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AACN Announces 2021 Award Recipients for NIDA Substance Use Disorder Training Award

Published December 08, 2020

Congratulations to Jane Hoff, DNP Student, Penn State College of Nursing, and Armiel Suriaga, PhD Candidate, Florida Atlantic University on receiving the 2021 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Substance Use Disorders Evidence-Based Practice Training Award.  

Headshot of Jane HoffMs. Jane Hoff has been selected by AACN's Health Policy Advisory Council (HPAC) for her project Substance Abuse Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment in Pregnant Patients: A Program Evaluation. Jane has been a nurse in OB/GYN nursing since 1984 after graduating with her BSN from the University of Miami. While working Labor and Delivery at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, she was accepted to University of Pennsylvania and earned her MSN as a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist in 1990. Jane worked in Philadelphia as a Perinatal Nurse Educator until deciding to become a midwife. She completed her certificate as a Certified Nurse Midwife from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in 1995. Jane has since retired as a Nurse Midwife in 2014 and is currently returning to her love of bedside nursing, working in Labor and Delivery in the remote forests of NW Pennsylvania as she completes her DNP at The Pennsylvania State University in May 2021.

Jane became interested in substance use disorder in pregnant patients when developing her DNP project. She discovered that rural western Pennsylvania has the highest level of substance use disorder in Pennsylvania resulting in skyrocketing numbers of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome within the past five years. Jane is currently working on implementing a developed program evaluation to identify pregnant patients with opiate use disorder and referring them into treatment while the patient is still pregnant in hopes to decrease neonatal abstinence syndrome in the newborn.

Jane currently resides in Dubois, Pennsylvania, after deciding to support her husband’s dream of rural medicine, then realizing that rural nursing care and population health in Pennsylvania definitely needed to be studied as well. She frequently visits her four daughters living outside of Philadelphia where she had been a Varsity girls lacrosse coach for 15 years, and has incredible fond memories working with teen girls, promoting health and athleticism.  

Headshot of Armiel SurgiagaArmiel Suriaga's project  - A Statewide Analysis of Synthetic Cannabinoid and Cannabinoid-Related Deaths for Harm Reduction Education Dissemination, was also chosen by the AACN HPAC. Armiel is a full-time faculty member and a PhD candidate at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. He worked as a lecturer for NCLEX-RN at one review center in the Philippines before migrating to the US in 2005, and as a Resident Assessment Director before he transitioned to academia.  Armiel graduated as high school class valedictorian, and he pursued his nursing education through scholarships. In 1992, he received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing with honors at West Visayas State University in the Philippines. He completed his MSN at Walden University, major in Nursing Informatics in 2014. 

Armiel was selected as a nurse faculty scholar by the AACN and Johnson and Johnson in 2018, and again received funding for this scholarship in 2019. He was also the recipient of the Florida Nurses Foundation Edna Hicks scholarship in 2019. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from West Visayas State University and an Outstanding Alumni Award for Nursing Service from Iloilo Science and Technology University, both in 2018. He also was  inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society.   Armiel was chosen as a visiting mentor for the Substance Abuse Research and Education Training (SARET) at New York University. In 2020, he was selected as a finalist in the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research Graduate Partnership Program in Bethesda, Maryland, and a finalist at the Florida Blue Health Innovation Challenge on reducing hospital readmissions.

His research interests are managing chronic pain in older adults, substance use disorders, particularly opioids and cannabinoids, healthy aging, diversity in nursing education and pedagogy, and healthcare innovation. His dissertation examined the sociodemographic factors of opioid-related deaths among older adults in Florida, where he also received research grants from the Florida Nurses Foundation Edna Hicks Research Fund and the Sigma IOTA XI Chapter-at-Large.

For more information and to view past award recipients,  visit

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