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What we're all about

I'd like to express my warm and heartfelt gratitude and pride to everyone who has volunteered their time, resources, and money to help victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I could not be prouder of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni who selflessly gave of themselves to help others. Wendy Rhein, Dr. Maureen Kelley, Dr. Linda Spencer, and Andy White, president of the Senior Class, were among the many who played a leading role in our relief efforts. We provided more than 360 volunteer hours of coverage alone at the Salvation Army shelter on North Druid Hills. We also provided 525 volunteers to the American Red Cross, and the Emory Student Nurses Association raised more than $600 for the Red Cross in just a couple days.

Even before we organized our school and university efforts, many of you mobilized on your own to provide volunteer services at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, at Red Cross and Salvation Army shelters, at your own churches and charity organizations or by donating goods and funds to relief agencies. Nurses have a unique capacity to serve, and that could not have been more evident in the wake of this year's devastating hurricane season. As one of our students said to me, "This is what we're all about." Indeed, it is.

Bumper crop

Fall semester is well under way, with our largest entering class of baccalaureate students ever. This year, the junior BSN class includes 105 students (with a 3.44 average GPA). We also have 80 new master's degree students (with a 3.28 GPA). Total enrollment for the school includes 208 undergraduates, 176 graduate students, and 14 doctoral students. Needless to say, we're glad to have all of you here.

Honoring an alumni pioneer

Verdelle Bellamy
Our own Verdelle Bellamy, 63MN, is the proud recipient of the Emory Medal, the university's highest honor for alumni. Verdelle and fellow medalist Charles Haynes, 71C, 85PhD, a First Amendment scholar, were honored last month during a dinner ceremony at the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

As many of you know, Verdelle has been a leader in the field of nursing and health care since earning her master's degree at Emory, where she was one of the first two African-American students to enroll in the School of Nursing. When she graduated in 1963, Verdelle and her classmate, Allie Saxon, became the first two African-American students to receive a degree from Emory. Verdelle then joined the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and eventually served as the associate chief of nursing services. In this role, Verdelle became the first black appointee to hold an administrative position at the Atlanta center. To learn more about her accomplishments, click here.

A road map for our future

What does the future hold for the School of Nursing and Emory? "Where Courageous Inquiry Leads," a new strategic plan developed by the university community during the past 18 months, will guide us on that path. This plan provides a road map for building stronger schools and academic, research, and operating units during the next 10 years and is based on five strategic themes:
  1. Strengthening faculty distinction
  2. Preparing engaged scholars
  3. Creating community-engaging society
  4. Confronting the human condition and the human experience
  5. Exploring new frontiers in science and technology

How does the School of Nursing fit into this ambitious plan? During the past several months, we have developed our own strategic road map that will help our school to:

  • Enhance the working climate of our people and overall community
  • Become the world's leading private school of nursing in the area of international nursing, including health workforce development, policy and global government nursing, and health leadership
  • Become a national and international model for integration of social responsibility into all school activities
  • Provide international and national leadership in faith-based and mission-related nursing programs
  • Collaborate with university partners in curricular reform relating to predictive health
  • Become among the top three private schools of nursing in funding from the National Institutes of Health
  • Be among the top three private schools of nursing in educational rankings

Already, our school is moving forward on several fronts. We are involving faculty and staff in our Climate Survey (see Surveying Our School's Climate), we are piloting a master's program in faith-based nursing, and we have appointed a new associate dean for research. Look for updates on our strategic plan in future editions of this newsletter. To view the university's strategic plan in full, click here. To view the Executive Summary of the School of Nursing's plan, click here.

Surveying our school's climate

At our All-School meeting in September, Del King, senior director for Human Resources, presented the results of the University's recent Climate Survey. We want to make our school a great place to work--a place you look forward to coming to every day. Analyzing the results of this survey is just the beginning of how we will do that. One of our top strategic goals is to "enhance the working climate of our people and the overall school community."

