Honors and awards

honors and awards

New Fellows

Two nursing scholars have been elected to the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), one of the highest honors in the nursing profession. Marcia Holstad DSN FNP-BC FAANP FAAN has been a pioneer in HIV/AIDS nursing research since joining the faculty in 1986. She currently leads the Music Project, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The audio music program aims to educate and motivate people with HIV to adhere to their antiretroviral medications.

An associate professor, Holstad recently led the NIH-funded KHARMA Project. The behavioral trial used nurse-led motivational groups to encourage HIV-positive women to take their medications and reduce risky behaviors. She also piloted the project in Lagos, Nigeria.

AAN Fellow William Puentes RN PhD PMHCNS-BC FAAN develops and tests psychosocial self-management strategies for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. His expertise in gero-psychiatric nursing has strengthened clinical rotations and academic alliances at Emory. Puentes is a member of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Nurses Association. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and other publications.

Maternal and newborn health researcher Jennifer Foster RN PhD CNM FACNM now holds one of her specialty’s highest honors as a fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Foster was elected for her clinical work to establish the first midwifery practice on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, and for her efforts to improve maternal care quality by using a community-based participatory research approach.

Since joining Emory in 2007, Foster has been a pioneer in reducing health disparities for underserved populations in Latin America. She recently led an NIH-funded study in the Dominican Republic aimed at training nurses and community workers to interpret perceptions about the quality of maternal health services and disseminate their findings to mobilize community change.


Ken Hepburn PhD, associate dean for research, has been named an honorary member of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society for nursing. This distinction is given to non-nurses who demonstrate a special commitment to advancing the nursing profession and health care. His research exploring the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on caregivers has helped influence gerontological nursing science. STTI is honoring Hepburn for his commitment to nursing education and research during the past 40 years.


Ursula Kelly PhD ANP-BC PMHNP-BC was named a 2011 Health Care Hero by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The Health Care Heroes Awards program is one of the highest honors given to Atlanta-area health professionals. As a nurse scientist at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Kelly treats female veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual trauma. As an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, she works with faculty and VAMC leaders to implement evidence-based practices in nursing care.

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Fall 2011