UA Alumni Association Recognizes Six Health Care Professionals with Ties to UA College of Nursing

Six health care professionals with ties to UA College of Nursing recently received Alumni Association Awards

Six health care professionals with ties to The University of Arizona College of Nursing recently received Alumni Association Awards. The awards were presented by Christopher Vlahos, the UA Alumni Association president and executive director, and UA President Robert N. Shelton.

Sandra VanDam Anderson, PhD, RN, FAAN, former community health nursing professor at the UA College of Nursing, received The University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Anderson has spent a lifetime promoting health care for orphans, vulnerable children and under-served populations. She has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to expand the Joint Nations Program on HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Dr. Anderson was one of the first nursing professionals to organize a conference to focus on discrimination as an obstacle for HIV/AIDS patients in obtaining continuity of health care, and she has promoted nursing education regarding HIV/AIDS to countries throughout Africa and Southeast Asia.

Jessie Pergrin, PhD, RN, retired UA College of Nursing professor, received the University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

Dr. Pergrin has spent more than 35 years working and volunteering as a public health nurse, 15 of those years as the chair for graduate programs in gerontological nursing at the UA College of Nursing. Dr. Pergrin is a leading caregiver in regard to Alzheimer’s disease and was instrumental in founding the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Currently, she leads various support groups for Alzheimer’s caregivers and provides community and educational presentations on Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to her work with Alzheimer’s, Dr. Pergrin also volunteers with Mobile Meals and serves on the Pima Council on Aging Board of Directors.

Richard Polheber, currently CEO of Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital, received The University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Bear Down Award.

Mr. Polheber has more than 30 years of executive experience in major regional and national health care systems, including acute care, long-term care and behavioral medicine. He was appointed to the first-ever UA College of Nursing Advisory Board in 1987 and has served ever since. In addition, Mr. Polheber has served as the chairman of the Arizona Hospital Association and as Arizona’s delegate to the American Hospital Association.

Arlette Stevens, RN, MSN, NP-C, alumna of the UA College of Nursing, received the The University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Volunteer Award.

Ms. Stevens is an active participant in the College of Nursing’s outreach efforts. She is a member of the UA Hispanic Alumni Association, and serves as vice president for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), San Xavier-Tucson Chapter. In addition, she has volunteered her services to help increase the admission, enrollment and graduation of Hispanic nursing students.

Jane Carrington, RN, MSN, CRNP, current PhD student at The University of Arizona College of Nursing, was presented the The University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Graduate Student Volunteer Award.

Ms. Carrington has spent the last 25 years studying nursing and how it contributes to the health-care system. She developed and taught numerous nursing courses for Rio Salado Community College in Phoenix and has volunteered to guest lecture in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She has volunteered as the student representative for numerous events and will represent the College of Nursing at the upcoming Western Institute of Nursing doctoral forum. Ms. Carrington also is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.

Brandi Dilday, currently an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Arizona, received the University of Arizona Alumni Association’s Undergraduate Student Volunteer Award.

Ms. Dilday was elected President of the University of Arizona Pre-Nursing Club, Professional Achievements in Nursing (P.A.I.N.) in April 2006 and represented the club through August 2007. She volunteers to lead tours and clinical simulations, attends events with donors and alumni, and maintains a high grade point average.

The UA College of Nursing is one of the country’s most respected research institutions and is a leader in health-sciences teaching.