Four receive inaugural Nursing Shining Star Awards

Four nursing superstars—a faculty member, a student, and two Johns Hopkins Health System nurses—are the inaugural winners of the Johns Hopkins Nursing Shining Star Awards.

The awards were bestowed during An Evening With the Stars, a celebration held Sept. 29 under the stars in the courtyard of the School of Nursing's Anne M. Pinkard Building. Five others were recognized as runners-up.

The nurses were nominated by their peers at the School of Nursing and Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals, chosen as finalists by each institution's leadership, and selected as winners by a committee of nurse leaders.

Faculty winner Kathryn Kushto-Reese, a clinical instructor in Acute and Chronic Care, coordinates two baccalaureate nursing courses and works to develop and implement the School of Nursing's Simulation program. She's known for her dedicated mentorship of new faculty members, and "her ability to teach her students in a manner that inspires is a true gift in academia." The runner-up is Kathleen Becker, an assistant professor in Community-Public Health and a nurse practitioner at Health Care for the Homeless.

The baccalaureate student finalist was recognized for her tireless work promoting women's health. She is an advocate for women experiencing domestic violence (her name is unpublished because she is a survivor herself) and leads the school's Birth Companions Program, assigning student peer birth companions to assist pregnant Baltimore women before, during, and after giving birth. Her nominator described her as a leader for her peer birth companions and "a true patient advocate, empowering patients to make their own decisions about labor and birth." The runner-up is Rebecca Coppola, a graduate student in the MSN/MPH program, who serves as leader of the school's Graduate Student Organization. 

Health System winners are Sherry Belcher, a clinical leader in the emergency center at All Children's Hospital; and Deborah Michell, a nurse clinician in Medical Nursing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, who coordinates care for complex HIV/AIDS patients. Runners-up are Lori Keim, a nursing informatics associate at Sibley Memorial Hospital; Kathy Lee-Wisdom, a wound care nurse at Howard County General Hospital; and Chona Umali, an oncology staff nurse at Suburban Hospital.

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