Alumni Award Winners 2013

Distinguished Alumni Award 2013

The Distinguished Alumna Award is the highest honor given by the FPB Alumni Association to an alumna/us who has demonstrated continuous, outstanding, creative and exemplary contributions to the discipline of nursing or to healthcare.

Adeline M. Nyamathi, PhD ’83

Adeline M. Nyamathi is the Audrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Community Health Research, and Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for International Research and Scholarly Activities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing, where she has taught for almost 30 years. She is also a visiting professor at Anhui Medical University in Anhui, China.

She earned her BSN at Hunter College, Bellevue School of Nursing in 1973 and her MSN at State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook in 1978. She continued her studies and earned her PhD at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

A member of Sigma Theta Tau, Nyamathi has led an impressive team of multidisciplinary scientists as PI of nine NIH-funded RO1s, as well as a number of other NIH grants over the past 28 years related to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. She has had more than 175 articles and referred journals, as well as an additional 100 papers and presentations during her career. Nyamathi is currently a reviewer for Research in Nursing & Health, Nursing Research, and AIDS Education and Prevention.

In addition, she has extensive years of work with the correctional and homeless youth communities and in integrating culturally-sensitive nurse case management intervention studies into her research grants. Her recently funded RO1 targets rural women living with AIDS in India by means of a culturally-sensitive nutritional and medication compliance intervention delivered by lay village women (Asha) and nurses. She actively teaches in the doctoral program and is a certified nurse practitioner.

Nyamathi is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and of the Western Academy of Nursing. She was designated for the AACN Leadership Training for Academic Nursing Program


Award for Excellence 2013

The Award for Excellence recognizes an alumna/us who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement in nursing, and has made significant contributions in nursing or related areas of healthcare.

Elizabeth Anne Noelker, MSN ’88

Elizabeth Noelker, MSN, RN, received her BSN in 1974 from Kent State University and her MSN from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She began her nursing career at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Parma Community General Hospital.

She eventually became the Associate Chief Nurse for Long Term Care at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and has served as its acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services. In these roles, she has significantly contributed to improving the quality of patient care, education, and training in Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 10).

She conceptualized and implemented the long term care and hospital fall prevention program, a comprehensive restorative nursing care program, the long term care wound program, an end of life care program, and a culture transformation program all within the Community Living Center (CLC). These programs have been cited as best practices by Joint Commission, the Long Term Care Institute, and by VA headquarters. She also developed and implemented a “Restraint Free Environment.” The clinical success of this program was noted as a best practice by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO).

Besides writing a Hospice and Palliative Care grant that led to a Long Term Care Hospice Unit at the LSCVAMC, she leads cultural transformation within the LSVAMC CLC long-term care setting. She conceptualized the Brecksville Wellness Center for the LSCVA Community Living Center and provided ongoing education to staff and residents in weekly sessions.

A member of Sigma Theta Tau, she is chairperson for VISN 10 Associate Chief Nurse Leadership Conferences; the nurse leader for Long Term Care VISN 10 Readiness Review Team and Corporate Compliance and chairperson for CLC Performance Improvement Counsel. She also serves as chairperson for the Hospice and Palliative Care Oversight Committee, the co-chairperson National VA Nursing Leadership Counsel, chair of the Nursing Clinical Practice Council, co-chair VISN 10 Geriatrics and Extended Care Counsel, to name a few of her many accomplishments.

Noelker, who has served on the FPB clinical faculty, was the recipient of the Veterans Health Administration National Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing in an expanded role. She is also the “Shining Star” for Excellence in Nursing Management from the Nurse Spectrum magazine.


2013 Alumni Association President's Award

Sharon Anderson Speck, BSN ’61

Sharon Anderson Speck attended Muskingum College, and graduated from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing with a BSN in 1961. At FPB, a professor noticed she was having hearing problems and referred her to the Speech and Hearing Center. She was also having vision problems which were diagnosed as Retinitis Pigmentosa and possibly Ushers Syndrome. As her sight and hearing declined, her sense of balance has also become a problem. These disabilities in one sense limited her work as a professional but they also provided experience which stimulated insight and initiative as a nurse and community leader.

Following graduation, she became a public health nurse in Boston while her husband completed his doctoral course work. They traveled to Africa where he undertook dissertation research and she earned her British Nursing Registration in Zimbabwe followed by an appointment as "Sister in Charge" or director of nursing at Malawi's 262-bed African Mental Hospital in Zomba.

Upon return to the United States, two sons were born. Sam grew up to be a veterinarian, while Derek became a city economic development director. She worked part time as a nurse in Zanesville and Cambridge, Ohio. She also served as staff nurse at the Muskingum College Health Center, and nine years on the Zanesville-Muskingum County Board of Health. In addition, she gave her time as a volunteer with deaf children in the Zanesville City School system. She was president of the regional Self Help for Hard of Hearing People organization, was a member of the State Committee on the Education of the Deaf and the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Advisory Committee on Deafness and Hearing Impairment. She also served on the National Commission on the Education of the Deaf.

She campaigned for her husband's successful runs for the Ohio House and Senate and operated a "volunteer" home office during his years in the legislature. When he was president of Muskingum College, she travelled for the college and entertained approximately 2,500 people annually at the president's residence.

She and her husband live in Worthington, Ohio, where she remains active in women's groups and two low vision support groups. She enjoys tandem biking on the back seat and participates in two social dance clubs. Her goal remains to help other visually and hearing impaired people cope with these issues.


Mary Reed Dewar, MN’46

Mary Dewar was born in 1922 and grew up in East Orange, NJ. She earned a B.A. in history from Oberlin College in Ohio and a master’s degree in nursing at Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. In 1972, she received a master’s in Public Health Nursing at New York University.

Her first career was as a missionary nurse for the United Church of Christ in China, Angola, Zimbabwe, Southern Rhodesia, and Ghana. She taught 50 student nurses while being the nurse in bush hospitals with one doctor. All but one hospital had no running water nor electricity except by a generator which ran for a few hours for a night operation or X-rays.

From 1968 to 1970 she worked as the nurse on a team of three from the Christian Medical Commission, based in the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, doing surveys of all medical mission work around the world. She was on teams for Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and India. Her second career was teaching public health nursing at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY (1972-1992). She became interested in health policy and improving access to health care. She joined the Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan, which has fought for single payer from its beginning. She currently serves as its president.

Her third career, after retirement, has been focused on public speaking, lobbying, protest press conferences and strategy meetings for Universal Health Care, Medicare for All, and single payer health insurance.

She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses’ Association, the New York State Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau International, the honorary nursing organization. She is also a member of Physicians for a National Health Plan and its New York City Board, Single Payer NY, Health Care-NOW and UHCAN. She serves as the chair of the Public Issues Committee of the Long Island Council of Churches and is the spot person on healthcare reform forming its policy statement support of single payer. She also represented International Council of Nurses at UNICEF’s semi-annual meeting of NGO’s in New York, and she was an examiner for the Regents External

Degree Nursing Program in Albany. Active in the United Church of Christ at the local, regional and state level, she believes that health care is a human right.