JOHNSON CITY (November 6, 2012) – Dr. Patti Vanhook, associate dean for Practice and Community Partnerships at the East Tennessee State University College of Nursing, has been inducted into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).
Vanhook is one of only two nurses from Tennessee who received induction in 2012. The academy includes more than 1,800 nurses who are regarded as the profession’s top researchers, policy makers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners. Induction into the AAN is considered to be one of the most prestigious achievements in the profession.
Selection criteria for fellowship include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, as well as sponsorship by two current fellows.
Vanhook has made invaluable contributions to the field where she got her start – practice in and service to rural communities – and has been a significant voice in academic scholarship, especially in stroke care, since she joined the ETSU College of Nursing in 2007.
As associate dean, Vanhook has oversight of the college’s Faculty Practice Network, which includes 10 nurse-managed clinics that provide primary and preventive health care for residents throughout the region. Vanhook has secured over $19 million in grant funding to support those clinics and her research at ETSU. She authored the grant application that resulted in $6.8 million in funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to build the Johnson City Community Health Center, formerly known as the Johnson City Downtown Clinic.
Dr. Wendy Nehring, dean of the college, is an AAN fellow. She wrote the nomination for Vanhook’s induction submission.
“Patti’s accomplishments exceed each of the criteria for nomination to the academy,” Nehring said. “Her passion to meet the needs of the underserved and uninsured motivates her actions, which have led to tremendous outcomes for the ETSU College of Nursing, particularly with the depth and breadth of our nurse-managed clinics and the recent grant to build the Johnson City Community Health Center.”
A native of Big Stone Gap, Va., Vanhook earned her degree in licensed practical nursing and began working at her hometown hospital, Lonesome Pine Hospital. During her 18 years there, Vanhook not only worked as a bedside nurse and director of the emergency department, but also led an effort to improve the county’s emergency response by serving as primary instructor for the rural paramedic program.
She maintained a course of professional development that led her to ETSU, where she earned nursing degrees on the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Vanhook served as coordinator of the Nursing Magnet program at Mountain States Health Alliance before she joined the ETSU faculty.
Vanhook’s research focus is on caring for patients who have suffered strokes. She has been a member of the Tennessee State Stroke Task Force since 2006 and serves as chair of its Stroke Registry Committee. She has also been chair of the Tennessee Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Advisory Board since 2009.
“Having spent 45 years of my life in Big Stone Gap, I became familiar with the difference that the nursing profession can make in meeting the needs of rural and underserved communities,” Vanhook said. “Providing patients with access to primary care is a passion for me, and that’s why I’m so proud of our Faculty Practice Network. It’s one of our university’s best examples of service to the community.”