Aug. 31, 2020

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SON faculty; transplant, EversCare staff garner distinctions

Published on Monday, August 31, 2020

SON program director earns AAN fellow status

Portrait of Mary Stewart

The American Academy of Nursing has selected Dr. Mary Stewart, director of the Ph.D. program in the School of Nursing, as one of its 2020 class of new fellows.

Stewart is one of 230 distinguished nurse leaders from around the world to be selected. She is the only fellow from Mississippi in a class that represents 39 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territory of Guam and 13 other countries.

“Dr. Stewart’s selection as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing is a tremendous honor and the highest recognition in nursing,” said Dr. Julie Sanford, dean of the School of Nursing. “The School of Nursing is proud of the acknowledgment of Dr. Stewart’s leadership and contributions to the discipline of nursing.”

A committee of elected fellows selected Stewart based on her contributions to advancing the public’s health. She and other fellows will be recognized at the academy’s annual conference, scheduled to take place virtually in October.

The academy is made up of more than 2,700 nursing leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice and academia that champion health and wellness locally and globally.

“I am honored to welcome this exceptional class to the American Academy of Nursing,” said Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx, AAN president. “Their work, across many fields of expertise, exemplifies the power of nursing knowledge in creating meaningful change.

“As a policy organization, we strive to improve health and achieve health equity through nursing leadership, innovation and science.”


SON faculty’s dissertation makes ACS journal cover

Portrait of Carolann Risley

The dissertation research of Dr. Carolann Risley, a women’s health nurse practitioner and part-time faculty member in the School of Nursing, is featured on the cover of this month’s issue of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Cytopathology journal.

Risley’s research examined racial differences in HPV type 16, one of the two types of HPV responsible for most HPV-related cancers in Mississippi women. The women in the study all had ASCUS, or “atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance,” a potential sign of HPV infection.

Her publication, “Racial Differences of HPV Type 16 Prevalence in Women with ASCUS of the Uterine Cervix,” outlines her research that found black women were significantly less likely to be positive for HPV-16 compared to white women.


Cancer Cytopathology publishes original research and other articles of interest to cytopathology, cytology and pathology professionals related to topics concerning the etiology of cancer and its diagnosis and prevention. Cancer Cytopathology is considered by many to be the elite journal in its field.

“Dr. Risley never ceases to amaze or challenge me,” said Dr. Mary Stewart, director of the Ph.D. program in the School of Nursing and chair of Risley’s dissertation committee. “Her passion for preventing cervical cancer inspires others to define their role in making life better for Mississippians.

“To have her research highlighted in one of the premier cancer journals speaks to the caliber and importance of her work.”

Risley is working with the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute as a postdoctoral fellow. She received her Ph.D. in nursing last year from the UMMC School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.


Seven transplant staff receive national certifications

From left, Steele Lee, Leigh Spann, Anna McGraw, Lacey Dungan and Jodie Kilby, certified clinical transplant nurses
From left, Steele Lee, Leigh Spann, Anna McGraw, Lacey Dungan and Jodie Kilby, certified clinical transplant nurses

University Transplant has honored seven of its caregivers for attaining national professional certifications in their specialty areas.

“Being the only transplant center in the state to care for this unique patient population is challenging, and having staff certified specifically in their care is very meaningful for a center like ours,” said Dean Henderson, University Transplant administrator of transplant services.

Earning clinical transplant nurse certification are Anna McGraw, Lacey Dungan and Jodie Kilby, liver transplant coordinators and registered nurses; Steele Lee, heart transplant coordinator and registered nurse; and Leigh Spann, abdominal transplant coordinator and registered nurse.

Jennifer Humphries, left, and Terri Lynchard, certified transplant social workers
Jennifer Humphries, left, and Terri Lynchard, certified transplant social workers

Earning transplant social worker certification are Jenny Humphries and Terri Lynchard, licensed social workers.

“The staff that have dedicated themselves to their own professional development for the sake of the patients is admirable,” Henderson said. “I’m honored to work alongside these special folks every day.

“They understand that having an organ transplant encompasses so much, and learning all aspects of transplantation care benefits the patients they have dedicated themselves to care for.”




EversCare clinic staff garner Gage Award nomination

everscare_2c.jpgUMMC’s EversCare clinic staff have a unique job: To identify the social and health needs of Medical Center patients and community members, then help them meet those challenges.

For its exemplary outreach, EversCare has received a nomination from America’s Essential Hospitals, a leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, in its annual Gage Award competition.

EversCare’s work includes assessing more than 800 patients for social needs and, when needed, referring them to community resources and emergency food pantries.

EversCare has been named a top 10 nominee for the award that recognizes “the learning necessary for members to successfully carry out improvement projects, spreads best practices and innovative programs to other organizations and supports our research, policy and advocacy work by sharing stories of member success with a broad audience.”

EversCare’s nomination comes in the population health category, which recognizes successful programs that aim to improve health outcomes for a defined population or community by targeting the social and economic factors that influence health.

EversCare is part of UMMC’s Myrlie Evers Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

EversCare serves a large population of vulnerable and underserved Mississippians, including many low-income UMMC patients, said Victoria Gholar, EversCare clinical director. Anyone who is in need can get food from the EversCare food pantry at set distribution times, and EversCare staff provide community resources to address other challenges.

To date, EversCare has distributed more than 76,000 pounds of food.

“We know how important it is for us to drive innovative solutions so that we can address critical social determinants of health that create barriers to health and well-being,” Gholar said.