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Award-winning faculty enhance nursing, health education at ASU


Vimla Patel, PhD, clinical professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics
January 08, 2014

Faculty at ASU’s College of Health Solutions (CHS) and College of Nursing & Health Innovation (CONHI) continue gaining recognition from top industry organizations.

This month, Vimla Patel, adjunct faculty in the CHS Department of Biomedical Informatics, will receive the prestigious Indian Hind Rattan Award for 2014. This award recognizes her outstanding services, achievements and contributions to her field, as well as the significant efforts she has made in building relations between India and North America.

Recently, Patel received the Leadership Award from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). The award is given by the chair of the Board of Directors and the president and CEO for outstanding volunteer leadership and service to the association and the field.

Last month, Nancy Baumhover, a clinical associate professor in CONHI, was awarded the Mary Opal Wolanin Outstanding Dissertation Award for Excellence in Nursing with Vulnerable Populations from the University of Arizona. The award recognizes excellence in nursing research of older adults.

Cris Wells, director of the Clinical Research Management graduate program in CONHI, and co-author Svetlana Mihaylova-Todorova, of the Maricopa Integrated Health System, received the “Best Poster of the Year Award” from the Society of Research Administrators (SRA). Their poster, “The Building Blocks of a Successful Biospecimen Repository,” discussed the four essential elements of a successful biospecimen repository, including ethics, management, science and technology. The poster was exhibited and judged at SRA's annual meeting in October, and the winner was announced in December.

Jennifer Huberty, an associate professor in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (SNHP), and her team, Emspace Group, were awarded the Public Relations Society of America Nebraskan Chapter Paper Anvil Award for their project, “Ready for Recess.” The project works to reverse the trend of childhood obesity by encouraging school administrators, educators, staff and parents to maximize the benefits of recess. Ready for Recess received the merit award for their integrated communications project which focused on the importance of informing administrators, staff and parents about the benefits of research in schools.

Alison Essary, associate professor and director of student affairs in CHS, is the recipient of the 2013 Breitman-Dorn Endowed Research Fellowship. Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, an associate professor in SNHP, was chosen to serve on an expert panel for the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR). NCCOR serves as a meeting point for four of the nation’s leading research funders – including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – providing a unique public-private setting in which experts can address obesity among U.S. youth. 

Elizabeth Reifsnider, associate dean for research in CONHI, received the Ruth B. Freeman Award from the American Public Health Association, Public Health Nursing Section. This award honors an individual who has had a distinguished career in public health administration, education, policy, practice or research.

Diane Nunez, clinical associate professor in CONHI, was elected to membership in the National Academies of Practice, a non-profit organization that advises bodies in the health care system. Members of the organization comprise of an interprofessional group of distinguished health care practitioners and scholars dedicated to supporting affordable, accessible, coordinated quality health care.

Christina (Tina) Shepard, senior lecturer and director of the dietetic internship program for SNHP, was appointed as the chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee, which is part of the Nutrition and Dietetics Educators Practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

In October, Nelma Shearer, director of the Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence in CONHI, was elected a nominations committee member for the national organization. The National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence aims to enhance and sustain the capacity and competency of nurses to provide quality care to older adults through faculty development, advancing gerontological nursing science, facilitating adoption of best practices, fostering leadership, and designing and shaping policy.