NewsJuly 13 2023

The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Sandy Leake Selected to be Inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

July 13, 2023 — The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) is pleased to announce that Sandy Leake, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, has been selected to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (Academy). Leake is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at UTMC. Induction into the Academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career in which their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within and outside the profession. Fellows are selected based on their contributions and impact to advance the public’s health.

The Academy is a policy organization and an honorific society that recognizes nursing's most accomplished leaders in policy, research, practice, administration, and academia to advance equitable solutions to the nation’s most complex healthcare challenges. Academy Fellows, from over 40 countries, hold a wide variety of influential roles in health care. Induction into the Fellowship represents more than recognition of one's accomplishments within the nursing profession. Fellows contribute their collective expertise to the Academy, engaging with health leaders nationally and globally to improve health and achieve health equity by impacting policy through nursing leadership, innovation, and science. 

Dr. Leake’s career focus has been increasing underserved population’s access to quality healthcare through the creation of innovative academic-practice partnerships, leadership development, and mentoring nurses and other healthcare leaders at all levels nationally and regionally. As a CNO in one of the largest, most complex healthcare systems in the Department of Veterans Affairs for over two decades, Dr. Leake held numerous national leadership roles; served two interim assignments leading national program offices; and twice led her health system to Magnet designation. She joined UTMC in May 2020, served a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic, and successfully led UTMC to its third Magnet designation In November 2021.

In 2022, Dr. Leake was appointed as the nurse representative on a committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine titled “The Committee on Transforming Health Care to Create Whole Health: Strategies to Assess, Spread, and Scale the Whole Person Approach to Health.” In January 2023, she began a two-year term as Member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, an organization whose mission is to strengthen and magnify the impact of the National Institute of Nursing Research, one of 23 Institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Dr. Leake received an ASN from Dyersburg State Community College, BSN from Memphis State University, MSN from Vanderbilt University, and her DNP from Augusta University. She holds adjunct faculty appointments in the colleges of nursing at The University of Tennessee, Emory University, and Augusta University.

The entire University of Tennessee Medical Center team is extremely excited for Dr. Leake having received this well earned, rare and prestigious recognition,” says Joe Landsman, CEO at UTMC. “It is a testament to the impactful work that Dr. Leake leads on our campus and in the industry every day.  This significant milestone in Dr. Leake’s career is one to be celebrated by our organization and the healthcare industry as a whole.”   

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing,” said Leake. “This award would not be possible without the support of my colleagues, who inspire me every day.”

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed nearly 400 applications to select the 2023 Fellows. The 2023 Fellows represent 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 13 countries.

Leake and the 2023 inductees will be recognized for their substantial, sustained, and significant contributions to health and healthcare at the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place on October 5 – 7, 2023 in Washington, DC during the Induction Ceremony on the evening of October 7. This is a historic year for the Academy as the organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Once the newest Fellows are inducted, the Academy will be comprised of more than 3,000 leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.

Learn more about the Academy and visit the policy conference website for more details. For individuals interested in attending the Induction Ceremony, tickets can be purchased online.