Meet the Inaugural Coldiron Fellows

Empowering nurse leaders

The first cohort of the Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive program began meeting in March 2021 for a rigorous, year-long training program through the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at the nursing school. The program included sessions on executive presence, financial acumen, care coordination, quality and safety competencies, wellness, public communication and understanding and leading change.

Dr. Alfes is Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Nursing Education, Simulation, and Innovation at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Dr. Alfes has made significant  contributions pioneering simulation training for flight nurses globally through the development of North America’s first high fidelity full-scale Sikorsky® S76 helicopter simulator adapted for  training and research to ensure quality safe patient care. She has expanded the science of simulation to Japan’s first ACNP flight specialty program and helped to establish The Dorothy  Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing which is an internationally recognized center which collaborates with the National Center for Medical Readiness, National Science Foundation, Laerdal Foundation of Norway, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, and MedEvac International. Dr. Alfes is a visiting professor at the University of L’Aquila, Italy and Aichi Medical University, Japan; serves on the Society for Simulation and Health Care Governance Board, the Editorial Board of Applied Nursing Research, and is a National League for Nursing Simulation Leader and Consultant. As a member of the DNP Faculty at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, she travels to New Jersey to teach the Inquiry I Research course to the NY cohort of DNP students each fall; is co-chair of the FPB Internal Advisory Board to the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy (MKSNLA); Member of the MKSNLA Founders Circle; and is the immediate past Chair of the FPB Faculty and Chair of the FPB Executive Committee. She is a regular contributor to the journals Nurse Leader, Nursing Education Perspectives, and Clinical Simulation in Nursing and has edited several textbooks for Springer Publishing including A Guide to Mastery in Clinical Nursing (2019); Clinical Simulations for the Advanced Practice Nurse (2020); Innovative Strategies for Teaching Nursing (2020); and Leadership and Management: Foundations for Effective Administration (expected publication date: Fall 2022) co-edited with Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick.

Dr. Brennan has been a Registered Professional Nurse for 29 years and is currently the Chief Nursing Officer at NYC H+H/Metropolitan where she provides vision, leadership and oversight to the members of the Department of Nursing.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and her Master of Arts Degree in Nursing Education and Administration as well as her Doctor of Philosophy Degree from New York University. Dr. Brennan is board certified in Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing and Nursing Administration Advanced from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Dr. Brennan in her clinical career, has provided clinical care to adult medical/surgical patients, with a special focus on oncology and ventilated patients.  She has held various clinical and leadership positions, in Academic Teaching facilities, community hospitals, safety net hospitals and a not for profit ambulatory setting. She is also a member of the adjunct faculty at Pace University, teaching in the Baccalaureate and Master programs.  Dr. Brennan’s research area of focus is on the work environment of nurses.  She has presented nationally and internationally on the work environment and workflow of nurses.  Dr. Brennan has also served on the Board of the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders (NYONEL) in the role of Treasurer for the past three years, is on the Alumni Board of the Rory Meyers School of Nursing at New York University and most recently has joined the Board of Directors for Nurses House. Dr. Brennan is working on research related to Nursing leadership in New York City safety net hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Garry Brydges is the chief nurse anesthetist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, overseeing over 120 CRNAs. He is adjunct faculty at both the University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine Nurse Anesthesia Programs. He continues a passion for teaching and precepting students in focused areas of neuroanesthesia (i.e., craniotomies, skull base surgery, spine surgery, pituitary tumor surgery), surgical oncology, and acute care nurse practitioner expertise in cardiovascular surgery. He has been performing opioid-sparing and non-inhalation anesthesia for nearly a decade in his current practice.

Dr. Garry Brydges has been a CRNA since 2002, graduating from the University of Texas Nurse Anesthesia Program and recipient of the Agatha Hodgins Outstanding Graduate Award. He has an extensive academic background, also graduating from the University of Texas Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program before nurse anesthesia training, concentrating on cardiovascular surgery. He completed his Doctor of Nursing Practice at Texas Christian University in 2011, focusing research in Preoperative Considerations for the Heart Failure Patient with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. Other degrees include an Executive MBA at Texas Woman’s University, and a Ph.D. in Financial Management and Economics in Healthcare Delivery, also at Texas Woman’s University. He is well-published in textbook chapters and journals, such as Health Policy and Advanced Practice Nursing: Impact & Implications, Oncologic Critical Care, AANA Journal, Journal of Nursing Administration, AACN Journal, and many more. In 2018, He was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing for his work in Opioid-Sparing Strategies in anesthesia.

