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It is my pleasure to introduce the outstanding nurse practitioners, faculty and students in Alabama. We were privileged this year to have an excellent selection of nominee’s for the awards. When the award winner is announced please come forward to receive your award and have an official photo taken. So let’s begin:

Our first award is presented to the Outstanding Regional Nurse Practitioner for the Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association. CANPA’s award winner is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who serves Talladega, Clay and Randolph counties with Altapointe Health Services. When our awardee was hired there was limited medication management and holistic health being provided for the mentally ill in the region. Our award winner not only provided medication management, but provided primary care medical assistance which is much needed to fully heal. Our award winner is on the cutting edge of using tele-psychiatry helping more patients in her area by providing expert care. It is my pleasure to announce the CANPA award winner is Midge Blandamer.  

Our next award is presented to the Outstanding Regional Nurse Practitioner for the North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association, NANPA. Our award winner began her as a licensed practical nurse, and continued her education earning an associate degree, bachelor’s, master’s and post master’s from Troy University. Our award winner presently works at Thrive Alabama which she is responsible for the initiation, implementation and supervision of treatment plans and education for chronic conditions to include HIV care and care to the residents in her home community. Ladies and gentlemen, the North Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association Outstanding Nurse Practitioner is Samantha Pickett.  


Our next award is presented to the Outstanding Nurse Practitioner for the Advanced Practitioners for the River Region. The award winner has served as the president for the River Region and has, per her nominator, served her region well. 

This outstanding NP currently works as a nurse practitioner for Jackson Cardiology Clinic in Montgomery, AL. In her role as a NP in a busy cardiology practice she is responsible for the diagnosis and management of acute, chronic and long term health issues. Her special interests are in the diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure, hypertension and acute MI. It is my pleasure to introduce the Outstanding NP for the Advanced Practitioners for the River Region – Ms. Jo Shuford Guice 

 The West Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association nominee for Outstanding Regional Nurse Practitioner. The nominator for this awardee states that the winner is a champion for the nurse practitioner student which is the role each of us should be a champion. She endeavors to train providers who are dedicated to delivering high quality, compassionate healthcare to the people of She is presently working as a NP in the Good Samaritan Clinic where she provides primary health care to an underserved population. Not only is our awardee an outstanding NP she is also the specialty track coordinator for the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Alabama. Please welcome the West Alabama Outstanding Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Rebecca Martin.

The next awardee is from the Bay Area Nurse Practitioner Association. The awardee is an acute care nurse practitioner who is a graduate of the University of South Alabama College of Nursing. One of her nominator’s states that the awardee is “always professional, positive, and displays respect for the profession.” The awardee, Carmon May,is considered as a resource for providers including MDs, NPs, PAs and nurses where she is a NP at the USA Mobile Diagnostic Center in Mobile, AL. Ms. Carmen Mayis an outstanding NP and NPAA is honored to recognize her as the Outstanding Bay Area NP for NPAA. 

Educating the future nurse practitioners who will provide care to not only patients in Alabama, but nationally is a daunting task. For this reason NPAA recognizes Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Faculty from the stellar Universities in our state. 

The first outstanding educator awardee is from Samford University. Our awardee began her teaching career at Bessemer State Technical College in 1993 and continued her faculty role at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing in 2002 until 2017 when she transitioned to Samford Universityin the Ida Moffet School of Nursing. The awardee, Dr.Annette Hess, earned her PhD in Health Education/Health Promotion in 2008 and continues to use the foundation of her PhD work to serve as a nurse practitioner at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital providing primary care to indigent patients with a strong focus on diabetes care. It is with great honor to present Dr. Annette Hess as the outstanding NP faculty for Samford University. 

Continuing to honor our outstanding faculty in our Alabama schools our next awardee is from the University of Alabama.

The awardee is an adult acute care nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner who not only has earned her PhD from the University of Arizona, but also her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Southern Indiana. She is presently serving as the coordinator and clinical faculty for the Adult Gero Acute and Continuing Care NP program as well as the Registered Nurse First Assist option. It is an honor to present Dr. Theresa Wadas as the Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Faculty for the University of Alabama.

