Share this article on:

NANN Announces 2013 Award Winners

Section Editor(s): Brittingham, Lori A.; Guglielmo, Kimberly C.

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000035
NANN pages: Celebrating 25 years of caring for neonates and their families

Board Member of National Association of Neonatal Nurses

Correspondence: Katie Macaluso, BA, National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 8735 W Higgins Rd, Ste 300, Chicago, IL 60631 (

The author declares no funding or conflict of interest.

Back to Top | Article Outline


Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award: Julianne Dahl, MSN, RNC-NIC

The Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award honors an individual who recognizes and encourages excellence in neonatal nurses who provide direct patient care. The 2013 recipient is Julianne Dahl, MSN, RNC-NIC. Julianne has provided nursing care to critically ill neonates for more than 3 decades at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. She has served her unit as a bedside nurse, clinical preceptor, and transport nurse, and she has always been dedicated to her patients and their families. Julianne is active in the NANN Chicago Area Chapter (CAANN) as the secretary and a current member of the Health Policy & Advocacy Committee. Julie served as Staff Nurse Director-at-Large of the NANN Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012. Her nominator describes her as “a wealth of information to the unit” and “an advocate for the patient.”

Navigator Award: Jennifer Hamilton-Gilpin, BSN, RN

The Navigator Award recognizes a person who demonstrates outstanding teaching and motivational skills, is clinically and technically skilled in their profession, and is able to share his or her experiences and viewpoints willingly. This person is also supportive, guiding, reassuring, and demonstrates and practices the goals and ambitions of the professional nurse as a role model for others. The recipient of the 2013 Navigator Award is Jennifer Hamilton-Gilpin, BSN, RN. Jennifer is the neonatal/pediatric and mother-baby patient care manager at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. With the support of her colleague, Jennifer transformed the culture of the department by developing a mentorship program focusing on team building, conflict management, and problem solving. In the words of her nominator, “Jennifer has changed our department's culture and has become a role model to other mentorship programs within our organization.”

Distinguished Service Award: Elizabeth G. Damato, PhD, RN

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding and dedicated service to NANN by honoring an individual who has advanced the mission of the association in a significant and lasting way. This year's recipient, Elizabeth (Lisa) Damato, is an associate professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Lisa has written many manuscripts and published abstracts allowing her to excel as the current chair of the Small Grants Committee, where she leads the work to oversee the application process, review submissions, and support the work of the recipients and mentors to ensure optimal outcomes and overall success of each grant. Lisa has served on the board of directors as SIG director-at-large from 2010 to 2012. In the words of her nominator, “Lisa is a remarkable NANN member who has donated innumerable hours of service to the association.”

Leadership Award: Carla Rider, MBA, BSN, RNC-LRN

The Leadership Award recognizes a neonatal nurse who exhibits superior leadership skills and demonstrates consistent excellence in practice. The recipient of the 2013 Leadership Award is Carla Rider, MBA, BSN, RNC-LRN. Carla is currently the administrative director in women's services at Washington Regional Medical Center in Arkansas, where she is responsible for 80 FTEs, 1 clinical director, 11 clinical coordinators, 2 clinical educators, and 1 informatics nurse. With the use of a 3-tier method, Carla has implemented the breastfeeding perinatal core measure at her hospital and developed a program where all 80 staff nurse members will become certified breastfeeding educators at the end of 2013. Her nominator describes her as “a leader and mentor who recognizes areas in which change is needed and guides change by inspiring followers and creating a sense of commitment.”

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award: Pamela Heaberlin, MS, NNP-BC

The NNP Excellence Award honors outstanding contributions by a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) to the field of neonatal nursing through exemplary practice, leadership, service, and education. The 2013 NNP Excellence Award recipient is Pamela Heaberlin, MS, NNP-BC. Pamela is currently an NNP at Children's Hospital Colorado, where she is active in clinical work and patient management. She is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University teaching many classes for the master's NNP program. Pamela is a member of the NANN Front Range Chapter, where she has served on the conference planning committee. Pamela also functions as an editorial board member for Advances in Neonatal Care. Pamela was recently appointed as a director-at-large on the NANN Board of Directors. As one of her nominators detailed, “Her caring and kindness to parents and family members makes her an asset to the [neonatal intensive care unit] NICU where she works, she is an outstanding role model.”

Research Abstract Award: Urmeka T. Jefferson, PhD, RNC-LRN

Urmeka Jefferson, PhD, RNC-LRN, is the recipient of the 2013 Research Abstract Award for her paper “Contribution of Breastfeeding Exposure and Attitudes to Breastfeeding Intentions of Black College Students.” Dr Jefferson has served in different roles in her career as a neonatal nurse from staff nurse to educator and now researcher. As an assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, she completed her PhD with an emphasis on maternal-child research and her dissertation focused on infant feeding attitudes, subjective norms, and intentions among black college students. Her plan of research will continue this stream of study with a focus on factors that impact infant morbidity and mortality.

