This week, the VCU School of Nursing is honoring four outstanding alumni for their excellence in practice, leadership, research, and advocacy in nursing.
Outstanding Recent Alum Award Hampton H. Ford (BFA ‘88/A, BS ’13/N, MS ’15/N) Outstanding Nurse Alum Award Jo Lynne W. Robins (MS ’91/N, PhD ’99/N) Outstanding Nurse Practice Award Margaret R. Krebs (BS ’99/N, MS ’00/N, Cert.’07/N) Outstanding Nurse Service Award Katherine M. Lee (BS ’90/N, MS ’96/N) “Their achievements demonstrate that our alumni are at the forefront of the nursing profession, providing compassionate and effective care to patients and communities, advocating for healthcare policies that improve outcomes, and leading innovative research that advances nursing practice. Their success is a testament to the quality of education and training they received in our program,” said Jean Giddens, dean of the School of Nursing in her remarks for the event.
Outstanding Recent Alum Award
Hampton H. Ford (BFA ‘88/A, BS ’13/N, MS ‘15/N)
Ford is a three-time VCU graduate, earning her bachelor’s of fine arts in Communication Arts and Design in 1988, returning later to attend the School of Nursing, earning a bachelor’s in nursing in 2013 and her master’s in nursing in 2015.
Ford currently holds a position in the Radiation Oncology department at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Hospital. There, she’s led an effort to create a genetic cancer risk department while completing a certificate in cancer genetics. In addition to the existing services she facilitates in Radiation Oncology, she will offer genetic counseling appointments through the new department. Ford is the chair of the Richmond Advanced Practice Registered Nurse group and a member of the Nursing Professional Standards Board.
Outstanding Nurse Alum Award
Jo Lynne W. Robins (MS ’91/N, PhD ’99/N)
Robins is a double VCU alum earning both of her degrees with the School of Nursing, a master’s in 1991 and Ph.D in 1999. She is an Associate Professor in the school and currently serves as the interim PhD Program Director for the Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems.
She is a certified advanced practice holistic nurse who’s research includes how tai chi, mindfulness, and meditation can be used as an intervention in a variety of populations including those with increased cardiometabolic risk. She has an active practice with Health Brigade, Virginia’s oldest free clinic, where she has been a provider since 1992. In her role there, she addresses immediate physical needs and also explores the social determinants of health through comprehensive assessments and a holistic understanding of each client.
Robins also serves as a dedicated member to numerous organizations outside of VCU including the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, Southern Nurses Research Society, American Holistic Nurses Association, and is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Outstanding Nurse Practice Award
Margaret R. Krebs (BS ’99/N, MS’00/N, Cert. ’07/N)
Krebs is a triple alum having earned her bachelor’s in 1999, master’s in 2000, and an NP certificate in 2007, all with VCU School of Nursing. She currently works as a nurse practitioner at VCU Student Health, tasked with providing comprehensive healthcare for the 31,000+ undergraduate and graduate students at VCU. In this role, she works with students to understand their health, navigate the healthcare system, and advocate for themselves.
In addition to her role at VCU, she was a nurse practitioner for Primary Health Group, Commonwealth Primary Care, and Cardiovascular Associates of Virginia, spanning several specializations: OB/GYN, primary care, cardiology, mental health, travel health, and LGBTQIA health. Additionally, she has been a steadfast contributor to the nursing community with ten years as a free clinic volunteer and more than a decade of mentoring and precepting future nurse professionals.
Outstanding Nurse Service Award
Katherine M. Lee (BS ’90/N, MS ’96/N)
Lee, who earned bachelor’s in 1990 and master’s in 1996 from the School of Nursing, is currently the Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Readiness Policy and Oversight in the United States Department of Defense. During her 30-plus year career, she has made an impact through clinical care, policy, and education.
Lee began her career as a nurse in the neuroscience and neurosurgery fields, working at MCV and several institutions in Louisville, Kentucky. Her career took her to work with active duty military and veterans with traumatic brain injuries at Walter Reed Medical Center in the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. In these roles, she oversaw clinical care, led research and educational initiatives, and served as a subject matter expert on traumatic brain injury for both Congress and the Department of Defense. Now as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, she briefs military and civilian leaders in the highest levels of government.