Recent Achievements by Rush Women



Awards & Honors

Monnie Wasse, MDMonnie Wasse Selected for Drexel Leadership Fellowship
Monnie Wasse, MD, MPH, Rush’s director of interventional nephrology and a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, was selected as a Fellow in the 2022-23 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. The program is dedicated to preparing women for senior leadership roles in today’s health care environment. Learn more
Urmeka T. Jefferson, PhD, RNNursing Faculty Member Receives Award for Excellence in Research
Urmeka T. Jefferson, PhD, RN, associate professor in the College of Nursing, was honored with the 2022 Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Award for Excellence in Research for her work to improve breastfeeding among Black mothers through app-based technologies. Learn more
Sharon GatesSharon Gates Honored with Angel Award
Sharon Gates, DSW, senior director of student diversity and community engagement, was recently honored with the Angel Award from the I Am Abel Foundation. The foundation sponsors programs to help provide children in underrepresented minority groups with opportunities in health care and other fields. Watch the video
Rachel Start, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAANNursing VP Selected as National Leader in Ambulatory Nursing
Rachel Start, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, has been selected as the next president-elect of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses (AAACN). Start is associate vice president, medicine, behavioral and emergency services at Rush University Medical Center. She will begin serving as president-elect this month and will become the AAACN’s president starting in 2023. Read more
Stephanie Esterland BSN, RNAmerican Red Cross Honors Healthcare Hero
Stephanie Esterland, BSN, RN, OCN, an oncology nurse at Rush Cancer Center, was driving one morning when she happened upon the scene of a blazing car fire, and provided life-saving emergency aid to the injured driver. Esterland was honored by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago with the Healthcare Hero award for her selflessness and bravery. Read more
Lynn Mohr, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPN, FCNSCollege of Nursing Professor Named Educator of the Year
Lynn Mohr, PhD, APRN, PCNS-BC, CPN, FCNS, associate professor, program director for the pediatric and neonatal clinical nurse specialist program and chair of the Department of Women, Children and Family Nursing at Rush University College of Nursing, has been named the 2022 Clinical Nurse Specialist Educator of the Year by the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS). Read more
JoEllen Wilbur, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAANCollege of Nursing’s JoEllen Wilbur Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
The Midwest Nursing Research Society has recognized JoEllen Wilbur, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN for significantly advancing the profession of nursing through her dedication to research. Read more
Melinda Earle, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHECollege of Nursing Program Director Named Fellow of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership
Melinda Earle, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, has been named to the 2022 American Organization for Nursing Leadership class of fellows. The director of the Transformative Leadership: Systems program, Earle has more than 20 years of leadership experience including serving as Rush’s associate vice president of hospital affairs and director of Rush Children’s Hospital. Read more
Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MScAlumni Lifetime Achievement Award statuettePresident Gabriel Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
Rush University President Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc, received an Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Saskatchewan. Known as a “triple threat” by her peers for her excellence in clinical practice, research and education, Gabriel was recognized with the university’s highest honor for an outstanding lifetime of accomplishments and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of society. Read more
Geralyn O’Brien holding an award statueEsthetician Recognized for Passion
Geralyn O’Brien, who provides skin care services to people affected by cancer, won $10,000 for Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center at last year’s Skin Games. This year, the international competition for estheticians recognized her with their Spirit Award for her efforts to pay it forward. Read more
Angela Moss, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, FAANRush University College of Nursing’s Assistant Dean Receives Health Care Innovation Award
Angela Moss, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, FAAN, was recognized for creative leadership in advancing quality and equity of health care, including COVID-19 response within the most vulnerable communities. Read more
Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENPRush Nursing Leader Chosen for Emmott Fellowship
Angelique Richard, PhD, RN, CENP, has been selected for the Carol Emmott Fellowship, which aims to decrease disparities for women in upper-level health care leadership. Richard — senior vice president of hospital operations for Rush University Medical Center and chief nursing officer for the Medical Center and Rush University System for Health — is among 22 fellows in the 2022 class. Read more
Shannon Halloway, PhD, RN, FAHACollege of Nursing Faculty Member Named American Heart Association Fellow
Shannon Halloway, PhD, RN, FAHA, has been named as a Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and a member of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing. Halloway was recognized at the AHA’s annual meeting and joins a class of highly qualified nurses from across the country. Read more
A group of nurses around a banner recognizing the Beacon AwardRush System Receives Ninth Beacon Award
All eight of the intensive care units across Rush University System for Health, and an intermediate care unit, have received a Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Granted at gold, silver and bronze levels, the Beacon award honors excellence in intensive care nursing and is regarded as the top honor in the field. Read more
Kathleen Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAANCollege of Nursing Professor Named Outstanding Illinois Nurse Leader
Kathleen Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN, has been named the 2021 Joan L. Shaver Outstanding Nursing Leader. The sole recipient of this competitive award, Delaney was honored for her commitment and dedication to the needs of the people of Illinois. Read more
Angela Moss, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, RNMonique Reed, PhD, MS, RNCollege of Nursing Faculty Named American Academy of Nursing Fellows
Angela Moss, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, RN, and Monique Reed, PhD, MSN, RN, were honored with this career milestone based on their significant contributions to advance public health and promote health equity. They are among only five distinguished nurse leaders from Illinois and only 225 from across the United States who were recognized for their achievements. Read more
40 Under 40 - Emerging Nurse Leader logoSeven Nurses at Rush Named Emerging Nurse Leaders
The Illinois Nurses Foundation recently chose seven nurses and nursing faculty members at Rush University Medical Center as recipients of the organization’s annual 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader Award. The award highlights and celebrates young nurse leaders who are making an impact on health care and the nursing profession today and who will shape the future of the profession. Read more
Urmeka T. Jefferson, PhD, RNUrmeka Jefferson Joins Nurse Leader Fellowship at UC Davis
Urmeka T. Jefferson, PhD, RN, associate professor at Rush University College of Nursing, is one of 10 nurse scientists accepted to the second cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. This fellowship program, funded by a $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, recognizes early- to mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship. Learn more
Jennifer M. Orozco, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPARush Leader Serving as President of American Academy of PAs
On July 1, Jennifer M. Orozco, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, director of advanced practice providers at Rush University Medical Center, began her term as president of the American Academy of PAs for the 2021-22 leadership year. Learn more
Monique Reed, PhD, MS, RNTransforming Nursing Practice Through Community-Based Research
Monique Reed, PhD, MS, RN, assistant dean for generalist education and associate professor in the College of Nursing, is working to disrupt hierarchies between health care providers and community members. In 2020 Reed was appointed the vice president of the American Nurses Association of Illinois, where her team collaborates to improve diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization and health care facilities alike. Read more

