Early Career Achievement in Nursing Alumna
Amanda Cackler, DNP’ 22, MS’10, BSN’03, CPHQ, CIC
Director of Quality, Safety, and Infection Prevention and Control
The University of Kansas Health System
University of Kansas Medical Center
Just 14 months before the first COVID-19 patients were admitted to The University of Kansas Health System (TUKHS), Amanda Cackler accepted the position of director of the Departments of Quality, Safety and Infection Prevention and Control there.
Faced with arguably the largest infection management issue in generations, Cackler not only provided guidance and leadership for the health system but also for community organizations such as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the KU campus in Lawrence and the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. She was a frequent guest on the health system’s Morning Media Update, which provided valuable information about COVID-19 to both media and the community through Facebook and YouTube broadcasts.
At the height of the pandemic, Cackler earned her certification from the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, a nationally recognized organization within the infection control profession. Lance Williamson, MSN, RN, CIC, an infection prevention and control nurse supervisor, works with Cackler at the health system. He described the Jayhawk as “incredibly compassionate, hardworking and resilient. She is an excellent leader and communicator and has demonstrated the ability to influence populations when access to reliable information was at its most consequential.”
For that hard work, TUKHS recognized her with an Excellence in Leadership Award in 2020, and she was named to the Heroes in Health Care list in Ingram’s Magazine in 2021.
Even before the pandemic, Cackler demonstrated leadership and innovation. Cackler was part of a team at TUKHS that helped to create an Ebola and biologic threat program that is being emulated throughout the United States.
In 2016, she helped design and implement the health system’s Patient Safety Response Team. This team huddles quickly when a safety concern arises so swift action can be implemented. Also under the umbrella of patient safety, she leads a twice-weekly Zero Harm meeting where associates from all levels of health system gather to analyze issues of patient safety and develop solutions to improve.
Always striving to learn more, Dr. Cackler completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the KU School of Nursing, the same school where she received her master’s degree in nursing, specializing in organizational leadership, and her bachelor’s degree in nursing, where she graduated with honors. Also at KU School of Nursing, Dr. Cackler has provided mentorship and guidance to nursing students as an adjunct clinical instructor. For these reasons and many more, Dr. Cackler was chosen for the Early Career Achievement in Nursing Alumni Award.