UW News

April 2, 2009

UW School of Nursing Leadership Awards honor nurses, volunteer

A top hospital administrator, a pioneering sleep researcher, a pediatric nurse and a dean emeritus will be honored for their significant work as nurse leaders and volunteers at the UW School of Nursing’s annual Nurses Recognition Banquet on May 7. New School of Nursing Dean Marla E. Salmon, the Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Endowed Dean in Nursing, also will speak at the event.

The Nurses Recognition Banquet celebrates National Nurses Week, held May 6-12, and four leadership award winners for their contributions to nursing.

This year’s award winners are:

Outstanding Volunteer Award: Rheba de Tornyay, dean emeritus and member of the school’s Nursing Advisory Board, is being honored for her 34 years of service to the school with the Outstanding Volunteer award. During her 11-year tenure as dean, the school established its PhD program and developed a Continuing Nursing Education program as a separate division within the school. Under de Tornyay’s leadership, the school was ranked No. 1 for the first time in 1984, a ranking it has held ever since. De Tornyay’s commitment to the school continued even after she stepped down as dean. Alongside her husband, de Tornyay established the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging in 1998, and in 2004, they created the de Tornyay Term Professorship in Healthy Aging. A national leader in healthy aging research and nursing education, de Tornyay continues to support the school through her advisory role.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Cindy Hecker is the chief operating officer of Harborview Medical Center. She is recognized for her work on enhancing patient care services and safety through the establishment of an after-hours clinic at Harborview for non-emergency care and increasing the efficiency of the hospital’s pharmacy operations. Her career in nursing at Harborview has spanned nearly 30 years, from her days as an RN in surgical acute care through her work on the hospital’s leadership team. She is recognized by her colleagues for her leadership, dedication, vision and patient-centered approach to care. She received her BSN from the UW School of Nursing in 1980.

Distinguished Research Award: Carol Landis is a professor in the School of Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems. She is an internationally recognized leader in sleep study research, with a particular focus on the health consequences of sleep loss. She is the director of the Biobehavioral Laboratories in the Center for Women’s Health and Gender Research and a former member of the Research Advisory Board for the Center on Sleep Disorders Research at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a unit of the National Institutes of Health. Her groundbreaking research career includes current projects such as the Biobehavioral Nursing Research Training Grant and past studies on sleep disturbance in relation to menopause, age and health status. Carol started as an assistant professor at the UW in 1991 after receiving her doctor of nursing science degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and completing post-doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Chicago.

Humanitarian Award: Leslie Elder, nurse clinician in Seattle Children’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine, works as the outpatient nurse and discharge coordinator for all patients leaving the division, notably children discharged on a ventilator. An advocate and educator, Leslie works to maintain contact with the families of these patients and engages community members through her service on local committees. Recently, she worked nearly single-handedly to lobby the Legislature to increase funding for home health care and respite services for these families. According to her colleagues, her work makes it possible for the children she interacts with to thrive in their environments and lead happy lives. She is a 1991 alumna of the UW School of Nursing.

The 2009 Nurses Recognition Banquet will be held at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Many program sponsors also will recognize their top nurses at the event. Sponsors include: Premera Blue Cross; Marla E. Salmon and Jerry S. Anderson; Swedish Medical Center; UW Medicine: Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center; ERA Living; Honda of Seattle and Toyota of Seattle; Providence Health & Services; PSAV/Sheraton Seattle Hotel; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Seattle Children’s; Group Health Cooperative; and Northwest Kidney Centers. Patrons include: Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Kimberly McNally, McNally & Associates. Proceeds from this event will go to the School of Nursing’s Fund for Nursing Excellence.

For tickets and information about the event, visit the UW Alumni Association: https://go.washington.edu/uwaa/events/2009nurses_recognition_banquet/details.tcl.  

To learn more about how to become a sponsor of this event, visit http://www.son.washington.edu/about/2009NRBsponsorship.asp.