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In the Media

Nancy S. Reau, MDHas COVID-19 Changed the Perception of HCV Care?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on medicine in the past two-plus years. Healio asked Nancy S. Reau, MD, to discuss whether the perception of the hepatitis C virus care cascade has changed. “COVID-19 eclipsed all other infections and most other health priorities,” Reau wrote. “Screening for HCV came to a grinding halt, and even when routine health maintenance began to return, an HCV-positive individual identified through screening rarely made the next steps of staging the severity of liver injury and linkage to curative therapy.” Read more
Stephanie Clark, MD, MA, LCPCRush Art Therapist Helps Veterans Reveal Their PTSD
Military veterans are revealing what their post-traumatic stress disorder looks like. In a unique program being offered by Rush University Medical Center, they are participating in art therapy and making masks that mirror their emotional state. “A picture is worth a thousand words, right?” Stephanie Clark, MD, MA, LCPC, said in an interview with Fox 32 Chicago. “It’s one thing to tell someone how you feel, it’s another thing to show someone how you feel.” Watch the video
Hannah Barbian, PhDWhat We Know About the Hybrid COVID-19 Variant
Hannah Barbian, PhD, spoke with NBC Chicago about the COVID-19 variant known as XE, which combines omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2. Studies are underway to determine the exact contagiousness of the variant, but Chicago health officials aren’t concerned just yet. Watch the video
Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN, talks with Michael Sneed in a hospital corridorRUSH Featured in New Johnson & Johnson Campaign
Johnson & Johnson’s $100 million investment to promote health equity solutions includes a new video series, “Starting the Conversation.” In the first episode, Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN, director of nursing research and health equity and associate professor, talks about how health equity goes beyond the hospital walls and into the daily lives of at-risk patients. Watch the video
Shivanjali Shankaran, MDA Look Back: Two Years of the Pandemic
Shivanjali Shankaran, MD, spoke with Fox 32 about the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois on the two-year anniversary of the state’s first detected case. Watch the video
Two nurses bump elbows in greetingTo Help Battle COVID-19, a Hospital Borrows Tactics From Combat Veterans
As Omicron spreads, nurses say they are better prepared to deal with the trauma of fighting a pandemic war. That’s thanks to a pilot program called Growing Forward, designed by bereavement support and education coordinator Kim Sangster, LCSW, while supporting staff members on the units where thousands of patients survived COVID-19 — but where a great many also died. Read more
Suzi Lopez, MDIL Reports Record-High COVID Cases, Deaths
Susan Lopez, MD, told ABC 7 Chicago in a report on the latest surge that most patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Rush University Medical Center are unvaccinated. “The patients that are vaccinated are patients that are immunocompromised or with low immune systems,” she said. Watch the report
Latania Logan, MDSevere Inflammatory Illness Strikes Some COVID-19 Pediatric Patients
Latania Logan, MD, spoke to Scripps News about a rare but serious illness that some children develop after even a mild case of COVID-19. Rush has treated several patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain or gastrointestinal organs. Watch the segment
Rasa Kazlauskaite, MDDiabetes: The 5 Foods to Avoid to Prevent High Blood Sugar
Rasa Kazlauskaite, MD, MS, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, spoke to The U.S. Sun about managing diabetes through a balanced diet. Read more
Six photos of diverse people's faces arranged in a gridOffice Culture and Well-Being: Why Hiring Diverse Candidates is Not the First Step
Amelia Garza, associate director of major gifts, and Jennifer T. Holmes, assistant director of corporate and foundation relations, co-wrote an op-ed for the Association of Fundraising Professionals explaining how diverse hiring is not enough to advance organizational equity and inclusion - and offering solutions that can. Read more
Rev. Ally Vertigan taking the field at a Chicago White Sox gameChaplain takes the field as a ‘hero’ in Chicago
Rev. Ally Vertigan, a chaplain at Rush Oak Park Hospital, and colleagues were honored as “Healthcare Heroes” by the Chicago White Sox. Vertigan talked about the experience and her work during the pandemic for a feature on the United Church of Christ’s website. Read more
Amelia Mercer, BSN, RN, CBCN, OCNOncology Nurse Champion: Amelia Mercer
Amelia Mercer, BSN, RN, CBCN, OCN, talked to Oncology Nursing News about the importance of time management, teamwork and patient support in her role as nurse navigator for the breast team at Rush University Cancer Center. Read more
Beth R. Van Opstal, MD, appearing on WGN NewsAddressing Back-to-School COVID Concerns
Beth R. Van Opstal, MD, joined WGN News to discuss concerns involving COVID-19 and returning to schools this fall. Van Opstal talked about the COVID-19 variants; when the vaccine may be available to children under 12; and vaccine mandates. Watch the segment
Suzi Lopez, MDPhysician Stresses Need to Address Structural Racism In Medicine
Susan Lopez, MD, shares how structural racism affected her even at the time of her birth and continues to linger in patient experiences in health care institutions everywhere in an opinion piece published on KevinMD. She calls for health organizations to address how racism has become part of medicine’s structure to ensure that it becomes actively anti-racist. Read more
Breastfeeding Diet: The Healthiest Habits and Nutrition For Nursing Mothers
Paula Meier, PhD, RN, FAAN, director for clinical research and lactation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rush University Medical Center and president of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation, talked to Parents magazine about the dos and don’ts of breastfeeding when it comes to eating spicy foods. Read more
Elizabeth Pieroth, PsyD, ABBPMental Health Issues Urgent in Youth Athletes
Elizabeth Pieroth, PsyD, ABBP, associate professor in the College of Health Sciences, has worked with professional athletes as a neuropsychologist for more than 20 years and seen firsthand the stresses they endure. While professional athletes tend to have more accessibility to mental health resources, Pieroth advocates for youth athletes who deserve more focus and resources available for their mental well-being in an article for Psychology Today. Read more
Monnie Wasse, MD‘Long-Haul’ Covid Patients Have a Reason to Be Optimistic
Monnie Wasse, MD, director of the post-Covid clinic at Rush University Medical Center, talked to Men’s Health about Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), also known as long COVID. “Even though these symptoms alone aren’t life-threatening, they feel like a major change to the people experiencing them,” Wasse explained. Read more
Jori Fleisher, MD, MSCEDoctors Shine Light on Parkinson’s Plus Syndrome
A brain disorder called Parkinson’s plus syndrome, also known as atypical Parkinson’s, is highlighted in a Scripps news segment. Jori Fleisher, MD, MSCE, explained to Scripps in a video interview that Parkinson’s plus syndrome is often misdiagnosed. “It’s called a Parkinson’s plus syndrome or an atypical Parkinson’s, and that’s because a lot of times people can present with symptoms that look like Parkinson’s disease,” she says. “So, slowness, stiffness, occasionally a tremor.” Watch the segment

