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Connell School Alumna Ann Riley Finck Named Recipient of Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (June 2011) – Ann Riley Finck, a nurse practitioner and preceptor in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center, was presented with the 2011 Boston College Connell School of Nursing’s Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award, named for the school's first faculty member and former dean. The Dean Kelleher Award recognizes a graduate of the Connell School of Nursing who is an accomplished nursing leader, an ethically aware scientist, and a skilled and inquisitive clinician.

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Ann Riley Finck (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham)

Finck graduated from the Connell School of Nursing in 1966. After a year spent in Jamaica under the aegis of what is now the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, she began her career at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center. As a neuroscience ICU nurse, Finck provides bedside and postoperative care to critically ill patients. She also works as a preceptor instructing new nurses in critical care. She serves as the Medical Center’s chair for the Unit Practice Council, which is tasked with improving care to patients and the hospital environment for their families.

Finck, who earned a master of science in nursing from Columbia University, has also presented and published on a variety of neuroscience nursing topics. All five of Finck’s children are also Boston College graduates.

"So much of nursing is about being there for your patient, for your patient’s family, for your co-workers. That’s the heart of BC nursing,” said Finck, who received the Dean Kelleher Award from Kathleen McGillycuddy, incoming chair of the Boston College Board of Trustees, at a reunion event held earlier this month.

Following the award presentation, Finck participated in a panel discussion on “Neuroscience Nursing: Improving the Quality of Life and Functionality of Patients and Families Facing Neurological Conditions” with three other CSON alumni, Shaun William Golden, director of nursing, Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit; nurse practitioner Cathy M. St. Pierre, associate chief for nursing research at Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Hospital, and Daniel V. Triggs, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit staff nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Nurse Corps commander, U.S. Navy Reserve.

Previous winners of the Dean Kelleher Award are: pediatric oncology nurse Genevieve Foley (2010) and Betsy Brown (inaugural winner, 2009), director of clinical services at Partners Harvard Medical International.

Dean Kelleher
Rita Kelleher arrived at Boston College in September 1947 as the nursing school's first faculty member. Just six months later, she was named dean, a role she held for two decades until she resigned in 1968. With the exception of a one-year stint as acting dean, she returned to full-time teaching and retired in 1973, following a 26-year association with the school. Dean Kelleher died in 2009 at the age of 101.