Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and AANP Fellow Capt. James Dickens suggested four ways to prevent a deadly stroke in his blog for the Huffington Post Black Voices column.

“Only 38 percent of Americans are aware of the major stroke symptoms and know to get immediate help,” said AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke in an AANP press release. “The faster people recognize symptoms and seek treatment – ideally within three hours of the first signs– the better the outcomes.”

Congratulations to AANP Michigan State Representative Dr. Beth Kuzma who was recently named an American Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2017 Faculty Policy Intensive Fellow. According to the AACN website, “Dr. Kuzma believes that nurses must harness their position to positively influence policy to improve patients access to high-quality, cost-effective care by providers who are able to practice to the full extent of their education and training.”

AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report article titled, “How Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia Can Hurt Your Health.” She shared tips to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Congratulations to AANP member Effie Martinez who received a 2017 DAISY Award for “providing extraordinary nursing care.” Read a press release about the honor.

Dr. Lynne Braun, an AANP Fellow, was quoted in an article about women’s heart health. According to Braun, “A lot of women put off taking care of themselves because they’re busy taking care of others and not thinking of themselves,” she says. “So they need to be encouraged to prioritize their own health.” Braun indicated that women’s heart health does not have a one-size-fits-all solution, so she encouraged clinicians to individualize treatment plans.

Congratulations to AANP members (and sisters) Eomba Pungu and Tsha Edith Pungu who were featured in an article by The Charlotte Post about their recent graduations from Winston-Salem State University.

AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke participated in an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) panel discussion on scope of practice regulations and health care reform. Watch the discussion.

Congratulations to AANP member Rene Revelle, who recently received the Advanced Practice Nurse of  the Year Award from Lake Regional Health System in Missouri. The honor is given to nurse practitioners who exemplify integrity, clinical experience and a positive attitude. Learn more.

AANP Fellow and Alaska Senator Cathy Giessel wrote a guest commentary on the recession that her state is experiencing and proposed solutions to the state’s funding needs.

Congratulations to AANP member Dawn Bova, who was nominated for the Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award in Ohio. According to a press release, Bova has a passion for helping families dealing with substance use disorder.

Motherhood Moment blog interviewed AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke about safety related to driving while drowsy and sleep deprivation. Read the tips she shared during Sleep Awareness Week.


Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

Congratulations to AANP Kentucky State Representative Dr. Whitney Nash and AANP member Dr. Sara Robertson who were honored as American Academy of Nursing Edge Runners for their work at the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center. According to a press release, “The Academy’s Raise the Voice Edge Runner initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that impact cost, improve quality and enhance patient satisfaction.”

AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report article titled, “How Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia Can Hurt Your Health.” She also appeared on Let’s Talk America with Shana Thornton to discuss Sleep Deprivation and Your Health. Listen beginning at the 18 minute mark.

For National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12, AANP member Kara Couch wrote an article on “The Art and Science of Wound Care Nursing.” According to Couch, wound care nurses provide patient-centered, holistic care, and they “talk about lifestyle choices, habits, financial concerns, the patient’s emotional state, and a variety of other factors that can be deeply personal but also incredibly relevant to their wound healing journey.”

Carol Warfield also celebrated National Nurses Week by writing an article that explains how crucial nurse practitioners have become to the health of patients nationwide. Warfield, an AANP member with 37 years of experience, also detailed the path she took to become an NP.

Drone use in health care was the subject of an interview that AANP Fellow and Executive Director of the Heath Wagon Dr. Teresa Tyson did for Rural Monitor. During an event held by the Health Wagon in July 2015, medicine was delivered by drone for the first time. Tyson sees additional potential for drone use in health care and said, “We’ve got a very large geographical footprint here, serving the indigent patients in far southwest Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains, so drone usage would provide a great opportunity to supplement the health services that we currently have.”

AANP member Lisa Rathman was quoted in an article describing methods Lancaster General Hospital used to obtain the nation’s lowest readmission rate for heart failure patients. Rathman explained that building strong relationships between providers and patients is key to reducing readmission rates.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, who received the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) 2017 Nurse Researcher Award at the March AONE National Conference. This award recognizes a nurse researcher who has made significant contributions to nursing research and is recognized by the broader nursing community as an outstanding nurse researcher. Read the press release.

AANP member Lauren Havens was quoted in an article about ways to prevent heart disease in young adults and children. Havens encouraged well-child check-ups and  suggested that parents “Let your kids have choices let them be a part of meal planning, grocery shopping that’s all very important and sets you up for good habits later on.”

Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

Congratulations to seven AANP members, including two AANP Fellows who were inducted into the National Academies of Practice (NAP) as a Distinguished Practitioner & Fellow of NAP on March 18. “Membership in the NAP is an honor extended to those who have excelled in their profession and are dedicated to furthering practice, scholarship and policy in support of interprofessional care.”

  • Doreen Cassarino, DNP, FNP-BC-ADM, FAANP
  • Catherine Concert, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, AOCNP, NE-BC, CNL, CGRN
  • Valerie Fuller, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, AOCNP, NE-BC, CNL, CGRN
  • Julianne Ossege, PhD, FNP-BC
  • Sallie Porter, DNP, PhD, APN, RN-BCC, CPNP
  • Nicole Rouhana, PhD
  • Wendy L. Wright, MS, APRN, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

More than 2.5 million Americans have opioid use disorder (OUD), according to a Pew Charitable Trusts article, and laws in some states negatively impact the ability of nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, an anti-addiction medication, to their patients. AANP member Christina Van Hilst is pictured, and AANP VP of State Government Affairs, Dr. Taynin Kopanos, is quoted in the article.

Congratulations to Dr. Lori A. Spies, an AANP member and assistant professor in the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing who recently received a 2017-18 Fulbright Global Scholar Award for her commitment to research in the field of global health. Read the press release.

“Architect, U.S. Navy officer, deep sea diver, college professor, nurse practitioner” and AANP member David Davis has quite a remarkable story. According to Davis, “Architecture and nursing are very similar. Both seek answers to programmatic questions. You identify a problem, seek an intervention, implement the intervention and evaluate the implementation.” AANP Rhode Island State Representative Dr. Denise Coppa served as his advisor and was mentioned in the article.

Congratulations to AANP member Tricia Bruketta who was honored by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. According to an NAPW press release, “A Nurse with 30 years of experience and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner for nearly 20 years, Tricia Bruketta is now the President and Founder of Memory DayByDay. The nonprofit organization specializes in helping people diagnosed with early-onset and early-stage Alzheimer’s dementia, and providing support to caregivers.”

AANP member Mendy Sharpe is a new family nurse practitioner, and an article highlighting her accomplishments indicates that she believes education for patients and providers is the key to improved health outcomes.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Tomas C. Walker, who was named the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) 2017 College of Nursing Alumnus of the Year. Walker leads a team that is working on development of an artificial pancreas to help people who have diabetes. Learn more.

Twin nurse practitioners are both AANP members and professors at George Mason University (GMU). A GMU article explained that Dr. Carrie Suter was the recipient of the AANP Virginia NP State Award for Excellence in 2016, and Dr. Rebecca Sutter will receive the same honor at the AANP 2017 National Conference in Philadelphia this June. Congratulations to both Sutter sisters.

AANP member Dr. Danielle Howa Pendergrass was featured in a Campaign for Action series that profiled leaders in the nursing profession. Pendergrass said, “As nurses, we have the ability to influence and create a much richer impact but we cannot do this unless we diversify our stakeholders. It is through cross-sector collaboration that we will make a measurable impact on health, well-being, and equity.”

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Alice Teall, who received the 2017 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Lecturer for her work as a clinical instructor of practice and the director of the online Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Oklahoma State University. According to an article highlighting this honor, Teall believes in creating a sense of community for distance learning students. Teall said, “In distance learning, faculty don’t have to be distant from the students.”

According to a local news report, nurse practitioners in McDonald County, Missouri, help improve patients’ access to care and make patients feel as healthy as possible. AANP member Frank Tisdale said, “Whether it be acute illness or even a long standing problem that needs to be addressed so they have access to us immediately.”

AANP member Lynn Aquadro was mentioned in an article about the 20th anniversary of a nurse practitioner managed clinic where she was the first executive director. Among the first NP-led clinics, the site continues to provide essential health care services to populations challenged by limited access to care.

A local news article described the role of AANP member Andrea Pedersen, who leads a new urgent care program at Massa Berry Clinic in Sturgis, South Dakota. Pedersen said, “One of my favorite things about healthcare is being compassionate. You really get to know families and build a relationship with not only the patient but the entire family.”

Congratulations to AANP member Lakshi Aldredge, who recently received a National Psoriasis Foundation 2016 Medical Professional Award. According to a press release, “Nominated by patients and colleagues, award recipients are clinicians who have made a significant impact in the psoriatic disease community and have joined NPF in our mission to drive efforts toward finding a cure and improving the lives of those affected.”

