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Meet the NLDC

AORN members may ask the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee questions via email.

Vangie Dennis, BSN, RN, CMLSO, CNOR - Chair

Vangie Dennis is administrative director for Spivey Station Surgery Center, Jonesboro, Georgia. She earned her associate in nursing from Georgia State University, Atlanta, and her bachelor of science in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing. She is presently a member of AORN of Northwest Georgia, the Abdominal/Pelvic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Specialty Assembly the Business, Industry & Consulting Specialty Assembly and the Sterile Processing/Supply Chain Management Specialty Assembly. Vangie is the AORN liaison for the ANSI Standards for Lasers and is the Chair of the National Certification for Medical lasers. Dennis has received the award from the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery for Excellence in Laser Nursing (1996), AORN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Perioperative Clinical Nursing Education (2011) and the Laser Institute of America’s R. James Rockwell, Jr, Educational Achievement Award (2011). 
She has been a member of the AORN national Recommended Practices Committee (2007-2010), a member of the national Smoke Evacuation Task Force (2008-2010), a member of the national Perioperative Environment of Care Task Force (2007-2008), a member of the national Workplace Safety Committee (2006-2007), past-secretary of the Abdominal/Pelvic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Specialty Assembly (2006-2007), past-chair of the Abdominal/Pelvic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Specialty Assembly (2004-2006), and past-vice president of AORN of Suburban Atlanta Georgia (2006).

 
Vangie Dennis 2014 

Steve Balog, MSN, BSN, RN, CNOR 

Stephen Balog is a staff nurse at Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He earned his associate in nursing from Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, and his bachelor of science in nursing and his master in nursing administration from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Balog has been a perioperative nurse for 31 years and a member of AORN for 30 years. He is a member of the AORN of Northern Virginia (2004-present), the Virginia State Council (2006-present), the Cardio Vascular Thoracic Specialty Assembly (2006-present), and the RN First Assistant Specialty Assembly (2012-present). Balog has attended Congress nine times in the past 10 years, eight times as a delegate. Balog has received the AORN Award for Outstanding Achievement in State Council Leadership (2012). Highlights of Balog’s service to AORN include that he is chair of the national Legislative Committee (2013-present), chair of the Virginia State Council (2006-present), and a member of the AORN of Northern Virginia Board of Directors (2005-present).
He has been a member of the National Committee on Education (2009), ex officio of AORN of Northern Virginia (2004-2005), and president of AORN of Northern Virginia (2004).

 
Steve Balog 2014 

Merideth Lewis-Cooney, BSN, RN, CNOR 

Merideth Lewis-Cooney, BSN, RN, CNOR, is a clinical nurse III at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California. She earned her baccalaureate in French literature from the Lycée Racine, Paris, France, and her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of San Francisco, California. Lewis-Cooney has been a perioperative nurse for 11 years and a member of AORN for 7 years. She is a member of AORN of San Francisco and Marin California (2004-present), the Operating Room Nursing Council of California (2010-present), the Leadership Specialty Assembly (2009-present), and the Cardio Vascular Thoracic Specialty Assembly (2009-present). Lewis-Cooney has attended Congress four times in the past 10 years, each time as a delegate. Highlights of Lewis-Cooney’s service to AORN include that she is co-chair of the national Young Professionals Task Force (2013-present) and president of AORN of San Francisco and Marin California (2013-present). She has been legislative report liaison for the Operating Room Nursing Council of California (2012-2013), a member of the Operating Room Nursing Council of California (2010-2011), president-elect of AORN of San Francisco and Marin California (2012-2013), a member of the Board of Directors of AORN of San Francisco and Marin California (2011-2012), and secretary of AORN of San Francisco and Marin California (2010-2011).

 
Merideth Lewis-Cooney 2014 

Kristy Simmons MSN, RN CNOR 

Kristy Simmons MSN, RN CNOR, is a clinical nurse III specializing in neonatal surgery, magnet nurse ambassador chair and part-time house supervisor at Woman's Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA. She earned her diploma in nursing from OLOL school of nursing in Baton Rouge, LA., her bachelors of  nursing from Loyola University, New Orleans and her masters in nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA. 

