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The NPAA awards serve as a testament to the individuals in Alabama who are making a difference in the lives of their patients and students and as recognition for those delivering and advocating for outstanding patient care. These awards provide an opportunity to give recognition to individual health care providers, educators, or advocates --- the in-the-trenches team members and the leaders who inspire, motivate, and empower others around them --- to make a difference in the lives of those for whom they provide care.



Outstanding NP Regional Award for the Bay Area: Shannon Noelle Davis, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC. As a nurse practitioner in the surgical trauma intensive care unit at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Ms. Noelle Davis delivers outstanding care to her patients and respects and treats them with dignity. She is the constant practitioner in an intensive care unit of a teaching hospital where new interns and residents rotate monthly. She is a resource for all providers including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses. She is a mentor and preceptor to many nurse practitioner students as well. Ms. Davis has a sound knowledge base, outstanding clinical skills, and an excellent reputation as a nurse practitioner. 

Outstanding NP Regional Award for Central Alabama: Eileen S. Meyer, DNP, CRNP. Dr. Eileen Meyer is a two time graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing in Acute and Continuing Care Nurse Practitioner in 1997 and completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2017. In 2016, Dr. Meyer accepted the position of Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers at UAB. She has served on many UAB committees and been involved in the education of nursing students at many levels in their education. She served as a clinical teaching assistant in the BSN program at UAB before progressing to a clinical preceptor and mentor for nurse practitioner and doctorate students.

Outstanding NP Regional Award for North Alabama: Elizabeth Barnby, DNP, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC. Dr. Elizabeth Barnby is a qualified clinician with a strong background in the care of patients with genetic disorders. Dr. Barnby practices at The Doctor’s Office, a practice in Meridianville, Alabama started by Dr. Laura Lee Taylor. She is very active in clinical research in her field of expertise having recently published in Metabolic Brain Diseases, Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disorders, Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Pediatric Nursing. Additionally, she has spoken internationally at the International Society of Nurses in Genetics and at Tyrosinemia Type 1 2015 where she and her team of researchers took home first prize in the scientific research category.

Outstanding NP Regional Award for the River Region: Joyce Loyd-Davis, MSN, CRNP, FNP.Ms. Joyce Loyd-Davis is the senior director of operations and family nurse practitioner for CareHere. This level of responsibility led to development of her own consulting company, JDJ Consulting, LLC, which has flourished within the community. Ms. Loyd-Davis is the president of advanced practitioners for the River Region and has worked to provide speakers on various topics for the group. Ms. Loyd-Davis is often called upon to plan many health fairs in the community such as the “Grow up Great Event,” which is a partnering event made possible by Health Services, Inc., Jackson Hospital, and the city of Montgomery. This event reaches over 1,000 people in the community and provides free services and material goods such as medical screenings, food, and school supplies. This fair has improved health care in the community with a primary focus on prevention and early detection.

Outstanding NP Regional Award for West Alabama: Mr. Steven Galvez, MSN, FNP. As a family nurse practitioner devoted to improving health, Mr. Steven Galvez has provided much needed access to care for rural citizens in West Alabama for many years. He has worked in the emergency department of Hale County Hospital in Greensboro since 2012. He continues to work there as well as in the emergency department of DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. Mr. Galvez is a committed leader of the West Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association who has served in multiple positions since 2009, including president since 2014. 


Outstanding NP Educator Regional Award for the Bay Area: Charlene Myers, DNP, ACNP-BC, CNS. Dr. Charlene Myers is an associate professor at the University of South Alabama. She has been the coordinator for the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner track there for over twenty years. Dr. Myers is a two-time recipient of the American Journal of Nursing book of the year award for her collaborative work in “Practice Considerations for Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners.” This text is utilized in the education of students throughout the nation. Dr. Myers has mentored countless Doctor of Nursing Practice students in the completion and publication of their projects. Each year student evaluations reflect her continued commitment to the enrichment of their education. 

