Students, Faculty Honor Northeastern Ohio Medical Professionals with Barbara Donaho Award

Nearly 30 northeastern Ohio medical professionals, formally known as preceptors, were honored at the Eleventh Annual Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Awards on Thursday, March 23. Nominated by nursing students, faculty and staff, the award recognizes exceptional nurses and physicians 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. “A great preceptor can have a profound impact on the learning, advancement and success of our students.”

The evening centered on empathy, as guest speaker, Mary Kutchin, Ph.D.(c)., MSN, RN, CNS, Kent State College of Nursing alumna, lecturer, and a 2015 recipient of the Donaho Award, reminded the honorees they were there because they made the students feel courageous and optimistic about a future in the nursing profession.

“Empathy is about connecting and must be demonstrated in context,” Kutchin said. “You have each demonstrated a remarkable ability to connect with our students. You have equipped them with the skills they need to connect with their patients and provide patient-centered care.”

Following Kutchin’s remarks, recipients were presented with an engraved crystal award as their nominations were read aloud.

Started in 2007, the award is named after Barbara A. Donaho, a long-time friend and supporter of Kent State and the College of Nursing. Since the awards’ inception, the College has recognized nearly 300 outstanding preceptors who have made a significant impact on nursing students and future nurse leaders.

Platinum sponsor for this year’s event was the Cleveland Clinic. Additional sponsors included University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, Western Reserve Hospital, Akron Children’s Hospital, and Trumbull Memorial Hospital.   

Congratulations to the 2017 Recipients:

Mary Becher, RN, MPA  
Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services

Margie Chianese, RN, CPN           
Akron Children's Hospital

Allyson Chicoski, BSN, RN             
Kent State University

Jacqueline Cleland, CNM              
Muskingum Valley Health Center

Jennifer D. Coleman, MSM, BSN, BSBA, RN           
Cleveland Clinic

Marcia S. Cornell, MSN, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, CEN    
University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center

Beth E. Cramer-Basso, MSN, RN, CNP      
University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center

Phyllis Gene Goldbach, MSN, M.Ed., CNS
Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Michele L. Griffin, MSN, RN-BC   
Cleveland Clinic

Grace F. Herwig, APRN   
Far West Center

Scott D. Hooper, RN       
Crystal Clinic Orthapaedic Center - St. Thomas

Donna King, MSN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN        
Summa Physicians

Crystal Lantz-DeGeorge, M.D.     
University Hospitals Medical Practice

Karen Mallow, CNP         
Premier Physicians

Emily L. McClung, MSN, RN         
Hiram College

Karen Moore, NP-C         
University Hospitals Westshore Primary Care

Naz Mariam Older, CNP 
Cleveland Clinic

Amanda Palmer, BSN, RN             
Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare

Christine R. Pfouts, RN, PCCN     
Aultman Hospital

Sonja (Sunny) Pitrof, MS, RN, ACNP          
Cleveland Clinic

Jennifer Salsbury, BSN, RN           
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Mary R. Sauer, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC    
Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital

Constance Saylor, RN     
Mercy Health

Angie Schreffler, BSN, RN, CLC
Cleveland Clinic

Danielle N. Stevenson, RN            
University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center

Kathryn Thompson, MSN, CNP    
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Susan Whittaker, MSN, BSN, RN, PMHNP-BC        
Signature Health Ashtabula

Morgan Wiggins, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC   
MetroHealth Medical Center

Jonathan L. Wilkins, LPCC-S         
Gateway Neil Kennedy Recovery Center

Michele L. Wilmoth, MSN, RN, LSN, NCSN             
Akron Children's Hospital

About Kent State University’s College of Nursing

In existence for 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, front center, sits with the 2017 recipients of the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award.

POSTED: Thursday, March 30, 2017 02:55 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 09:25 PM
Mariah Gibbons