Northeastern Ohio Medical Professionals Honored with Distinguished Leadership Award

Kent State University College of Nursing honored more than 20 northeastern Ohio medical professionals, known as preceptors, at the Twelfth Annual Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Awards on Wednesday, April 11. Nominated by nursing students, faculty and staff, the award recognizes exceptional nurses, physicians and healthcare administrators for generously donating their time to mentor and train Kent State’s nursing students in clinical settings.

“Precepting is an enormous responsibility taken on by individuals who wish to encourage and guide the next generation of nursing professionals,” said Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the college. “We are so grateful to have this opportunity to recognize their significant contributions to the next generation of nursing professionals.”

Guest speaker, Kelly Hancock, Executive Chief Nursing Officer for Cleveland Clinic Health Systems and the Chief Nursing Office for Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, praised the award recipients for showing the nursing students the real-world daily life of a nurse and providing each with courage to see who he or she could become as a registered nurse.      

“A preceptor is the missing link a student needs to open the door to knowledge and practice integration,” Hancock said. “You feel the emotional reward every day, but know that the depth of impact you have on these students is simply indelible. Thank you for giving the next generation the opportunity to see what they can become.”

Following Hancock’s remarks, recipients received an engraved crystal award as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Louise Knox, DNP, FNP-BC, assistant professor at Kent State University College of Nursing, read their nominations aloud.

Named after Barbara A. Donaho, a long-time friend and supporter of Kent State and the College of Nursing, the award signifies the preceptor’s impact on nursing students and future nurse leaders. The College has recognized more than 300 outstanding preceptors since the awards’ inception in 2007.

Platinum sponsor for this year’s event was the Cleveland Clinic. Additional sponsors included Western Reserve Hospital, University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, Summa Health and Trumbull Regional Medical Center.  George Bachman, classical guitarist and retired faculty member of Kent State University’s Hugh A. Glauser School of Music and harpist, Ellen Eckhouse, provided the evening’s musical entertainment.    

Congratulations to the 2018 Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Awards Recipients:

  • Nancy D. Bair, MSN, APRN-CNS-BC, Cleveland Clinic
  • Maggie Baker, BSN, RN, Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Sarah Bixler, MSN, RN, Kent State University College of Nursing
  • Karrie N. Boss, BSN, RN, CCRN, Wooster Community Hospital
  • Christina M. Canfield, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-E, Cleveland Clinic
  • Wendy Eisenloeffel, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Matthew Gooch, MSN, APRN, Internal Medicine Physicians
  • Michelle Johnston, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital
  • Janeen S. Kotsch, MSN, RN, Kent State University Salem Campus
  • Heather Mahmood, BSN, RN, Cleveland Clinic Akron General
  • Laura Michalczik, RN, Summa Health Akron City
  • Lorann Murphy, MSN, APRN-BC, PsychBC
  • Leonor Osorio, DO, Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital
  • Lisa Pfiffner, MSN, RN, Cleveland Clinic Akron General
  • Brenda K. Ritz, MSN, APRN, Psycare, Inc.
  • Madison Rogers, BSN, RN, Mercy Medical Center
  • Laura J. Rose, MSN, APRN, NP-C, Cleveland Clinic Beachwood Family Health Center
  • Deborah Safier, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, Psycare, Inc.
  • Carol Santalucia, MBA, Cleveland Clinic
  • Rebecca Sepos, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, Summa Health
  • Jagjit Singh, MSN, APNP, Kent State University College of Nursing
  • Linda Ann Strong, MSN, APRN, CPNP, CNE, Cuyahoga Community College
  • Sarah Tarter, MD, Summa Health Medical Group
  • James K. Tudhope, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Portage Path Behavioral Health
  • Jared N. Yun, BSN, RN, University Hospitals Portage Medical Center

About Kent State University’s College of Nursing

In existence for more than 50 years, the College of Nursing at Kent State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in the nation with more than 12,000 alumni worldwide. As part of Kent State’s eight-campus system, the college provides more than 2,000 nursing students courses of study at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. To learn more about nursing programs at Kent State, please visit


PHOTO CUTLINE: Barbara Donaho, far right front, sits with the 2018 recipients of the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award.

POSTED: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 10:07am
UPDATED: Monday, April 16, 2018 - 10:37am
Mariah Gibbons