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Alumni News



Anne R. Bavi
Lynette Wright, 74MN


From the Alumni President

Challenges become opportunities and then creative solutions when you work with the enthusiastic members of the Nurses Alumni Association (NAA) Board. We’d love for you to participate along with us.

We’ve already held several engaging activities this year. We started in January with a combined nurse practitioner/preceptor conference on “Genes, Bugs, and Drugs.” This was the first time we have combined the biannual alumni nurse practitioner conference with the faculty preceptor conference. The collaboration was exciting, and we had a record number of participants. Our evaluations told us you would like to have more of these kinds of events, and we will.

In April, we launched a “Healthy Body, Generous Spirit” spa day just before National Nurses Week in early May. We also had our wonderful flurry of commencement activities, including an April luncheon to welcome our 2002 BSN graduates into the NAA, a reception for new MSN graduates, and the Woodruff Tea to celebrate with graduates and their families after the pinning ceremony in mid-May.

Our major goal this year is to increase the giving level for our scholarship endeavors, especially the Emory Annual Fund for the School of Nursing. Did you know that nearly all of our BSN students (98%) need financial aid? Tuition for universities across the nation has risen faster than the US economic growth rate for many years. In Georgia, Hope scholarships cover only 12% of tuition costs for nursing undergraduates. The federal government no longer provides graduate fellowships—something many of us older alumni enjoyed. To address these needs, the NAA has raised our Annual Fund goal to $100,000, and we hope to double that amount in the next few years.

Please respond generously when Emory calls on you. Whenever you or your family need a nurse, let’s be sure top-quality Emory nurses are there to care for us all.

Lynette Wright, 74MN
President, Nurses Alumni Association


Talk to the President
NAA President Lynette Wright wants to hear from you. Contact her at (404) 634-4248 (home), (404) 727-3816 (office), or mwrig02@emory.edu.


Karen Buhler-Wilkerson,
63Ox, 66N, 69MN


There’s No Place Like Home
Karen Buhler-Wilkerson, 63Ox, 66N, 69MN, has published No Place Like Home (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), a history of nursing and home care in the United States. Buhler-Wilkerson devoted a decade of study to the book. Some of that study was funded by a three-year, National Institutes of Health grant of more than $300,000 to analyze the history of caring for the sick at home. The book has received two awards—the Lavinia L. Dock Award for exemplary historical research and writing from the American Association for the History of Nursing and the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for Nursing and Allied Health from the Association of American Publishers. Buhler-Wilkerson is director of the Center for the Study of the History of Nursing and a professor of community health nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.



Babies Are Their Business
Liesel Erlbeck Sloan and Kerri (“Katie”) Wilson Truitt, both 97N, have found the perfect health and business venture with Birth-n-Babies, Inc., a perinatal and postnatal education and consulting firm. The certified instructors teach families about childbirth, parenting, and breast-feeding, do in-home postpartum visits, and provide lunch-and-learn sessions for companies.

“It’s about a half-time job for each of us, and that’s just about right,” says Liesel, who has two young daughters, India, age 4, and Emma, age 1. Her partner, Katie, works half-time at Piedmont Hospital.

“Many of our referrals come from physicians,” says Katie. “We try to prepare first-time mothers realistically for childbirth and encourage them to be flexible in their expectations and coping skills. It’s all very individual. We prepare parents, but we don’t attend deliveries. We’re not doulas.”

The firm helps fill a special niche when it comes to high-risk pregnancies. “Some women are unable to come to childbirth preparation classes, so we come to them and give private classes,” says Liesel. “Our flexible hours also mean that we can visit parents at home during the evenings, if babies won’t stop crying or stay up all night.”



A. Christy Elliott, 99MSN, shares a special bond with Alfredo Cahue, one of her many patients at the Bluegrass Farmworker Health Center in Kentucky.


Appreciating the Differences

To A. Christy Elliott, 99MSN, working with people from other cultures is not a case of tolerance, it’s a case of appreciation for people like Alfredo Cahue, a longtime patient at the Bluegrass Farmworker Health Center in Kentucky, where Elliott is the only family nurse practitioner.

“Alfredo has been coming to the states from Mexico for the past 42 years to work in the fields. This is his last season; he’s going home for good,” says Elliott. “I’m grateful to know Alfredo and others like him. He represents the hard-working farm workers who contribute to our society every day and are often unappreciated.”

After studying nursing, Spanish, and international studies at Murray State University, Elliott worked with indigent and underserved patients at Clinica Adelante, a rural health clinic in Arizona. Hoping to pursue a MSN degree, she applied for a scholarship through the National Health Service Corps, a federal program aimed at reducing professional health care shortages in certain geographic/demo-graphic areas. Elliott received a scholarship and enrolled at Emory.

While pursuing her graduate studies, she wrote a paper, “Healthcare Ethics: the Cultural Relativity of Autonomy,” which was published in the October 2001 Journal of Transcultural Nursing. An anthropology-based theory, transcultural nursing recognizes that the concept of care for individuals and society is shaped by religion, ethnohistory, social kinship, geographic and economic factors, languages, and other influences.

What does “autonomy” have to do with health care and ethics? Autonomy—the importance of the individual—guides many western health care decisions, Elliott explains. But that concept creates havoc for people from different cultures, such as an Asian woman who was diagnosed with cancer in the United States. “The doctors found it difficult dealing with her and her family because the family was making all the decisions instead of the patient,” says Elliott. “This was considered ‘abnormal’ by her care providers.”

Many Eastern cultures, and Latin American cultures to some extent, emphasize the importance of the group or family over the individual. “With the increasing diversity of our population, assuming autonomy as a ruling factor is culturally selective and even insensitive. These groups don’t have to be immigrants, either. Subcultures, such as those in Appalachia, may have their own cultural norms.”

While at Emory, Elliott met with Dean Marla Salmon to discuss the dean’s vision for the School of Nursing and its increasing international focus. “The nursing school helped provide a strong foundation for my growth as a clinician and as a world citizen,” says Elliott. “I’m proud of the School of Nursing’s global vision and the work they are doing through the new Lillian Carter Center for Inter-national Nursing.”

Still a National Health Service Corps Scholar, Elliott continues to see patients at the Bluegrass Farmworker Health Center. Funded by a grant through Eastern Kentucky University, the center has clinics in Richmond and Lexington. Most patients are Spanish-speaking. Some are migrant farm workers who follow the crops up the East Coast, while others are seasonal workers who stay in Kentucky. Elliott hopes another family nurse practitioner will join the health center.

In the meantime, she will develop new language skills as she continues her work with underserved populations. “If there is one thought that I use to guide my personal, professional, and spiritual growth, it is this: The true value of the human spirit and diversity will be realized when the word ‘tolerance’ is replaced with the word ‘appreciation.’ ”


Alumni News


Several members of the Class of 1946 recently enjoyed a special reunion of their own on the Emory campus. During their visit, they toured the new School of Nursing building for the first time, marveled at the changes and latest medical technology at Emory Hospital, and spent time talking with Dean Marla Salmon. The energetic group of alums included Merle Harvey Jensen, Nora Mayson Johnson, Helen Yarbrough Spruill, Hazel Cox Wallace, and Helen Patten Rainer.

Dr. Muriel E. Chapman, 56N, of Berrien Springs, Mich., has published A Mission of Love: A Century of Seventh-day Adventist Nursing (Review and Herald Publishing Company, 2001). Chapman was commissioned to write the book by the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Nurses.

Married: Anna Lee Sanders, 58N, 59MN, and H.B. Duboise Jr. on June 16, 2001, in Hackett, Ark. She retired in May 1985 as an associate professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. After her retirement, she lived in Springdale, Ark., until her marriage. The couple took a wedding trip to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and now reside in Hackett.

Anne Bigelow, 74Ox, 76N, has received the Presidential Award, which was created with her in mind, from the board of directors of the Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head/Neck Surgery (SOHN). The award recognizes “distinguished contributions to the life of the society or meritorious service on behalf of the society.” Bigelow is a past president of SOHN, a member since 1979, and a past recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Service Award. “She is also our unofficial cheerleader and photographer and amazes us by her willingness to do so much year after year,” says a colleague. Bigelow works in the pre-admission testing area and same-day surgery at Emory University Hospital.

June Connor, 81MN, was recently named assistant administrator for Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital. Her responsibilities include cardiac services. Connor has been part of the Emory system for more than 15 years. In 1996, she became director of nursing for cardiac and surgical services for the two hospitals. Prior to then, she served as director of nursing for cardiac and oncology services at Crawford Long.

Marcie Hirshberg, 85MN, was named an at-large member of the Association of Emory Alumni (AEA) Board of Governors in September 2001. The board is composed of 38 alumni, representing all schools and units within the university. These alumni serve a two-year term and are usually renewed for a second term.

