Alumni News and Notes

Catch up with the latest news from your classmates.

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Robert Perz Memorial Scholarship

A young man in a lab coat smiling at the camera.
Campbell Veasey, MSPH

Campbell Veasey, MSPH, a third-year MD student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, was awarded the Robert Perz Memorial Scholarship at the Class of 2024’s White Coat Ceremony.

Perz, who graduated in the MD Class of 1984, passed away in a cycling accident in May 1988, a few days short of completing his pediatric anesthesia fellowship.

The scholarship, established by the Class of 1984, is awarded annually to a rising third-year medical student whose personal values and qualities reflect those of Perz. The recipient is selected by classmates. Students are encouraged to select a classmate who excels not only in their pursuit of the path of medicine but who also maintains varied interests outside of medicine. Even as a student, Perz made time to be a triathlete, pilot, cyclist, wood craftsman and friend. The scholarship is not based on financial need.

“I’m extremely humbled to receive the Robert Perz Memorial Scholarship,” said Veasey. “I’ve been blown away with gratitude to be chosen by my classmates to honor the incredible memory of Dr. Perz. I’ve truly never felt so supported by a school or community before. My plan is to work toward improving our nation’s primary health care system by using public health programming to deliver more equitable care to underserved and vulnerable populations. In addition to my academic side, I do hope to continue a work-life balance with all my camping and adventures in North Carolina!”

“Campbell is kind, humble, gracious and engaging to everyone – regardless of their role within the school,” said Yenya Hu, MD, PhD, assistant dean of academic excellence and assistant professor of general internal medicine. “He is a model physician-in-training.”

Three Third-year Students Named Albert Schweitzer Fellows

Caroline Minnick, Annie (Maddy) Thurman and Siena Hapig-Ward, third-year MD students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, have been named 2022-23 North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows. These students will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health and developing lifelong leadership skills.

Schweitzer Fellows develop and implement service projects that address the root causes of health disparities in under-resourced communities, while also fulfilling their academic responsibilities.

Minnick will lead a cohort-style infant safety training and support sessions to foster improved confidence and establish a support network for underserved and at-risk young mothers. Kimberly Montez, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, will serve as her academic mentor.

Thurman and Hapig-Ward will launch free ophthalmology services at a community center for people experiencing homelessness, expanding on a 2021-22 Schweitzer Fellowship project. Matthew Giegengack, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, will serve as their academic mentor.

School Ranks Second in NC for Graduates Practicing in Underserved Areas

U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranked Wake Forest University School of Medicine second in the state for producing graduates who practice in medically underserved areas, also known as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). HPSAs are used to identify areas and population groups within the U.S. that are experiencing a shortage of health professionals. HPSAs – identified using a list of geographic identifiers available from the Health Resources and Services Administration Data Warehouse – can be whole counties, a combination of Census Bureau tracts or minor civil divisions.

For this ranking, USNWR worked with the Robert Graham Center, a division of the American Academy of Family Physicians, as the data provider to calculate the percent of 2013- 2015 medical and osteopathic school graduates practicing in HPSAs. USNWR divided the number of physicians practicing direct patient care in HPSAs by the total number of physicians that graduated from each medical and osteopathic school. The analysis was based on allowing six to eight years to pass since graduation to arrive at location and specialty.

School Selected for 2022 STARS Program

Third-year medical students Alexa Lacy and Palak Patel were selected to represent the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the 2022 Choosing Wisely STARS (Students and Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship) program, sponsored by Dell Medical School.

Lacy and Patel will have an opportunity to engage with other students and faculty from around the country in learning about value-based care. They are both strongly committed to understanding how costs of care impact their patients and have recently co-authored a perspectives piece in JAMA Oncology on this topic. They share a goal of ultimately integrating their learning from STARS into the School of Medicine’s curriculum so that future medical students can benefit from this program.

Little Envelope, Big Impact: Match Day 2022

Two women smiling and embracing in a hug.
Congratulations to the MD Class of 2022 as they embark on the next exciting chapter of their medical careers! This year, there were 132 matches with 29 matching at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and another four matching at Atrium Health locations in Charlotte. A total of 43 students will stay in North Carolina for their residencies.

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U.S. News & World Report Rankings

The School of Medicine’s PA program remains ranked No. 7 in the country.

Crandall Awarded for Education Excellence

Sonia Crandall, PhD, MS ’03, professor of PA Studies at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, has been awarded the 2022 Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) Career Educator Award. This award is the SGEA’s highest accolade given to distinguished medical educators with a strong record of educational service, leadership and scholarship. The SGEA promotes the continuum of successful medical education by providing a forum for discussing the concerns of the medical education profession, serving as a resource, and acting in an advisory capacity to the Group on Educational Affairs and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

PA White Coat Ceremony

A young man wearing a lab coat holding a bobblehead doll and smiling at the camera.
At the White Coat Ceremony for the PA Class of 2023 held on June 24, Timothy Rousseau of Georgia proudly showcases his customized bobblehead figure.

