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Pilon Celebrated for VUSN Community Partnership Efforts

Photo by Susan Urmy

Vanderbilt and community members recognized Bonnie Pilon, PhD, RN, who stepped down from her role as senior associate dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in December 2014.

Pilon, pictured with VUMC Deputy Vice Chancellor C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, served in the role for 15 years, including leading the School’s Health Care Leadership Master’s program for 13 years and teaching in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Nationally, she is known as a staunch advocate of nurses “practicing at the top of their license,” a cornerstone of the Institute of Medicine “Future of Nursing” report.

Under Pilon’s leadership, VUSN experienced explosive growth in its faculty practice network, and many sites also provide VUSN students with clinical experiences. When Pilon became the senior associate dean in 1999, VUSN had 7,000 unique patients and nurse-midwives delivered 42 babies. By 2008, VUSN faculty and staff were providing care to more than 30,000 individual encounters before she successfully converted Vine Hill Community Clinic and affiliated sites to a Federally Qualified Health Center. The nurse-midwifery practice has grown to more than 1,200 deliveries at Vanderbilt University Hospital. She also was awarded $6.4 million in federal grants and $1.25 million in foundation grants to support clinical practice in the community during her tenure.

Pilon is taking a yearlong sabbatical to conduct research on the culture and historical development of nurse-managed health centers across the country. She will resume her VUSN teaching role in 2016.


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