UA College of Nursing Associate Dean and Professor Sally J. Reel Named University Distinguished Outreach Professor

Jan 8, 2014

Sally J. Reel, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, FAAN, FAANP, associate dean of academic practice and clinical professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, was conferred with the title of University Distinguished Outreach Professor on Dec. 21, 2013, during the 149th commencement ceremony at the University of Arizona.

This high honor recognizes outstanding faculty who demonstrate scholarship-based outreach to the state, nation and world, and sustained excellence in the UA outreach mission. 

Known as a transformational leader, Dr. Reel was honored for initiating and supporting programs and projects to enhance nursing education, address both the faculty and practitioner shortages in the field, and improve access to quality health care, mainly primary and preventive care.

Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Reel secured outside funding to establish programs at the UA College of Nursing for rural health professions, acute care nurse practitioner, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and nursing workforce diversity. She also generated federal funding for the inaugural primary care clinic led by UA nurse practitioner faculty in partnership with other health sciences colleagues, focused on modeling and strengthening comprehensive team-based care. During more than a decade of service at the UA, Dr. Reel has garnered more than $18 million in funding for various projects.

As the director of the Arizona Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program, Dr. Reel coordinates the activities of five regional centers that serve all 15 Arizona counties. This program helps increase access to quality health care by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals throughout Arizona, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

Constituents served include tribal and border communities; frontier communities; urban medically underserved communities; and diverse populations (many representing major health disparities). In addition, AHEC supports students and medical residents across all the colleges of the Arizona Health Sciences Center, as well as other students and professionals through community-based training at the regional centers.

In 2004, Dr. Reel was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing, recognizing her extensive and outstanding contributions to the field. More recently, in 2012, she was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Reel will serve through Sept. 30, 2016, helping to improve nurse education and practice, thereby strengthening the nursing workforce across the nation.

Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information about the college, please visit its website,

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