Kristy has been a perioperative nurse for over 30 years and a member of AORN for 28 years and has coauthored several AORN Pulseline, Connections and  Journal articles and spoken at conferences locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on perioperative research, disaster nursing, pediatric surgery, ANCC Magnet process, and the Future Nurse Club she established in her community.  

She is currently serving as the communication chair for  the National AORN Pediatric Specialty Assembly (2010-2015), as chair of the LA Council of AORN chapters(2013-2015), as president of the AORN Baton Rouge Chapter 1904 (2014-2015), and past chair of the National AORN Membership Committee (2014-2015).  Kristy has attended Congress 15 times in the past 15 years serving as delegate and served as a AORN Member Ambassador 2001 to present and served on the AORN National Taskforce for AORN Access (2010-2011). 

Kristy has received the AORN Award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year (2014), the AORN Award for Outstanding Volunteer of Year AORN (2014), Republican Women of Central Outstanding  Woman of Achievement (2014), ANCC Magnet Nurse of the Year for Exemplary Professional Practice (2011), Eighty Five Alumni Who Have Made a Difference OLOL (2009) Louisiana State Nurses Nightingale Award (2006), and the Crystal Apple Award for Volunteers in Public Schools (2005).

 
Kristy Simmons 2015 

Kristy Wheeler, BSN, RN, CNOR, CST 

Kristy Wheeler, BSN, RN, CNOR, CST, is a clinical nurse II at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Coppin State University, Baltimore, Maryland in 2011. She earned her associate degree in 2004 from The Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland. She earned certificate of Surgical Technology from the Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore Maryland 2004. Being her career as a Surgical Technologist in 2004 then became a perioperative nurse in 2011 and became a member of AORN. She is currently president elect for her AORN Chapter of Baltimore. She has served her chapter as a member of the Fundraising Committee (2013-present), Social Media Coordinator (2014-present), and a member of the Nominating Committee (2013-2014). Kristy has received a Gold Star Award from the Mercy Hospital Center  2013,a McAuley Gold Award from the Mercy Hospital Center 2012, and an employee-of-the-month honor from the Franklin Square Medical Center 2009. She is currently nominated for a nursing award at University of Maryland Medical Center (5/2015). 

She has held the following leadership roles in her career: Member of the Trauma Prevention Council at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center (2015), chair of the Falls Committee at Mercy Medical Center (2013-2014),a member of the Falls Committee at Mercy Medical Center (2011-2014). She served on the Maryland State Assembly of Surgical Technologists Board of Directors (2011-2013), and is a member of Maryland State Assembly of Surgical Technologist 2005-present. She has also lead an Assess Improve Implement Measure Project on medication labeling at Mercy Medical Center  (2012-2013). Kristy has a strong background in community service in serving as a Mt Kidmore large-group leader for the Mountain Christian Church (2005-present). Is a yearly volunteer at ServeFest in Baltimore Maryland (2006-present).

She has been on two medical mission trips to Kenya with Mountain Christian Church (2011,2013); was a volunteer on a mission trip to Joplin Missouri with Mountain Christian Church in 2012. Has been a mentor for senior nursing students from John Hopkins University and University of Maryland (2011-2014), and a mentor for a student at Mercy High School (2012-2013).

 
Kristy Wheeler 2015 

Victoria M. Steelman, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN - Advisor

Victoria M. Steelman, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN, has been a perioperative nurse for over 25 years. As a perioperative clinical nurse specialist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, she focused on implementing evidence-based practice changes for 20 years. She is Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, where she teaches evidence-based practice and conducts research on perioperative patient safety. In 2009, she joined the Department of Veterans' Affairs as a Quality Scholar and remains as an administrative nurse focusing on perioperative safety and quality. She has been nationally active in AORN for more than 20 years, serving as a member and chairman of numerous committees. In 2010, she chaired the AORN Evidence-based Practice Taskforce, identifying the most appropriate method for rating the strength of evidence in AORN documents. She has received two Outstanding Achievement awards from AORN as well as the AORN Award for Excellence in recognition of her many contributions to perioperative nursing. In 2007, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in recognition of the national and global impact of her work. 

Steelman was the 2014-2015 AORN President.

 
Victoria Steelman 

 

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