Several of the region's most accomplished health care educators and practitioners recently gathered to honor the accomplishments of their peers at Mount St. Joseph University's Leadership in Nursing Program.
In its 23nd year, the Mount's Leadership in Nursing Program presents five nominated recipients with an award for their individual efforts and contributions to the field of nursing. The special evening also included recognition of scholarship recipients who are students in the Mount's School of Health Sciences.
The Master of Ceremony for this year's event was Liz Bonis, currently the Health & Medical Reporter at WKRC-TV, Local 12 in Cincinnati for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Liz Bonis is a registered dietitian, a certified personal trainer and former diabetes educator with a master’s degree in public communication/radio-television journalism.
The Mount's 2018 Leadership in Nursing Award Recipients are:
Charlene Mason, RN, MBA, BSN, NEA-BC
Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Leadership
Charlene “Char” Mason began as a staff nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center before quickly being promoted to numerous leadership roles including education coordinator, director of satellite operations, executive director of outpatient services, and vice president of operations and patient services. Char was instrumental in creating the first pediatric free-standing ambulatory surgery center in the nation. Char’s vision and leadership have significantly enhanced the health care of patients and families in the region.
Susan McDonald, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, FACHE, CENP
Distinguished Nurse Administrator
Susan McDonald holds an MBA as well as a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). She is currently the vice president and chief nursing officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare (SEHC) and an adjunct faculty in the MSN and DNP Programs at the Mount. Susan’s career, with more than three decades in nursing administration, has always exemplified commitment to providing quality care to patients/community and emphasized the development of others.
Deana Birkenheuer, MSN, RN, CHPN, RN-BC
Distinguished Nurse Educator
Deana Birkenheuer served as a staff and charge nurse at Bethesda North Hospital for eight years before expanding her nursing practice when she became a hospice nurse and then inpatient primary nurse for Hospice of Cincinnati. In 2013, Deana earned her master’s degree in nursing education and became the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) facilitator and instructor. Her commitment to education, nurses, and the Cincinnati community is evident in her years of nursing practice as an educator and leader.
Rachel Baker, PhD, RN, CPN
Distinguished Nurse Researcher
Rachel Baker earned two bachelor’s degrees as well as a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in nursing, all within10 years. She served as a staff nurse, an outcomes nurse, a nurse researcher, and an evidence-based practice mentor. Her career then took her to TriHealth, where she is currently employed as a nurse researcher. In her spare time, she teaches advanced biostatistics at both the University of Cincinnati and Mount St. Joseph University. Rachel’s passion for nursing research has changed the lives of countless patients through improved patient outcomes.
Tracie Shelton, MSN, BSN, RN, CPHQ, LSSBB
Distinguished Alumni Nurse Leader
Tracie Shelton’s nursing career began 19 years ago when she graduated from Northern Kentucky University’s Associate Degree in Nursing Program and served as a staff and charge nurse at St. Elizabeth Healthcare (SEHC). She also holds a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree and a Master of Science (MSN) degree from the Mount. As director of patient safety, Tracie performs at an exemplary level and has a passion for mentoring nurses and nursing students.
The Mount's Leadership in Nursing Awards Program also recognizes scholarship recipients who are students in the Mount's School of Health Sciences. The 2018 scholarship recipients are:
Lorel Studer, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN-K
DNP Scholarship Recipient
Lorel Studer is a DNP student who expects to graduate in May 2019. She is also a clinical nurse leader (CNL) at TriHealth.
Tara Carmody, BSN, RN, CPN
MSN Scholarship Recipient
Tara is an MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader student, graduating in May 2019. Tara has been a registered nurse since 2013. She currently practices as a patient care facilitator, also known as a charge nurse, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on the Cardiac Step Down Unit.
MSN-MAGELIN Scholarship Recipient
Amy Rinehart is an MSN-MAGELIN student in her final semester of the MSN-Magelin program. Upon graduation, Amy hopes to work in the ICU and after gaining experience, return to school to become a nurse practitioner.
BSN Pre-Licensure Scholarship Recipient
Alexxis "Lexxie" Pace is a senior BSN student from Vandalia, Ohio. She works as a patient care assistant at St. Elizabeth Healthcareon the Cardiac and Transitional Care Unit in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. She would like to pursue a career in pediatrics or nursing.
Kathleen Scally, ADN, RN
RN-BSN Scholarship Recipient
Kathleen is an RN-BSN student, graduating in December 2018. Kathleen has been a registered nurse since 2014 at Mercy Health. She currently practices at the Mercy Corporate location as a nurse triage specialist, connecting patients to appropriate health resources in order to reach the best health care outcomes.
The Mount's School of Health Sciences is appreciative of the corporate sponsors of this year's Leadership in Nursing Awards Programs: St. Elizabeth Healthcare and The Christ Hospital, and congratulates all of the 2018 Leadership in Nursing Awards recipients.