UB SON Alumna Awarded 2019 SUNY Honorary Doctorate

Rebecca McCormick-Boyle receiving the SUNY honorary doctorate.

Published September 1, 2019

Rebecca J. McCormick-Boyle, retired U.S. Navy Nurse Corps rear admiral and commander and UB School of Nursing alumna, was awarded a SUNY Honorary Doctorate in Science at the School of Nursing’s 2019 commencement ceremony on May 17. The doctorate was presented by University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi. McCormick-Boyle also delivered the School’s commencement address.

During her distinguished 36-year career in the U.S. Navy’s Nurse Corps, McCormick- Boyle was a dedicated leader who demonstrated a sustained and purposeful commitment to the health needs of the nation and its military populations. Through her outstanding achievements and expertise in quality management, diversity management and the patient experience, McCormick-Boyle made a tremendous difference not only in Navy medicine, but in how health care is delivered to our service members across the Department of Defense. Under her leadership, the Navy Nurse Corps’ Strategic Objectives flourished, including the development of a professional practice model.

A fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, McCormick-Boyle credits UB School of Nursing with preparing her to serve others with care and compassion and instilling in her a passion for life, education and service. Her numerous professional accomplishments include leading early efforts to establish Navy Medicine’s primary care model; playing a pivotal role in coordinating humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and contingency support activities; and planning and providing oversight for Navy health care and readiness missions in the air, on the sea, on the battlefield and in 16 hospitals and 189 clinics.

Her ability to lead more than 5,000 nurses and establish the Navy Nurse Professional Practice Model — which ensures that all Navy nursing personnel understand their scope of practice and professional development throughout their careers — is unprecedented.

McCormick-Boyle has received a number of recognitions from the military, including Senior Healthcare Executive of the Year (2011), Legion of Merit (2009, 2014), Meritorious Service Medal (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007), and Navy Commendation (1994, 1997). She was also the recipient of the 2013 UB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2015 University at Buffalo Distinguished Alumni Award.

During her commencement address, McCormick-Boyle offered this guidance to the School of Nursing class of 2019:

Take care of yourself and pursue balance – professional, personal and spiritual. Balance is an essential nutrient for your resilience and the journey ahead.

“I wish you the Navy’s traditional fair winds and following seas.”

McCormick-Boyle earned her baccalaureate degree from University at Buffalo School of Nursing in 1981, an MS in Human Resource Management Systems from Chapman University and an MHA from U.S. Army-Baylor University.

 (A portion of this article was adapted from a University press release by Sue Wuetcher.)

-SARAH GOLDTHRITE