U-M School of Nursing Announces Recipients of 2023 Alumni Awards

The University of Michigan School of Nursing has announced the recipients of its 2023 Alumni Awards. They are Chin Hwa (Gina) Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP (MS 2005, Ph.D. 2010); Suzanne Miyamoto, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (BSN 2002, MS 2004, Ph.D. 2009); and Daniel Pesut, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (Ph.D. 1984).

According to U-M School of Nursing Dean Patricia Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, this year’s recipients have not only made impactful contributions to the nursing profession throughout their distinguished careers, but have also affected meaningful and lasting change across the health care industry.

“This year’s award recipients are trailblazers, innovators and visionaries. Whether caring for patients at the bedside, teaching the next generation of nurses, performing critical nursing research, or advocating for health policy change, each has dared to tackle some of the most complex and pressing issues facing our health care system and society today. They not only accepted these challenges, but they also embraced them for the benefit and health of all,” said Dean Hurn. “They represent the pinnacle of our school and profession. They are truly leaders and best.” The awards will be presented during the School of Nursing’s 2023 reunion celebration on Friday, Sept. 22.

Dr. Gina Dahlem Excellence in Nursing Research and Scholarship AwardExcellence in Nursing Research and Scholarship Award

Dr. Gina Dahlem has been named the recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Research and Scholarship Award. Dr. Dahlem’s scientific research findings and clinical scholarship have led to significant changes in clinical practice and health policy in Michigan and beyond.

In addition to her appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, Dr. Dahlem maintains an active practice as a family nurse practitioner, delivering primary care services for complex care populations, particularly for people experiencing homelessness. Dr. Dahlem’s research focuses on developing and implementing innovative models of care through community-engaged interventions to reduce the burden associated with drug overdoses.

Dr. Dahlem was nominated by Charles Yingling, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, clinical professor and associate dean for professional practice, U-M School of Nursing.

“Dr. Dahlem centers collaboration and community engagement in her leadership. Her work in overdose prevention and treatment for substance use disorder is a model for how community-responsive scholarship looks when a nurse is at the helm. Rather than emanating from the rarified halls of academia, Dr. Dahlem’s work starts in the community and engages diverse stakeholders to meaningfully improve health in our region and beyond,” said Dr. Yingling.

In reflecting on the honor, Dr. Dahlem noted the impact the School of Nursing has had on her career.

“It is no exaggeration to say that my entire nursing career has been shaped by the University of Michigan, and the recognition of my fellow alumni is a great encouragement to continue the work that I feel called to do,” she said. “My graduate studies taught me the theory and skills needed to practice as a nurse and apply my research back into practice, but it was the relationships formed with other students and faculty that taught me partnership, collaboration, and the value of working as a team.”

Dr. Suzanne Miyamoto Social and Political Advocacy AwardSocial and Political Advocacy Award

Dr. Suzanne Miyamoto is the recipient of the Social and Political Advocacy Award. As chief executive officer of the American Academy of Nursing, Dr. Miyamoto has committed her career to transforming

health policy by bringing the voice of the nursing profession to legislators in Congress and the Executive Branch. Her advocacy of the nursing profession has supported key legislation such as the Higher Education Reauthorization Act in 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act in 2018.

Dr. Miyamoto is recognized across the industry as a convener, thought leader and consensus builder. In 2008, she led the formalization of the landmark Nursing Community Coalition, the largest national nursing coalition focused on inserting the voice of the profession in health policy discussions.

Dr. Miyamoto was nominated by Suzanne Bellinger Feetham, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, nursing research consultant, Children’s National Hospital, and professor emeritus, University of Illinois Chicago; and Ada Sue Hinshaw, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean emerita, U-M School of Nursing, and dean emeritus, Uniformed Services University.

“As an outstanding visionary graduate of the School of Nursing, Dr. Miyamoto has advanced the impact of nursing and nurses in policy change to improve health outcomes and bring the voice of nursing to national policy tables,” remarked Dr. Feetham. “Dr. Miyamoto recognizes the importance of all nurses knowing the significance of policy to health outcomes and nurses being responsible to inform policy. Few nurses have had this significant impact on policy at the national level.”

Dr. Miyamoto summarizes her education at the U-M School of Nursing in one word – transformative.

“I would not be where I am today if it were not for my experience and education at U-M that inspired me to pursue policy. My professors and mentors were integral to shaping my approach to leadership and helped me discover my passion for advocacy. It was through my time here that I realized how much nurses could impact health care and system change by amplifying their voice in policy discussions,” she said. “Every U-M School of Nursing graduate knows that we must be bold and be brave, because our school instilled in us that we must dare to change the world.”

Dr. Daniel Pesut Career Lifetime Achievement AwardCareer Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Daniel Pesut, emeritus professor of nursing at the University of Minnesota and emeritus professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing, has been named the recipient of the Career Lifetime Achievement Award. As a nurse educator, academic, researcher and coach, Dr. Pesut is known for his ability to inspire and encourage people as they develop creative ideas and design innovative practices.

Dr. Pesut, who is a past president of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, is internationally known for his work in reflective clinical reasoning, nursing education, psychiatric mental health nursing and leadership development. His research interests include volitional psychosomatic self-regulation, clinical reasoning, creative thinking, innovation, future studies and leadership development. He speaks on the topics of creative, complexity, and integral thinking, clinical reasoning in nursing and foresight leadership. Throughout his professional career he has been interested in how the creative process supports personal and professional development, enhances reasoning and scientific thinking, and promotes innovations in health care.

In fact, Dr. Pesut’s Ph.D. dissertation, Metacognition: The Self-Regulation of Creative Thought in Nursing (Pesut, 1984), set the stage for research, development, and testing of innovative educational practices and models that support teaching and learning of creative and clinical reasoning skills.

Dr. Pesut was nominated for this award by Shaké Ketefian, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, professor emerita, U-M School of Nursing.

“Dr. Pesut has achieved a unique zenith in the annals of nursing leadership,” said Dr. Ketefian. “He has given us the benefits of his thought explorations on the concept of reflection – how it leads to mindfulness, reflective practice, inquiry and the work of building our knowledge, and how reflection is a means of ongoing renewal.”

Dr. Pesut shares credit for his professional accomplishments and career milestones with his U-M School of Nursing mentors and colleagues.

“The University of Michigan has been a source of inspiration, mentoring and learning for me throughout my professional career. This award means a lot to me, as it comes from the institution where I completed my doctoral degree in nursing and where I started my academic career. I have learned so much from the faculty, students and colleagues who have shaped my thinking and practice as a nurse educator, researcher and leader,” he said.