He completed his term in 2019 as the 79th President of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He was the President of the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists in 2012-2013. He continues to be involved in extensive committee work throughout nurse anesthesia and other healthcare interest groups, such as the AANA Foundation, AANA BOD Liaison to the NBCRNA certification Board of Directors, AANA Practice Committee, Texas Department of Insurance – authorization of prescription drug benefits committee, The Joint Commission – PTAC Committee, Oklahoma Foundation of Medical Quality – SCIP Committee, regional chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and ANA’s Congress of Nursing Practice and Economics.

Theresa M. Campo, DNP, is Chair of Emergency Medical Services, the director of the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Postmaster Certificate track and Associate Clinical Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University. She is board-certified as a family nurse practitioner and emergency nurse practitioner and works part-time as a nurse practitioner in an emergency department in Southern New Jersey.

Dr. Campo received a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and earned a Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from Widener University in Chester Pennsylvania. She has over 30 years of experience in emergency medicine, including pre-hospital, emergency department/quick care and trauma.

Theresa is a founding board member of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners, a national organization, and has served as the inaugural chair of the education committee and editor of the quarterly newsletter. She has served as vice chair of the American Nurses Credentialing Center content expert panel for Emergency Nurse Practitioner certification and was the first ENP-BC in New Jersey. Campo was an appointed board liaison for the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians.

She is a national and international lecturer on emergency and urgent care topics and faculty for Fitzgerald Health Education Associates. Campo is the co-author of Essential Procedures for the Emergency, Urgent, and Primary Care Settings: A Clinical Companion, 1st and 2nd editions with the 3rd edition due for release December 2020. She is the author of Medical Imaging for the Health Care Provider: Practical Radiograph Interpretation. Campo has also authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. She is on the editorial board for the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal.

Dr. Campo was awarded the American Association of Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence in 2011 and was inducted into the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2015 and the American Academy of Nursing in 2017.

Dr. Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, serves as Senior Vice President and System Chief Nursing Executive and Co-Chair, Equity and Access Council for NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the nation, serving more than one million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations. She serves as clinical lead for the organization, directing more than 9,600 nurses and more than 970 social workers as well as planning, overseeing and evaluating all aspects of clinical operations, services and nurse education to ensure the delivery of quality, safe, standardized, and cost-effective nursing care to patients and the community. She has been instrumental in COVID-19 crisis management, including directing recruitment and deployment of more than 5,000 additional nurses and nursing specialists; and also serves as co-chair of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Health & Equity Access Council; identifying and defining system-wide strategic diversity and inclusion priorities.

Dr. Cineas previously served as Senior Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at New York City’s Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital and also served as Patient Care Director of Neurosurgery and the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at Columbia University Medical Center New York Presbyterian Hospital; she began her nursing career as a staff nurse in the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit. 

She holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from George Washington University, a Master of Science in Management and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Stony Brook University. This year, Dr. Cineas was named a Samuel H. and Maria Miller Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow at Case Western Reserve University, Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, Frances Payne Bolton School Of Nursing Inaugural Class, Cleveland. 

Dr. Cineas is adjunct faculty at Columbia University School of Nursing, where she teaches nursing leadership courses in the doctoral and masters level degree programs. She also served as adjunct faculty at The College of New Rochelle where she taught Healthcare Politics, Nursing Research and Leadership; and served as an instructor of the “Purposeful Hourly Rounding Curriculum” at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and an instructor of the “Relationship Centered Care Model at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Her professional memberships include serving as a member of the American Heart Association New York City Board, and a member of the association’s New York City Advocacy Committee; a member of the Helene Fuld College of Nursing Board; a member of the Community-Scientific Advisory Board for the Community-Nursing Partnership to Improve COVID-19 Health Seeking Behaviors for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations (UPTAKE;) a member of the policy committee for the New York Organization of Nurse Executive Leaders; a Committee Member and Keynote Speaker for Nursing World Conference 2021, and as a member of the New York University Alumni Board. She also is a committee member of the New York State Action Coalition – Nurses On Boards Coalition (NYSAC-NOBC;) a member of the American Nurses Association; a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives; a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses; a charter and current member of the Greater NYC-BNA chapter of the National Black Nurses Association; a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Upsilon & Phi Epsilon Chapter Member, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Volunteer activities include serving as Vice Chair (Internal Affairs) of the Health Ministry at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Harlem, NY, where Dr. Cineas facilitated preventative screenings for Harlem residents with the goal of reducing health disparities in the community. She also served as Chair of the North Manhattan Section of the Delta Emergency Response Team, increasing awareness about emergency preparedness activities; providing effective and immediate communication strategies to facilitate and aid in preparedness and response; providing steps for early response and efficient recovery; organizing emergency response programs for seniors and youth; and creating emergency response tickets for community members.

A dynamic and passionate public speaker, Dr. Cineas is regularly called upon as a keynote and panelist at numerous national and international healthcare conferences, spotlighting improvements and best practices in the nursing profession and making an impact on health care locally, nationally and internationally. Her international work includes studying the pathophysiology of AIDS in Uganda, Africa, as well as professional presentations in Dubai, UAE; Rome, Italy; and London, UK. and Manila City, Philippines.

