HMH’s Hessels named fellow of American Academy of Nursing

Dr. Amanda Hessels of Hackensack Meridian Health has been selected to be a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing — one of the highest honors a nurse can receive.

The academy is an honorific society that recognizes nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, practice, administration and academia. Induction into the academy is based on contributions and impact to advance the public’s health.

Hessels, a nurse scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health and an assistant professor at Columbia University, School of Nursing, has more than 25 years’ experience in critical care nursing, epidemiology, infection prevention and health care quality.

She said she was humbled by the honor.

“Achieving this lifetime honor is inspired by and made possible in large part by all those I choose to surround myself with, to learn from and grow alongside — and I have been surrounded by an expanding Hackensack Meridian Health family for over 15 years,” she said.

“I thrive at the intersection of science and practice, advancing key discoveries that improve both health care system organization and health care delivery. The authenticity, humanity, ingenuity, inquisitiveness and tenacity of my Hackensack Meridian family continues to have a profound effect on me and my impact on nursing and health, evident in contributions to science that provide real-world value.”

Hessels’ scholarly contributions are vast and include numerous editorial board positions nationally and internationally, leadership roles in national organizations, such as the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and selected invitations and appointments to national scientific panels and committees.

She has a body of research at the intersection of patient safety and occupational health. By describing and quantifying the role of human factors, organizational and clinical practice predictors of health care-associated infections and occupational health injuries, her work has led to practice and policy change regionally, nationally and internationally.

Advancing these scientific breakthroughs and with current federal funding, she is developing interventions to improve adherence to infection prevention practices.

Dr. Theresa Brodrick, executive vice president and network chief nurse executive at HMH, said the system benefits greatly from Hessels’ expertise.

“Dr. Hessels is a pioneer in nursing, and her work at Hackensack Meridian has helped to propel the advancement of public health in our state, our nation and across the globe,” she said. “During the pandemic, in particular, we have relied on her expertise and guidance. Hessels is incredibly deserving of this honor, and we are so proud and fortunate to have her at Hackensack Meridian Health.”

Hessels was one of 255 individuals to be inducted into the 2021 class, which includes fellows from 38 states, the District of Columbia and 18 countries.