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Academic Nursing

U.S. News & World Report Ranking

The School of Medicine’s Nurse Anesthesia program remains No. 10 in the country.

Brown and Henderson Named Fellows of AANA

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Brown (left) and Henderson

Courtney A. Brown, PhD, CRNA ’07, MSN, and Kristin Joy Henderson, DNAP, CRNA ’09, MSN, were recently inducted as Fellows (Class of 2022) of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA). Founded in 1931, the AANA is a professional association representing more than 59,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists nationwide. Fellows of the AANA are recognized as the most accomplished leaders in the profession of nurse anesthesiology. Earning this designation is a career achievement that recognizes select CRNAs as outstanding practitioners, educators, researchers, and advocates for the profession.

Ouelette Hosts Alumni on Hatteras Fishing Outing

A group of people standing in front of fish they caught on a fishing trip.
Sandra Maree Ouellette, ScD (Hon), Med, CRNA ’69, hosted several nurse anesthesia alumni for a recent fishing excursion near Cape Hatteras, N.C. Back row, left to right: Shannon W. Lamb, CRNA ’04, MSN; Bryan C. Lee, CRNA ’05, MSN; Daniel W. Lewis, CRNA ’05, MSN. Front row, left to right: Marie Jackson Dunn, CRNA ’12, MSN; Jonathan Dunn; Ouelette; Karen Hall Lee, CRNA ’06, MSN.

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Graduate School

Graduate Student Participates in AACR Hill Day

Steven Forsythe, a cancer biology PhD student at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, participated in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Earlycareer Hill Day annual event in March.

Forsythe met virtually with members of Congress to advocate for robust, sustained and predictable funding for cancer research and biomedical science through the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, on behalf of early-career cancer researchers. Participants were able to stress how important it is to invest in the future of cancer research and provide their own personal perspectives as the investigators whose careers may be most impacted by the support of this essential funding. This event was an important opportunity for the AACR’s associate members to engage in advocacy at the federal level and educate lawmakers on the progress and promise in cancer research.

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Edna L. Heinzerling Award

The Edna L. Heinzerling Award for Nursing Excellence is dedicated to fostering and rewarding professional nursing and is open to registered nurses across the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist system. The North Carolina Baptist Hospital School of Nursing alumni established this award in memory of Edna L. Heinzerling, RN, first director of nursing at North Carolina Baptist Hospital. Contributions are made by alumni, and the hospital has provided additional funding to support this program. The award given per recipient is $2,000. This program provides an opportunity for registered nurses to be recognized for their skills, leadership, education, volunteerism and dedication to the nursing profession, compassion, integrity, excellence and innovation. The focus of the award is a nurse’s contribution to improved patient and/or unit outcomes.

2022 Recipients:

  • Suzanne Fish, Urology Charlois, Ambulatory, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Cheryl Jones, Cardiac Telemetry Unit, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist High Point Medical Center
  • Sheila Mason, Peds Ortho Clinic, Ambulatory, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Emileigh Brewer, Emergency Department, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center

Atrium Health Nursing Leadership Awarded for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Atrium Heath has been awarded the American Organization for Nursing Leadership’s (AONL) Prism Diversity Award, sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The award highlights the advancement of diversity and inclusion within the nursing profession, community and across our enterprise.

Atrium Health was recognized as a national leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. As the national professional organization of more than 10,000 nurse leaders, the AONL is the voice of nursing leadership. Its membership encompasses nurse leaders working in hospitals, health systems, academia and other care settings across the care continuum. Since 1967, the organization has led the field of nursing leadership through professional development, advocacy and research that advances nursing leadership practice and patient care. AONL is a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association.

Class of 1957 Holds 65th Reunion

A group of older women sitting and smiling at the camera.

The RN Class of 1957 celebrated their 65th reunion on May 25 with a luncheon in Ramseur, N.C. Front row, left to right: Susie Keyes Davis, RN; Willie S. Hill, RN; Barbara S. Phillips, RN; Frances Alley Wilson, RN Back row, left to right: Frances Montgomery Burke, RN; Billie Jo White Cox, RN; Rita Truitt Thornton, RN; Roberta Shepherd Stutts, RN.

Harding Selected as Top CNO by Becker Hospital Review

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Deb Harding, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and regional chief nurse executive, was selected by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 66 CNOs of hospitals and health systems to know for 2022. This list was developed to highlight chief nursing officers across the U.S. With 20 years of experience in health care leadership, Harding was appointed regional chief nurse executive in February 2021. Prior to her appointment, she served as chief nursing officer for Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for 5 years.

Nursing Reunion

Three photos side by side depicting older women in a conference room and outdoors.
Nursing alumna gathered in Winston-Salem on Aug. 19 to celebrate their years of work in nursing and the legacy of North Carolina Baptist Hospital’s nursing program.

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