Born: To Anna Hudgins Searing, 86N, and her husband, Eric, a son, Connor Evan, on November 7, 2000. They also have a 4-year-old daughter, Emma Renee, and live in Lawrenceville, Ga. Searing works part time as a wound, ostomy, and continence nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta.

Teresa A. Lyle, 87N, is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, at Emory University. The division provides 24-hour coverage for all neonatal services at Egleston, Grady Memorial, and Crawford Long hospitals. Lyle recently was certified as a legal nurse consultant and is “interested in receiving more case referrals and meeting more attorneys in 2002!”

Nancy Naucke Buist, 88MN, past president of the Nurses Alumni Association at Emory, was named a member of the AEA Board of Governors, representing the School of Nursing (See Marcie Hirshberg, 85MN, for further details).

Karen H. Brown, 89MN, has been named director of nursing for emergency services at Emory University Hospital (EUH) and Crawford Long Hospital (CLH). Brown has been a department director at EUH since 1998 and held various positions at CLH from 1989 to 1995, including director of the emergency department.

Lucille “Lu” A. Pippin, 89MN, was appointed last October as senior vice president/chief nursing officer for Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala. Previously, Pippin was at the Mayo Clinic/St. Luke’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., where she served as chief nursing officer for both facilities. She is a past president of the Georgia Organization of Nurse Executives and has been actively involved in nursing education.

Born: To Margaret Othersen Wooten, 91N, and her husband, Rudolf, a daughter, Jessica Brigitta, on April 12, 2001. She joins her older sister, Amanda Janelle, who is 3 years old. Wooten works at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on weekends as a staff nurse. “My life never stops spinning,” says Wooten. The family resides in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Married: Queen Obiageli Okobia, 93N, and Michael Onyemordi Igbo, on January 20, 2000. The couple resides in Villa Rica, Ga.

Born: To Ann Michelle Hall Benfield, 94N, and her husband, George, a son, Baker Armstrong, on January 2, 2000. Benfield is a nurse anesthetist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and is on the nurse anesthesia faculty at the university’s School of Nursing.

Married: Heidi Anne Orme, 95N, and Scott Donohue in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on May 24, 2001. She is working as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at Baptist Hospital for Anesthesia Consultants of Knoxville, Tenn. The couple moved to Knoxville last July.

Born: To Marcy Nichols Moore, 97N, and her husband, Chris, a daughter, Abigail Elizabeth, on April 23, 2001. Moore works the night shift in the neonatal intensive care unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital. The family resides in Simpsonville, S.C.

Born: To Julie Mitchell Thomas, 97N, and her husband, Alec, a son, Ashton Alexander, on June 24, 2001. Thomas is a PRN nurse at Emory Northlake Medical Center, splitting her time between the ICU and working as one of the nursing administration supervisors. She also works in the emergency and recovery rooms. The family lives in Duluth, Ga.

Born: To Jennifer Kemper Higgins, 98N, and her husband, Michael, a son, Kemper Scott, on February 27, 2001. Higgins works mostly from her home in Atlanta as a medical recruiter for doctors’ offices. She also is a representative of Passport Health, counseling travelers and giving immunizations when needed.

Diane McCormic, 98N, is serving a year of active duty in “Operation Noble Eagle” at Camp Zama, Japan. A major in the military police corps, McCormic left her job last November as a medical/oncology nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta, following a presidential call-up to US Army reservists.

“Japan is strategically located to support military advisers in the Philippines,” says McCormic. “When I first arrived, I worked in the Emergency Operations Center, which is like a war room that runs 24/7. Luckily things have calmed down, and I’m working normal hours. We’re heavily scheduled with bilateral training exercises that we conduct with our Japanese counterparts.

“I also had a week of training in Tokyo as a US forces liaison officer for force protection. Now I’ve started working spare hours at the Army’s primary care clinic as a staff RN. That’s all we have at this site since the specialty clinics and hospitals are located at the air base or the naval base.

“My orders state that I have been activated for 365 days, unless released earlier, but at this point that seems highly unlikely.”

Born: To Elizabeth (“Liz”) Lucille Ashe, 99N, and her husband, Todd, a son, William Thomas, on December 2, 2000. Ashe is a pediatric nurse practitioner four days a week at Medlock Pediatrics in Duluth, Ga. Her family resides in Alpharetta.

Married: Neva Jo Zachrich, 99N, and Scott Westmoreland, on May 6, 2000. She is a neonatal nurse practitioner at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.



Alumni Deaths


Vera Bowen Doering, 31N, of Bristol, Ga., on May 27, 2000, at age 92.

