Nurses honored with 2017 Circle of Excellence awards

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AACN to present Circle of Excellence awards to 25 acute and critical care nurses during NTI 2017, recognizing their efforts to achieve optimal outcomes


ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – April 6, 2017 – The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) will bestow the 2017 Circle of Excellence award on 25 nurses at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, Houston, May 22-25. (View recipient list.)

These outstanding caregivers receive this coveted award for achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families.

Criteria used to evaluate Circle of Excellence award candidates include relentless promotion of patient-driven excellence; communication skills; true collaboration; effective decision making; meaningful recognition of others; ability to transform thinking, structures and processes; and ability to address challenges and remove barriers to excellent patient care and achieve visible results through leadership.

AACN President Clareen Wiencek, PhD, RN, ACHPN, ACNP, associate professor of nursing at University of Virginia School of Nursing and program director of advanced practice, praises the efforts of the caregivers who are selected for the Circle of Excellence award.

“These healthcare professionals exemplify why AACN is a community of exceptional nurses. Their efforts are transforming healthcare and shaping the future of nursing practice, within their units, in the classroom, and throughout their organizations and their communities,” Wiencek said. “What nurses do matters at every level, and I’m proud to recognize the Circle of Excellence recipients for being bold and relentless in driving change.”

AACN’s Circle of Excellence awards align with the association’s mission of creating a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

Highly regarded for its responsiveness to current trends in the nursing profession and the environments where nurses work, the award is supported by grants from Elsevier and Dale Medical. Awardees receive a plaque and a $1,000 honorarium and become members of the Circle of Excellence Society.

About the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition: Established in 1974, AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (NTI) represents the world’s largest educational conference and trade show for nurses who care for acutely and critically ill patients and their families. Bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners attend NTI.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and has more than 200 chapters throughout the United States. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme


Recipients of 2017 Circle of Excellence Awards from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Following is a list of recipients of the 2017 Circle of Excellence awards from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) in alphabetical order by state and last name.


Alabama Gennifer L. Baker, DNP, RN, CCNS
Decatur Morgan Hospital, Decatur
Amy F. Brandon, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, CCRN-K
East Alabama Medical Center, Opelika
California Suzette Cardin, RN, PhD, FAAN
UCLA School of Nursing, Los Angeles
Alice T. Chan, RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN
Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles
Michele A. Wilson, MS, RN, CNS, NP, CCRN, CCNS
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, Loma Linda
Connecticut Marjorie Funk, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Yale School of Nursing, West Haven
Hawaii Julie Ann Caridad B. Gamboa, BSN, RN, CCRN
The Queens Medical Center, Honolulu
Illinois Maria Suvacarov, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
AMITA Adventist Medical Center, La Grange and Hinsdale
Indiana Brandee A. Wornhoff, MSN, RN, CNS-BC
Hendricks Regional Health, Danville
Louisiana Leanne H. Fowler, DNP, MBA, AGACNP-BC, APRN, CCRN, CNE
LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, New Orleans
Maryland Paul A. Thurman, MS, RN, ACNPC, CCNS, CCRN
R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, UMMC, Baltimore
Nevada Jana L. Elliott, MSN, RN
Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno
New York Joanna M. Sanzone, FNP-BC, BSN, RN, CCRN
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
Emily Katherine Valcin, MSN, RN
Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester
North Carolina Steven A. Keller, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN, NE-BC
Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte
Ohio Jane C. Whalen, RN, CNS, CCRN, CCNS-CSC
TriHealth, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati
Pennsylvania Aimee L. Anderson, RN, MSN, BS, CCRN, NE-BC
Penn Medicine Lancaster General, Lancaster
Joseph S. Moffa, MSN, BS, RN, CCRN, NE-BC
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Bethany C. Young, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, CCRN
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Texas Garry J. Brydges, DNP, CRNA, ACNP-BC, MBA
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Jose F. Sala, RN, BSN, CCRN-CSC, CCTN
Houston Methodist Hospital – Texas Medical Center, Houston
Edith M. Woltman, RN, BSN
Christ Clinic, Katy
Virginia Rhae S. Newbill, BSN, RN IV, CCRN
Centra Health, Lynchburg
Wisconsin Leah M. Borchardt, APNP, MSN, CCRN, TNS, RN-C
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints, Racine