Press Releases

2 Methodist Staff Members Honored at Inspire Awards Event

Published: Nov. 6, 2023
Inspire Awards

Deb Carlson, PhD, and Jen Tran, MSN, RN, SANE-A, were among the inspiring women leaders honored at the second annual Inspire Awards Luncheon on Nov. 1 at the CHI Health Center Omaha in downtown Omaha.

Dr. Carlson, president and CEO of Nebraska Methodist College (NMC), was named the Excellence in Education winner. 

Jen Tran, a forensic nurse examiner for the Heidi Wilke SANE/SART survivor program at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital, was selected as the Excellence in Health Care award winner. 

The Inspire Awards are hosted by the Omaha World-Herald and designed to honor women across the community in 10 categories: visionary, public service, large business, small business, health care, education, emerging leader, community volunteer, scholarship and woman of the year. Nominations for each of the categories are generated by public submissions, with the finalists and winners determined by the Inspire Awards advisory board.  


Carlson "Believes Deeply in The Meaning of Care"

The nomination submitted on behalf of Dr. Carlson noted that since her appointment to the president and CEO role, she has taken NMC to new heights. She had a vision for how the college could be a difference-maker in the health care career arena, and she’s seeing it come to fruition.

“Many of the things Dr. Carlson does are what a president and CEO should do,” the nominator said. “But Deb does it with compassion, integrity, creativity and the desire to make the next generation of health care workers the very best they can be. She teaches and believes deeply in The Meaning of Care.” 

Joining Dr. Carlson as a finalist in the Excellence in Education category were Dr. Rachel Cushing, Creighton University School of Medicine; Dr. Ferial Pearson, University of Nebraska Omaha; Dr. Joanne Li, University of Nebraska Omaha; and Catie Baker, Creighton University.

“This award reaffirms how important it is to remember that we're all put on this earth to use our resources, power or influence to help others," Dr. Carlson said. "As president of NMC, I have the opportunity to make an impact at a higher level than I could on my own. I'm grateful and humbled to be recognized, but this award is shared with NMC and Methodist, places that inspire me every day."


Tran Leaves "An Indelible Impression"

In Tran’s nomination, it was noted that she inspires as a wife, mother and a nurse. She is well liked and – more importantly – well respected by her patients, colleagues, supervisors and community. During her tenure as the SANE/SART coordinator, Tran would mentor and empower her team members, which strengthened their dedication, involvement and enthusiasm for the program. 

“Jen’s compassion, level of communication, knowledge, acumen and passion make her the ideal advocate for patients and our community,” her nomination wrote. “These traits and her infectious personality have left an indelible impression with everyone she’s worked with. This has had the ripple effect of elevating her profession and the program. I admire Jen and am her biggest cheerleader.”

Said Tran: "It's humbling to see so many women doing amazing things for our community. To be recognized among them is such an honor and one that I will be forever grateful for. It’s these women, my patients, my peers, my family and my friends who push me to do more. It's amazing to see the impact we can have when we support survivors and believe them. I truly believe it’s one of the easiest things we can do and yet the most life-changing."


Dr. Emily Patel
Dr. Emily Patel

Dr. Patel a Finalist

Emily Patel, MD, a maternal fetal medicine specialist with Methodist, was one of five finalists for the Excellence in Health Care category. 

The remaining finalists were Chanda Chacon, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center; Dr. Joann Porter, Creighton University School of Medicine; and Carol Gaebler, University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

Carmen Tapio, president and CEO of North End Teleservices, was honored as the 2023 Woman of the Year. Tapio is also the founder of Forever North Real Estate and the NET Work Spot, and she helped create Nebraska Black Women United.