The dramatic positive transformation of the school over the past six years reflects both a well-developed and implemented strategic plan and the enormous, committed effort of our faculty, staff, and administration. As we enter our next phase of development, it is also critical that our culture and climate encourage, reward, and support people in their work. And, because our enterprise is fundamentally about caring, it is crucial that this ethos is a part of our daily work environment.

We are committed to making this happen. Each and every faculty and staff member will have a chance to help fulfill this effort. Over the next several months, you will be working with your department or unit heads to review the results of the climate survey specific to the School of Nursing. We seek your input and analysis on our school's climate and how to address concerns raised and improve outcomes, so we can make the school a great place to work for all.

NHWSN Spotlight: Kelly Brewer and Jennifer Neely

Many people work up front and behind the scenes to make our school a desirable place to study, work, and grow, professionally and personally. In each edition of this newsletter, we'll shine the NHWSN spotlight on a faculty member and a staff member. Who knows? You might learn something about them you didn't know before.

Kelly Brewer
For nine years, Kelly Brewer was an ICU critical care nurse at St. Joseph's Hospital. She continues to work there in the summer and now has "the best of both worlds" at St. Joseph's and the School of Nursing. Clinical instruction is what she likes best--teaching groups of nursing students at the bedside, currently in pulmonary and vascular surgery at Emory University Hospital. As a full-time instructor, she has split assignments in the hospital and the classroom, where she likes to try "new teaching strategies such as problem-based learning and high-fidelity patient simulation," she says. "I just love being a nurse, and I never thought I'd also be teaching at Emory."

The single mother of two teens, Kelly plays tennis and is preparing to take the GRE again to earn her doctorate. "That's the scariest thing I'm doing," she says of her studies. At graduation, she has become a familiar figure at the Schwartz Center, where she plays the piano to open and close the pinning ceremony. "That's mainly because my price is right (free), but I also enjoy celebrating that way with the students."

Jennifer Neely
Jennifer (Jenn) Neely has been the right-hand woman as administrative assistant in the Dean's Office for the past four years. "Whatever people need, I get it," she says. Before coming to Emory, she worked nine years for the Veterans Opportunity and Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that helped homeless and disadvantaged veterans and their families.

Between working full time, raising a family (she has a 9-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter), and juggling her children's sports interests, Jenn stays busy and likes it that way. And she loves gospel singing. Starting with their church choir, under her husband's leadership, they formed the singing group Rodney Neely & Vision. Besides her husband and their daughter, the group includes various sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and a few friends. After singing together for several years, the group recorded their first CD of inspirational Christian music in October 2004. You can hear "Vision" most Sunday nights on country station WBTR 92.1 FM out of Carrollton.

Faculty update

This fall we're seeing a lot of new faces and more will be here soon. We are very much looking forward to the arrival on February 1 of our new associate dean for research, Dr. Kenneth Hepburn. His leadership in the same role at the University of Minnesota greatly enhanced their research program. His research interests include dementia family caregivers, geriatric team care, and change of practice behavior.

Dr. Gerri Lamb is our Visiting Independence Foundation and Wesley Woods Scholar in Gerontological Nursing in the Department of Adult and Elder Health (AEH). She is former associate dean for clinical and community services at the University of Arizona College of Nursing. Dr. Lamb is a recognized leader in case management and well known for her research in community-based health care delivery.

Elisabeth Dinkins joins us as a full-time instructor in the Department of Family and Community Nursing (FCN). A former family nurse practitioner in neonatology with Emory's Department of Pediatrics, she has an interest in women's health and preventing HIV/AIDS in vulnerable populations. Jeannie Weston also is a new full-time FCN instructor, coming to us after 12 years of faculty service at Georgia State's School of Nursing, specializing in pediatrics.

New part-time FCN instructors include Sonja Allison, Anne Maher, Dianne Morrison, and Monica Donohue. Sonja comes to us from labor and delivery at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. Anne was a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dianne has worked at Emory's Cystic Fibrosis Center and has extensive pediatric nursing experience. Monica was a parish nurse at St. Francis Xavier College Church and St. Louis University and Hospital.

In AEH, new full-time assistant professor Rebecca Gary was an assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia and has taught here before. Rebecca has done research on the effect of exercise on women with conditions including cardiovascular disease, depression, and fatigue. AEH has several new part-time instructors. They are Sandra White, who also works at Emory University Hospital and is active with the Victory Baptist health consortium; Deborah Williams, from Atlanta Medical Center Outpatient Cardiac Rehab; and Versey McLendon of Emory's Wesley Woods Hospital, where she works in medical/neuropsychiatry.

Staff update

Please welcome Greg Holliday as our new director of development and alumni relations. Greg has worked as vice president for development at Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and also at the Carolina Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill. Melanie Chastain joined the staff in August as assistant director for academic affairs services. Melanie comes from the epidemiology department at Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), where she served as associate director for graduate studies for six years.

Also in August, Victoria Guisinger joined us as part-time associate director of programs in the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing (LCCIN). She comes from the RSPH Lymphatic Filariasis Support Center and has been a familiar face on our fourth floor for some time. Also new as administrative manager for LCCIN is Janie Leary, who came from Georgia State, specializing in grant management. Janie also is working on her MPH.

Leigh Jacobsen is our new admissions advisor, assisting with student recruitment and financial aid. She previously worked at the Emory College financial aid office. Carolyn Miller Reilly, nursing research coordinator for the Department of Adult and Elder Health (AEH), comes back to the school after being away for 12 years. She most recently worked as a nursing project director at Central Maine Medical Center. Felicia Warren is the new senior research project coordinator for AEH, coming from the Winship Cancer Institute and formerly with the Atlanta Black Cardiologist Association.

Alonda Simms is the new administrative assistant working with department chair Dr. Maureen Kelley in Family and Community Nursing (FCN). She came from Arts and Sciences Development at Emory. Also in FCN, Katherine Yeager is a senior research nurse, and Joyce Beeks-Cook is a research nurse with KHARMA (Keeping Healthy and Active with Risk Reduction and Medication Adherence), a project directed by Dr. Marcia McDonnell Holstad to help HIV-positive women stay healthy. Katherine comes from RSPH, and Joyce is returning to the school.

Centennial cents

Launched in honor of the School of Nursing's 100th anniversary, the Centennial Scholarship Fund is a partnership involving students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are committed to investing in the future of nursing in this community and beyond. The Centennial Scholarship Fund has been established as a permanent source of scholarships to ensure that we continue to attract the highest quality of students possible regardless of their financial means and that none of our graduates leave with excessive debt loads. In the first year alone, we have raised more than $80,000 for this fund.

On February 21, 2006, we will continue our celebration of a century of excellence in caring and nursing education at our Centennial Celebration. Join us at the Druid Hills Golf Club for a cocktail reception, seated dinner, and brief program as we honor the past and celebrate The Future of Caring. Now. Individual tickets are $125, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Centennial Scholarship Fund.

What's in a name?

SimMan needs a name! The deadline for entries has been extended until October 31. If you have a name that you'd like to suggest for SimMan, our multi-talented patient mannequin in the Center for Caring Skills, please submit it to Barbara Kaplan in person or by email to The winner will receive an invaluable prize pack of Centennial goodies!


2005 David Jowers Lecture
"In the Eye of the Storm: Capitalizing on Opportunities to Improve Patient Safety"
Presented by Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN
Visiting Independence Foundation and Wesley Woods Scholar
November 3, 2005
Reception: 5:30 PM, Plaza Lobby
Lecture: 6:30 PM, Alumni Auditorium

Doctorate of Nursing Practice Regional Meeting
Sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
November 3-4, 2005
Emory Campus

Emory Cares Service Day
Join School of Nursing students as they volunteer with MedShare
November 12, 2005

Stress Management Workshop
Led by Joyce Dillon, 80N
December 6, 2005
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Miller-Ward Alumni House

School of Nursing Centennial Celebration
February 21, 2006
Druid Hills Golf Club

Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, FAAN

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