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Three Hopkins Nurses Among Health Care Heroes


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Posted: 3/23/2006

Two Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing faculty members and one alumna have been recognized as 2006 Health Care Heroes by The Daily Record.  The annual program salutes local unsung heroes in six categories: Advancements in Health Care, Community Outreach, Volunteer, Physician Hero, Nurse Hero, and Health Care Professional Hero.

Cynda Rushton, DNSc, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, was named a Nurse Hero for her leadership in the field of pediatric palliative care.  Rushton played a key role in the establishment of the Harriet Lane Compassionate Care Program, the pediatric palliative care program of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where approximately 150 children with life threatening illnesses die each year.  Since 2000, Rushton has served as the Center’s Program Director.  In 2003, she and her colleagues hosted the first pediatric palliative care summit in Maryland, which provided health care professionals, policy makers, and administrators with a road map for improving the care of dying children.

Dan Sheridan, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, also named a Nurse Hero, was recognized for his tireless advocacy for the nursing care of patients victimized by abuse and neglect.  At the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, he has created one of the first graduate programs in the country to prepare advance practice forensic nurses.  By providing direct care to victims of abuse, Sheridan has been a hero to thousands.  He has also been a mentor to a multitude of students and professionals by giving over 500 lectures on family violence and forensics and training others – nurses, physicians, police officers, social workers, military personnel, and clergy – how to assess for abuse and neglect and how forensically to document their findings in official reports.  Sheridan currently serves as the President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN).

Alumna Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, was named a Volunteer Hero finalist.  As Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Nursing Advocacy since 2001, she has donated over 95% of her full-time professional services to the Center.  While attending the School of Nursing, Summers and other graduate students came to believe that a key factor in the nursing shortage was the disconnect between what nursing actually is and what society thinks it is.  Under Summers’ leadership, the students formed the Center for Nursing Advocacy to increase society’s understanding of the central role nurses play in health care.  As the Center’s Executive Director, Summers has taken the leading role in nursing advocacy campaigns, outreach to the media and nurses, the construction of a website, and virtually all aspects of running the organization on a day-to-day basis. 

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing congratulates all 2006 Health Care Heroes.