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Eleven Emory nurses named Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing

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Holly Korschun

Emory Nursing Fellows of the American Academy of Nurses


Eleven Emory nurses will be inducted as 2019 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The Academy is composed of more than 2,000 of the nation's most accomplished nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research, and selection for fellowship is one of the highest professional honors in the field of nursing.

"This is the largest number of Emory Nursing fellows inducted into the Academy during a single year,” says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. "As leaders in nursing education, practice and transformative research, these honorees embody our mission of visionary nurse leadership at Emory."

The Emory nurses to be honored are:


Jinbing Bai, PhD, MSN, RN, Assistant Research Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Rasheeta Chandler, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, Assistant Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Carolyn Reilly, PhD, RN, CHFN-K, FAH, Associate Clinical Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Patricia Moreland, PhD, MSN, CPNP, RN, Assistant Clinical Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Theresa Gillespie, PhD, MA, BSN, Professor, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Eve Byrd, DNP, MPH, Director, Mental Health Program, The Carter Center

Michelle Dynes, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, CNM, Nurse Epidemiologist, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control

Deena Gilland, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Emory Ambulatory Patient Services Operations, Emory Healthcare

Mary Zellinger, CNS, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit, Emory University Hospital

Noreen Bernard, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President, Nursing Practice, Emory Healthcare

Tim Cunningham, DrPH, MSN, RN, Corporate Director of Patient and Family Centered Care, Emory Healthcare


Emory is home to one of the largest concentrations of AAN fellows in the U.S. with 50 nurse leaders holding this prestigious designation including: Deborah Bruner, Sharron Close, Elizabeth Corwin, Jo Ann Dalton (Emeritus), Colleen DiIorio (Emeritus), Dorothy Doughty (Emeritus), Elizabeth Downes, Sandra Dunbar, Rowena Elliott, Dian Evans, Anne Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Gary, Mary Gullatte (Emory Healthcare), Jill Hamilton, Twilla Haynes, Marcia Holstad (Emeritus), Bonnie Jennings, Dorothy Jordan, Maureen Kelley (Emeritus), Laura Kimble, Kristy Martyn, Mary S. McCabe, Linda McCauley, Lisa Muirhead, Joyce Murray (Emeritus), Sharon Pappas (Emory Healthcare), Tim Porter-O'Grady, Ann Rogers, Suzanne Staebler, Mary Still (Emory Healthcare), Susan Shapiro (Emeritus), Lynn Sibley (Emeritus), Roy Simpson, Mi-Kyung Song, Ora Strickland (Emeritus), Lisa Thompson, Judith Wold (Emeritus), Kathryn Wood, Kate Yeager, and Sharon Vanairsdale (Emory Healthcare).

Bai’s research concentrates on the areas of child and family health care in oncology, especially in symptom assessment and management, patient-reported outcomes and biopsychosocial mechanisms’ underlying symptoms. He created the COMFORT Scale – Behavior Scale and the Face, Legs, Activities, Cry, and Consolability (FLACC) in Chinese. This scale has since gained a substantial amount of recognition with nearly 60 citations in 5 years and findings published in Pain Management Nursing and Journal of Clinical Nursing. Bai completed his two-year postdoctoral training at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

Chandler’s work focuses on promoting optimal reproductive health, protective sexual behavior, and HIV prevention in African-American women. Her projects consider communication and technological modalities in exploration of the most effective milieu for HIV prevention. Through a variety of grants, Chandler developed a portfolio of work exploring HIV interventions for college-aged African American women and examined use and efficacy of tools like advertising, social media and mobile applications to promote healthy sexual behaviors in the targeted population. 

Reilly’s research centers on improving clinical, functional and economic outcomes of people with or at risk of heart failure through the provision of patient education, along with behavioral strategies to assist patients in their adherence to prescribed treatments and therapies. She co-developed, piloted and validated the Atlanta Heart Failure Knowledge Test and championed the use of the six-minute walk test as a viable predictor of outcomes. The Atlanta Heart Failure Knowledge Test is on its third version, garnering two publications which have been cited over 60 times, translated into over 20 languages and used in multiple research and quality improvement studies around the world.

Moreland’s research interests include global health, health disparities in the LGBT community, and maternal-newborn health in low resource settings. She holds the position of Co-Principal Investigator in a qualitative study in lesbian and bisexual women in Rwanda examining minority stress, as well as Co-Investigator in a study examining the impact of nutrition, infection and vaginal microbiome on preterm birth, premature rupture of membranes and low birth weight in Rwanda. Moreland is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner with extensive experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students both nationally and internationally.

