STTI Announces 2016-2017 Participants in the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy

Premier nurse leadership academy made possible through 

STTI’s long-standing partnership with Johnson & Johnson

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) today announced the participants in the 2016-2017 cohort of the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy. The nurses in this cohort represent North America, and they join a previously announced 2016-2017 cohort of nurses and midwives focusing on maternal-child health in Africa.

About the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy

Since its inception in 2004, STTI’s Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, has prepared more than 300 nurses and midwives who lead health care teams toward improving maternal-child health in communities across Africa, Canada, and the United States. Through leadership lessons, self-assessment, interdisciplinary team development, and project management, the 18-month mentored leadership development program challenges nurses to implement change within their organizations.

Partnered with a nurse mentor, mentees (called “Fellows”) are led through a curriculum designed to develop leadership in action through projects that improve the overall health of mothers, babies, and children up to age 5. Goals include:

  • Influencing maternal-child health care practices within varied settings, serving hundreds to tens of thousands of mothers and children
  • Improving maternal-child health mortality and morbidity rates through nursing leadership
  • Growing and empowering nurses for leadership in prenatal care for rural clinics
  • Benefiting facilities through the retention of experienced nurses and midwives

"Nurse leaders, equipped with new leadership and management competencies, are changing the face of health care as they are better prepared to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities presented in their health systems.  STTI's Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy is aligned with Johnson & Johnson's heritage of improving the health of mothers and babies, and supporting the health workers who care for them.  We welcome the new fellows and look forward to seeing and hearing about the impacts they are making in their communities through this journey,” said Yezenia Ramos, Corporate Contributions Manager, Johnson & Johnson.

STTI President Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, FAAN, said, “I congratulate these individuals as they embark on a leadership journey that will pay dividends in their careers and in the lives of the women and children they serve. STTI is grateful to Johnson & Johnson Corporate Contributions for their continued investment in these leadership programs and the impressive global health outcomes they have impacted.”

2016-2017 Cohort Participants


Jennifer L. Aguilar, MSN, RN     

Welspan York Hospital

Catherine Bell, RN

Winthrop University Hospital

Felesia R. Bowen, PhD 

Rutgers University

Jeannie Connolly, RN, CNM, MSN          

West Florida Hospital              

Rachael Edjou, RN, MSN, NNP-BC, APNP, CPNP-PC        

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Warren E. Furry, RN       

Lehigh Valley Health Network

Carrie E. Gorski-Murphy, MSN, BSN, RN              

Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health  

Renee Maietta, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CBC       

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System            

Elizabeth A. McIntire, RN, MSN, WHNP-C           

IU Health Riley 

Lynda M. Nolan, RNC-OB, CCM

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Rachel Preiss, RN, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, SANE         

Dimcock Center                                            

Yesenia Sandino, RN

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Marilyn Smith, RN, BSN, CLC     

LeBonheur Children's Hospital  

Lisa Spencer, RNC-OB, MBA-NM, BSN

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Meredith Waldrop, RN

University Health            


Mary Bianchi, MSN, RN, CNS, NEA-BC

Lehigh Valley Health Network

Barbara L. Buchko, DNP, RNC-MNN

Welspan Health

Mary W. Byrne, PhD, DNP

Columbia University

Cathyjo Catalano, MSN, RNC

Winthrop University Hospital

Amber Clayton, MBA, BSN, RN

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Sharon Cochran, MSN, BSN, RN

Adjunct Faculty, Indiana University School of Nursing

Tammy Cupit, PhD, RN-BC

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston              

Kimberly Claire Hite, MSN, RN, RNC-MNN

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center               

Roger H. McBride, RN, MSN

West Florida Hospital

Mary O'Connor, MSN, IBCLC, MNN

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Jaime Panton, DNP, APRN, CPNP

Northwestern State University

Heidi Riegel, RN, MSN, NNP-BC, APNP

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin               

Michelle Saysana, MD, FAAP

Indiana University School of Medicine

Janet Tucker, MSN, RNC-OB

LeBonheur Fetal Center

Linda Tuggle, RNC-OB, BSN

LeBonheur Children's Hospital - Olive Branch



Carla Rider, MBA, MSN, RN

MCHNLA Lead Faculty

Katheryn Arterberry, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Northwestern State University

Billie Bitowski, APRN, FNP, BC, MSN     

Geriatric Associates

Sharon Harris, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

LeBonheur Children’s Hospital

Shakira Henderson, PhD, DNP, MS, MPH, RNC-NIC, IBCLC

Vidant Medical Center

Carol Klingbeil, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


Virginia Commonwealth University 

Julie Snethen, RN, PhD

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Barbara Woodring, EdD, RN

Georgia State University (Retired)


Pegge Bell, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC

For more than 90 years, STTI has honored the best and brightest women and men in nursing. The honor society provides its members with exclusive programs, resources, and opportunities, including leadership academies such as the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy.