Spotlight on

< Return to spotlight stories

2018 Alumna of the Year

2018 Alumna of the Year

"Throughout her career, Dr. Pohl has reflected a deep sense of community engagement as well as a commitment to improving the health of people locally and globally. She is everything we could want for our alumni to be," said WSU College of Nursing Dean Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo.

Joanne M. Pohl, Ph.D., ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, M.S.N. ‘79

Dr. Pohl is Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. "Throughout her career, Dr. Pohl has reflected a deep sense of community engagement as well as a commitment to improving the health of people locally and globally. She is everything we could want for our alumni to be," said WSU College of Nursing Dean Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo.

She received her nursing diploma in 1964 from Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, her bachelor’s from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, her masters’ from Wayne State University, which prepared her as a nurse practitioner in 1979, and her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Michigan in 1992.

After completing her master’s, she held a dual position as faculty in WSU’s Adult Nurse Practitioner program and NP at the university’s health center, Primary Care Nursing Service, for seven years. This was the state’s first on-campus, nurse-managed center. She then was on faculty at Michigan State University for two years. After completing her Ph.D., she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan where, for the next 20 years, she directed the Adult Nurse Practitioner program and then was Associate Dean for Community Partnerships. She brings over 35 years’ experience as a nurse practitioner, educator and researcher in primary care.

Dr. Pohl’s research focused on family caregiving, tobacco cessation with vulnerable populations and, for the last 15 years of her career, on outcomes of care, cost of care, community responses and student experiences in nurse managed health centers. She received extensive funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create a consortium of four Michigan public universities — Wayne State University, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan — and Michigan Public Health Institute to collaborate on financial and clinical measures, student outcomes and experiences, and outcomes of care in nine nurse managed centers. This led to additional funding from W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create the first and only national standardized data warehouse for nurse managed health centers across the country with the same partners. Data from that warehouse have been compared to federally qualified health centers and led to numerous publications and presentations. This work led to an Agency for Health Research and Quality grant that focused on the implementation of electronic health records in nurse managed health centers and federally qualified health centers.

Dr. Pohl was president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), 2006-08. She recently represented NONPF in co-chairing the National Task Force Criteria update released in 2016. She received NONPF’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. She served on the initial QSEN Advisory Board that developed criteria for quality and safety in nursing. She also served on an Institute of Medicine Committee that addressed geographic adjustment factors in medicare payment. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, receiving the first Loretta C. Ford award from the latter. She currently serves on the Washtenaw County Board of Health, appointed by the county commissioners, and is president of the Haiti Nursing Foundation in the U.S.