2018 Alumni Award winners celebrated at REUNION

UIC College of Nursing 2018 Alumni Award winners

The UIC College of Nursing honored four nurse leaders as it handed out its top alumni awards at the all-alumni REUNION on Oct. 13.

Paul Kuehnert, DNP ’12, MS ’91, associate vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was awarded the UIC College of Nursing’s 40th annual Distinguished Alumnus Award at the college’s REUNION on Oct. 13.

“This award is given to UIC Nursing alumnus Paul Kuehnert, for his distinguished career in nursing, public health, and community based organizations; his success in working with diverse and vulnerable populations; and for his far-reaching leadership and influence in helping people lead healthier lives,” said UIC College of Nursing Dean Terri Weaver at the event.

Kuehnert, whose first job was on the pediatric floor at University of Illinois Hospital in 1975, says UIC played “an incredibly important role” in his professional growth and development and provided a platform of support.

“All of us are standing on the shoulders of the nurses that went before us,” he said. “We really do have an obligation to honor them. We honor them best by always inspiring to do and be our best: To be the best we can as members of our profession and by supporting this college so others will be able to follow us into he future.”

Also at the REUNION, the college introduced the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. The first winners are three noteworthy alumni:

  • Julie Creamer, MS ’91, is president of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. A leader at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare for 28 years, she has influenced everything from strategic planning and facilities expansion to quality-of-care improvements and IT implementations.
  • Judith Hicks, MS ’75, is founder and president of Beechwood Health Solutions, a consultancy that helps clients identify and implement innovative healthcare service-delivery models to increase profit. An enormously successful professional who has founded and grown multiple businesses, she was named Ernst & Young’s Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006.
  • Mary Maryland, PhD ’94, FAAN, has spent four decades as a clinician, scholar, administrator and educator in nursing. A true leader in the profession, she has held influential roles in the Illinois Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Cancer Society, both nationally and in Illinois.