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Faculty, alumni named to 2019 class of AAN fellows

Susan Dunn and Susan Walsh

Susan Walsh, DNP ’14, MS ’00, BSN ’80, APRN, CPNP-PC, clinical assistant professor, and Susan Dunn, PhD, RN, FAHA, associate professor, were selected by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) to join its 2019 class of fellows.

Walsh and Dunn were among 231 nurse leaders chosen for induction into the 2019 class, considered a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career.

Four UIC Nursing alumni were also selected  to join AAN’s 2019 class of fellows. They are:

  • Ching-Min Chen, PhD, BSN ’90, professor in the Department of Nursing, National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan;
  • Kathleen Kobler, PhD ’17, MS ’08, APRN coordinator at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois;
  • Linda Park, PhD, MS ’00, BSN ’96, assistant professor at the School of Nursing at University of California, San Francisco; and
  • Mayumi Willgerodt, PhD ’99, MS ’95, associate professor and vice chair of education at the University of Washington School of Nursing.

The 2019 class will be honored during a ceremony at the Academy’s annual policy conference, Transforming Health, Driving Policy, which will take place Oct. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.

About our faculty inductees

Susan Walsh: Walsh is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and a clinical assistant professor at UIC Nursing in the Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science. As director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute and Primary Care Programs and the associate director of the Global Health Leadership Office, she seamlessly integrates teaching, scholarship and service.

Walsh leads faculty and graduate students to Haiti to provide primary healthcare at a clinic in the mountains near the capital city, Port-au-Prince. There, she has worked with birth attendants to improve the cleansing of umbilical cords, greatly reducing the risk of infection and death in newborns, and initiated a campaign to encourage early and exclusive breastfeeding of newborns. Recently, she has started working with the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center to develop health literacy programs for its residents.

Susan DunnDunn is associate professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science. Dunn is one of the few investigators in the world studying hopelessness in individuals with heart disease. Her comprehensive and innovative research program is founded on a conceptual analysis that distinguished hopelessness from depression. She developed and tested the State-Trait Hopelessness Scale, which has been tested across populations and cultures by clinicians and researchers in 8 countries. Her research was the first to identify hopelessness as predictive of decreased home-based exercise in patients with ischemic heart disease.

Dunn recently received a $2.4 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance “Heart Up!,” a program aimed at increasing physical activity and reducing hopelessness in individuals with heart disease. She has been the principal investigator of six studies, in collaboration with co-investigators from psychology, exercise physiology, communications, and statistics. Her long-term goals include expanding interventions to other populations with chronic conditions.