Gillespie has three decades of experience in clinical oncology, including direct patient care. She developed and led the clinical trials programs at Winship Cancer Institute, conducting prospective therapeutic and cancer control studies for 14 years. Gillespie’s work focuses on decision-making and risk communications in cancer, barriers to and facilitators of informed decision-making by minority and underserved populations, measurements of quality care, and disparities in cancer care and access. She also researches health services involving the examination of cancer outcomes and the linkage of large national, regional, and state databases, in addition to global oncology research focused on low-and-middle-income countries. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

Byrd began her career as a public health nurse in Georgia and has held leadership positions both nationally and locally in work aimed at eliminating stigma and improving access to care for people with behavioral health disorders. Byrd served as executive director of the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression, Department of Psychiatry at the Emory School of Medicine before becoming director of Carter Center’s Mental Health Program in February 2017. She earned her DNP from Emory’s School of Nursing, where she also earned a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in psychiatric/mental health nursing. 

Dynes credits her practice as a nurse-midwife, including the care of refugee and immigrant populations, with sparking her interest in improving maternal and newborn health (MNH) in low resource settings. Her research and work on the Global Council on Respectful Maternity Care contributed to scientific literature and provide evidence to help inform programs and policy internationally. Dynes designed new prenatal care programs, implemented group prenatal care models, and led programmatic work in rural communities in 13 countries. Dynes’ work also impacted areas in humanitarian crisis by improving reproductive health data collection in the camp and implementing a gender-based violence evaluation system. She has represented the U.S. government internationally to achieve shared public health goals and has helped transform health policy and practice through her expansive global research efforts. 

Gilland has dedicated the past decade to establishing a national model and structure for nursing practice in an ambulatory care setting. Her work centers on nursing optimization and illuminating the value of nursing. Gilland impacted nursing practice by developing an ambulatory nursing organizational structure with senior nursing options, optimizing the ability of nurses to impact the health of our population. Gilland’s innovative work to develop a pre-licensure nursing student path into ambulatory nursing, along with creating methods to induct them through a nurse residency, has advanced the profession nationwide and forged a path for nurses in the ambulatory care setting.

Zellinger has advanced nursing practice through her advocacy for interdisciplinary nursing, nationally and internationally, spread over nearly four decades. Her research focuses on promoting interdisciplinary care for patients and ensuring interprofessional educational opportunities for health care providers to learn from one another. Zellinger recently led efforts to identify and address burnout of healthcare providers and her leadership played a critical role in the successful Magnet designation of Emory University Hospital in 2014 and re-designation in 2018. Zellinger’s impact is demonstrated in her being the first heart transplant coordinator at Georgia’s first heart transplant program and the first nurse appointed to the Board of the Foundation for Advancement of Cardiovascular Surgery and their Education Committee.

Bernard is a nationally-recognized expert in evidence-based leadership and nurse development models who cultivated positive nursing culture across all care settings through leadership, education, implementation, and collaboration regionally and nationally. Her research on the relationships between resilience, job satisfaction and anticipated turnover in chief nursing officers and the impact of resilience training in nurse residents and nurse leaders, supports the national priority for clinician wellness, resilience and professional joy. Her seminal contribution is creation of a comprehensive nursing leadership development model that forms the foundation for healthy work environments led by authentic and transformational nurse leaders.

Cunningham’s research focuses on resilience, psycho-social support for healthcare providers, and the benefits of artistic interventions in hospital setting, while his clinical focus includes emergency care, pediatrics and humanitarian response. It has just been announced that Cunningham will join the Emory Healthcare (EHC) team in August 2019 as its new Corporate Director of Patient and Family Centered Care. He joins EHC from the University of Virginia School of Nursing, the source of his AAN nomination, where he served as an assistant professor and Director of the Compassionate Care Initiative. Cunningham has worked in a variety of clinical, educational and philanthropic roles, both domestically and internationally, including as an Ebola response nurse and educator in Sierra Leone and Boston, Mass., and as executive director and board member for Clowns Without Borders, USA.

"The world looks to leaders such as these to light the way for the future of nursing," says Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nurse executive at Emory Healthcare. "It is truly exciting that we have such a phenomenal class of Emory nurses receiving recognition from the American Academy of Nursing. The value and impact of their contributions is absolutely felt locally and globally.”

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