So far in 2020, Dr. Cineas served as a speaker at the first MVJ International Nursing Advancement and Scientific Conference Series, in Manila City, Philippines; was the keynote speaker at the 32nd National Black Nurses Day Celebration at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, sponsored by Caribbean American Nurses Association, Inc.; Kappa Eta Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.; Theta Chi Chapter, Inc. of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc.; and the New York Black Nurses Association, Inc.; was a speaker for the "Nursing Perspectives on Healthcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic," sponsored by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Arnhold Institute for Global Health; was the keynote speaker and conference moderator at the Nursing Virtual 2020, Nursing World Conference, “Lessons Learned During The COVID-19 Crisis: How Nursing Recruitment, Deployment & Education Efforts Addressed A Global Pandemic;” was a speaker for the “Novel COVID-19 and Its Impact On The Healthcare System Webinar,” in Dubai, UAE; shared her perspective as a speaker for the “Leading The Way To Address Systemic Racism In The Hospital," webinar, sponsored by the Nursing Administration Alumni Advisory Council, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing; and a speaker for the New York University Community Lecture: Health Policy and Patient Advocacy Webinar. She also was a panelist in “Peace, Health, And Racism: Considering Mary Seacole, Health Care And COVID-19,” a virtual panel discussion at the Mosaic Theater in Washington D.C., July 20, 2020; and an opening session panelist addressing “Building Resiliency and Supporting Staff During The Global COVID-19 Crisis,” at the National Black Nurses Association Virtual Conference.

She also has been featured, quoted and published in leading professional publications, including Health Affairs; Becker’s Hospital Review; NBNA NEWS, The Official Publication Of The National Black Nurses Association; New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing Newsletter; Stony Brook Matters, the alumni newsletter of Stony Brook University; Magazine; and the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.

Dr. Cineas has been named one of 2020’s “50 Most Influential Clinical Executives,” by Modern Healthcare magazine; one of 2020’s “50+ hospital and health system CNOs to know,” by Becker’s Hospital Review; and both one of 2020’s “Notable In Health Care,” and one of 2019’s “Notable Women in Health Care,” by Crain’s New York. She received the International Humanitarian Outreach Nurse Leader Award; Stony Brook University’s Alumni Leadership Award; a New York State Assembly Citation Service to the Community; and a Nassau County Legislature Citation Service to the Community. 

She was selected as the Nursing Leadership Honoree by the Haitian American Nurses Association of Greater New York; received the Leadership Award from the Society of Haitian School Administrators and Supervisors; received the Estelle Osborne Award from New York University College of Nursing; and the Trailblazer Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. She also named to the list of “Top 40 Under Forty” by The Journal Network; received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Diversity and Inclusion Council Chair, for three years in a row; received the Claire Murray Best Practice Award from the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders for demonstrating her passion in improving patient satisfaction and leading organizations to reduce hospital-acquired infections through evidence-based practice; and was named a “Top 40 Under Forty” recipient by the Stony Brook University Alumni Association.

Dr. Clark has a strong vision and commitment that “Every Life is Worth Saving.” Through her research and professional efforts, she continues to move this vision forward. Dr. Clark’s research has included the development of multiple educational interventions to support harm reduction efforts related to the opioid epidemic, reduce stigma against persons with substance use disorders, and increase knowledge and implementation of evidence-based best practices for substance abuse treatment – all in an effort to save lives and turn the tide on the epidemic.

Dr. Clark’s original iBooks include: CARRY Narcan©, Evidence Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, Be-SAFE©, and STOMP out Opioid Diversion©. She has been a strong advocate for policy and practice change within nursing and across health care professions. Her work includes multiple resolutions to the Emergency Nurses Association and a “Call to Nurses” to lead the response to the opioid epidemic. Her iBooks have been shared with thousands of providers and members of the community and have been published by special interest groups such as the Emergency Nurses Association.

Dr. Clark is a dedicated member of the Board of Directors at a regional substance use disorder treatment facility and guides the center’s program planning committee. She is also the Co-Chair of The Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance Use and Addiction (international). At the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Clark is the Executive Director of the Undergraduate and Prelicensure Nursing Programs. She has completed residency experiences with the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing alongside Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Clark is an accomplished Apple Distinguished Educator and presents innovative research using Apple technology internationally. She’s been awarded for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, Faculty to Faculty Mentoring and the E-learning Champion award at the University of Cincinnati. In 2020, Dr. Clark was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow and was also awarded the 2020 Ohio Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes.