AANP member Dr. Jennifer Walton was featured in an article about preventing heart disease in women. The article emphasized the importance of cardiovascular screenings and indicated that heart disease is “the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths every year. It takes the life of one woman approximately every second.”

The demand for nurses with advanced degrees continues to grow in Indiana, and recruiters at health systems are working to fill hundreds of openings, according to an article that quoted AANP member Brandon Lee. Across Indiana, the number of nurse practitioners grew 35 percent from 2012 to 2015.

A local news article about telehealth quoted AANP member Thanh Nguyen. It indicated that anyone with a camera equipped phone, tablet or computer could use that device to reach a health care provider.

The National Quality Forum recently named AANP member Betty Rambur to its Cost and Resource Use Committee. Rambur will receive the AANP 2017 Advocate State Award for Excellence at the AANP 2017 National Conference, based on her work as the sole nurse on the Green Mountain Care Board which oversees innovation and regulates health care in Vermont. Learn more.

AANP member Amy Fennel was recently appointed by Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, to the Kentucky Commission on Women. The commission is dedicated to elevating the status of women and girls, empowering them to overcome barriers to equity and expanding opportunities to achieve their fullest potential. Read more.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Jamesetta Newland, who was recently honored by New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. According to a press release announcing the honor, Newland is a strong proponent of faculty practice and has extensive experience with nurse managed health centers.

AANP member Sarah Schroeder was pictured and quoted a local news article about ways that tenacity and technology helped a 72 year old cardiology patient recover after her heart stopped working.






FREE Diabetes CE Activities from AANP

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is proud to provide continuing education (CE) activities and patient education resources to help nurse practitioners (NPs) improve the quality of diabetes care in their communities. There are more than a dozen intriguing activities to choose from, including several with pharmacology credit. Register for these free activities (and more) today in the AANP CE Center.

These activities were planned in accordance with AANP Accreditation Standards and Policies. To complete the CE, participants must review all the content, take the online post-test successfully, and submit the online program evaluation. Visit the CE Center to register and view complete details.

Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

“During her 12-plus years working with chronic pain patients, Brett Snodgrass has stepped into multiple leadership roles: working with the Tennessee state legislature in developing chronic pain guidelines for healthcare providers, acting as an advocate for nurse practitioners by representing Tennessee in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and serving as director of clinical operations for LifeLinc Pain Centers.” An AANP Fellow, Snodgrass was profiled by Memphis Medical News. Read more.

AANP Fellow Dr. Wendy Likes was profiled by According to Likes,”Healthcare is evolving and will definitely look different in the future. I think some of the things I look forward to are where all practitioners practice at the top of their license, and advanced practice RNs have full practice authority to be able to do the things we are uniquely trained to do in order to improve access while maintaining quality.” Learn more about Likes’s career path and role as Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Ruth Kleinpell, professor and director of the Center for Clinical Research & Scholarship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who was elected the 2017 President of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).  Kleinpell is the third nurse to serve as president in the 46 year history of the organization. Read more, and follow Kleinpell on Twitter at @SCCMPresident.
AANP Fellow and former D.C. representative Dr. Andrea Brassard was featured in the February 6 edition of “Inside Scope” a cable program on Fairfax (VA) Public Access that will also air on 500 stations nationwide.
Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Mary Ellen Roberts, who was elected Chair of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB). Read more about Robert’s impressive career, her advocacy on behalf of NPs and their patients, and her new leadership role.

A study authored by AANP Fellow Wendy Wright, “New Hampshire Nurse Practitioners Take the Lead in Forming an Accountable Care Organization,” was published in the current issue of the Nursing Administration Quarterly journal. According to the study, “Patients managed by NPs working in NP-owned clinics cost Anthem an average of $66.85 less per member per month than the physician-managed patients. Data obtained from the Anthem ACO provide evidence that NPs provide quality, cost-effective health care. Our conclusion is that including NPs in Medicare, ACOs will decrease costs to Medicare through the provision of high-quality, cost-effective care provided by NPs. Access the journal article. Subscription required.

Congratulations to Louisiana State Representative Dustin Miller, an AANP member who will receive the AANP 2017 Louisiana Nurse Practitioner Advocate Award for Excellence at the AANP 2017 National Conference in Philadelphia this June. According to an article in Daily World, “Miller said his goal is to help people who don’t normally get health care. He currently works at a rural health care center in Acadiana. He has also served on the Louisiana House of Representatives health and welfare committee since he was elected as a local representative in 2015.”