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Research & Publications

Jie Li, PhD, RRTPioneering Respiratory Therapist Tirelessly Propels COVID-19 Research
One of China’s first respiratory therapists, Jie Li, PhD, RRT has been a leading contributor to the scientific research on safe, effective respiratory care during the pandemic. Read more
Lisa Barnes, PhDResearcher Aims To Diversify Alzheimer’s Data
According to some estimates, Black adults in the United States have more than double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than their white counterparts. What accounts for the gap? Lisa Barnes, PhD, a cognitive neuropsychologist in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Professor of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at Rush Medical College, is working to understand it — and working toward achieving equity in how we examine brain health. Read more
Stephanie GuzikThe Academic Research Enterprise
Stephanie Guzik is on the Association of American Medical Colleges professional development affinity group for conflicts of interest and has been teaching faculty for AAMC’s courses on COI 101 for the last four years. She also recently co-authored the chapter “The Academic Research Enterprise” for Drug Discovery and Development, 3rd Edition, 2019.
Lisa Rosman and Lisa Sanchez-Johnson presented on October 15th with Dr. Hunter Holt at the National LatinX Psychological Association annual conference on “Disparities in Cervical Cancer in Latinxs and Ways to Improve Screening.”
Katherine Fasullo, BSNLGBTQ Older Adults in Long-Term Care Settings: An Integrative Review to Inform Best Practices
Katherine Fasullo, SBN, RN manager for physical medicine and rehabilitation, recently published an integrative literature review in Clinical Gerontologist to inform practice, research, and policy. Read more
Joanne Michelle Gomez, MDCOVID-19 Hospitalization and Mortality: Sex Differences
Medical Xpress spotlit a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health that found male patients with COVID-19 had significantly higher rates of hospitalization and of transfer to the intensive care unit, and that a higher percentage of male patients died of COVID-19 than female patients. Joanne Michelle Gomez, MD, studied the first 8,108 positive COVID-19 patients that presented to Rush University System for Health from March 1 to June 21, 2020. Nineteen percent of males required hospitalization, compared to 13 percent of females. Read more
Kathryn Perticone, APN, MSWSheila M. Dowd, PhDCreating Wellness in a Pandemic: A Practical Framework for Health Systems Responding to Covid-19
Kathryn Perticone, APN, MSW and Sheila M. Dowd, PhD coauthored a commentary in NEJM Catalyst detailing how Rush created and deployed a simple, easy-to-follow interdisciplinary framework to promote staff well-being during COVID-19. Read more