Stuart Downs, DNP, MSN, MSA, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CPHQ, FACHE, FAONL, currently serves as the Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of WellStar Atlanta Medical Center and Atlanta Medical Center–South. Prior to his arrival at AMC in January 2017, Dr. Downs served as a senior nurse executive for several years and led various teams of nurses at Eastside Medical Center, North Fulton Hospital and Rockdale Medical Center as Chief Nursing Officer. He holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Vanderbilt University, maintains two certifications in executive nursing leadership (NEA-BC and CENP) and is also credentialed as a certified professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ). Dr. Downs is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), and an inaugural Fellow of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (FAONL). He is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) for the last 18 years, past-president of the Georgia Organization of Nurse Leaders (GONL), and most recently completed a three-year term as Region IV Director of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) where he has held membership since 2005. Additionally, Dr. Downs is a board member of the DAISY Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that recognizes professional nurses for extraordinary care and compassion. 

Dr. Downs is an energetic and enthusiastic senior nursing executive with a strong clinical foundation rooted in critical care and expertise in hospital management, nursing leadership, organizational development, quality improvement initiatives, and case management within the health care delivery system. He has demonstrated competencies in operations, nursing administration, process improvement, tactical and strategic planning/implementation and building strong physician relations to ensure optimum utilization of human resources and strategic planning for patient care services and programs. 

Dr. Downs has a proven ability to lead people of diverse backgrounds and motivate teams to achieve strategic goals and objectives relative to the provision of patient care for patients in the acute care setting. He recognizes his role as a servant leader and is committed to the nursing profession. Moreover, he is a true exemplar of what it means to be an authentic, transformational leader and serves those under his leadership with willingness and with passion. 

Dr. Downs is married to LaTanya, and together they have two beautiful children, Jaxon Clark and Norah Claire. They reside in Grayson, Georgia. 

Dr. Farber currently serves as the Associate Chief Nursing Officer for the west Region at University Hospitals as well as the Chief Nursing Officer at University Hospitals, Elyria Medical Center.  In the ACNO role, he is responsible for aligning nursing practice in the four hospitals making up University Hospitals West Region. In the hospital CNO role he leads more than 700 clinicians in acute and ambulatory settings, and is responsible for increasing quality of care, patient experience, and caregiver experience.  Dr. Farber previously served in the Chief Nursing Officer role at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District in Eugene, Oregon, and as the Senior Director of Patient Care Services at Mercy Southwest in Bakersfield, California.  Prior to those roles, Ben served in various director level positions and as Nurse Manager in Med/Surg, Tele, and guarded care units.  In 2018 he was named a “Tomorrow’s Leader” by the Catholic Healthcare Association of the United States, and to the “20 under 40” by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.

Ben holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Systems Leadership from Rush University; a Master of Science, Nursing, Bachelor of Science, Nursing, and Bachelor of Science, Physical Education and Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science from California State University, Bakersfield.  In 2020, Farber was named a Samuel H. and Maria Miller Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow in the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, part of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University.

Ben is an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, serving on the 2021 Annual Conference Committee, and as an abstract reviewer for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 annual conferences.  Board service includes four years on the board of HIV Alliance in Eugene, Oregon, including two years as board president, and current service on the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurse Alumni Association board.

Ms. Fessler has more than 25 years of clinical experience and a passion for leading teams to deliver high-quality, compassionate patient care. Ms. Fessler oversees all nursing operations at WMCHealth flagship Westchester Medical Center, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center in Valhalla, as well as MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

One of her primary goals is to support nursing team members at all levels with the guidance and resources to be successful in the critical work they do. She believes strongly that employee talent development and innovation are the keys to success, and she prioritizes working directly with nursing teams to meet common goals.

Most recently, Ms. Fessler served for four years as Vice President of the emergency medicine service line at Northwell Health, overseeing 17 emergency departments and numerous urgent-care facilities. Her clinical experience also includes roles at the Duke, Mayo Clinic, St. Louis Children's Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

After earning an undergraduate Nursing Degree at Syracuse University, Fessler earned a Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Duke University and a Master of Science Degree with an emphasis in Healthcare from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester.

A chief nurse executive with more than sixteen years of experience in this role, Nicolette Fiore­ Lopez, PhD, RN, CNEP, is a professional who focuses on total engagement in all she does, a quality that has served her well throughout her career.

Early on, Dr. Fiore-Lopez heeded the advice of one of her high school teachers and a school of nursing interviewer, both of whom encouraged her to push her boundaries, seeking knowledge and education beyond her original plans. They were defining moments in her early career and so impacted her, they have stayed with her throughout her career, motivating her to continue her education and her desire to achieve top levels of nursing leadership.