The Jackson Recovery Clinic in Sioux City, IA, integrates primary care services with addiction treatment services.  AANP member Rachel Wurth serves as assistant medical director for the clinic, and she described the role of the clinic in stabilizing physical and psychological conditions to support recovery from addiction and treating new health care needs that arise as a result of addiction. According to Wurth, “This clinic isn’t just for while they’re in treatment, this is a lifelong primary care medical home.” Learn more.

Congratulations to AANP member Kim Choma who was listed by StatNews as one of the Top 13 Clinicians to Follow on Twitter. See what she has to say by following @kchoma.

AANP Fellow Susan VanBeuge was quoted in an article about nursing being among the most trusted professions. VanBeuge referred to the time involved in providing the patient-centered care for which nurse practitioners are known.

Katherine Reina, an AANP member, was interviewed for a My Nightingale blog on Latino culture in nursing. The benefits of being bilingual and sensitive to subtle cultural differences were discussed. Reina said, “As a primary care provider, I think health is everybody’s business and we all responsible for our own outcomes. Therefore, I strongly recommend that people take the time to educate themselves on the health impacting trends that are out there and speak with their providers about healthy choices that are complementary to their lifestyle needs.”

Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

What are the six easiest resolutions for better health in 2017?  A regular contributor to the Huffington Post Black Voices column, AANP Fellow Capt. James LaVelle Dickens shared his recommendations with readers.

Men and women experience heart attacks differently, according to AANP member Valerie Clark. In preparation for National Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, Clark wrote an article to educate men and women about the signs and symptoms of heart attacks. She also recommended preventative health screenings.

AANP member Greg Curry was profiled in a local newspaper, where he described his career path and role as a nurse practitioner. A recent NP graduate, Curry indicated that “a search for a more meaningful career and budding fascination for health care” were factors that motivated his career choice. Read more.

The flu is reaching epidemic levels, according to an article that quotes AANP member Emiley Button. Common symptoms of flu were described in the article, and Button recommended washing hands as one way to prevent the spread of colds and flu.

AANP member Justin Jeffries wrote an article about Hospital Readmissions for COPD that was published by Advance for NPs & PAs. According to Jeffries, “Education combined with adherence to current recommended pharmacological approaches appears to be the most effective way to limit COPD exacerbations,” but challenges remain related to patient and provider education.

CVS Health is supporting the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign with a $10 million commitment. CVS Health’s press release quoted AANP member Dr. Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for MinuteClinic, and announced free heart health screenings on Valentine’s Day. According to Patterson, “Many women do not realize that most regular cardiovascular screening tests should begin at age 20, and that knowing your personal health numbers helps you and your health care provider better determine your risk for developing future problems.”

Free CE Opportunity: A Three-Part Series on IBD

Members of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) often cite free, high-quality continuing education activities among their top reasons for joining and renewing. Have you visited the AANP CE Center lately? It was recently updated with a new, user-friendly design and includes more than 150 educational activities on a variety of topics.

Featured Activity
Treatment Patterns in Family Medicine: The Role of the Primary Care Clinician in Patient-Centered Management of IBD

Nurse practitioners now have access to three new CE activities on irritable bowel disease (IBD) with full pharmacology credit!

Developed by the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP), AANP, and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) in cooperation with MCM Education, this three part series addresses diagnosis and initial treatment options for IBD, as well as collaboration between primary care clinicians and specialists. In addition, the series examines patient non-adherence to medication and offers suggestions for fostering good communication with both patients and specialists.

This program is free to members and nonmembers. For more details, visit the AANP CE Center, today.


Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

Advance Practice Nursing featured an article about “Nurse Practitioners’ Quest for Full Practice Authority” that quoted AANP VP of State Government Affairs Dr. Taynin Kopanos. According to Kopanos, “Changing policy requires teamwork and cooperation. Being part of an association magnifies the NP voice and increases the chances for success. The best place to start is with education. Effective advocacy begins with knowledge of the issues, and then moves to sharing that knowledge with others.” NPs looking to join the cause and advocate for their state’s FPA regulations should visit

AANP Board of Directors Member at Large Dr. Jean Aertker reported that she was honored to represent AANP and her NP colleagues at Tampa General Hospital’s annual Advanced Practice Provider Conference. Dr. Aertker is pictured below.


AANP Fellow Dr. Emily Merrill was quoted in an article about Texas Tech University Health Science Center’s new Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Track. According to Merrill, there is a shortage of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. “The need has been so great for so many years,” Merrill said of the need for more mental health care providers. “There are very few providers. Even if we refer people for mental health care, we can’t book them for six months or maybe longer.”

