Congratulations to the 2024 Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2024 Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium Award Winners

At each year’s Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium, PCNA recognizes individuals and an institution for their significant contributions to cardiovascular nursing and cardiovascular disease prevention and management. We are honored to celebrate healthcare providers by acknowledging their many accomplishments. Each award winner is recognized below with their photo and biography.


In recognition of his outstanding leadership in cardiovascular disease prevention and management, Dr. Clyde Yancy has been inducted as an Honorary PCNA Fellow. As a renowned cardiologist, Dr. Yancy has tirelessly championed the vital role of cardiovascular nurses and the significance of collaborative multidisciplinary approaches to patient care.  His dedication to prevention, diversity, and inclusion underscores his holistic approach to medicine. We are honored to call him our friend and this year’s Honorary PCNA Fellow. 

We inducted nine new fellows this year. The designation of Fellow of PCNA (FPCNA) reflects not only the professional stature of the Fellow, but also their record of valuable service to our organization. The class of 2024 fellows includes:

  • Judy Ching, RN, BSN, CDCES
  • Joanna Dagenais, MSN, RN, CCRN-K
  • Erum Jiva, DNP, ARNP-BC, CLS, FNLA
  • Kathryn (Kate) Lew, APRN, NP, MSN
  • Erin Nordstrom, BSN, RN, PHN, CV-BC
  • Mary Nejedly, RN, MS, NP-BC
  • Linda Park, PhD, MS, FNP-BC, FAAN
  • Mary Rezk-Hanna, NP, PhD, FAAN, FAHA

Terry Thomas Clinical Practice Award

The Terry Thomas Clinical Practice Award recognizes and encourages excellence in the clinical practice of cardiovascular prevention. The 2024 winner is Judy Ching, RN, BSN, CDCES, of Southern Colorado Medicine. During her career, Judy has mentored nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and advanced practice providers, transforming their clinical practice. She played a pivotal role in developing innovative approaches to patient care, particularly in the personalized care of patients with diabetes and cardiovascular risk. Judy is being acknowledged for her vast and varied focus, dedication, initiative, leadership, and clinical skills in the practice setting.  

Heart Failure Prevention Award

The Heart Failure Prevention Award recognizes a nurse who has demonstrated an innovative, successful model of primary or secondary preventive care for patients with heart failure. Dr. Brittany Butts, RN, PhD, FAHA, ​Assistant Professor of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Heart Failure Prevention Award for her extensive contributions to improving the lives of patients with heart failure. Dr. Butts took her clinical expertise and channeled questions into a program of research centered on understanding the pathophysiology of heart failure exacerbation and progression.  

Institutional Award for Excellence in Promoting Cardiovascular Care

The Institutional Award for Excellence in Promoting Cardiovascular Care recognizes health care and academic institutions that promote cardiovascular nursing leadership and practice. The UF Health Shands Hospital has been awarded the 2024 Institutional Award for its excellence in patient care. The hospital was built around the needs of the patient and patients receive streamlined access to highly specialized, comprehensive outpatient treatment options and inpatient services in one location. UF Health Shands Hospital’s cardiology care has been ranked in the top 50 programs in the nation regularly and their heart patients benefit from compassionate care delivered by outstanding faculty and clinical experts.

Chapter Excellence Award

The Chapter Excellence Award is a new award created to recognize a chapter that has done outstanding work in their community. The Rocky Mountain Chapter has been awarded PCNA’s Chapter Excellence Award in 2024. The chapter was founded in 2010 and has experienced a consistent chapter leadership team for the past 9 years and has continuously gone above and beyond with efforts to grow their audience.

The chapter leadership team members are a tremendous example to PCNA’s newer chapters that lasting friendships can be born from joining a chapter team. Rocky Mountain is a leading example of a chapter that should be recognized for their hard work throughout the past decade in providing local opportunities for professional growth through education and networking.

Award Winners

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the 2024 award winners and fellows!

Clyde Yancy, MD, MSc, MACC, MACP, FAHA, FHFSA, FRCP, FASPC (Hon.), FPCNA (Hon.)

Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, is Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Magerstadt Endowed Professor & Chief of Cardiology; and Professor, in the Department of Medical Social Science, at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. He holds an MD degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and a Management degree from the University of Texas.

He serves as Associate Director, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, IL. Dr. Yancy is a former President of the American Heart Association, and holds extensive government service including leadership positions in the NIH, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, the FDA, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Department of Health and Human Services. His domains of expertise include heart failure, outcomes sciences, cardiovascular disease prevention, quality improvement, clinical practice guideline development, health equity and leadership.

He has published many peer-reviewed manuscripts, and was again for 2023 cited as one of the top 1% scientific authors, worldwide. He holds innumerable awards as a healthcare leader, top physician, teacher and mentor in cardiology.