From the beginning her focus on total engagement in her work was demonstrated. As a new graduate, Dr. Fiore-Lopez secured a position as a staff nurse in intensive care, a position that was difficult to obtain without experience, and in just under two years, progressed into a leadership role as a shift manager. She did all this while simultaneously pursuing a Master's Degree in Nursing and becoming an active member in the local chapter of AACN (critical care).

Through a variety of positions held at a major academic medical center, Dr. Fiore-Lopez continued the development of her clinical, educational and leadership skills. While each brought her experience and knowledge, the position she most coveted was that of shift administrator. To this day, she believes this particular position exposed her to a plethora of diverse experiences that helped to shape her growth as a leader.

Dr. Fiore-Lopez next accepted a position as a Director in a community hospital that was part of a faith-based hospital system. She flourished in this role and just shy of three years after she began, she was recognized for her depth of knowledge and leadership abilities when she was given the position of chief nurse at another hospital that was also part of the same system.

A daunting task was assigned the new senior leadership team at this hospital - to bring the facility back from major financial losses to a positive margin in a mere eighteen months. Dr. Fiore-Lopez, a member of this senior leadership team, went to work and was integral in the success turn-around of this facility in just a year and a half. Additionally, Dr. Fiore-Lopez led initiatives at this facility to improve patient satisfaction (nursing communication at the 85th percentile) and achieve disease-specific Joint Commission certifications in Stroke, Palliative Care, and Joint Replacement.

Again, committing herself to total engagement in her field, Dr. Fiore-Lopez became an active member of AONL and its New York State affiliate, serving on numerous committees and culminating in being elected as a regional president. It was also at this time that she achieved her career-long goal of successfully completing all the requirements to earn a PhD. During and after completing the doctoral program, Dr. Fiore-Lopez remained very active and highly engaged in several professional groups including NYONEL as president-elect, member and then chair of the NYSAC-NOBC appointments committee, ENRS committee member for organizational development, AONL committee member for fellow-designation, and AONL· committee member for advocacy. Dr. Fiore-Lopez now serves on the board of the college where she earned her PhD.

Today, Dr. Fiore-Lopez utilizes her experience, knowledge and skill by giving back. A proponent of education, she has acted as preceptor for many graduate nursing students and as adjunct faculty, leading and contributing to revisions in course materials to update and increase their applicability to practice. She shares her clinical expertise and experience through presentations and publications. Above all, she believes that we learn best when we learn from others who have educational and experiential skills that differ from our own and, as leaders in the field of healthcare, we are professionally obligated to disseminate best practices to the next generation of nurse leaders.

Mary Joy Garcia-Dia is the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), and currently works as the program director for Nursing Informatics in the Information Technology Department and the Center for Professional Nursing Practice at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. In her professional career, Mary Joy has remained passionate and active in the nursing community.

Mary Joy serves on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of the AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For the last eight years, she has been an advisor to the PNAA Human Rights Committee on matters involving unfair labor practice.  In her capacity as PNAA President, Mary Joy sits as Board Member on the Alliance for International Ethical Recruitment Practices and provides recommendations on contracts and recruitment practices to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, Philippine Consulate in Washington DC.

As past member of the National Advisory Council on Research for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Health, Mary Joy continues to raise educational awareness in addressing the underrepresentation of minority health through grant projects (Patient Centered Outcomes Research and All of Us). Her community engagement led to her fellowship at the New York Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Nursing. Her advisory role at the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) connected PNAA Foundation in partnering with other Asian organizations in implementing CDC’s Project Firstline, a grant initiative focusing on training of essential healthcare workers on the use of Personal Protective Equipment and Infection Prevention Control measures utilizing culturally and linguistically congruent educational materials.

Mary Joy values the education of healthcare professionals, holding multiple academic positions along with her other roles. She serves as a Nursing Informatics MSN course developer at the City University of New York School of Professional Studies, an adjunct assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, and an adjunct faculty at the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing precepting graduate students.

Mary Joy received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University Of Saint La Salle College Of Nursing graduating Cum Laude and her master’s degree in nursing informatics from New York University with a Distinguished Graduate Award. She completed the Minority Nurse Leadership Institute fellowship program at Rutgers University College of Nursing in 2006. In 2015, Mary Joy received her doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University receiving the Director’s Award.  She currently serves as a Board at the Health Information Management Systems Society chairing the Advocacy and Diversity Committees.  As the 21st PNAA President for 2020-2022, Dr. Garcia-Dia’s theme promotes the importance of resilience and empowerment through the power of storytelling.

Joan Halpern MS, RNC-NIC, NNP, NEA-BC, is currently the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Lower Manhattan Hospital in New York, New York. Ms. Halpern is responsible for leading clinical operations, facilitating integration of clinical services, and ensuring the delivery of quality care and organizational success. Ms. Halpern currently has oversight for all nursing services, radiology, respiratory, nurse epidemiology and wellness services. 

Ms. Halpern earned a BSN from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., an MS in Nursing in the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program from Columbia University in New York and is currently a Samuel H. and Maria Miller Scholar in the DNP Nurse Executive Track, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. 

Ms. Halpern has held progressive Nursing Leadership positions for the past 25 years. Prior to her role as CNO, she was Director of Nursing for the Department of Pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Weill Cornell. She was responsible for the nursing services of the Pediatric ICU, Neonatal ICU, General Pediatrics, Pediatric ECMO Program, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program and Child Life Services. Ms. Halpern was also the Executive Lead for Shared Governance across all seven campuses of NYP. She previously served as Director of Nursing for Maternal Child Services at White Plains Hospital in Westchester where she developed and implemented shared governance and was a member of the Nurse Executive team that led White Plains Hospital to their initial Magnet Designation. 

In her current role as CNO, Ms. Halpern has had documented improvements in patient satisfaction, nurse turnover, nurse engagement, nurse sensitive quality indicators and the number of nurses who have achieved national board certification. Furthermore, NYP Lower Manhattan Hospital just completed a successful Magnet Site Visit and achieved their initial Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence designation in November, 2020. 

Ms. Halpern is board certified in Neonatal Intensive Care and as a Nurse Executive Advanced. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and an active member of multiple professional organizations. In addition, Ms. Halpern is passionate about transformational leadership, nurse engagement and interprofessional collaboration and has presented at numerous national conferences.

Sara Kollman is the regional Chief Nursing Officer/ Nurse Executive for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado. Dr. Kollman has nearly 30 years of clinical and leadership experience, with the first 23 years serving in various roles at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. In 2016, she transitioned to a Director of Critical Care and Director of Nursing Education/ Professional Development for Adventist Health in California.  After completion of her DNP in 2019, she moved to Colorado and started her CNO/NE role. 

While at Mayo in her Cardiovascular Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CVS ICU) Nurse Manager role, Dr. Kollman led a Cardiovascular Surgery Division “manage to reimbursement” initiative with a physician partner to redesign and improve efficiency and cost effectiveness of cardiovascular surgery across the care continuum. The goal was to reduce cost per case by twenty percent to allow this historically profitable service line to operate at CMS reimbursement levels. Not only did this equate to nearly twenty million dollars of expense reduction, it was also done without reducing any FTE. Capacity was improved, processes were streamlined, waste was reduced, revenue was increased, and most importantly, patient outcomes improved. In the CVS ICU, intubation times were reduced from an average of 11.6 hours to 5.5 hours, vasoactive medication weaning was reduced from 25.3 hours to 15.5 hours and CVS ICU length of stay was reduced from 35.9 hours to 21.6 hours within two quarters.  These efficiencies were produced by creating protocols and allowing nurses to practice at top of scope to drive patient care forward.  A multidisciplinary team monitored key metrics and patient outcomes monthly with no increase in CVS ICU readmissions, reintubations or other adverse events identified.

In addition, Dr. Kollman served in multiple patient safety initiatives and was instrumental in designing safer pediatric medication administrative practices to prevent ten-fold filling/ dosing and other human factor errors that bar code scanning practices are ineffective in mitigating. She also achieved academic appointment as an Instructor of Nursing in the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and served as faculty for numerous leadership development courses through the Human Resources/ Organizational Development department. She published her first article in 2007 on the topic of orienting newly graduated registered nurses to the CVS ICU, which was a novel and rare practice at that time. In addition, in 2016, she presented the outcomes of 15 years of orienting newly graduated nurses to the CVS ICU at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses National Teaching Institute.  

After moving to the Director role at Adventist Health Bakersfield, Sara became involved in the local and state Association of California Nurse Leaders. During this time, she served on the Healthy Work Environment Committee and presented the committee’s work at the state conference.  She was instrumental in developing and improving the hospital’s emergency operations incident command structure and significantly improved active shooter and other drills to improve emergency preparedness (even though these were not directly in her area of responsibility).  Dr. Kollman was the first of 30 leaders from Adventist Health to attend the week-long FEMA training in Anniston, Alabama. She also led a “Journey to Zero Harm” initiative for the organization and significantly reduced hospital-associated pressure injuries rates.

