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BC Nursing Prof. Danny Willis Honored by American Psychiatric Nurses Assn. - NE Chapter

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (April 2014) -- Boston College Connell School of Nursing Associate Professor Danny Willis, a men’s mental health expert, has been named the recipient of the Nancy M. Valentine Excellence in Leadership Award given by the New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (NEAPNA).

The Nancy M. Valentine Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes a NEAPNA member who demonstrates vision, tenacity, perseverance, commitment, initiative and facilitation in improving mental health care and the advancement of the profession of psychiatric nursing.

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Danny Willis (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Willis is the chairman of the Department of Nursing in the Connell School of Nursing. A clinical specialist in adult psychiatric mental health, Willis’ expertise is in boys’ and men’s health and well-being in the aftermath of trauma and abuse, with a focus on the elements of healing.

He has conducted research on adult hate crimes, boys' experiences of being bullied, child witnesses to violence and adult survivors’ of child maltreatment. He received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a study on adult male survivors’ healing from child maltreatment.

Willis holds a faculty nurse scientist appointment in the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as a past secretary of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and currently co-chairs the Research Council of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

He is on the editorial review panel of Advances in Nursing Science, American Journal of Men’s Health, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Journal of Holistic Nursing, and Nursing Philosophy. Willis has held international leadership positions such as co-chair of the 12th International Philosophy of Nursing Conference and special guest editor of the interdisciplinary journal Nursing Philosophy.

In 2011 he was honored with a Rising Star Award by the Eastern Nursing Research Society.

The New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association is an organization that seeks to advance psychiatric nursing through collaboration, engagement and leadership development. The award will be presented to Willis in May at NEAPNA’s spring conference in Newport, R.I.

--Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs, kathleen.sullivan@bc.edu