Main content
Seven Emory nurses honored at Georgia March of Dimes awards ceremony

Media Contact

Janet Christenbury

Seven Emory nurses were honored at the 2018 Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the March of Dimes. The annual event recognizes and honors distinguished nurses for their outstanding contributions to nursing and delivery of exceptional care.

The Emory nurses recognized this year have played a critical role in improving the health of Georgia’s residents, teaching the next generation of nurses and supporting the community through various health initiatives. They are:

  • Mary D. Still, MSN, APRN ACNS, CCRN -- Emory University Hospital -- Still is a clinical nurse specialist in the surgical/transplant ICU at Emory University Hospital, and has worked at Emory for more than 30 years. During her time at Emory, Still has coordinated and led a system-wide initiative on early identifiers of sepsis in critical care patients; developed and implemented evidence-based ICU protocols and procedures; and collaborated with health care teams on complex patients, including liver transplant patients, ventilator-dependent patients and severe sepsis In 2017, Still was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Critical Care Medicine and was named a 2017 National Magnet Nurse of the Year by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

  • Linda S. Brown, BSN-BC, RN -- Emory University Hospital Midtown -- Brown is a renal medical/surgical nurse at Emory University Hospital Midtown, where she has been caring for patients for 34 of her 37-year-nursing career. The veteran nurse credits her compassion and resilience to helping her provide exceptional, quality, patient-and-family-centered-care every day. Brown is a three-time “Daisy Award” recipient for extraordinary nurses (2009, 2016, 2018). She has also received multiple nominations and awards for clinical excellence in nursing practice, transformational clinical leadership and innovation and improvement.

  • Alethea Watts, MBA, BSN, RN --Emory Clinic -- Watts is the senior manager of Clinical Services & Operations for General Surgery & Palliative Care at Emory Clinic. She joined Emory Clinic in March 2015. Prior to coming to Emory’s ambulatory care services, Watts worked in the inpatient setting mostly on cardiac-stepdown units, including an inpatient unit at Emory University Hospital Midtown. She also has a background in hospice care, primarily home hospice. Watts is the co-chair of the Emory Clinic Medical Emergency Team committee, a Magnet Champion and actively serves on the committee and is on the Clinical Progression Committee for MAs and LPNs.

  • Rebecca Heitkam, MACS, BSN, RN, CCRN, RN-BC -- Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital -- Heitkam has been a registered nurse in Atlanta since 1977 and part of Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital since 2004, when she helped open the first Gamma Knife Center at Emory Saint Joseph’s. From 2012 until 2016, she served as Specialty Director of Oncology at the hospital, in collaboration with Winship Cancer Institute. In 2016, Heitkam created the first Congregational Health Ministry and Faith Community Nursing (FCN) division at Emory Healthcare, and over the next two years commissioned more than 270 Emory RNs as FCNs, the largest cohort of FCNs in a single health care system in the country. 

  • Carmen Reed, MSN, RN, CNL -- Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital -- Reed is an Advanced Nurse Clinician III at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, where she works on the medical oncology unit. In her four years as a nurse, she has served as a CLABSI (central line-associated blood stream infection) Champion, unit representative of the Exemplary Practice and Protocol committee, leader of the Unit Practice Council, hospital representative on the Oncology Specialty Council, and precepts new graduate residents and new hires.

  • Nicole Carlson, PhD, CNM --Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing -- Carlson is an assistant professor at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She is dedicated to improving the health of women and families in the state of Georgia. She has been involved in perinatal healthcare since 1993, and has been a certified nurse-midwife since 2007. Carlson conducts research on labor in obese women with a focus on the biologic mechanisms of labor dysfunction and strategies for achieving optimal perinatal outcomes in this vulnerable population.

  • Alexis Dunn, PhD, CNM -- Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing -- Dunn is an assistant professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, where she researches the relationships between health behaviors, inflammatory mechanisms and adverse pregnancy outcomes among high risk populations. She is a certified nurse midwife who works in a variety of professional roles within the academic, hospital and outpatient clinical setting. As an educator, Dunn shares her passion for clinical excellence as it relates to primary care, perinatal and postpartum care of women.

"We are honored that the March of Dimes recognized Emory nurses in the 2018 Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards," says Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive at Emory Healthcare. "Their wealth of knowledge, leadership and compassionate care of our patients are examples of the nursing excellence that is present across Emory Healthcare."

"Emory is well known for its nurse leaders," says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAOHN, dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. "State-wide recognition like this from the March of Dimes serves to further highlight the important work the School of Nursing's educators and researchers do to address and improve the health of women and families in Georgia."

Click here to see a complete list of 2018 Georgia Nurse of the Year award recipients.



Recent News