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2016 Menopause Practitioner of the Year

Memphis, TN

Can you tell us about your career?

I had always wanted to be a nurse from the age of a small child and entered a diploma program at age 16 when I finished high school, graduating in 1971. I have never regretted my career choice of over 45 years, and my life has been touched by so many colleagues- nurses, physicians, administrators, and patients. In 1976, in the early years of the Nurse Practitioner program, I completed my FNP. Several degrees later, I finally earned a PhD in nursing in 1998. Although I have had many practice opportunities in nursing, much of my nursing career has been centered around women’s health. A second focus of interest has been around healthcare informatics. I joined the faculty at University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis, College of Nursing in 2008 where I now serve as Associate Professor and Director, Special Academic Programs and maintain a private clinical practice providing women’s health and primary care at an Internal Medicine practice.

One of the favorite parts of my career has been my involvement with NAMS, especially the year I served as President. 

How did you first become involved with NAMS?

It was during the time of starting my PhD in 1996 that I became involved with NAMS. My research mentor invited me to attend my first NAMS conference. It was a phenomenal event, and I was hooked for the rest of my career! It was at that conference that I chose my research topic and population for my dissertation. I also began to redirect my clinical practice toward care of women at midlife and beyond. Since 1996, I have missed only one conference, and that was in 2007 when I took time out to celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary……that was the only time I have not been at NAMS to celebrate this important annual event. In 2017, be sure to wish us our Happy 45th :)

Our records do show that you are a dedicated attendee of the NAMS Annual Meeting, all the way back to 1996. What is your favorite aspect of the meeting?

It is hard to choose just one….Of course what has always brought me to the NAMS conference has been the high level of scientific content in the plenary sessions. I look forward every year to being updated on evidenced based data to manage my clinical practice and to being informed on the scientific studies that have been completed or are being conducted that will influence menopausal care for my patients. I also look forward to networking with outstanding clinicians, researchers, and educators around the world who have a dedicated interest in ensuring that care of women at midlife and beyond is truly based upon scientific evidence. I also love that NAMS is committed to being a multiprofessional organization and involves all disciplines in presentations and committees and making this a premier organization for women’s healthcare.

What does the NCMP credential mean to you?

I took the exam the second time it was offered so I recognized the value of having this credential at the very beginning. It continues to represent that I maintain current knowledge of scientific, evidence-based data related to menopausal issues, and I have the skills to translate that knowledge into clinical practice to provide quality care for the women in my practice. The credential also provides validation of my knowledge to colleagues when I present at professional meetings on menopausal topics.

How do you promote NAMS in your work?

[Laugh] It would be hard to know that I am not totally immersed in the NAMS organization. My business cards and anything professional with my credentials contains the NCMP credential. My signature lines in Outlook (both professionally and personally) contain the NCMP credential and that I am Past President of NAMS; my luggage tags have a card with my information including my relationship with NAMS; when I give a presentation, the title slide identifies my relationship with NAMS, and I generally try to include a slide with NAMS resources within the presentation when appropriate; I am generally known at work as the “Menopause Expert” and get frequent referrals. I am always proud to share about this organization and encourage new members.


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