Clinical Abstract Award: Carol M. Wallman, DNPc, RN, NNP-BC

Carol Wallman, DNPc, RN, NNP-BC, is the 2013 recipient of the Clinical Abstract Award as the lead author, along with coauthors, Linda McCarney and Wendy Barrett, on their abstract “Operationalizing a Comprehensive Competency Curriculum in a Large Multi-site NNP Program.” Carol is an NNP at the Children's Hospital Colorado and an affiliate faculty member at Regis University in Denver. With more than 25 years of experience, Carol is currently the coordinator of NNP education for the Children's Hospital Colorado and also works clinically in a community level III NICU. Carol has played an instrumental role in developing the Children's Hospital Colorado NNP Residency Program and also has participated in the development of their NNP Competency Program. She has been a longtime active member of NANN in a variety of roles including liaison to the AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn, chair of the Awards Selection Committee, member of the Nomination Committee, and 2 terms on the NANN Board of Directors.

Back to Top | Article Outline


The purpose of NANN's Small Grant Program is to build the research capacity of neonatal nurses. Through a productive mentor-mentee relationship, this award provides neonatal nurses who have not been previously engaged in writing research proposals or who have not obtained research funding to begin a research project in an area of interest. The following are the 2013 small grant recipients.

Small Grant Award-Research Based: Mary Ann Blatz, MSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC

“A Feasibility Study of a Smart Phone App to Monitor Breast Milk Supply for Hospitalized Preterm Infants”

Small Grant Award-Research Based: Patricia Fleck, PhDc, MSN, NNP-BC

“Mother's Lived Experience During Repair of Long-Gap Esophageal Atresia: A Phenomenological Inquiry”

Small Grant Award-Research Based: Michele Sweet, MS, RN

“A Pilot Study of Responses to Suctioning Among Neonates on Bubble Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”

Small Grant Award-Evidence-Based: Susan Kern, MSN, NNP-BC

“Laryngeal Mask Airway in the Newborn > 2000 Grams: Assessment of the Comfort Level of Delivery Room Staff After Hands-on Skill Session”

Chapter of the Year Award: Delaware Valley Chapter (DVANN)

This year's recipient of the Chapter of the Year Award is the Delaware Valley Chapter (DVANN). With 113 members, DVANN maintains and recruits new chapter members through their annual renewal and chapter drive and focuses on electronic communication as their main source of communication through the use of their Web site, Facebook, Twitter, and digital photo board.

All chapter members are invited to partake in educational, fundraising, and community service events. Within the past year, DVANN held 6 educational meetings and 2 events for chapter members. All educational programs were designed to discuss current issues and/or interventions that neonatal nurses face in their daily practice. DVANN values their members and spotlights a member in their newsletter, and holds an annual membership appreciation dinner where they grant 3 annual awards for professional development, international nursing, and their REACH award. Building long-term relationships with numerous corporate sponsors, such as West Branch Medical, has allowed DVANN to award 2 travel stipends to members to attend NANN's 2013 Annual Educational Conference. DVANN's fundraising efforts include supporting a Checkpoint Sponsor table at the New Jersey March of Dimes and raising funds for the American Red Cross for local tornado victims. In addition, DVANN members have taken part in several community initiatives throughout 2012, which include volunteering at a Ronald McDonald House dinner and donating supplies to Group of Empowered Moms as well as the Boys and Girls Club before and after Super Storm Sandy.

Chapter Educational Offerings: Southern Wisconsin Chapter (SWANN)

The Southern Wisconsin Chapter (SWANN) has been awarded the 2013 Chapter Educational Offerings Award. In 2012 to 2013, SWANN hosted 3 educational dinners, which included topics on edge of very premature infant, persistent pulmonary hypertension, and congenital cardiac defects. Each of the educational dinners offered 1 continuing nursing education contact hour. SWANN has continued to promote education in the Southern Wisconsin region by also offering educational offerings for neonatal nurses.

Chapter Communications Award: Central California Chapter (CCANN)

This year's NANN Chapter Communication Award is awarded to the Central California Chapter (CCANN). CCANN continues to actively communicate with its members to support both the mission of NANN and CCANN. With the newly updated rebranding of NANN chapters, CCANN has quickly adapted and updated all their communication vehicles with the new CCANN logos on all electronic and print items and social media networks. To keep up with the current social media trends, CCANN has developed and maintained both a Facebook page and Twitter account. CCANN publishes a biannual newsletter and recently updated its Web site to be more user-friendly, which includes CEU certificates, minutes, membership applications, meeting/event information, and announcements.

To learn more about this year's award winners, visit

© 2013 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses