Black History Month: Honoring Nurses and Leaders from UK

Posted: February 5, 2019

“It’s important as a College and as healthcare professionals to reflect on our roots during Black History Month and learn about our diverse backgrounds in order to give the best quality patient care. This month recognizes our College’s and the University’s rich history, celebrates our differences and creates an open dialogue that will serve to enhance our educational environment.” 

- Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing


Marsha L. Hughes-Rease, MSN, MSOD, ACC, RN

Hughes-Rease was the first African American to earn her BSN from the UK College of Nursing in 1972. She served as a Navy Nurse Corps officer for almost 30 years and was aboard the USNS Comfort during Desert Shield and Storm War. Hughes-Rease received the Legion of Merit medal, two Meritorious Service medals, two Commendation medals, and the Combat Action ribbon. She later started her current career as an executive coach and organization development consultant, Quo Vadis Coaching and Consulting.

While in the Navy, Hughes-Rease served aboard the USNS Comfort during Desert Shield and Storm War; developed and implemented career guidance policy as the career planning officer for the Nurse Corps; evaluated the quality of health care delivery at Navy bases and on ships around the world as the deputy director for Medical Inspections for the Navy inspector general; and provided consulting services to military health care leaders as the deputy director for the Center for the Navy Medicine Center for Organization Development.

As a consultant with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Hughes-Rease has worked with more than twenty-five hospitals that have either received Magnet Recognition or are on the journey to nursing excellence. She has written several articles and chapters, presented nationally and internationally, and served as an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University. Hughes-Rease received her MSN from George Mason University, her master's in organization development and a graduate certificate in group facilitation from Johns Hopkins University, and a graduate certificate in coaching from Fielding Graduate University.

Vicki Hines-Martin, PhD, CNS, RN, FAAN

Vicki Hines-Martin is an associate professor and the director of the Office of Disparities and Community Engagement at the University of Louisville School of Nursing. She also serves as the faculty scholar in the University of Louisville Office of Community Engagement. Hines-Martin received her BSN and MAEd from Spalding University in Louisville, her MSN from the University of Cincinnati and was the first African American to graduate with a PhD from the UK College of Nursing in 1994. Her clinical practice, undergraduate and graduate teaching and research activities have focused on health disparities and diversity with an emphasis on mental health, low income and African-American populations.

Dr. Hines-Martin has conducted and collaborated on projects funded by the Kentucky Nurses Foundation, American Nurses Foundation (ANF), Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NINR & NIDDK). She has 55 (27 peer-reviewed) publications and more than 100 presentations at the local, national and international levels. She serves as a reviewer for several professional publications, such as the American Nurses Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She was the founder of the KYANNA Black Nurses Association (KY Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association) which is in its 23rd year and has provided scholarships to more than 45 minority nursing students in the Kentuckiana area. She was inducted as a Fellow into the Academy of Nursing in 2008 for her work on health disparities and diversity in nursing. She is married to Kenneth with one daughter, Michelle.

Juanita Fleming, PhD, RN, FAAN

Juanita Fleming has experience in the areas of research, education, administration and the care of children. Most of her professional career has been devoted to the well being of children and their families and to higher education.  She has held roles such as Chairperson, Associate Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Kentucky. She was nominated by and served as an American Council on Education Fellow under the late Dr. Otis Singletary. She served as a Professor in the College of Nursing with a joint appointment as Professor of Education Policy Studies and Evaluation in the College of Education and as Special Assistant to the President for Academic Affairs at the University of Kentucky through June 2001.

Fleming is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky, and began serving in the position of Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kentucky State University January 2003.  She received her Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing with high honors, ranking in the top ten graduates of her class from Hampton University, received her Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, and as a recipient of the Mary Robert Fellowship, she studied Journalism and Human Development at the University of Maryland and budgeting for leaders not in finance at Wharton.  Her Ph.D. in Education of Exceptional Children and Psychology is from the Catholic University of America.

Fleming’s scholarly productivity is evidenced by her multiple publications and grant activity, which has generated more than five million dollars. She has served as a member on panels such as the National Institutes of Health Behavioral Medicine Study Section, the Maternal Child Health Research Review Panel, National Advisory Council on Nurses’ Education and the National Advisory Council for Health Care Policy, Research and Evaluation. Fleming is currently a reviewer for the Journal of Advanced Nursing and is serving as a consultant and evaluator for the Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine. She is married to Dr. William Fleming and is the mother of two sons, William Jr. and Robert.

Lyman T. Johnson

Lyman T. Johnson played an integral role in integrating Kentucky higher education in 1949, when he won a lawsuit against the university and became the first African-American student at UK. The lawsuit challenged the state’s Day Law that prohibited blacks and whites from attending the same schools. Johnson and 30 others started classes at UK that year, with Johnson entering UK as a graduate student in the History Department.

Although Johnson left UK before earning a degree, in 1979 the university presented him with an honorary doctor of letters degree. Johnson taught history, economics and math for 33 years at Louisville’s Central High School. He spent his last seven years in the school system as an assistant principal at Parkland Junior High, Manley Junior High and Flaget High School, all former schools in Louisville. The civil rights pioneer was a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education from 1978 to 1982.