clinical Educator
Cardiac Surgical Unit
North Shore Medical Center
Salem, Massachusetts

Patricia Hickey, RN, MS, MBA, NEA-BC
Vice President of Cardiovascular and Critical Care Services
Children’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

Marcia Kent, RN, BSN, CCRN
Manager, Cardiac ICU
Shands at the University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Kimberly Kotora, RN, BSN
Manager, Medical and Cardiac ICUs
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Cleveland, Ohio

Colleen Kylor, RN, BSN, CCRN
Manager, ICU/CCU
Chambersburg Hospital
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Charles “Buck” Marsalla, RN, BSN, CCRN
Staff Nurse
Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit
University Medical Center
Tucson, Arizona

Tiffany McArthur, RN, BSN, CCRN
Staff Nurse, Surgical-Trauma ICU
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

Melody McCutcheon, RN, BSN
Staff Nurse, Coronary Care Unit
McLeod Regional Medical Center
Florence, South Carolina

Wendy Moeller, RN, BSN, CCRN
Staff Nurse
Surgical-Trauma ICU
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

Marsha Mulbarger, RN, MS
Director, Adult Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Department
Rush University Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois

Cindy Poole, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nurse Director, Cardiovascular ICU
Medical Center of Central Georgia
Macon, Georgia

Julia Retelski, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN
Clinical Nurse III
Neurosurgical Critical Care Unit
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

Melanie Wallace, RN, BSN, CCRN, NE-BC
Manager, Surgical Trauma Intensive Care
Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, North Carolina

Belinda Wallbank, RN, MSN, CNRN
Clinical Educator and Critical Care Internship Coordinator
Clarian Health Partners - Methodist Hospital
Indianapolis, Indiana

AACN Chapters that have made a difference in the healthcare profession and their communities will receive 2009 Circle of Excellence awards.

Excellence in Collaboration:

  • Broward County Chapter
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Oklahoma City Area Chapter
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • South Florida Gold Coast Chapters
    Greater Miami Chapter - Miami Beach Chapter - Palm Beach County Chapter - Treasure Coast Chapter - Broward County Chapter

Excellence in Community Education and Public Service:

  • Siouxland Chapter
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Lake Cumberland Area Chapter
    Somerset, Kentucky

Excellence in Educational Programming:

  • Piedmont Carolinas Chapter
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Inland Northwest Chapter
    Spokane, Washington
  • Greater Chicago Area Chapter
    Chicago, Illinois

Chapters selected to receive the AACN President’s Award for best exemplifying the theme, With Confidence, in their programs, activities, communications, educational offerings and community service:

  • Atlanta Area Chapter
  • Central Indiana Chapter
    Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Central Minnesota Chapter
    Saint Cloud, Minnesota
  • Piedmont Carolinas Chapter
    Charlotte, North Carolina

The 2009 ICU Design Citation Award, cosponsored by AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Institute of Architects, will be presented to

     Intensive Care Unit
     Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
    New York, New York

for successfully combining functional ICU design with the humanitarian delivery of care.

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