Outstanding NP Educator Regional Award for Central Alabama: Amy Bigham, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, COI. Dr. Amy Bigham is a professor at the Samford University Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. She has taught in the family nurse practitioner track since 2012 and recently assisted in the development of a new emergency nurse practitioner track. Dr. Bigham is a master teacher with consistently high course evaluation scores. She is also a certified on-line instructor and leader for Quality Matters at Samford. She developed several new courses recently for the ENP program and the BSN-to-DNP program. Dr. Bigham has also been involved with writing and receiving federal grants as well as innovative technology and academic initiative grants at Samford.

Outstanding NP Educator Regional Award for North Alabama: Cheryl Emich, MSN, CRNP.Ms. Cheryl Emich is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville College of Nursing. She streamlined the preceptor orientation and evaluation process as well as integrated electronic clinical documentation and portfolios. She developed on-line training videos for students and faculty and conducted training sessions. Additionally, she streamlined and digitized many administrative forms and student documentation thereby reducing filing requirements and ensuring security. She also led the effort to revamp the acute care curriculum providing increased focus on nurse practitioner board requirements. Her student performance ratings are consistently well above the university and college averages.

Outstanding NP Educator Regional Award for West Alabama: Kristi A. Acker, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCNP, ACHPN. Dr. Kristi Acker is a clinical assistant professor and coordinator for the family nurse practitioner track at the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing. When Dr. Acker joined the Capstone College of Nursing in the spring of 2016, she quickly delved into the curriculum and began leading the family nurse practitioner population-focused courses. She has been instrumental in enhancing the curriculum to ensure compliance with the most recently released nurse practitioner competencies. Dr. Acker has taken an active lead in orienting new students and faculty. Additionally, she has been instrumental in coordinating on-campus simulation experiences and clinical skills training sessions for the students. Dr. Acker is well respected among her colleagues, and her student evaluations are consistently above the college’s benchmark.

Outstanding NP Educator Regional Award for the River Region: Patsy Riley, PhD, FNP-BC. Dr. Patsy Riley is an associate professor at the Troy University School of Nursing. She is the MSN program director and teaches in the family nurse practitioner track. Dr. Riley received federal funding to pursue her research interest in rural health. Her research interests also include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, diabetes, chronic illness, and online learning. Dr. Riley has disseminated her work through a variety of publications and presentations. 


The Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Student of the Year Award for Alabama: Ms. Traci Wells. Ms. Traci Wells exemplifies both leadership and character in her profession and personal life. She decided that becoming a family nurse practitioner would better prepare her to go on medical mission trips and help vulnerable populations. Ms. Wells reached this decision after much thought and prayer. She then watched in amazement as everything fell into place to make the transition back to school a seamless process. Ms. Wells is scheduled to graduate in May 2018. Despite her busy schedule, she holds a 4.0 grade point average and is known as a “perfectionist” among her professors. She has been a true inspiration to her classmates and to her professors. She has shown leadership while revealing her servant’s heart. Ms. Wells is compassionate and dedicated, exemplifying the highest personal and professional qualities that are so important in the field of nursing.

The Advocacy Award: This award goes to a person who has demonstrated distinct and steadfast advocacy to our profession in the state of Alabama. Mr. John G. Beard is the chair and president of Alacare Home Health and Hospice. He has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to health care in Alabama. He has contributed greatly to our profession over the years as evidenced by his unwavering support of education and practice through partnering with nursing education programs throughout Alabama. 

The Power of One Award: This is the most prestigious award NPAA gives every year. It goes to a person who by definition is a change agent for our profession. This year’s Power of One Award goes to April Weaver. April Weaver was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, winning a four-person race without a run off in her first attempt at political office. She was reelected in 2014, and made Alabama history when she became the first female ever appointed as chairman of the House Health Committee. That same year, she received national recognition when she was chosen as a GOPAC emerging leader. In addition to chairing the health committee, Rep Weaver is currently a member of the state government and internal affairs committees. She also serves as national Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Health and Human Services Committee and an Executive Committee member of The Energy Council. Governor Kay Ivey recently reappointed her to the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council and to her 5th term as a member of the Statewide Healthcare Coordinating Council (SHCC), where she serves as chair of the hospital committee. Over the past two decades, Rep Weaver has served the community as a member of numerous boards and commissions. After a 23 year career in healthcare administration, she is currently focusing on state and national healthcare issues as related to her legislative duties.  Check out the Shelby County Reporter's Article.

Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama

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