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Wayne State University College of Nursing faculty members and alumnae named Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing

July 15, 2013

Two faculty members at the Wayne State University College of Nursing have received the most prestigious honor in their field: Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN).

Associate Professor Judith Fry-McComish, PhD, and Associate Professor Stephanie Schim, PhD, interim assistant dean for Family, Community and Mental Health, are among 172 global nurse leaders who will be honored for outstanding contributions to, and achievements in, nursing. They will be installed as AAN Fellows Oct. 19 during a special ceremony at the academy’s 40th annual meeting and conference in Washington, D.C.

Fry-McComish, who received her master’s in child psychiatric nursing (’71), doctorate (’84) and a historical certificate in infant mental health (’91) from Wayne State, focuses her research on infant mental health, clinical interventions for mothers and infants and autism spectrum disorder. She received her bachelor’s in nursing from Indiana University, Indianapolis.

As an endorsed Infant Mental Health Mentor, her teaching foci are primarily evidence-based nursing and infant mental health (IMH).

Fry-McComish’s research and scholarship have influenced the practice and science of infant mental health nationally by contributing to improvements in substance abuse treatment for pregnant and parenting women; and improved care for women with inadequate prenatal care and those experiencing perinatal depression. Her doula care research extended her leadership in devising innovative methods to promote mothers’ mental health through development and design of a smartphone application addressing perinatal depressive symptoms.

She is the recipient of the DONA International John Kennell and Marshall Klaus Award for Research Excellence for her research on postpartum doula care. As an educator, she led the development of dual-title PhD and DNP degree programs in nursing and IMH at Wayne State and Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute. The Wayne State dual title program in nursing and IMH is the only known program of its kind in the world.

Schim received her master’s in community health nursing (’81) and PhD in nursing (’97) from Wayne State and has years of practice and leadership experience in community health. She holds bachelor’s degrees from The University of Michigan and Cornell University – The New York Hospital School of Nursing.

Schim is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an advanced public health nurse. At Wayne State, she has taught across all levels of the curriculum and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
She is recognized as a national and international leader in cultural competence and known for the 3-D Puzzle Model, a theoretical framework for culturally congruent patient care. Seeing the importance for health care providers to better understand a patient’s cultural sensitivity and competence, Schim also is part of a team of researchers who developed the Cultural Competence Assessment (CCA) instrument to factor a patient’s cultural experiences, awareness, sensitivity and competence behaviors when implementing care.

The CCA tool is used across numerous disciplines, including dentistry, pharmacy, dietetics, social work, kinesiology and information science. The impact of Schim's work is demonstrated by use of the CCA tool in 45 states, 19 countries and its translation in 10 languages.

Fry-McComish and Schim join 10 Wayne State College of Nursing faculty members as Academy Fellows, a group comprising more than 2,000 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Academy Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans and renowned scientific researchers. With this new class, AAN Fellows will represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 19 countries.

Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two Academy Fellows. Selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.

Five other WSU alumnae also were named Fellows this year:

• Jill E. Bormann, PhD (Nursing ’95), RN, clinical nurse specialist;
• Patricia Clinton, PhD, RN, advanced registered nurse practitioner (master’s, College of Education, ’65);
• Carla J. Groh, PhD, RN, advanced registered nurse practitioner (master’s Nursing ’78);
• Joanne Olson, PhD (Nursing ’93), RN;
• Teresa J.C. Yin, PhD, RN (master’s Nursing ’82).

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.











Photos: (left to right) Judith Fry-McComish, Stephanie Schim