Since becoming the CNO/CNE for Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, Dr. Kollman has served on the American Nurses Credentialing Center Standard Setting Panel and has participated in the IHI’s Patient Safety Executive Development Program.  She was elected to the Colorado Organization of Nurse Leader’s Board of Directors this fall and will begin her term in January 2021.  As part of the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center (EOC), she created an Exposure Monitoring Team (EMT) as an extension of Employee Health to manage the workforce and address employee well-being during these unprecedented times. This innovative approach helped alleviate the anxiety and concerns associated with potential exposure to COVID-19, particularly while the infectious disease science was still emerging. The effective assessment, risk stratification and application of home quarantine guidelines for asymptomatic, high-risk employee exposures reinforced workplace safety practices.  In addition, it has enhanced the resilience and emotional well-being of employees through consistent application of the rapidly evolving public health recommendations from local, state, and national agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

To date, over 3100 employee exposures have been addressed by EMT with over 800 cases qualifying for quarantine. Through active monitoring of cases, over 25% of quarantined staff were cleared for early return to work. In December, when the CDC’s recommended home quarantine length was amended from 14 to 10 days, the EMT was able to return an additional 82 employees to work 4 days sooner, resulting in an additional 328 available shifts for COVID-19 surge staffing. The avoidance of these unnecessary home quarantine shifts has contributed to overall organizational pandemic response capabilities and optimization of workforce availability. The data provided by EMT has facilitated and enhanced the EOC’s processes through risk assessment, stratification and tracking of its workforce.  

Dr. Kollman’s career passions include personal lifelong learning, the professional development of new nurses and emerging leaders, leading patient safety initiatives and creating healthy work environments. She is an advocate for the profession of nursing and the patients that we serve.

Dr. Lilly has worked in healthcare since 1999 and higher education since 2009. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from University of Phoenix and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from Case Western Reserve University.  

Dr. Lilly joined INNOVA Health Solutions in 2011. Kezia has served in a variety of leadership positions in healthcare and education over the course of the past 20 years. Kezia has worked as a nursing informatics and managed care nurse. With over 19 years of experience in clinical nursing, healthcare claims litigation, quality management and managed care experience in healthcare which includes pre-certification, case management, physician and facility auditing, quality improvement, data analysis, presentations, project management, quality reviews and appeals, claims repricing, national provider and facility contracting, reimbursement, and interpretation of medical management contracts and utilization review requirements.  In one of her previous positions she was the Director of Medical Management Projects for national employer-directed managed care company, a provider sponsored health plan and two large hospital systems, Mercy and Cox Health Systems.  She has extensive applications experience and business requirements writing for multiple Electronic Health Record programs. In 2013, one of the projects she assisted in was recognized with the Leading Age Innovation of the Year Award. She has and continues to serve on numerous university committees including the College of Health Professions Leadership Team, Graduate Curriculum Committee, and Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Additionally, she is an active member of AUPHA and ACHE. In 2020, Dr. Lilly was appointed as a peer reviewer for AUPHA.  

She has published nine articles in the past seven years and is currently working on a research project on nursing education leadership. Kezia’s compassion is teaching students and faculty to embrace the world of technology through her specialty of informatics. Dr. Lilly was one of 20 women selected as a Women's Leadership Institute participant in 2014 and one of Springfield’s 40 Under 40 Top Upcoming Professionals in Springfield, Missouri in 2015.  

Along with her educational career, Kezia is an Informatics Specialist.  She has worked in a variety of positions including Medical Management Project Director and Data Analyst at Mercy Hospital, Springfield.  These positions helped to developed assessment, compliance, and project management skills that will assist her in successfully leading the MHA program.

Erik’s passion for nursing was ignited after his first daughter was born 11 weeks prematurely. Inspired by the difference a nurse can make, he pursued a career in nursing. In 2000, Erik graduated with his Diploma in Nursing from The Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

As a new nurse, Erik worked in the float pool at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Early on he discovered that nurses can be leaders in all phases of their career. He began shaping and influencing nursing practice, education, and research through shared governance. Also a believer in lifelong learning, Erik returned to school and obtained his Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from Mount St. Joseph University (2005) and his Masters of Science in Nursing from Northern Kentucky University (2007). 

In 2008, he began serving in a Clinical Director role for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at CCHMC. During his 8-year tenure Erik led the team to obtain Beacon® Gold certification, reduce serious harm by 60 percent, improve patient-family satisfaction scores to the top 10 percent nationally, and improve employee engagement scores to top tier nationally. 

In 2016, Erik assumed the role of Executive Clinical Director for the Heart and Vascular Service Line at The Christ Hospital Health Network in Cincinnati, Ohio. In this position he was responsible for leading clinical operations, quality outcomes, patient experience and staff engagement for all cardiovascular inpatient units, procedural areas, cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology labs, electrophysiology, and cardiac rehab. 

In 2015, Erik attained his Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Mount Saint Joseph University. His research focused on generational differences and the challenges they pose in recruiting and retaining the next generation of nurse talent into nursing administration. Through a national collection of data, Erik was able to identify statistically significant interventions to assist organizations’ leaders in recruiting and retaining current and future talent into these difficult to fill roles. Since completing his research Erik has published and presented his work nationally. 

Currently, Erik is Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Norton Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Louisville, Kentucky. NCH is a 271 bed free-standing pediatric facility and Level I trauma center serving more than 170,000 patients a year. 

