On Saturday, October 18th, the American Academy of Nursing inducted nine College of Nursing faculty and alumni as Fellows during the Academy’s 2014 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference in Washington, DC.  The College of Nursing faculty being celebrated are Dr.’s Sandra Drozdz Burke, Eileen Danaher Hacker, Brigid Lusk, and Linda L. McCreary.  Additionally, five alumni are also being honored.  They are Dr.’s Mollie Cummins, Lisa Kane Low, Leslie Nicoll, Mark Parshall, and Wendy Lee Mann Woith.

This year’s faculty inductees are leaders in the following areas:

Dr. Sandra Drozdz Burke is the Director of the College of Nursing’s Urbana Regional Campus and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science.  Her professional and scholarly work focuses on diabetes education and management, diabetes in the older adult, patient education, evidence-based practice, and inter-professional collaboration.  In 2011, Dr. Burke was awarded the UIC College of Nursing Faculty Practice Award and in 2010 she was inducted as a Fellow in to the American Association of Diabetes Educators where she also served as president.

Dr. Eileen Danaher Hacker is an Associate Professor in the Department of  Biobehavioral Health Science.  Her area of research is focused on oncology health care aimed at identifying and alleviating symptoms that affect functional ability and quality of life in individuals receiving intensive cancer therapy or other life-limiting or chronic illnesses. Dr. Hacker is a cadre member of the Health Outcomes Committee for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation; she is the Vice-Chair for the Institutional Review Board, and has served on multiple scientific review panels. In 2012, Dr. Hacker was the inaugural recipient of the Teaching Scholar/Leader Fellowship Award which prepares expert teachers for academic leadership positions.  She was also UIC’s 2012 Teaching Recognition Program awardee and is an appointed member of UIC's Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. 

Dr. Brigid Lusk is an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Health System Science.  Dr. Lusk came back to the College of Nursing two years ago to take on a leadership role and to expand the College’s collection of historical nursing documents and artifacts.  The College is the central repository for nursing historical documents and artifacts from the Midwestern United States and since Dr. Lusk’s return The Midwest Nursing History Research Center has been entirely remodeled and now serves as a center for scholars engaged in historical research and professional interest in the history of nursing.  The Center combines a small museum with an archival collection and space for scholarly research. Due to her expertise in nursing history, Dr. Lusk was awarded the Teresa Christy Award by the American Association for the History of Nursing.

Dr. Linda McCreary is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Systems Science and is Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing Development in Primary Health Care, housed in the College’s Global Health Leadership Office. Dr. McCreary’s research involves study of the effectiveness of hospital-based and community-based HIV prevention and intervention, testing of, and support, to those persons living with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers in Malawi. Dr. McCreary has served as president of Alpha Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. In 2012, she received both the Beverly J. McElmurry Award for Contributions to International Nursing and the Pinnacle Award at the UIC College of Nursing’s Power of Nursing Leadership event.

"As always, we are so very proud of our nurse leaders.  This year our College of Nursing honors this stellar cohort of nine new fellows who are clinicians, researchers, educators, executives, and leaders,” declared Dr. Terri E. Weaver, Dean of the College of Nursing.

Invitation to become a fellow is more than recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession. According to the organization, fellows also accept responsibility to engage with other healthcare leaders in transforming America’s healthcare system.

The Academy is comprised of more than 2,200 nurse leaders from education, management, practice, policy, and research. Academy fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers.  This year 168 nurse leaders were inducted during the American Academy of Nursing’s 41st annual meeting and represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 24 countries.

To be considered as an inductee, selection criteria must 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 career has influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.