2017 Outstanding Contribution Awards

Awards presented at the 2017 ACNL Annual Conference.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bestowed upon those stellar leaders, who over the course of their careers, have consistently contributed to the betterment of nursing and health care.

C. Duane Dauner, FACHE
President/Chief Executive Officer
California Hospital Association

A dynamic and influential leader and advocate, Duane has advanced health care on local, state and national levels.

For more than 30 years, Duane has been a champion for the health care industry – advocating for optimal patient care delivery, health care reform and the nursing community. He is a visionary health care leader with an astute talent for assessing a situation and developing an effective plan of action. The ultimate maestro, Duane’s ability to work across the aisle and bring diverse groups and coalitions together to develop effective solutions is phenomenal, resulting in decades of advances for health care organizations, patients and communities. A staunch supporter of ACNL, Duane’s commitment to our organization has been demonstrated in countless ways  from free office space for over 20 years to ensuring a voting seat for ACNL on the CHA Board of Directors and the California Hospital Political Action Committee.

Contributions to ACNL

Awarded to an ACNL nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the organization.

Susan Odegaard Turner, MN, MBA, PhD, RN
President/Chief Executive Officer 
Turner Healthcare Associates, Inc.

A creative entrepreneur, Susan successfully leverages ACNL programs to benefit her clients and our organization.

A dedicated ACNL member for more than 25 years, Susan has a long history of service to our organization. As a successful entrepreneur and consultant, she has effectively linked her clients with ACNL programs and services, creating mutually beneficial partnerships. Susan collaborated with faculty from ACNL's Foundation for Leadership Excellence program to customize the curriculum for nurse leaders specializing in corrections – in 2006-2007 for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and again in 2014-2015 for the Los Angeles County Jail System. These projects provided needed professional development for hundreds of health care leaders, while substantially contributing to ACNL's financial health and increasing the prestige and reputation of the Foundations program. 

Contributions to ACNL

Awarded to an ACNL nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the organization.


Paul Wafer, BS, MBA, RN
Alpha Consulting Group, Inc.

Paul transformed ACNL’s culture of fundraising by spearheading a bold, new approach for philanthropy.

As Chair of the Philanthropic, Recognition and Scholarship Committee, Paul led the development of an innovative, multi-faceted fundraising strategy to underwrite vital ACNL programs. Over three years in the making, ACNL’s Philanthropic Strategic Plan was created under Paul’s leadership through the collaborative efforts of ACNL’s Board, staff, Philanthropic Committee and consultants. The first phase, the Circles of Giving, was launched at ACNL’s 2016 Annual Conference last February, generating more than $140,000 pledged during the year, more than four times the annual amount raised in previous years. Phase II of the plan will focus on securing funding from foundations, philanthropists and industry donors. Through his business, Alpha Consulting Group, Paul also supports the philanthropic program by awarding an annual scholarship to an ACNL member pursuing an advanced degree.


Contributions as a Humanitarian

Awarded to an ACNL nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the promotion of human welfare, improvement of health services for those in need and advancement of humanitarian efforts through research, service and/or education.

Judith Karshmer, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
School of Nursing and Health Professions
University of San Francisco

Known as an out of the box thinker, boundary-pusher and advocate, Judy successfully promotes human welfare and social reform.

Judy is a nurse leader whose mantra is: “get up every morning, draw a line in the sand, and then step over it!" For the past 11 years, she has served the San Francisco community as an advocate for the underserved and underrepresented, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs addressed.  In recognition of her extensive knowledge of public health and her contributions to the community, Judy was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to the powerful San Francisco Health Commission, the governing and policy-making body for the Department of Public Health. The Commission manages city and county hospitals, emergency medical services, and all matters pertaining to the preservation, promotion and protection of the lives, health and mental health of San Francisco residents. Judy is an outstanding example of a nurse leader making a difference by building collaborative partnerships and positioning herself to influence the future of health care and improve the health of her community.


Friend of Nursing

Awarded to an individual or organization demonstrating significant contributions and support for the nursing profession.

The Honorable Lois Capps
Representative, 24th Congressional District - Retired

The voice of nursing in Congress, Lois devoted her political career to creating a healthier America.

First elected in 1998, Lois has been the voice of nursing in Congress for nearly two decades. During her tenure, she championed legislation to advance the nursing profession, increase RN education funding, alleviate the nursing shortage, reform Medicare, expand health care access and improve the health of Americans. She consistently educated fellow lawmakers about nursing and health care issues and established the Congressional Nurse Caucus. Additionally, she has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment and promote clean energy and green technology. Prior to launching her impressive political career, Lois served in public health and school nurse roles. In retirement, she plans to spend time with family and become involved in local community issues.


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