Erik is currently serving as President-elect for the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) and is on the Advisory Board for University of Louisville Nursing School and Nightingale College of Nursing in Ogden, Utah. Erik is a 2009 AONL Nurse Manager Fellow and the recipient of the 2016 Pamela Austin Thompson Early Careerist Award.

Erik is a Cincinnati, Ohio native who moved to “blue grass state” of Kentucky in 2019! In addition to being passionate about the nursing profession, he values spending time with his family. Erik and his husband Brandon have 5 children Taylor (25), Bryce (18), Zayne (17), and Jax and Lexi (5). Suffice to say their house and hearts are very full! 

Dr. Sonya Moore is an Assistant Professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing (FPB), Case Western Reserve University and Director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program. Dr. Moore has over two decades of experience as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Having served as the Faculty Chair at FPB for two terms, she continues to direct the nurse anesthesia program for almost a decade. She is currently the Chair of the FPB Budget Committee and a member of the Case Western Reserve University Faculty Budget Committee. Her selection as the inaugural Co-Chair to the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy – Doctor of Nursing Practice Founders Circle exemplifies her leadership abilities. 

Dr. Moore’s leadership is rooted in her multifaceted career as a CRNA. Being a nurse anesthetist and entrepreneur has allowed her to provide anesthesia at major medical centers, community, and critical access hospitals in specialty areas such as cardiovascular, vascular, neurology, and trauma. As an active faculty member, Vice President of the Cleveland Council of Black Nurses, past member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) and previous Board of Director of the Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (OSANA) and Federal Political Director, she influences nursing practice and health policy on a local, state, and national level. She currently participates in several regional and national committees in academia and nurse anesthesiology practice. 

Dr. Moore’s credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Akron, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University. 

Her areas of interest include anesthesia care among patients with neurologic and pain management issues, interprofessional education, healthcare policy, and diversity in advanced practice nursing and the nurse anesthesia workforce. Dr. Moore’s community endeavors include Co-Chairperson of PGP Next Level Foundation, which empowers the community’s youth to envision and attain successful futures globally. She is one of the founding members and serves as Vice President of the Council for Diversity in Health Care. Her latest community project, the Energize the Vote Campaign for the 2020 general election, brought registered voters to the polls and provided meals to those waiting in the long lines during early voting and election day. 

Dr. Voss is an experienced nurse leader who has the ability to listen during crisis and will help organizations to make the right choices for their future. He is able to identify innovative strategies and underperforming areas and turn them into major opportunities for change.  These are major assets of his experience: a strong nursing business acumen and a deep understanding of educational organizations allows him to view academic units and be able to identify with precision the issues at hand, work with diverse stake holders to find solutions, and evaluate the outcomes.

As the program director, he is currently leading the 5-year review of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing PhD program, as well as the implementation of the revised core curriculum. He is also the chair of the Case Western Reserve University Faculty Senate and represents 4,000 faculty members towards the university administration. He is responsible for providing leadership to the 11-faculty senate committee, the university's executive committee, the Senate and the Board of the University. He has played a significant role in handling the COVID crisis and has engaged more than 100 faculty members in the summer of 2020 to facilitate safe teaching practices, implementation of 10 new graduate programs, financial advice to the CFO and president, and establishing re-entry, and testing practices.

As the first male senior professor within the School of Nursing he is responsible to review and vote on any new hire in the school. He is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and was the first Faculty Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the School of Nursing. In the last 5 years, he has contributed to the hiring of five new male faculty members, 5 minority faculty members and annually reviews 6 tenure-track faculty for their annual reviews. He is also a member of the Appointment and Tenure Committee and assures fair and equal reviews of junior and mid-career faculty that are coming up for tenure and promotion.

He is a tested leader in times of crisis and in November 2016, he became a board member for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, a global organization with 2,200 members on four continents. Within two months, the president appointed him to take over as the treasurer. The organizational focus was to keep the organization running smoothly, due to previous financial issues, and to restore membership confidence. During his first year, he established a finance team, moved all financial activities to new accessible systems, and suggested transitioning to a virtual organization. He collaborated with the membership and presented creative alternatives to the board, which led to the successful sale of the previous headquarters and establishment of a new presence in Washington DC, with full membership approval. This allowed the Association to greatly reduce annual expenses and establish a wider global footprint. At the same time, we were able to change our investment structure, change banking procedures, and increase organizational programming. At the end of my three years as treasurer, we increased the national and global membership by 300 and increased annual income by $200,000.

Joachim lives in Shaker Heights with his husband Don. He is an active member in the community and heavily engaged in his choral group, his orchid society, and his neighborhood. In his personal time, he enjoys gardening, exercise, and he and his husband just opened a Bed & Breakfast in Virginia.