A study published in Advance for NPs and PAs explored what the public knows about nurse practitioners. AANP members Alison Collier, Aluem Tark and Katie Walton were among the authors of the study, which involved a small number of participants, but found that when patients read an educational pamphlet about nurse practitioners, they had a greater understanding of the NP role and were more willing to make an NP their health care provider of choice.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Tara Bradner, who recently completed her term as an AANP Health Policy Fellow. Bradner worked to promote the NP role and had the opportunity to meet with legislators and health policy leaders. AANP AVP of Federal Health Policy Debra Swan is also pictured in this article about Bradner’s experience. Learn more about the AANP Health Policy Fellowship.

Everyday Health published an article on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) weight gain risks written by AANP member Dr. Kori Dewing. Dewing indicated that although some medications may contribute to added pounds, it is important to keep track of fluctuations in weight and exercise regularly. Learn more.

AANP member Christine Basile wrote a guest opinion piece on expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. According to Basile, “Increasing access to treatment is another essential component to effectively dealing with substance use disorders, and in November 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services did this by enabling nurse practitioners and physician assistants to begin taking the required training to prescribe the opioid use disorder treatment, buprenorphine.”

Congratulations to AANP member Connie Jastremski, who was recently appointed to the board of trustees for Southwestern Vermont Health Care. According to a press release announcing her appointment, Jastremski has an impressive career that includes clinical practice, leadership and research.

AANP member MaryLee Pakieser was featured in an article about legislation related to NP practice that was recently passed in Michigan. Read more.



Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

Congratulations nurse practitioners! You are all in the news today, as NPs rank second on the U.S. News & World Report list of The 100 Best Jobs of 2017! #NPsLead

AANP member Marie-Paule “Missy” Heylen was mentioned in an article about care provided by Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley Advanced Illness Management Program. The program received a grant from the Corning Incorporated Foundation to support their work with hospice and palliative care patients.

Congratulations to AANP member Lynn Toth, who recently received a $5,000 scholarship to continue pursuing her doctorate of nursing practice degree. Toth hopes to become a professor of nursing and continue her work to improve the care of heart failure patients. Learn more.

AANP member Allyson Reynolds was quoted in an article about Idaho’s shortage of in-home nursing care for people with disabilities. According to Reynolds, the shortage “…leaves parents as the sole nursing staffs for their children, unable to work or even to leave the house. It means more medical complications that result from a lack of professional nursing. It means more emergency room visits and hospital admissions, creating more costs for insurers, Medicaid, taxpayers and hospitals.”

A local news story quoted AANP member Nicole Charles, who educated patients about the connections between cholesterol and heart health. According to Charles, “A lot of patients don’t realize how their lifestyle is contributing to the possibility of heart disease down the road.”

Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

The effect that a personalized music playlist may have on a patient with dementia and evening agitation was examined by AANP member Dr. Elizabeth Long, who wrote a case report on the subject published by Managed Health Care Connect. According to Long, “Personalized playlists can be a cost-effective intervention to reduce agitation in patients with cognitive issues.”

AANP Fellow Dr. Sheldon Fields is joining the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) as dean of the School of Health Professions. “Joining NYIT was an immense opportunity to lead a comprehensive school of health professions with five departments, allowing for the interdisciplinary training possibilities necessary in our ever-evolving, complex health care industry,” Fields said. Congratulations to Dr. Fields and NYIT! Read the press release.

Congratulations to AANP member Donnie Scoggin who was recently elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. Scoggin indicated that among his motivations to run for office were health care regulations that impacted health care and a longstanding interest in politics. Several other AANP members were also elected or reelected to public office in 2016. Read the announcement.

AANP President Dr. Cindy Cooke represented nurse practitioners and AANP at the 21st Century Cures Act bill signing at the White House on December 13, 2016. Enjoy the pictures below, or view a video of the signing ceremony.

In a timely article published on New Year’s Eve, AANP member Kelly Rednour educated the public about dangers associated with excessive drinking – especially during the holiday season. Rednour encouraged readers to limit their alcohol consumption to ensure safe celebration. (Subscription required.)

Congratulations to AANP member Lynne Merriam who was recently honored with the Tampa JCCs and Federation Leo Levinson Award for Leadership Excellence. Merriam was commended for her initiative and commitment, as well as service on several boards and committees. A business owner, Merriam has been a nurse practitioner for many years. Read more.