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Health care alumni, friends, honored with distinction awards

Alumni Mar 6, 2024
A red and white glass award on a table
More pictures of this event here

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions (SNAHP) honored the achievements of its graduates, as well as health care professionals who have contributed to the field, with its Alumni and Friends of Distinction Celebration.

Dean Susan Hendricks led the event, recognizing its fourth class of Nurses of Distinction awardees, and second group of Distinguished Friends of the School and Allied Health Professionals of Distinction honorees.

“This is the second year we offer the event as a unified school encompassing nursing and allied health professions, and the timing could not be better,” Hendricks said. “What better time to recognize and lift up those individuals who have distinguished themselves in teamwork, clinical practice, in leadership, and in collaborative partnership.

“Like few other times in history, healthcare professionals have been called upon to work together, lead from where we stand, and serve as a beacon of light,” she continued. “This evening, we will be honoring friends and health care professionals who represent the best of us, who light the way for others and generate hope in difficult times.”

Paula McKinney, vice president patient care services/chief nursing officer of Woodlawn Hospital, Rochester, was the guest speaker.

Those honored as Distinguished Friends of the School included:

  • Reba Harris, executive director of the Gilead House, Kokomo. Harris opened Gilead House, a home for women struggling with addictions, in 2000. Today, it serves women and men struggling with addictions, homelessness, unemployment, counseling, and career development.
  • Karen Scimeca, lead occupational therapist for Kokomo School Corp. She has worked as a school-based occupational therapist for the Kokomo schools for 20 years and has held the position of lead occupational therapist for nine years. She also serves on the district’s early childhood assessment team, autism support team, assistive technology team, and IEP cadre. She has been a mentor and field work educator for 10 years for occupational therapy students in central Indiana, including IU Kokomo.

Allied Health Professionals of Distinction were:

  • Amanda Waters, AS ’19. She has worked for Dukes Memorial Hospital in Peru since 2018, after 13 years at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette. She earned an associate degree in radiography, cross trained in CT, and passed her boards in CT. She is a clinical preceptor for IU Kokomo.

Nurses of Distinction honorees included:

  • Stacy Fackler, ASN ’07, BSN ’10, MSN ’13. She is a maternal health nurse and leader for Advocate Health. She has devoted her career to advancing women’s healthcare, particularly focused on maternal health equity and destigmatizing trauma, mental health, and opioid use disorder.
  • Renea Smith, BSN ’14, MSN ’18. She is the chief nursing officer for the rural/critical access hospitals for IU Health Frankfort and IU Health White, in the IU Health West Central Region. She’s been an adjunct faculty member at IU Kokomo and hosted high school EMT clinicals and MA clinicals to attract local students to healthcare professions.
  • Miranda Tedder, B.S. N. ’15. She is a family nurse practitioner at Community Howard Regional Health. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners Making a Difference, and an American Heart Association BLS certified trainer. She also volunteers providing physicals for Kokomo schools, and is a volunteer for Community Care Mobile and the Kokomo Jackrabbits.
  • Heather Wells, ASN ’07, BSN ’15. She is nurse manager of the med/surg and ortho units at Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo and is a board certified orthopedic nurse. She began her nursing career as a staff nurse on the surgical/oncology unit at Ascension St. Vincent in May 2007, before moving into her current leadership position.
  • Sara Wood, BSN ’96. She is a career center teacher for Anderson Community School Corp., working with high school students to attain their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification. She has certified more than 300 students and teaches adult CAN students in the evening. She worked 17 years on night shift in ICU and med-surg nursing.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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Danielle Rush, communications specialist

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