NEWS AND STORIES - 2014
Alumni Association Loses a Friend
December 2014 – The Alumni Association sends condolences to the family of Mimi Pfeiffer upon her passing on December 6, 2014, at age 58 in Wilmington, NC. Mimi was the association’s first alumni director, leading it from a fledgling group in 1991 to become a well-established organization. By the time she retired in 2002, she had nurtured the group into an active association membership with a strong annual fund campaign supporting 24 annual student scholarships. She then worked part-time as a communications design specialist for the Upstate Foundation. In 2005, Mimi moved with her husband, Rick, to North Carolina where she worked at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Mimi is fondly remembered for being an alumni advocate and dedicated Upstate colleague, as well as for her personal kindness and many talents. She will be missed!
FAY WHITNEY GIVES $50,000 FOR ENDOWED LECTURESHIP
Fay Whitney, PhD, RN, FAAN, a national leader and advocate for advanced nursing practice, and her husband Roy, have given $50,000 – the largest contribution in the history of the Upstate Medical University College of Nursing – to establish The Whitney Lectureship Endowment for the College of Nursing at Upstate Medical University.
“Dr. Whitney's generous gift enables the College to invite nationally recognized speakers to campus, which will expose our students to important national trends that are essential to health care,” Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel commented. “The lectures will ensure our students at Upstate and the surrounding community will hear directly from the most innovative and influential thought leaders across the country, and thereby have similar student experiences to those at Penn, Vanderbilt or Harvard.”
Whitney describes the Lectureship as “an exciting adventure into the future” and invites alumni to join her. The Alumni Association has pledged to match her gift to bring the endowment total to $100,000. Working with the Upstate Foundation, the Nursing Alumni Office reports that about 60 percent of the goal has been secured.
Deep Ties with Upstate
After raising their three children, Fay restarted her nursing career in the 1970s, earning her master’s degree at Syracuse University (SU) and working as an NP at University Hospital. She was named director of Upstate’s four-track NP program where she developed a rich collaboration between the hospital and health sciences colleges, encouraging interprofessional education before it was even known by that name. She served until 1983 when the program closed due to loss of funding. The program graduated more than 300 NPs for primary and critical care practice.
In the next decade, Fay earned a Doctorate at SU and was named by the nation's largest health-related philanthropic organization to its first class of Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Nurse Scholars. She was awarded more than $3 million in grants to support the beginning of the Nurse Practitioner movement and worked to pass laws in New York so NP graduates could practice.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Whitney helped build Adult, Gerontology, Pediatric, Psychiatric, Occupational Health and Acute Care NP programs that graduated about 500 NPs. She conducted gerontology and stroke research and helped start many NP managed clinics in the Philadelphia area. She has held the prestigious title of Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) for 26 years.
Relocating to Wyoming in 1992, Whitney distinguished herself as a clinical practitioner, nurse educator, researcher and leader. She founded the Whitney Health and Wellness Center for elderly patients in Laramie and is ProfessorEmeritus at the University of Wyoming’s Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing.
In 2011, Upstate’s College of Nursing awarded Whitney the Honorary Doctorate of Science in recognition of her work to lay the foundation for today’s Nurse Practitioner program.
“Upstate is, and always has been, part of my professional integrity,” Whitney commented. “I hold strong memories of that formative time which became the basic platform of my practice and my career. The Upstate nursing program helped shape the new movement in Advanced Nursing Care in the east,” she continued. “Upstate has been pivotal in bringing nurses and programs together to change the landscape of practice in rural, underserved areas across this city and state.”
Click here to give to The Whitney Lectureship for the College of Nursing or call 315-464-4416. To designate your Community Giving donation, use fund number 613-74250.
COLLEGE OF NURSING PROGRAMS ACHIEVE 10-YEAR ACCREDITATION
Fall 2014 – People can rest assured they are receiving the best health care possible when their nurse is an Upstate graduate. The College of Nursing’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs have been reaccredited and the post-graduate certificate program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s Board of Commissioners through 2024.
College of Nursing Announces Strategic Initiatives
February 2014 – Since her arrival last spring, College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel, PhD, RN, FAAN, has led faculty, stakeholders from communities of interest and students in a strategic planning process that builds upon the findings of the Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Out of this process, three strategic priorities have emerged for the College:
- Be a national leader in interprofessional education;
- Be a national model of excellence for innovation in nursing; and,
- Partner with communities of interest to impact the health of Central New York and beyond.
College of Nursing News Briefs
Ø The College has begun an online program for its clinical doctorate degree (DNP), and is expanding options for nurses to achieve their baccalaureate degrees, including online options and onsite classes at regional hospitals.
Ø To encourage more interaction among students and with faculty, space in the College is being renovated to establish a comfortable student lounge with the financial support of the Nursing Alumni Association.
Educator Awarded Jonas Grant to Recognize Student Leader
February 2014 – Joyce Scarpinato, DNP, PNP, FNP ‘09, Upstate’s College of Nursing DNP Program Director, was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare to support a student as a DNP Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar. The Upstate student to be selected will join an elite group of 600 Jonas Nurse Leaders/Scholars across the country. The Jonas Center is dedicated to improving healthcare through nursing. The selection process for the CON student is occurring this spring.
Alums as Leaders in Fight for CNS Title Protection
January 2014 – New York State joined 42 other states in enacting last fall a “title protection” law for clinical nurse specialists (CNS) with the lobbying help of alumni and College of Nursing educators Melanie Kalman, PhD, CNS and Carol Anne Kozik, MS, CAS, CNS, FNP. Joining with other nurse professionals and the regional chapter of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, they led a coordinated two-year effort to pass the legislation. The law authorizes the NYS Education Department to investigate claims of unlicensed practice, and imposes fines for unqualified individuals who present themselves as CNSs. Data supporting the effectiveness of CNSs was being negatively affected by unqualified personnel passing themselves off as having the CNS degree, said Kalman. With title protection, notes Kozik, “Now we have an identity, a legally recognized identity.”
Carol Anne Kozik, MS ‘96, CAS, CNS, FNP, (left) and Melanie Kalman, PhD, CNS ’92, helped lead the effort to pass the New York CNS title protection law.
Omicron Alpha Chapter Inducts 75 and Awards Three Alumni
December 2013 – Seventeen undergraduate and 53 graduate students of the College of Nursing became inductees of Omicron Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society during a November 1, 2013 ceremony in Weiskotten Hall. Five transfers/dual members were also inducted. The list of inductees appears below.
In addition to the induction ceremony, awards were presented to active Omicron Alpha members who are also Upstate alumni. Those alumni award recipients are:
Debra Johnson, PhD, RN (RN-MS ‘93), who demonstrated commitment to the advancement of the profession as well as to STTI through active professional membership, was presented the Virginia B. Byers Professional Organization Commitment Award. Debbie is the Operating Room and Sterile Processing Department Manager at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health Care System in Savannah, GA.
Rochele (Shelly) Clark, BS, RN (BS ‘05), who has served as a leader and mentor in the profession and in OA, was presented the Community Mentor Award. Shelly is the Stroke Center Coordinator at Upstate University Hospital.
Theresa Morse, MS, RN (MS ‘12/BS ‘10), was presented the Excellence in Nursing Research Award. Terri is a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Pediatric and Adolescent Center at Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital.