Every fall, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) honors alumni and individuals who go above and beyond in their service to diverse, rural and underserved populations. Please join us in congratulating the 2019 Service Award recipients.
Distinguished Service to Alma Mater, Nurse-Midwife: Stephanie Vanderhorst
The Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award honors an alumnus who has continued to provide support to Frontier through volunteer efforts and/or donor support.
Stephanie Vanderhorst, CNM, MSN, serves as midwifery director of Auburn Birthing Center in DeKalb, Ind. Shortly after graduating from FNU in 2002, she became the first certified nurse-midwife credentialed at DeKalb Memorial Hospital and Auburn OB/GYN; she has attended over 1,700 births since then.
“My goal is for every woman who wants a nurse-midwife to have a nurse-midwife by her side,” said Stephanie.
Stephanie also serves as a preceptor for CNM students. “She is a fantastic mentor and truly has a servant’s heart,” said Shannon Markle, MSN. “I have never met someone so deserving of recognition.”
In addition to practicing, Stephanie is also a leader and advocate for nurse-midwifery. She has served as the president of the Indiana American College of Nurse-Midwives and has worked with the Coalition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Indiana to help bring full practice autonomy to Indiana APRNs.
Distinguished Service to Alma Mater, Nurse Practitioner: Danny Shane Webb
Danny Shane Webb, MSN, FNP, is a nurse practitioner at Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville, Ga. He specializes in internal medicine and has hospital privileges at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
Danny graduated from FNU with his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in 2017 and is currently enrolled in FNU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
As the current president of the FNU Alumni Association, he is an active, vocal, and supportive leader for the entire FNU community. Jennifer Brown, MSN, CNM, said of Danny, “He is an ever-present, enthusiastic but level-headed voice for alumni, current students and healthcare.”
Danny also serves as a preceptor for FNU students.
Distinguished Service to Society, Nurse-Midwife: Mary Kay Miller
The Distinguished Service to Society Award recognizes an alumnus who goes above and beyond to provide exceptional service in their communities.
Mary Kay Miller, CNM, MSN, DNP, serves as Florida regional clinical faculty for FNU’s Community-based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (CNEP) and Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner (WHCNP) program tracks. She has also served as a preceptor for FNU students.
Mary Kay practiced midwifery in Fort Myers, Fla., for seven years primarily in low resource settings with underserved populations. She led the building and opening of a free-standing birth center before going on to work in Orlando for five years.
“My primary areas of clinical and academic interests are providing options to all women and supporting students,” said Mary Kay, who currently resides in Madeira Beach, Fla.
Since 2009, Mary Kay has served as the Florida Affiliate President for ACNM and has been on the board of the Florida Council of Nurse-Midwifery. She also served as the liaison for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District XII and remains active in supporting collegial relationships at the local level.
Distinguished Service to Society, Nurse Practitioner: Jessica Lynn Smith
Jessica Lynn Smith, MSN, FNP, serves women and families as a nurse practitioner at the Vidalia Children’s Center in Vidalia, Ga. and at East Georgia Women’s Center in Statesboro, Ga. She also serves as a frequent preceptor for FNU students.
A two-time cancer survivor, Jessica is active in many community organizations and events. In addition to serving as the vice president of Toombs-Montgomery C.A.R.E.S, a non-profit for cancer patients, she has also organized Relay for Life teams, cancer survivor dinners, and pediatric cancer fundraisers. She frequently volunteers at a free women’s health clinic in her community.
“Although she has battled cancer twice and has been hospitalized many times, her service has never stalled,” said Jessica’s husband Brandon.
Courier Program Unbridled Spirit Award: Carlyle Carter
The Courier Program Unbridled Spirit Award is given annually to a former Courier who has carried the torch of Mary Breckinridge beyond the mountains, perpetuating the mission and spirit of Frontier in their own lives. The criteria for this award include dedication to serving others; ongoing, longstanding stewardship of Frontier; and demonstration of personal conviction, courage and a zest for adventure.
Carlyle Carter’s first connection to FNU dates back to 1954, when she was just 11 years old. Carlyle’s grandmother was a cousin of FNU founder Mary Breckinridge, who invited Carlyle to visit her in Wendover.
“It was a life-changing experience,” said Carlyle, who served as a courier in 1962 and 1965. “I was excited to get to know Mary Breckinridge, the nurses, the staff, the couriers, the mountain people, and the horses. In those days, nurses were still doing home visits on horseback.”
Carlyle is currently an FNU trustee and Courier Advisory Council member. She joined the FNU Board of Directors in July 2018.
Mary Breckinridge Lifetime Service Award: Margaret Voorhies Haggin Trust
The Mary Breckinridge Lifetime Service Award recognizes an individual or organization providing longstanding support and commitment to the mission and work of Frontier Nursing Service and Frontier Nursing University.
The Margaret Voorhies Haggin Trust was created in 1938 by Margaret Voorhies Haggin in memory of her late husband, James Ben Ali Haggin.
James Haggin was born in 1827 in Frankfort, Ky. He followed the gold rush to California and acquired numerous mines, which he then sold to purchase a single tract of California land measuring 400,000 acres.
Haggin began raising thoroughbreds and bought 5,000 acres of additional land in the heart of the Bluegrass. After the death of his son, Haggin turned his attention to raising thoroughbred stock and horses at his Kentucky property, Elmendorf Farm. Haggin passed away in 1914 after building a successful business and establishing a lasting legacy.
The Margaret Voorhies Haggin Trust was created to support health and higher education. Since 1989, the Trust has provided over half a million dollars in support to Frontier Nursing University, serving a variety of needs including scholarships, renovations, and generous donations to the Versailles Capital Campaign.
We would like to thank each of these award winners for their dedication to improving the health of women and families, and their honorable representation of FNU.