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UTHSC College of Nursing Names 2014 Most Supportive Alumna and Outstanding Alumnus


On Friday, May 2, more than 70 Nursing alumni of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will visit the Memphis campus to celebrate Madge Saba, 45-year veteran of the nursing profession, as the 2014 Most Supportive Alumna and Michael J. A. Service, Commander, United States Navy, as the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus. UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab and Laura A. Talbot, PhD, EdD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing will present the awards during a luncheon in the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center, 800 Madison Avenue. The gathering is one in a series of Nursing Alumni Weekend events that include a scholarship ceremony and reception for nursing students and alumni, class reunion dinners, and a tour of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Most Supportive Alumna: Madge Saba

Madge Saba, 2014 Most Supportive Alumna
Madge Saba, 2014 Most Supportive Alumna

As a child and teen, watching TV shows like “Dr. Kildare” and “Ben Casey,” nursing seemed very exciting to Madge Saba. She recently retired after an incredible 45-year career in the field of nursing. Madge received her Bachelor of Nursing degree from UTHSC College of Nursing in June 1966. She completed graduate courses in Secondary Education at then Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) in 1973. Madge also earned her Master of Science in Nursing in 1990 from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Beginning her career at Methodist Hospital, she notes, “After two years as a staff nurse, I was recruited by the faculty at the school of nursing. I loved the teaching role and my career took a totally different direction. I have been a faculty member in three different programs in Tennessee and Arkansas.”

In addition to working and teaching, Madge has served on the UTHSC College of Nursing Alumni Board of Directors since 1996, serving as president from 2007-2010. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International.

The mother of two says her proudest accomplishment is raising children who lead productive and very successful lives. Her daughter is a veterinary oncologist and on the faculty at the University of Georgia. Her son is a network engineer, a gifted photographer and a wonderful father to Madge’s granddaughter, Grace.

“I am very proud of the people they have become, both in their personal and professional lives, and I hope the values my husband and I instilled in them helped mold them into the adults they have become.”

Cheryl Cummings Stegbauer, PhD, FNP-BC, APN, professor in the Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies Program, UT College of Nursing, and also a 1969 graduate of the college, says, “Madge Richbourg Saba has been a gift in my life and the lives of those she touched through her care and compassion as a nurse and professor. I have known Madge from our early years as UT alumnae and faculty at Methodist School of Nursing and am blessed with the continued personal relationship I have with Madge and her family. Her gift of service to the Alumni Board is appreciated by all and is only one example in a rich career that exemplifies a caring nurse, teacher, and cherished friend.”

Outstanding Alumnus: Michael J. A. Service, Commander, United States Navy

Cdr. Michael Service, 2014 Outstanding Alumnus
Cdr. Michael Service, 2014 Outstanding Alumnus

Cdr. Service is a native of Guthrie, Ky. He was commissioned an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps in June 1993 and began his career at Naval Medical Center, San Diego (NMCSD), where he initially served as a staff nurse on the inpatient multisurgical ward and then as specialty nurse providing intravenous conscious sedation in the surgical specialty clinics.

After his initial tour, he was assigned to Naval Hospital Millington, Tenn., where he served as Head of Beneficiary Access and Health Promotion Officer for the Mid-South area of operations. In 1999, he was selected for Duty Under Instruction and attended University of Tennessee (Memphis) [Renamed UTHSC in 1995], earning a Master of Science degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. His follow-on tour at Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan, included duties as staff FNP, Department Head of Family Practice, senior nurse for Directorate of Ambulatory Care and Interim Officer in Charge at Naval Branch Clinic Chinhae, Korea. He was selected and served on the Executive Committee of Medical Staff (ECOMS), Executive Committee of Nursing Staff, and the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.

In June 2004, Cdr. Service transferred to Naval Hospital Cherry Point, N.C., where he served as Associate Director, Medical Services. He additionally served as the Command Managed Equal Opportunity officer, Advanced Practice Representative for ECOMS and Clinical Director for the Special Operations Clinical Training Program. In 2005, Cdr. Service deployed with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 to Anbar Province in Iraq, where he served as medical officer providing level I echelon combat medical care to forces in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned the distinction of being the first Naval Officer in 3rd Marine Air Wing history to earn the Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer warfare designation.

In 2006, he reported to Expeditionary Health Services Pacific, providing direct medical and consultative support to more than 48 ships assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group-3 and other SURFOR Pacific assets. While assigned, he completed the requirements and was awarded the qualification designator as Expeditionary Strike Group Surgeon.

In 2007, he reported aboard Naval Branch Health Clinic Sasebo, Japan, where he served as interim Officer in Charge and Head of Medical Services overseeing medical care to more than 6,800 beneficiaries. During the tour, he deployed as a medical provider to Expeditionary Medical Facility-Kuwait, serving as the Medical Liaison Officer for 18 transiting combat Army Brigades and two Marine Expeditionary Units.

His next assignment brought him to the Navy Personnel Command, serving as the Nurse Corps assignment officer for Advanced Practice, Commander and Perioperative communities. In August 2012, Cdr. Service was slated by the Surgeon General to assume charge of NBHC Mayport, managing all medical and dental services in the Navy’s third-largest fleet concentrated area.

Cdr. Service is board-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the University of Tennessee Imhotep Honor Society. His personal awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with silver star, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with four gold stars and various other campaign and unit awards. He is married to the former Tara Helton and has three daughters.