2011 AACN 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 2011 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

2011 AACN Individual Circle of Excellence
2011 AACN Chapter Circle of Excellence
ICU Design Citation

2011 AACN Individual Circle of Excellence

The following AACN members have been selected to receive 2011 awards and will become permanent members of the AACN Circle of Excellence Society.

Michael H. Ackerman, RN, DNS, APRN-BC, FCCM, FNAP, FAANP
Associate Director of Nursing and
Director, Margaret Sovie Center of Advanced Practice
Strong Memorial Hospital
Director, Center for Clinical Trials and Medical Device Evaluation
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York

Jeanne P. Ahern, RN, BSN, MHA, CCRN
Nurse Manager, Cardiovascular ICU
Children’s Hospital Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Jennifer M. Ballard-Hernandez, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN-CSC
Nurse Practitioner – Heart Failure Program
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
Newport Beach, California

Maria E. Bentain-Melanson, RN, MSN, CCRN-CSC
Nursing Clinical Educator for Cardiac Surgery ICU
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts

Laura Joanne Bratcher, RN, BSN, CCRN-CSC, CNML
Nurse Manager, Pediatrics
Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Helen F. Brown, MS, BC-ACNP, BC-FNP
Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Department
Anne Arundel Medical Center
Annapolis, Maryland
Clinical Instructor - ACNP / FNP programs
Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies
Washington, DC

Jennifer A. Browne, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN
Staff Nurse, Surgical and Medical ICU
Northeast Baptist Hospital
Clinical Instructor in Critical Care
Baptist School of Health Professions
San Antonio, Texas

Marie T. Fisher, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Thoracic Surgery Unit
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Valerie L. Howell, RN, MSN, MBA, NEA-BC
Director of Critical Care Services
Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
Houston, Texas

Deborah G. Klein, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Coronary ICU, Heart Failure ICU, Cardiac Short Stay/PACU
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio

Lindsey Langston, RN, BSN
Staff Nurse and Preceptor
Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics
Tyler, Texas

Marian B. Lawson, RN, BSN
Nurse Manager - Coronary Care Unit
University of Virginia Health System
Charlottesville, Virginia

Deborah A. Lepman, RN, MPH, CEN
Department Director, Cardiac Critical Care Units
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
Newport Beach, California

Patricia A. Lincoln, RN, MS, CNS-BC, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiac ICU
Children's Hospital Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Mary E. Lough, RN, MS, CNS, CCRN, CNRN, CCNS
Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Medical-Surgical-Neuroscience-Trauma ICU
Stanford Hospital and Clinics
Stanford, California

Theresa R. (Roxie) Macfarlan, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACNP-BC
Advanced Practice Nurse/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Thoracic Cardiovascular Postoperative ICU
University of Virginia Hospital
Charlottesville, Virginia

Tammy R. Maclay, RN, BSN, MSN, CCRN, CEN
Critical Care/Emergency Care Clinical Specialist
Chambersburg Hospital
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Benjamin E. Marett, RN-BC, MSN, CEN, CCRN, NE-BC, FAEN
Director, Education and Nursing Research
Piedmont Medical Center
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Maureen S. McCaffrey, RN, BSN, CCRN
Critical Care Clinical Educator
Lodi Memorial Hospital
Lodi, California

DaiWai M. Olson, RN, PhD, CCRN
Staff Nurse, Neuroscience Intensive Care
Duke University Medical Center
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

Prasama Sangkachand, RN, MSN, CCRN
Service Line Educator, Heart and Vascular Center
Yale-New Haven Hospital
New Haven, Connecticut

Kathleen M. Vollman, MSN, RN, CCNS, FCCM, FAAN
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Educator, Consultant
President, Advancing Nursing LLC
President, Sepsis Solutions International LLC
Northville, Michigan

2011 AACN Chapter Circle of Excellence

AACN chapters that have made a difference in the healthcare profession and their communities will receive 2011 Circle of Excellence awards.

Excellence in Collaboration

Central Indiana Chapter
Indianapolis, Indiana 

Mountain to Sound Chapter
Seattle, Washington

Pacific Crest Regional Chapter
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Excellence in Educational Programming

Greater Long Beach Orange County Chapter
Tustin, California

Greater Washington Area Chapter
Washington, DC

Three Rivers Chapter
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

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 Washington Area Chapter
Washington, DC

Excellence in Promoting the Value of Certification

Central Coast of California
Salinas, California

Excellence in Community Education & Public Service

Greater Washington Area Chapter
Washington, DC

Houston-Gulf Coast Chapter
Houston, Texas

Pacific Crest Regional Chapter
Klamath Falls, Oregon

President’s Award for Chapters

Recognition for effectively integrating the theme, Stand Tall, in activities and programs throughout the year.

White River Chapter
Muncie, Indiana

Rum River Chapter
Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Broward County Chapter
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Three Rivers Chapter
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

ICU Design Citation

The 2011 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:

University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands

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