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Around Rush

Becky Ozelie, DHS, OTR/LBecky Ozelie Named Leader of Occupational Therapy
Becky Ozelie, DHS, OTR/L has been named chairperson and program director of the Rush University Department of Occupational Therapy, effective July 1, 2022. Ozelie has been an occupational therapist for more than 20 years, and joined Rush in 2010 as the academic fieldwork coordinator.
Cynthia Brincat, MD, PhDCynthia Brincat, Named Interim Dean of Rush Medical College
Cynthia Brincat, MD, PhD, was appointed interim dean of Rush Medical College in October 2021. Brincat, who has distinguished herself as a practitioner in women’s health, as a scholar and as a leader, will work in partnership with the deans of the other three Rush University colleges to enhance the reputation of Rush University as a leading center for health care education and research. She will also expand and support diversity within the student body, faculty and leadership, and foster faculty development at all levels. 
Angela LorbeckActual and Imagined Acupuncture Effects on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors
Angela Lorbeck, DACM, MSTOM, MPH, LAc, Dipl OM has been promoted to Manager of Integrative Medicine, and as a 2021 New Investigator Awardee, she presented “Actual and Imagined Acupuncture Effects on Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors: An Acceptability and Feasibility Trial” at the 18th International Society for Integrative Oncology Conference on September 24, 2021.
Erin Shaughnessy, PharmD, MBA, FACHE, BCPSLarry Goodman Leadership Award
Erin Shaughnessy, PharmD, MBA, FACHE, BCPS was awarded the Larry Goodman Leadership Award for demonstrating Rush’s ICARE values and phenomenal leadership throughout the pandemic. Read more (Rush login required)
Grace Dravenack recently earned her Project Management Professional certification in FY21. This credential is internationally recognized and proves project leadership experience and expertise. Grace said she “feels passionate about projects that make a positive impact for the Office of Philanthropy and Rush. I hope to leverage this credential to make a difference at Rush.”
Patricia Steeves O’Neil, MAEPatricia Steeves O’Neil Named Rush Chief Financial Officer
Patricia Steeves O’Neil, MAE, was appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer of Rush University System for Health and Rush University Medical Center effective May 3, 2021. In this role she will provide strategic vision and management for the operational and fiscal direction of Rush University Medical Center and the Rush system. The appointment is the well-deserved culmination of her more than 20 years at Rush, where she has been acting SVP and CFO since May 2020.
O’Neil is also an assistant professor in the Rush University College of Health Sciences, where she teaches in the nationally ranked Master’s in Health Systems Management Program. She received Outstanding Faculty awards in 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016.

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News Archive
Sheila Dugan, MD
Sheila Dugan, MD, Recipient of PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship
Sheila Dugan, MD, professor and acting Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, is the recipient of the 2019 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship for the mid to late-career physiatrist who has distinguished himself/herself in the field of musculoskeletal physiatry and has attained excellence in three of the four areas: clinical care, national education, national service or scholarship. She will be lecturing and receiving the award at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Meeting in San Antonio on November 16, 2019.
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Susan Buchholz and Sarah Livesay
Susan Buchholz, PhD, RN, and Sarah Livesay, DNP, APRN, Named Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing
Rush College of Nursing faculty members Susan Buchholz, PhD, RN, and Sarah Livesay, DNP, APRN, were named Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing. Buchholz and Livesay were honored at an induction ceremony on October 26, 2019.
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