Sally Burrows-Hudson, nephrology nurse, mentor, and leader passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014 after a brief hospitalization. A principal in Nephrology Clinical Solutions, a consulting company, Sally had a long career in nephrology, beginning as a dialysis technician in the early 1970s, educating herself to the graduate level, earning an MSN from the University of California at San Francisco, all the while working as a nephrology nurse and advancing to President of the American Nephrology Nursing Association (ANNA) in 1990.
Sally was a pioneer in defining nephrology nursing practice and certification for nurses and technicians. She was an early member and on the Board of AANNT, the organization that preceded ANNA. She was a board member and item writer for BONENT for at least a decade prior to the establishment of the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission. Sally and her husband, Martin V. Hudson, werelife-long advocates for technician role definition, better education, certification, professionalism, and recognition. Sally recognized and valued the unique nature of nursing, and never failed to encourage technicians and nurse assistants with, “When are you going to nursing school? You are going, right?” Her email address of “TriumphantRN” rang true.
Many will remember her work with Amgen, including playing an instrumental role in the Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (DOQI) and the Kidney Disease Quality Outcomes Initiative (KDOQI) projects with the National Kidney Foundation. Others will remember the work she did early in her career with the ESRD Networks, where she was a Quality Improvement Director for Network 17, and the seminal publications with Doug Vlchek on quality assurance for dialysis in the 1990s. Sally was a fierce supporter of life-long learning and evidence based practice, was the editor of the 6th Edition of ANNA’s Nephrology Nursing Standards of Practice and Guidelines for Care, and she most recently served as a member of a 2011–13 ANNA task force evaluating nurse-sensitive outcomes for development of a potential quality measure.
Sally earned both of the most prestigious nephrology nursing awards: the Outstanding Contribution to ANNA (1996) and the Annual Dialysis Conference Lifetime Achievement Award in Nephrology Nursing (2011) from the Division of Nephrology and Continuing Education, University of Missouri. She had over 60 publications, almost 20 abstracts, and numerous presentations, many on quality improvement topics. She was founder and President of the Institute for Clinical Excellence, Education and Research (ICEER), a non-profit corporation to conduct and support research in nephrology.
Whenever anyone talked with Sally, she gave her undivided attention to what theywere discussing with her. She was a mentor to many, and a support to many more. She was a lifelong supporter of the Girl Scouts, serving as a troop leader at the time of her death. She loved hiking and kayaking, and had recently taken her grandchildren to see her Mom in Colorado and to visit several National Parks.
Sally is survived by her husband Martin V., whom she married after working with him as a dialysis technician; her daughter and son-in-law Erica Alexis and Shahab Mehmandoust:three beloved grandchildren, Latieef Kenyatta (12), Jasmine Anjali (10), and Artai Sankofa (2); her mother, Athalie 'Mac' Neely; two brothers, Rob and Tom Neely; and countless friends and nursing colleagues.
Sally should be remembered for her strengths: she was a passionate patient advocate who cared deeply about nurses moving toward higher level, quality-focused practice. On the day before her death, she commented that the day-nurse was questioning a technique the night-nurse had successfully used
to make her more comfortable. Sally texted a friend, “I’m going to ask him for his evidence.” We should all adopt that as our mantra in her memory.