Nurses Bluhm, Lesser and White selected as new AAN fellows

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 14, 2019)  ̶  Three faculty members from the School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio will become fellows of the American Academy of Nursing in October. Fellowship is one of the highest honors nurses can receive.

The selection of Maria Danet Lapiz Bluhm, Ph.D., M.S.C.I., RN; Janna Lesser, Ph.D., RN; and Carole White, Ph.D., RN, was announced this summer.

“Being nominated to become a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing is a rigorous process. Only nurse leaders who have made a significant impact on health through research, education, policy making or influencing the direction of the discipline of nursing are considered. Being selected signifies to all in the nursing profession that these are exceptional national leaders in their areas of expertise. We are truly proud of them,” said Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing.

Dr. Danet Lapiz Bluhm

Dr. Bluhm is an associate professor, director of international programs and co-director of the Bio-Behavioral Laboratory in the School of Nursing. A native of the Philippines who earned educational degrees in several different countries, she has seen how trauma and stress are experienced by people in similar ways, regardless of their location and culture. These experiences have influenced her interest in studying the biological, psychological and social factors that affect stress in vulnerable populations. She has studied the neurobiological, behavioral and neurocognitive components of stress in animal models, and has conducted translational research in post-traumatic stress disorder in humans. She also has conducted education-based and community service-based research in diversity.

Dr. Janna Lesser

Dr. Lesser is a professor and directs the South Texas Area Health Education Center Program and the Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children, both based in the School of Nursing. Collaboration is key in solving health-related issues in South Texas, which includes a variety of cultures, income levels and vast rural areas with few health providers. The South Texas AHEC provides administrative support to bring stakeholders and faculty members together to improve overall health in communities, Other goals are to raise the delivery of health care, diversify health care providers in the region and improve educational opportunities for residents. The AHEC has five multi-county regions in South Texas. The Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children provides an interprofessional framework for community groups to learn how to solve problems that stakeholders identify in their communities that affect women and children.

Dr. Carole White

Dr. White is a professor and directs the School of Nursing’s Caring for the Caregiver Program, which offers programs to improve the quality of life for family caregivers and their loved ones. The program offers education and information about what to expect in the different stages of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; hands-on skills workshops; social engagement opportunities for caregivers and loved ones; support groups; research; and outreach to those living in rural communities. Through the program’s leadership, San Antonio was recently named a Dementia Friendly City. This acknowledges that a grassroots initiative with committed stakeholders is in place to raise awareness, offer education and training, and initiate policy changes related to families living with dementia.

Current American Academy of Nursing fellows

The UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing currently has 14 AAN fellows including Kay C. Avant, Ph.D., RN, FNI, FAAN; Margaret Brackley, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FAANP; Carrie Jo Braden, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Dr. Breslin; Lisa Cleveland, Ph.D., RN, PNP-BC, IBCLC, FAAN; Sara L. Gill, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, FAAN; Patty L. Hawken, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Carol Reineck Huebner, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, CENP, FAAN; Jacqueline McGrath, Ph.D., RN, FNAP, FAAN; Ken Miller, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP FAAN; Beverly H. Robinson, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Kathleen R. Stevens, RN, Ed.D., ANEF, FAAN; and Jing Wang, Ph.D., RN, FAAN.

“With this year’s inductions, the number will grow to 17 fellows, demonstrating the School of Nursing’s excellence,” added Dr. McGrath, professor and vice dean for faculty excellence in the School of Nursing.

This year’s AAN fellowship class is made up of 231 highly distinguished nurse leaders representing 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 17 countries. The group will be inducted during the AAN’s annual policy conference, Oct. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

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