Judy Ching, RN, BSN, CDCES

Judy Ching’s nursing career has been vast and varied, always exemplifying her focus, dedication, initiative, leadership and clinical skills in every setting and role. She is a life-long learner, teacher and mentor and her ongoing professional development includes the following certifications: (current) Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist by the American Association of Diabetic Educators, (current) Certified Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor Instructor, (prior) Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist by the American College of Sports Medicine, and (prior) Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse by ANCC. After early clinical work in hospital settings as a floor nurse and manager, she directed her clinical focus and developed clinical expertise in diabetes education, asthma education and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. After years of travel with the military across the country and internationally, Judy came to Colorado Springs in 2000. She continued her focus in the arenas of diabetes education and management and cardiac rehabilitation in private, community health and military clinical settings.

She joined PCNA in 1995 and upon her return to America in 2000 has been an active member throughout the years, attending national symposiums and local events. Judy continues to live her passion and share her gifts and expertise volunteering as a diabetes, asthma, PCOS and cardiovascular educator at Southern Colorado Medicine, a Colorado Springs nurse practitioner-run family practice clinic and at Advanced GYN clinic.

Joanna Dagenais, MSN, RN, CCRN-K

Joanna Dagenais MSN, RN, CCRN-K currently serves as the Clinical Education Director for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Joanna works collaboratively with the PCNA team on the development and design of professional and patient education. Prior to joining a staff role at PCNA, Joanna’s work experience included acute care nursing professional development and cardiovascular surgery critical care nursing at the Jupiter Medical Center in FL. Additionally, Joanna worked as a Nursing Education Specialist in Critical Care, Med/Surg and Emergency Services at UW Health in Madison, WI. She received her MS in Nursing from Walden University. She received her BS in Nursing and BA in Spanish from Northern Michigan University. Joanna has both an extensive knowledge of and a passion for cardiovascular patient care, which is evident through her dedication to both PCNA and the nursing profession.


Dr. Jiva is an entrepreneur and provider of A to Z Healthcare in Ocala, Florida.  Her mission is to provide affordable and accessible care to the community. Her passion is to identify risk factors and help the community to learn more about preventive services. She is the only Certified Lipid Specialist in Ocala. She is also a Fellow of the National Lipid Association.

Dr. Jiva started the PCNA Ocala Sunshine Chapter in 2022 and is the current President of this chapter. She has volunteered extensively to provide local opportunities for learning and professional growth, which include continuing education programs in the spring and fall, and exhibits at chapter network meetings.

Dr. Jiva has made tremendous efforts in enhancing the practice of preventive cardiology in clinical medicine through both dedicated involvement and training.


a. Karen Laing of All Heart Coaching began her nursing career working with cardiac patients in the surgical intensive care unit, where she fell in love with the heart. Karen began working with patients making lifestyle changes in cardiac rehabilitation. One patient stands out to her. After working together for a year, he said, “I feel better now than I did before my heart attack because I made all those changes I meant to make someday.” While she was excited for him, she also thought it was horrible that he had to have a heart attack first. So, Karen pursued a Master’s in Health Promotion Management and became trained as a personal coach. In December, she completed her MSN and is now a licensed APRN. As a Board-Certified Health & Wellness Nurse Coach and Lifestyle Medicine Nurse, she works alongside individuals ready to tweak their daily routines to avoid heart attacks and medications.

Karen is currently pursuing a DNP at the University of Southern Florida. She is the President of the West Florida Chapter of the PCNA, and the Founder and President of the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at USF, a chapter of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She was also honored to co-author two chapters in the textbook, Lifestyle Nursing: Principles and Practice.

Kathryn (Kate) Lew, APRN, NP, MSN

Kate Lew is a Nurse Practitioner at Mayo Clinic Arizona. She has worked at Mayo Clinic for 16 years initially starting as a registered nurse on the progressive care unit and then over the last 10+ years in the outpatient cardiology clinic as a nurse practitioner. In this role she primarily supports the comprehensive and preventative cardiology practice along with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy clinic. She is also the supervisor for the outpatient cardiology nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Kate has been a member of PCNA for over 10 years and is the Arizona Chapter Leader. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and puppy Zoey.

Kate’s volunteer hours and dedication to the Arizona Chapter and nursing profession have been crucial to not only the chapter’s success, but to the success of the organization as well.

Erin Nordstrom, BSN, RN, PHN, CV-BC

Erin works as a cardiac rhythm device nurse at Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the Minnesota State University – Mankato in 2018. She worked as a bedside nurse on a medical-surgical telemetry unit and then transitioned to working as an RN care coordinator in an outpatient electrophysiology clinic at the University of Minnesota in 2019. Since 2021, she has been working as a device nurse, specializing in managing devices and caring for patients with cardiac rhythm disorders and heart failure. Her clinical interests include implantable cardiac devices, atrial fibrillation management, and chronic heart failure therapies. Her non-clinical interests include mentorship, managing burnout, policy advocacy, and increasing professional development opportunities for healthcare staff. She has been an active member of the leadership team of the Northern Minnesota PCNA Chapter since 2022 and is an active member of the Heart Rhythm Society. She is currently working towards her Master of Science in Nursing degree in Organizational Systems Leadership at the Minnesota State University – Moorhead.

