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Honors and Awards (Anesthesia)

Faculty Awards, Honors and Public Office

John O’Donnell

Co-Chair, Meetings Oversight Commission, Society for Simulation in Healthcare (2019-2020)

Fellow, Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy 2019

Founding member, AANA Simulation Sub-Committee 2019

Carlow University Laureate, 2018

Visiting Scholar, Siri Raj Hospital, Mahidol University 2018

Selected by Chancellor Gallagher to present the BodyExplorer Project at the ACCelerate Exhibition. Smithsonian Museum of American History 2017

Pittsburgh Magazine Nurse Educator of the Year, 2017

Anesthesia student doing a procedure


Reappointed, PA State Board of Nursing - 2017, Chair Advanced Practice Committee

Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator certification, Society for Simulation in Healthcare - 2017

Appointed to ACIE Learning Management System Review Committee - January 2017

Faculty Honoree, Taipei Medical University, Center for Education and Simulation (CEMS) Grand Opening Ceremony – May 2017

Co-Chair IMSH International Meeting- Jan 29- Feb 2, 2017- Plenary Convener X 2 Nelson, D., O’Donnell, J.M., Samosky J. Body Explorer-An Augmented Reality Simulation System. Technology Showcase IMSH International Meeting. 1st Place

Invited Member: American Heart Association Resuscitation Education Summit- Feb 27-28, 2017

The Chancellor’s Innovation Commercialization Funds for Body Explorer: Augmented Reality Simulator/Matching Funds- Idea Foundry ($70,000) – January 2017

American Heart Association ECC Educational Consensus Conference Team: Feedback and Debriefing Best Practices - January 2017
1st place 2016 University of Pittsburgh Medical Education Abstract Competition: “Is non-physician instruction inferior to attending physician instruction for central line training in the simulation lab?” – November 2016

FY 2017 Anesthesia Payment and Policy Specialist Panel (APPSP). AANA Board of Directors

Frank J. Tornetta/LaSalle University/Einstein Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program Advisory Board – September 2016

International Co-Chair 2017, IMSH Meeting (2016)

Visiting Professor, Taipei Medical University (2015)

PA State Board of Nursing (2014)

Chancellors Distinguished Teaching Award 2011- Top educational award at the University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Cameos of Caring Winner 2010

Outstanding Dissertation 2009. Graduate School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology

Ake Grenvik Award for Excellence in Education and Assessment in Simulation (2009)

National Program Director of the Year 2006.  American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.  Presented at 75th annual meeting,

Distinguished Alumni Award.  University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Alumni Association (2006)


Richard Henker

Cameos of Caring, UPMC Advanced Practice Honoree 2017

ANA Luther Christman Award 2018

Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement. University Center for International Studies. April 5, 2017

2016 Janice Drake Humanitarian Award AANA, Washington DC. September 12, 2016

Secretary of the HVO Board of Directors for 2016 to 2018. December 2016

AANA representative for the G4 Alliance. March 10, 2017

Board of Directors, Health Volunteers Overseas, Our Leadership | Health Volunteers Overseas (2014) 

Consultant on the Nursing Scope of Practice and Standards of Care Task Force for the Ministry of Health in Cambodia    
  Project was funded by the World Health Organization

Visiting Professor at Mahidol University Siriraj Hospital School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology, Thailand (2014)     

Visiting Professor at Nakhon Phanom University Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Thailand (2014)    

Co-Chair, Committee on Nursing Practic Standards for the American Nurses Association (2013)

Committee on Nursing Practice Standards for the American Nurses Association (2009 & 2013)


Michael Neft

Chair, Psych, Mental Health and Substance Expert Panel; American Academy of Nursing.

Named to two American Academy of Nursing Expert Panels (Fall 2016):
  1. Psychiatry, Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  2. Acute and Critical Care

Chair, AANA Health and Wellness Committee, FY 17

Chair, AANA Practice Committee FY10-FY13

Chair, Membership Committee - Nursing, National Academies of Practice, 2017

Inductee - American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) – 10/22/2016

Inductee-National Academies of Practice (FNAP) – 4/17/2015

Past-President, Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists 2015-2016

Advisory Board Member:
      National Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Addiction Technology
      Transfer Center (National SBIRT ATTC). Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2015-        2017
      Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, Duquesne University ,2019

Outstanding Didactic Instructor of the Year, Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 2010


Bettina Dixon

Excellence in Clinical Teaching and Outstanding Contributions to Professional Growth, presented by the University Health Center of Pittsburgh School of Anesthesia for Nurses (1989).

Didactic Instructor of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists.(2000)

Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. (2003)

Patient Safety Fellowship from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative. (2015)


Judith Mermigas

National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) National Certification Exam (NCE) Item Writing Committee. (2015-present)

Patient Safety Fellowship from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative. (2015)


Laurel Miner

Capella University Ambassador (2019)