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  • Pittsburgh Magazine

Pittsburgh Magazine Honors Hometown Heroes with 2021 Excellence in Nursing Awards


The pandemic has killed more than 700,000 Americans, a disproportionate number of whom were people of color or the underserved. This crisis has taken a heavy toll on the nursing community — especially those who served on the front lines, supporting patients and helping families communicate with their very ill loved ones.

But as harrowing as this has been, I’ve often felt inspired and hopeful.

Why? Because COVID-19 has shown the world the important role nurses play in health care — not because they have no fear but because they approach their work and care for patients despite their fear with the utmost compassion.

On behalf of the Pittsburgh community, I would like to extend our collective thanks, gratitude and appreciation to all of the nurses and nursing students who responded to those in need. Join me in congratulating the 2021 Excellence in Nursing Award recipients who are recognized in this issue. They have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and courage.

– Mary Ellen Glasgow Dean and Professor, Duquesne University School of Nursing; Chair, Pittsburgh Magazine Excellence in Nursing Selection Committee

View the nominees!


Pandemic Response Hero

Mark Cashioli, Infusion Nurse, Chartwell Specialty Pharmacy Jonna L. Morris, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Judith A. Shovel, Improvement Specialist, Clinical Improvement Department, Wolff Center at UPMC

Leadership Krista Bragg, Chief Operating Officer, Allegheny Health Network Christin M. Durham, Associate Chief Nurse, Primary Care, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Nancy Gross, RN Director, Butler Health System Geralyn Lee, Clinical Director, UPMC Home Healthcare

Emerging Leader Ashleigh Anderson, Senior Professional Staff Nurse, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Tammy Barker-Fleming, Unit Director Neuro/Trauma, UPMC Presbyterian Hospital Leanne Feil, ER Case Management Access Nurse, Butler Health System Amber Kolesar, Instructor and Director, Second-Degree BSN Program, Duquesne University School of Nursing Tara Stickley, Unit Director, Womancare Birth Center, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

Advanced Practitioner Erin Q. Dieter, Palliative Medicine, Excela Health Medical Group Joyce Knestrick, Associate Professor, George Washington University School of Nursing (Visiting Professor; Family Nurse Practitioner from Washington, Pa.) Charles Warner, Nurse Practitioner, Critical Care Medicine, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

Clinician Mandy Emmick, Registered Nurse/Case Manager, UPMC Home Healthcare Christopher Hornberger, Registered Nurse, 7T Telemetry, Butler Memorial Hospital Catherine “Caty” Thomas, Clinical Education Specialist, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

Community Mary Jo Bellush and Deborah Schotting, Infection Preventionists, Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital Elizabeth DiLembo, Project Manager, COVID Vaccine Clinic, Quality, Clinical Documentation Specialist, Excela Health

Academic Janet Barber, Standardized Patient Manager, Robert Morris University Richard Henker, Professor, Department of Nurse Anesthesia, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Rebecca Kronk, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Duquesne University

Researcher Susan W. Wesmiller, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing


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