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Provider Spotlight

SARAH WAGNER, PA-C

1. Where did you go to school, and when did you graduate?
University of Evansville Class of 2019

2. Role at Deaconess, department (past and present). Include any leadership roles, committees, special projects, awards, etc.
PA-C, Deaconess Clinic Nephrology
Member of the APQC

3. What is your day to day role as an APP in your department? What do you enjoy or find most rewarding?
About 80% of my time is spent rounding at outpatient dialysis units in the Southern Indiana area. Dialysis patients are seen weekly by a provider and as part of the nephrology team I manage my patient’s renal needs as well as coordinate care among the many other specialties that manage their comorbidities. I enjoy getting to know my patients on a more personal level than a typical clinic or inpatient environment allows given that I see them every week.

4. Tell us more about you, your family, interest, and hobbies
My husband and I have three children ranging in age from 7yrs to 15yrs. We stay busy attending all of their sporting events and other activities. I am on the board of a rural girls softball league that helps provide a place for girls in our township to play softball and develop confidence. I enjoy running, gardening, and reading and have taken on a project of reading a biography of each US president (which has turned out to be quite the task).

5. Please share any additional information that helps us get to know you better!
Being a PA is my second career. After I graduated from college I worked for Whirlpool Corporation for ten years in the refrigeration produce development center. When they closed, I went back to school to become a PA. As it turns out, refrigerators and dialysis machines share many of the same concepts.

6. Rapid fire questions:
What is your favorite restaurant in Evansville?
Comfort
Where we can find you on a Friday night?
Probably at a youth sports game, track meet, or swim meet
What has been your favorite vacation?
Vacations at the beach are pretty hard to beat. St. George Island is our favorite place.
If you were not an APP, what other profession could you see yourself in?
Education and/or community development.


Vicki McNeill, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, CEN

I graduated from Evansville Central High School in 1979, and started at Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing (now retired diploma program here at Deaconess). Classes began 2 weeks after high school graduation. We attended 3 full years, with 2 weeks off in the summer.

I graduated in 1982 and sat, and passed my Indiana licensure exam. I married in 1983 and had 3 lovely children. I began taking classes at UE in 1982 to work on my BSN. I ultimately transferred to USI and graduated 10 years and 3 children later, in 1992.

My hospital nursing career included telemetry, Cardiac Intensive care unit, and ultimately the Emergency Department.

I left Deaconess for 4 years and worked in an Orthopedic office as compliance officer for 2 years. I did outcome studies on total joint replacement patients.

I also worked 2 years at the Evansville Outpatient VA clinic where I learned valuable experience in the management of chronic diseases.

I began the MSN-FNP track through St. Louis University in 1999 and completed studies in December 2002. I began working in the Emergency Department at Deaconess Midtown late 2002 and actually walked for graduation in 2003 as candidate for outstanding graduate. I graduated the same time my son graduated from high school. That was pretty cool.

I entered the DNP program at the George Washington University in 2014 and graduated in 2017.

I worked as Adjunct faculty at University of Evansville from 2017-2018 teaching the History and Physical Lab. This ultimately became too time intensive with my full time job at Deaconess and had to give it up.

I remarried in 2018 on my Father’s 82 birthday. I now have 6 children (Brady Bunch, 3 boys, 3 girls) and 4 grandchildren.

Between 1994-2013 I made 8 trips to Equatorial Africa to work in prisons and orphanages which provided me an overall sense of gratitude, and global perspective on health care. I was able to see and treat diseases that I would never be exposed to in America. I literally have friends all over the world.

I work 12 hour shifts in the Emergency Departments at Midtown, Gateway and Henderson. I have been the Emergency Department Lead NP since 2009. There is no typical day in the ED and I believe that is why my job is so appealing to me professionally. It is a perpetual learning environment.

I have had the pleasure of precepting multiple APP students, NPs and PAs over the past 19 years. These include students from Bethel, Tribeca, Indiana University, Indiana State University, Butler, University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana.

I currently sit on the Deaconess Hospital Credentialing Committee, the One Care Credentialing committee and currently chair elect for the Advanced Practice Provider Council (APQC).

I was the Region 4 Representative for Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses (CAPNI) for two consecutive terms. I was able to network with local and state representatives on behalf of the Advanced Practice Nurse.

My husband and I have a 12 acre farm we plan to grow produce and flowers. We both enjoy travel and the outdoors when not working. I love to read historical fiction when I can stay awake.

Looking back at my high school years, I realized I would have probably made a great physician, but in the 1970-80’s, females were nurses, therapists or teachers. No one encouraged medicine. I have been blessed with the best of both worlds as I get to practice to the fullest extent of my education as a nurse. I really cannot imagine doing anything else.


KIMBERLY HEATHCOTTE, ACNP-BC, DCNP, DNP student

Hello. I am Kimberly Heathcotte ACNP-BC, DCNP, DNP student. I have been married to Brice for 22 years. We have two children Samuel, age 14, and Evelyn, age 9, who keep us busy with their various activities. In my free time I enjoy running long distance with my son. I also enjoy yoga by our lake and taking pictures. When I can, I like to volunteer at my church or in the community. Prior to the pandemic, I provided free skin screenings and public educational lectures regarding sun protection and skin cancer detection.

I first started working for Deaconess on January 1, 2000, as a graduate nurse on a cardiac unit at Deaconess Midtown. I spent most of my nursing career working on some type of cardiac unit either at Deaconess or Norton Healthcare in Louisville. I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2007 with my Masters’ degree in nursing. I participated in and published research regarding spirituality and heart disease. I worked as a nurse practitioner for a couple of years at the Heart Group.

I began my current position in November of 2010 as a nurse practitioner at Deaconess Dermatology Clinic. After working 3000 hours in Dermatology, I was able to sit for the certification exam. I obtained certification in the dermatology field in 2015. I also carry a Bachelors’ degree in Recombinant Genetics and Chemistry from Western Kentucky University. I am currently working toward my Doctorate degree in nursing through the University of Southern Indiana. My DNP research project involves an educational tool to help nurse practitioners improve early detection of melanoma skin cancer. I believe it is obvious that I enjoy education; I hope to utilize my next degree in an educational/nursing leadership role. One of my goals is to join the Evidence-Based Practice and Research Council at Deaconess.

At the Deaconess outpatient Dermatology clinic, we see patients across the lifespan. I work with an amazing medical assistant, Jodie Buckley. The two of us will see on average 25 patients a day with a minimum of 22 and maximum of 28. I treat a few patients with simple problems such as acne or warts; but most often, I perform full skin examinations to detect skin cancer. I perform biopsies and excisions on a daily basis as well. I see numerous new consults mostly for new rashes. I have a large population of patients with psoriasis receiving treatment with biologic agents.

In addition, I precept USI family nurse practitioners or IU medical residents one to two days a week. I also help train new nurse practitioners in our department.

Our practice has grown from myself and one physician to four physicians and five nurse practitioners. Two more physicians are joining us in the fall. It is an exciting time in dermatology with many new biologic medications available to treat psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, eczema, and hidradenitis. I have enjoyed working in this field and interacting with my patients. It has been rewarding to treat longtime patients and their families. The biggest compliment I receive is referrals from my patients to their families and friends. It has also been an honor to receive the Evansville Couriers Reader’s Choice award for best Dermatologist in 2017, 2019, and 2020.

I have been blessed to be a nurse for so many years. I hope to continue to learn, teach, and grow. Ultimately, I hope to leave a positive mark on the field, and in at least some small way, advance the profession.

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