SON honors donors and alumni award recipients at annual brunch

On Saturday, April 6, the UNC School of Nursing Alumni Association (SONAA) and the UNC School of Nursing Foundation hosted a brunch at the Carolina Inn to honor the recipients of the SONAA’s annual alumni awards and to offer thanks to the donors who so generously provide scholarships and other resources to meet the needs and advance the mission of Carolina Nursing.

“We are here to celebrate and recognize you, our greatest supporters and advocates,” said Nena Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN, dean and professor, as she addressed the assembled crowd. “We can’t thank you enough for all you do for the School of Nursing through your excellence as nurses, as members of your community, and through your gifts to the School.”

Dean Peragallo Montano with the afternoon’s honorees (L-R): Beverley H. Johnson, Cindy Bacon, and Jill Hamilton, with Ashley Bryant, the SONAA President

The honorees of the afternoon included:

Jill B. Hamilton, BSN ’82, MSN ’89, PhD ’01
Distinguished Alumna

Jill Hamilton, R.N., Ph.D. FAAN is Associate Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hamilton earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BS in Accounting from North Carolina Central University, and postdoctoral training in the nursing care of older adults at the Oregon Health & Science University. She previously held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was tenured Associate Professor. Dr. Hamilton’s research interests include health disparities, social and cultural factors that influence health, and the coping strategies used among older African American cancer survivors and their families. She has developed measures of coping and spirituality and has conducted research to examine ways sociocultural factors influence how older African Americans use social support and spirituality. Dr. Hamilton is published on topics related to social support, religiosity, spirituality, and quality of life among African Americans with life-threatening illness. She has done original research on the effects of religious songs and verses from Scripture on coping with stress among older and younger African Americans which is published in the Journal of Religion and Health, the Gerontologist, and Nursing Research. Her research on the use of religious songs to alleviate psychological distress when diagnosed with cancer is published in Cancer Nursing. She was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar from 2003-2007 and a member of the 2014 Class of the UNC Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. Dr. Hamilton is currently a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Faculty Scholar of the Center for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Duke University. She was the recipient of the 2011 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Publishing’s Division Award for Excellence in Writing Qualitative Research and her work on religious songs was featured in the November 2012 Thanksgiving edition of Good Housekeeping magazine.


Beverley Haynes Johnson, BSN ’64
Carrington Award for Community Service

Beverley H. Johnson, FAAN is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC) in Bethesda, MD. She has provided technical assistance and consultation for advancing the practice of patient- and family-centered care and creating effective partnerships with patients and families to over 300 hospitals, health systems, federal, state, provincial agencies, military treatment facilities, and community organizations. She assists hospitals and ambulatory programs with changing organizational culture, facilitation of visioning retreats, leadership development, and the integration of patient- and family-centered concepts in policies, programs, and practices, as well as in facility design, the education of health care professionals, and research and evaluation.

Bev has authored and co-authored many publications to advance the practice of patient- and family-centered care. She is co-author of Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connections in Health Care, recognized as the 2015 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards for Public Interest and Creative Works.

Bev serves as a member of the Selection Committee for the American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize, and was a member of the inaugural Advisory Board for the American College of Physicians’ Center for Patient Partnership in Healthcare. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). She has served on the Board of Trustees for an academic medical center and a school.

Bev is a past recipient of the Lloyd Bentsen Award and the Humanitarian Award from Pediatric Nursing. In 2007, she received The Gravens Award for leadership in promoting optimal environments and developmental care for high-risk infants and their families, and The Changemaker Award by the Board for the Center for Health Care Design. In 2008, the National Perinatal Association presented Bev with the Stanley L. Graven Award. She was a recipient of a Dorland Health 2011 People Award. In 2017, she was recognized by the American College of Physicians with the Edward R. Loveland Memorial Award. In 2018, she was presented with the NACC Outstanding Colleague Award by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and recognized as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.


Cindy Bacon, PhD ’12
G.O.L.D. (Graduate of the Last Decade)

Dr. Cindy Bacon earned her PhD in Nursing in 2012 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. She is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) School of Nursing. She has worked in academia for 6 years specializing in nursing leadership and management. Prior to that she was a nurse leader for 25 years in several acute care hospitals in such roles as nurse manager, nurse educator and clinical nurse. Her research centers on improving the work environment for nurses, particularly in the areas of safety, work complexity, and nurses’ participation in decision making, and the effects of these factors on nurse and patient outcomes. Dr. Bacon has received more than $16,000 in internal research funding to date and has submitted external grant applications to several agencies including the American Nurses Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau, the American Organization of Nurse Executives Foundation and the Duke Endowment. She has published in top peer-reviewed journals in the field including Research in Nursing and Health, Journal of Nursing Administration, Nursing Administration Quarterly and the Journal of Nursing Scholarship. In this capacity Dr. Bacon is helping shape nurse leaders’ management of quality and safety issues in today’s challenging acute care nursing practice. Dr. Bacon has been recognized for her excellence in research and in teaching. In 2015 she was presented with the Junior Researcher of the Year award from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University School of Nursing and in 2017 she received the Excellence in Nursing Education award from the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, Gamma Zeta Chapter. She has many terrific memories of her tenure as a doctoral student at UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing and will forever be thankful for the strong foundation in nursing excellence received there.