The speaker for the College of Nursing and Health Professions Ceremony is Colonel Connie Winik, 2008 Master of Science in Nursing and 2017 Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate. Prior to her degrees from USI, Winik earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in business organization management from the University of La Verne.
Winik is the Chief Nurse for the 959th Medical Group, Brooks Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The 959th Medical Group supports the delivery of primary and operational healthcare services, serving a population of 370,000 in the only joint services Level I Trauma Center in the Department of Defense (DoD).
She oversees the nursing practice of 650 Air Force Total Nursing Force personnel in delivery of $1.2 million worth of healthcare. Additionally, Winik collaborates with leaders in the United States Army to oversee the nursing operation and ensure compliance with standards set by the Joint Commission, Regional Health Care-Central and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Winik started her professional career in 1991 as a Staff Nurse at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Virginia. She returned to the military as a Clinical Nurse with the Alaska Air National Guard in 1997 and transitioned to active duty as a Clinical Nurse in 2000. Since returning to active duty, Winik has been deployed as Chief Nurse and Patient Safety Program Manager in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Additionally, she has served as the Deputy Chief Nurse for the 55th Medical Group at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Chief Nurse for the 559th Medical Group at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; and the Chief Nurse for the 86th Medical Squadron, in Landstuhl, Germany.
Throughout her years of service, Winik has received several major awards and decorations for her outstanding contributions and achievements. Among these honors are the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Army Commendation Medal. She has also been named Nurse of the Year by the 354th Medical Operations Squadron; 39th Medical Group; and Air Force Material Command for Education and for Nursing Force Development.
Winik actively serves as a member of the Academic of Medical-Surgical Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International and Society of Air Force Nurses. She is also certified by the Nurse Executive Advanced Board and as a Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse.
For more information on Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremonies, visit the Commencement webpage.