The next awardee is to recognize an outstanding faculty member from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Dr. Louise O’Keefe. Dr. o’Keefe earned her PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmigham with a focus in Nursing Research. Dr. O’Keefe is an Associate Professor with tenure at UAH serving in the College of Nursing. Dr. O’Keefe is nationally published, serves as chair for multiple student’s DNP projects, and has an esteemed reputation for seeking and being awarded grant funding to carry on the mission of a researcher -discovering innovative information. Please honor Dr. Louise O’Keefe

Our final outstanding educator to be recognized is from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. The nominator for the UAB recipient states that, “One of the things I am most excited to highlight is Dr. Buys expertise in public health and how she has impacted her teaching career with the emphasis on the importance of public health in primary care. Dr. Katie Buys developed a Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) project in the FNP curriculum in which students research, implement, identify, and present on the SDOH's that impact the communities in which the students' precept.” Please welcome and honor Dr. Katie Buys, Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Faculty from the University of Alabama. 

We know that our future lives in in our students and for that reason we, NPAA, honors our students by presenting Outstanding Regional Student awards. 

Our first award is to honor a student from Samford University, Rachael Steil. Rachael earned her Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration as a family nurse practitioner and is pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Samford University with an anticipated graduation of December of 2019. Her DNP project is “Expressive Writing to Improve Emotional Processing and Promote Adaptating When Faceing an Unintended Pregnancy.” Please welcome Rachael Steil, Outstanding student from Samford University.

The student to be honored from the University of Alabama Capstone School of Nursing is Dana Eicher. Dana earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Alabama in 2004 and recently completed her Master of Science in Nursing. She is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau International and Gamma Beta Phi Society. 

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing is honored to nominate Kelly Butler as the Outstanding Student. Kelly is an outstanding student who bring forth many skills…she is a former police officer who has life experiences, is dedicated to earning her degree to earn an MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner in order to practice in a rural area.

One of the most prestigious award NPAA awards is the Outstanding Alabama Nurse Practitioner. 

This year our honoree is Ms. Kathy Martin. Ms. Martin has a clinical practice in neurology, and has extensive experience as a NP in a Hospitalist services as well as many years’ experience within a medical cardiovascular practice. Ms. Martin has over 21 plus years’ experience in acute care and internal medicine practices as a NP. Ms. Martin is a very active member of the Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association where she has served on the Executive committee and works tirelessly in support of CANPA’s Annual February Conference. She has also help to facilitate annual donations to NPAA, and several charitable causes such as the Firehouse Shelter. Ms. Martin is a champion for NPs and students. Please welcome to the podium Ms. Kathy Martin, Outstanding Alabama Nurse Practitioner. 

The second prestigious award is for the Outstanding Nurse Educator. It is my pleasure to announce the awardee is Dr. Jill Cunningham. Dr. Cunningham is a Professor and Nurse Practitioner Department Chair at Samford University. She has been a board certified as a family nurse practitioner since 1998. She earned her DNP from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and her MSN and BSN from UAB. Dr. Cunningham was recently awarded a 3.5 million dollar grant to launch the first residency program house within the nursing school. Ladies and gentlemen, please honor Dr. Jill Cunningham

Our final award is the Advocacy Award. Our honoree has been a champion for nurse practitioners not only with in the University Hospital system located on the UAB campus, Mr. Brian Bates, but for NPs throughout the state of Alabama. His nominee stated, “David is talented and detail oriented and is a champion for improving practice for Nurse Practitioners.” His efforts to improve the work environment for NPs does not only affect UAB NPs, but NPs throughout the state of Alabama. Please welcome, the Advocate of the year, Mr. Brian Bates

As you can witness we have a wealth of stellar nurse practitioners, nurse practitioner faculty, students and advocates in our State. Please keep in mind that in 2020 we will be seeking nominations for awards, so please monitor the NPAA web site to submit a nomination for an outstanding NP.

Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama

PO Box 695, Decatur, AL 35602

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