Dean of Nursing Recognized with Executive Award, Students Receive Nursing Scholarships

The Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) held its annual Awards and Scholarship Gala on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at Koolau Ballrooms in Kaneohe. HAH is the unifying voice of Hawaii’s healthcare providers and an authoritative and respected leader in shaping healthcare policy in Hawaii. HAH works with committed partners and stakeholders to lead the movement towards achieve in equitable, sustainable Hawaii healthcare system driven to improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness for patients and communities.

Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN, received the 2017 Executive Award for her role as dean and professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing. Boland was selected for the award for her leadership in the healthcare community, exemplary leadership in innovation, employee morale and financial stewardship, as well as serving as an inspiration for colleagues. She has made improvements to care at the statewide level as well as national efforts, and is dedicated to enhancing healthcare delivery.

Boland joined UH Manoa in 2005, following a distinguished career at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a career focused on developing community based care systems for children and families dealing with chronic illnesses. As dean of the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing for the past twelve years, she is credited with building academic partnerships for education, research, and service while transforming education to meet the needs of the community. A visionary and transformational leader, her efforts led to statewide nursing education initiatives from the baccalaureate through doctoral levels; development of a statewide partnership for a simulation center available to statewide practice settings; and spearheaded the inter-professional initiatives for the UH College of Health Sciences and Social Welfare (Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Pharmacy and Public Health).

“Mary Boland is highly respected across the state as well at the University of Hawaii. In addition to her positive contributions to healthcare in Hawaii, she is a tremendous asset,” said UH President and Interim UH Manoa Chancellor David Lassner. “We are very proud of Mary and thank her for her commitment to serving the mission of UH Manoa and furthering innovation and excellence for the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing.”

Through her advocacy with the legislature and the Hawaii State Center for Nursing activities, she assisted with the successful passing of barrier breaking legislation to enable APRNs in Hawaii to practice to their full scope of authority. Through her work with the Hawaii Department of Education, Hawaii Keiki: Health and Ready to Learn APRNs and RNs provide school based health services to students in schools who need them most.

Over the past twelve years, Boland has demonstrated unparalleled leadership through her innovative approaches to education, practice and research. Her innate ability to bring stakeholders together for a common purpose and forge partnerships is beyond measurable. Her efforts have positively impacted all of Hawaii’s health care agencies (public, private, federal and state) through her work in all healthcare settings – acute care, ambulatory, public health, and school health. Her leadership in creating change through health policy reforms is widely recognized by healthcare leaders and state legislators. Through her leadership and collaboration, two community-based research partnerships were established and sustained over the past ten years with The Queen’s Medical Center and the Pacific Regional Command cultivating research focused on improving healthcare outcomes, quality of life, and healthcare policy. She is a strong advocate for the nursing profession and convened two statewide recognitions of nurses (Fabulous Fifty Nurses and Faces of Nursing) that highlighted the valuable contributions Hawaii’s nurses, individually and collectively, make to our community.

Jessica Ackerman, APRN-Rx, FNP-BC, a UH Manoa Nursing alumna received the 2017 HAH Hawaii Healthcare Hero award. Ackerman is a nurse practitioner at The Queen’s Medical Center – Geriatric Services. She was nominated by a patient and received one of five Healthcare Hero awards given this year. Patients nominated those who they feel go above and beyond the call of duty, show compassion, are extremely knowledgeable and provide exceptional care.

HAH also awarded two UH Manoa Nursing students with scholarships to support their academic endeavors. Shania Weiss is an undergraduate nursing student who is currently a resident assistant at UH Manoa Student Housing. Rozanne Schirmer is an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist master’s nursing student working at The Queen’s Medical Center – West Oahu as a manager for outpatient clinic operations.

“We applaud students who pursue their academic goals while simultaneously working to support their educational goals. Balancing work and school is no easy task; we thank the HAH for supporting nursing students with scholarships to help ease their financial burden “said Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN, dean and professor at UH Manoa Nursing.


About UH Manoa Nursing

UH Manoa Nursing, the Nursing Capital of the Pacific, is the leader in nursing education and research in Hawaii with outreach to Asia and the Pacific Basin. We support the mission of the University of Hawaii at Manoa: to provide an innovative, caring and multicultural environment in which faculty, students and staff work together to generate and transmit knowledge, wisdom, and values to promote quality of life and health for present and future generations. The school offers the BS, master’s, and doctoral programs. To reflect Hawaii’s unique cultural diversity and heritage, UH Manoa Nursing is committed to increasing the representation of Native Hawaiian and other underserved people in all nursing programs. Visit us at


Picture of Desiree Uyeda, MBA
Desiree Uyeda, MBA
Marketing Manager
Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 429
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-2904
Fax: 808-956-3257
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