Ethel Mae Dooley Curry, 34N, of Phoenix, Ariz., on May 15, 2001. She was born in Echman, W.Va., on July 28, 1913. She was predeceased by her husband, Louis C. Curry, whom she married in 1935 after being a private RN for his mother during a long illness.

Curry was active in her church and was named “1995 Honored Woman” by Arizona’s Episcopal Church Women for a life of service and leadership. She also volunteered at Phoenix Interfaith Ministries, attended the Episcopal General Convention in 1976, and voted for the ordination of women priests. Survivors include her daughter, Barbara C. Kimes, and her son, J. Jack Curry, both of Phoenix; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Katherine Lua Broyles Holland, 44N, of Wenatchee, Wash., on October 14, 2001, at age 85. According to her son, Nash, she worked for many years in the US Public Health Service Corps. She is survived by her son and his wife, Deborah.

Claudia Bishop Blackwell, 46N, of Sun City, Calif., on September 21, 1998, at age 72. Blackwell was a retired elementary school teacher. She is survived by her husband, Charles; her daughter, Margaret; and her son, Charles.

Margaret Hoffman Citrenbaum, 57N, of Forest Park, Ga., on June 20, 2000. According to her longtime friend, Audrey Jackson, Citrenbaum was director of nursing at Grady Memorial Hospital for many years and taught Emory nursing students who trained at Grady.

“I remember her and Carroll, her husband, taking students up to Lake Allatoona,” says Jackson. “Later, she worked for the state, supervising nursing homes. She kept advancing her nursing career.”

Citrenbaum and her husband, who was an attorney, traveled extensively. “He was in the Navy during World War II and loved the sea, so they took cruises,” Jackson adds. “Margaret developed Parkinson’s sometime during the 1960s, but they kept going. They were totally devoted to each other.”

The Citrenbaums were married more than 50 years when Carroll died in July 1995.

Hilda Dorman Delionbach, 64N, of Aiken S.C., on June 1, 2001. After graduating and marrying Leroy J. Delionbach in 1964, she worked at different hospitals while her husband served in the US Army and attended graduate school. They finally settled in South Carolina, and Delionbach started working in January 1974 in the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG), where she remained until retiring in June 2000 as a senior clinic staff nurse. Soon afterward, Delionbach was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer and died a year later.

Her husband has endowed the Hilda Delionbach Nursing Scholarship at his workplace, Aiken Technical College. It was awarded for the first time at the college’s annual awards night in April. The Department of Family Medicine at MCG announced the Hilda Delionbach Award in June, recognizing a nonphysician caregiver selected by faculty and staff.

Leroy Delionbach says his wife will be remembered for her love of music, family and nursing, and her infectious laugh, dazzling smile, and blue eyes.


Karl Lipinski, 01N, proudly wore his late mother’s nursing pin when he graduated from Emory. Deborah Osgood, 01, his best friend, pinned it on his lapel during the pinning ceremony in May 2001.


In His Mother’s Footsteps
Karl Lipinski, 01N, had many career interests during his short life. He worked in Atlanta for years as a sales manager for various companies. He was a plumber at one time. Then he followed a calling that came from deep within. He decided to become a nurse like his mother, who was stationed on the Ship Hope during World War II.

In fall 1999, Lipinski enrolled in nursing school at Emory, where he made many friends and was known for his contagious smile and sense of humor. He and Deborah Osgood, 01N, were best friends throughout nursing school.

Her friendship helped Lipinski deal with the death of his mother, who passed away during spring semester of his senior year. Soon afterward, Lipinski graduated in May 2001, wearing his mother’s nursing pin along with his own nursing pin from Emory.

After graduation, Lipinski returned home to Montana to be with family and to join the Indian Health Service. He worked in the family lumber business while waiting to take his nursing boards, but he never got to practice his new profession. Lipinski became ill with liver cancer and died on October 13, 2001, at age 36.

Last fall, Emory nursing faculty and classmates attended a memorial service for Lipinski at the Aids Survival Project Chapel in Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, donations were made to the Lipinski Scholarship Fund., which he established as a nursing student to encourage other men to join the nursing profession.

In the eyes of his nursing peers and faculty, Lipinski had a special gift for putting people at ease. “He was never afraid to laugh at his own flaws as well as help others not take themselves too seriously,” says Darla Ura, clinical associate professor of adult and elder health.“In the clinical setting, Karl was a great patient advocate and would find a way to meet the needs of the patient or their family. Nursing has lost a great professional.”





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