MU Nursing Faculty Member Named Missouri Nurse of the Year

Dec. 9, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Associate Professor Gregory Alexander was named a Missouri Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes in the area of Clinical Informatics. Alexander was one of 20 Missouri nurses representing 13 health care institutions to receive the honor in a variety of nursing areas at the second annual March of Dimes Missouri Chapter Nurse of the Year event Nov. 9 at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis, Mo. The gala raised more than $125,000 for March of Dimes.

The nurses were recognized for their extraordinary level of patient care, compassion, professionalism, integrity and leadership in the nursing profession. The winning nurses each received a crystal award and a gift certificate to Scrubs and Beyond.

Whether serving as health care provider, educator, researcher, chapter volunteer and/or advisor – nurses play a critical role in advancing the mission of March of Dimes. According to Trina Ragain, State Director of Program Services, Advocacy and Government Affairs, “We are so pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions and commitment nurses provide to healthcare across the state of Missouri. March of Dimes has recognized and appreciated the contribution of nurses for 75 years. Nurse of the Year is an opportunity for March of Dimes, and the community, to say thank you to these wonderful caregivers who make such a difference in our lives.”

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The Nurse of the Year initiative supports this mission while recognizing exceptional nurses throughout the state, celebrating the profession, and creating awareness of the strides made in this growing field.

Associate Professor Inducted as AAN Fellow

Oct. 28, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Maithe Enriquez, an associate professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON), was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing Oct. 19 at the Academy’s 40th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Enriquez, a nurse practitioner, volunteers one day a week at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, where she provides primary care for adults living with HIV disease. She has focused her research and clinical career on enhancing health outcomes for underserved low-income individuals of color and individuals living with HIV disease. Her research largely centers on medication adherence among HIV patients.

“Dr. Enriquez enriches our complement of faculty here at the Sinclair School of Nursing,” says Judith Fitzgerald Miller, dean. “She provides a great service through her expertise as a nurse practitioner and commitment to the inner city population. Her research is grounded in practice and has immediate relevance and applicability.” 

Enriquez is one of 16 MU SSON faculty and emeriti who are AAN Fellows. Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current Academy Fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed Fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing careers influenced health policies and the heath and well being of all.

A Look at Hip Fracture Recovery in the Elderly

Oct. 10, 2013

An interview with Associate Professor Lori Popejoy was recently featured on Popejoy discussed her paper, Patterns and problems associated with transitions after hip fracture in older adults. She wrote the paper, along with Karen Marek of the ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation, and Jill Scott-Cawiezell of the University of Iowa College of Nursing.

School Raises Scholarship Funds with Annual Golf Tournament

Oct. 7, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — The MU Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) raised $23,000 for student scholarships through the 13th Annual Fund the Drive for Nurses Golf Tournament Sept. 30 at Columbia Country Club.

“This year’s event was another success. We had a beautiful day on the golf course with friends of the school while raising funds for student scholarships,” said Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller. “We are grateful so many people in Columbia and beyond know the value of nursing education and support the Sinclair School of Nursing.”

Tournament proceeds benefit Fund the Drive for Nurses Scholarships and the Dean’s Fund for Excellence. Miller’s Professional Imaging/Mpix was the title sponsor for this year’s tournament. The tournament drew more than 70 participants and volunteers including Lisa Piccone, a presenting sponsor and owner of PIC-1 Medical, and a team representing presenting sponsors University of Missouri Health Care and University Physicians.

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MU Sinclair School of Nursing’s Ruppar Named a 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’

Sept. 16, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Todd Ruppar, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, is one of just 12 nursing educators from across the United States to win a highly competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Ruppar will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.

“This award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a wonderful opportunity to study the factors related to antihypertensive non-adherence among underrepresented minority populations,” Ruppar said. “Ultimately, my collaborators and I will use this information to develop tools to integrate adherence assessments and interventions into health care settings.”

For his research project, Ruppar will focus on determining the most effective interventions to improve appropriate medication-taking in patients from minority populations with high rates of hypertension-related morbidity and mortality.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in this country. Dr. Ruppar’s project to determine appropriate health behavior change interventions that successfully reduce health disparities in hypertensive patients is urgently needed to improve public health,” said Vicki Conn, associate dean for research, MU Sinclair School of Nursing.

The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. Ruppar is part of the program’s sixth cohort. Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act is vastly increasing the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them.

Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the faculty to teach them. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program also enhances the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.

To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.

The Nurse Faculty Scholars also support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and nurse champions in a nationwide effort to improve health care by implementing recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The Campaign for Action is backed by RWJF and AARP, and has Action Coalitions working in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Learn more about the program.