Erin has proved to be instrumental in helping to pave the way for future nurse leaders.

Mary Nejedly, RN, MS, NP-BC

Mary Nejedly’s passion for prevention began while she was working as an RN in the CCU, and her goal while attending NP school was to prevent disease before a major CV event occurs. After graduation at the Palo Alto VA, Mary was challenged with many patients in primary care who had multiple cardiac risk factors and a great need for preventive care.

She joined PCNA in 2008 upon her return to Stanford Health Care as a NP in Cardiology, where she worked alongside colleagues who shared her enthusiasm for PCNA. As an APP, Mary’s passion continued with starting the Women’s Heart Health Clinic and joining the Preventive Cardiology group.

Mary presented a poster at PCNA’s 2012 annual symposium, which earned second place in Innovation in patient care. A second poster was accepted for the 2019 symposium. Mary has spoken at her local Bay Area symposiums in 2017 and 2019 on “Not your Dad’s Heart Disease” and the APP Developed Cardio Diabetes program, plus multiple community talks on CV health/lifestyle and Women and CVD. She has been the co-chair of the northern California Bay Area chapter since 2021, and it is so clear cardiac prevention is the foundation of all cardiac care, and PCNA has been a great resource for Mary in achieving her lifelong goals of prevention.

Linda Park, PhD, MS, FNP-BC, FAAN

a. Dr. Linda Park is an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, where she obtained her PhD. She holds a dual appointment at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a research health science specialist. She also works as a hospital-based nurse practitioner in Cardiovascular Services at a community hospital in the East Bay and has a long history of working in both inpatient and outpatient cardiology. Dr. Park was also elected as a PCNA Board Member in 2023.

Her program of research focuses on the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Her current research projects center around determining the most engaging, practical, and meaningful technology-based interventions to improve patient self-care, clinical outcomes, and quality of life for patients with heart disease. Dr. Park applies mixed quantitative/qualitative research methods in her projects with Veterans, older adults, and minority populations.

Dr. Park is deeply committed to mentorship and is currently the nursing director for the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCSF. NCSP is a 6-site interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellowship that offers research, policy, and leadership training to develop change agents to improve health, health care, and health equity.

Mary Rezk-Hanna, NP, PhD, FAAN, FAHA

Born and raised in Egypt, Dr. Mary Rezk-Hanna is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Nursing. As the Director of the Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory, Dr. Rezk-Hanna’s research interests focus on the cardiovascular health effects and potential harms of conventional, new, and emerging tobacco products and the mechanisms by which these products affect cardiovascular function. Dr. Rezk-Hanna served on the American Heart Association scientific committee that published a scientific statement on hookah (i.e., waterpipe) tobacco smoking and cardiovascular disease risk, as well as the cardiopulmonary impact of electronic cigarettes. Her ultimate goal is to use physiologic data to drive evidence-based policy to regulate novel and alternative tobacco products and nicotine delivery systems. Dr. Rezk-Hanna is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Nursing. She is also a member of PCNA’s DEI Committee and has dedicated countless hours to ensuring the promotion of nurses as leaders in equitable CV prevention and management.

Brittany Butts, RN, PhD, FAHA

­­­Dr. Butts is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and joined the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in 2018. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Exercise Medicine and the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Butts completed her PhD at Emory University with a focus on cardiovascular disease, immunology, and exercise. She received her BS in Nursing from Georgia State University and her BS in Biology from the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Butts’ research interests are focused on how behavior affects pathophysiological pathways in cardiovascular disease and how that relates to patient outcomes. Her research is focused on persons with heart failure and hypertension, their symptoms, and risk for developing cognitive changes and Alzheimer’s Disease. She hopes her research leads to nursing interventions that involve behaviors and demonstrate clinically meaningful changes, prevention of HF and progression, and can be incorporated into patient teaching and care. Dr. Butts’ research area also includes the discovery of physiologic changes that relate to patient outcomes to not only better understand disease processes but also have physiologic markers of intervention effectiveness for better clinical monitoring. She has taught Pathophysiology at the undergraduate and graduate levels and mentored numerous students.

Dr. Butts received her STEM Teaching Certificate and is considered a master teacher. She has been involved in multiple professional organizations including Sigma Theta Tau, the American Heart Association, Heart Failure Society of America and has presented her work at PCNA. Her extensive efforts in preventing and managing heart failure across the lifespan are evident in not only her research, but also her mentorship and leadership of nurses and future nurse leaders.    

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