Assistant Professor at the School of Biomedical Informatics Honored by Local Nursing Group

Published October 18, 2012 by Sarah Kelly

Juliana J. Brixey RN, MPH, PhD, will be recognized as one of the 20 outstanding nurses of 2012 at the 22nd annual nursing celebration by the Texas Nurses Association District Nine at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Westin Houston, Memorial City.

Brixey was nominated by one of her students, a fellow nurse and the president of SBMI’s Student Governance Organization, Jonathan Wolfarth, RN-BC, who believes that Brixey is an exceptional role model.

“Dr. Brixey, along with Dr. Robert Vogler and Dr. James Turley, is one of the few nurse informaticists at the School of Biomedical Informatics,” Wolfarth said. “In addition to having numerous outstanding contributions to the field of informatics, Dr. Brixey is supportive, encouraging and a mentor to all of her students—especially to nurses pursuing informatics careers.”

The nursing celebration honors nurses in the Houston area who have been nominated by their colleagues, friends and family because of their contributions to the nursing field. A judging panel reviews the nominations and selects the 20 outstanding nurses based on multiple criteria, including expertise in professional practice, services as a professional role model, contributions to the quality of health care and commitment to the profession of nursing.

Brixey has received several awards for her role as an educator, a nurse and an informatician including the 2012 John P. McGovern Teaching Award. The award was given by SBMI students to the professor who best supports student independent thought, develops student confidence in their area of study and stimulates students’ quest for knowledge and professional development.

"My intent is to coach and mentor health informatics students to actively participate in learning and to challenge themselves," Brixey said. "I am constantly looking for new ways to engage students, and I am a champion for the use of social media applications. These applications can be used to help students learn informatics skills."

One social media application that Brixey uses is Second Life, a virtual world that allows students to interact online through the use of avatars to create a network of informaticians, as well as provide a place for students to learn and develop additional skills that will enhance their academic and professional careers.

"Social media can be used to create a sense of community among online students, and through these applications they have reported less isolation than standard online course formats," Brixey said. "Using social media, students add each other to their network. These networks can last beyond completion of the master’s in applied health informatics."

Brixey has 30 years of experience as a nurse in nursing management and direct care for patients, working as a pheresis nurse, assistant head nurse, head nurse, administrator on duty, staff nurse in general and vascular surgery, in the recovery room and on a renal diabetes unit.

“It is imperative that registered nurses seize every opportunity to become more educated in health informatics, involved in health informatics organizations, and include themselves in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of health information systems because health informatics has the capability of greatly improving the quality and safety of patient care—a vital element in nursing,” Brixey said.

As a newly recognized outstanding nurse by the Texas Nurses Association, Brixey continues to set the bar high for her students, and through her teaching style, she is training future informaticians to find new approaches to improve healthcare.

Program from the Texas Nurses Association's 2012 Celebration