School of Nursing

May 13, 2020

Congratulations to 2020 Nurses of Influence Awardees

Every academic discipline and every profession has individuals who are leaders. They lead in many ways—by providing new ideas, by advancing their profession, by being a visionary who defines new paths, or by being particularly adept at what they do and thereby inspiring greatness in others.

We annually recognize local Nurses of Influence. These are nurse-leaders who have had an impact on their colleagues, communities, and profession. They exemplify the qualities that make nursing the most respected profession in America.

Nurses of Influence are inspirational beacons for all of us. They are people deeply dedicated to their patients, students, research, and communities. They are people who care.

I am pleased to announce that the 2020 Nurses of Influence are:

Distinguished Alumni Award

Jose Pares-Avila, (BSN’09, DNP ’08, MN ’07) nurse practitioner, Harborview Medical Center and UWMC

This award recognizes a UW School of Nursing graduate whose career in nursing exemplifies excellence in clinical practice, leadership in professional organizations, outstanding accomplishments, and contributions to the community.

“We are joined by our passion, compassion, and energy to face challenges as we serve individuals, families, communities, and entire populations. It fills me with pride when I speak out about issues and populations I am passionate about because I know wherever I go there is a student nurse, a young nurse, or a future nurse who notices and gets the courage to pursue their passion,” says Pares-Avila.

Distinguished Researcher Award

Debra Ridling (PhD ’12), Associate Chief Nurse for Practice and Research, Seattle Children’s Hospital

This award recognizes an individual whose research, professional achievements and cumulative contributions have brought personal distinction, enhanced the profession, improved the welfare of the general public and brought honor and prestige to their field.

“Dr. Ridling is a shining exemplar of the excellence, leadership, and courage that the UW SoN seeks to instill in future nursing leaders,” said Rebecca O’Connor, School of Nursing faculty who nominated Debra.”

Distinguished Practitioner Award

Patricia (Pat) A. Blissitt (PhD ’02), Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist, HMC and SMC, and Associate Professor, Clinical Affiliate Faculty, UWSON

This award honors a nurse who demonstrates excellence in nursing care, serves as an advocate for patients, families and/or communities, makes a recognizable difference through their practice and embodies the essence of the nursing profession.

“I am proud to be a nurse for all it represents and what I see every day, nurses dedicated to the care of their patients, often going above and beyond to meet their patients’ needs. They work tirelessly on behalf of the patients asking for little in return,” says Blissitt.

Dr. C. June Strickland Distinguished Diversity & Transcultural Nursing Advocate Award

Frankie Manning, retired nurse executive

This award honors a nurse who advocates for the needs of underrepresented populations and communities, encourages dialogue and reflection regarding societal power imbalances; and demonstrates leadership in promoting diversity in nursing. This award is named in honor of C. June Strickland, Ph.D., RN, Cherokee, from the family of Hawkins and her career-long work in prevention science and translation/transcultural research with American Indians in the Pacific Northwest.

Frankie Manning plans and design systems to improve the number of nurses of color in nursing. She serves on numerous boards and community organizations where she directs her efforts to improving the lives of underserved people, and in 2019 the University of Washington School of Nursing selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential Nurses.

Distinguished Advocate, Administrator, Leader

Katie Johnson, Lecturer (part time), Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in nursing advocacy, patient advocacy, administration and leadership; serves as a champion for the nursing profession, actively seeks to improve nursing management, administration and goes above and beyond across the nursing practice continuum.

Katie Johnson is one of the architects of a nationally standardized school health data collection program designed to identify the needs of school aged children and the ways in which school nurses meet those needs.

“I’m most proud of how nurses work to meet people where they are in their health journey.  We help people stay well, help them recover when they are ill and work to advocate for those who are marginalized,” says Katie.

Distinguished Advocate, Administrator, Leader

Lois Schipper, Nurse Supervisor, Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, Children and Family Justice Center

This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in nursing advocacy, patient advocacy, administration and leadership; serves as a champion for the nursing profession, actively seeks to improve nursing management, administration and goes above and beyond across the nursing practice continuum.

Lois Schipper’s career has been covered a wide range of interests including home visiting, program development, supervisory and management roles. She has provided leadership to programs serving families involved with the child welfare system, first-time parents served in nurse-family partnership and work on child and adolescent safety and prevention.

“Lois’s accomplishment of 30 years in local, state, federal and international public health are astonishing and she is a role model for all of us,” said Dorene Hersh, who nominated Lois.

Peter Dyer Heart of Nursing Award

Trudi Inslee, First Lady of Washington state

The award acknowledges an individual or group who embodies the ideals of the UW School of Nursing and whose leadership, dedication, and contributions reflect an ongoing commitment to advance the nursing profession. This award was created in honor and memory of Peter Dyer – nursing advocate, donor, and friend.

Over the years Trudi has worked with local nonprofits that focus on the needs of women and children. As First Lady, Trudi continues to support social service programs and organizations that provide services for women and children who are victims of sexual assault, , food insecurity, and those who are homelessness. She is a compelling advocate for suicide prevention programs and a strong supporter of early learning programs and health care for all. She is currently an ambassador for Washington State Nursing NOW.

Read more about these outstanding individuals here