Meet the Second Cohort of Coldiron Fellows

Empowering nurse leaders

The second cohort of the Coldiron Senior Nurse Executive program began meeting in January 2022 for a rigorous, year-long training program through the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy at the nursing school. The program includes sessions on executive presence, financial acumen, care coordination, quality and safety competencies, wellness, public communication and understanding and leading change.

Dr. Acorn’s academic career has evolved from diploma to post-doctoral education. 

Michelle completed her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Practice. She is dually certified as both a Primary Health Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner. Michelle holds national nursing certifications in Emergency and Gerontology and an international certification as a Global Nurse Consultant.

Dr. Acorn was inducted as an inaugural Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing. She was also inducted into the American Academy of Nursing. Michelle was an inaugural international Miller Foundation Post-Doctoral System Chief Nurse Executive Fellow in the Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western University.

Dr. Acorn’s diverse clinical expertise includes practicing in the Emergency, as a Hospitalist, innovating GAIN (Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Networks), and pioneering the most responsible provider (MRP) impacts of a NP–led model of inpatient hospital care and primary care in corrections. Michelle currently practices primary care in the community.

Dr. Acorn transitioned to executive leadership modernizing the Provincial Chief Nursing Officer role in Ontario, Canada in 2018 to provide ministerial strategic nursing expertise as the technical and clinical advisor. Michelle co-chaired the national Principal Nursing Advisors Task Force.  Her scholarship and knowledge translation are in textbooks, peer-reviewed articles, evidence informed toolkits, and quality improvement initiates.  She is recognized for her leadership, mentorship, preceptorship, and teaching. 

Dr. Acorn was appointed as the inaugural Chief Nurse of the International Council of Nurses in May 2021, a federation representing more than 130 national nursing associations and over 27 million nurses worldwide.

Gloria Lamela Beriones is a transformational nurse leader with over forty years of exemplary contributions to nursing practice, leadership, education, and research.  She is President-Elect of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) and will assume the presidency in July 2022. She is currently Staff Development Coordinator of Primary Care Clinics at Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affair Medical Center, Houston, Texas.  She is passionate in her role as a leader, change agent, educator, consultant, facilitator, and researcher. 

She received her first preparation in nursing at Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Graduate Nurse Program, Bacolod City, Philippines in 1974. She then received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Riverside College of Nursing, Bacolod City, Philippines in 1976, and her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas Health and Science Center, Houston, TX in 2001 with major in Clinical Nurse Specialist Program and Nursing Administration. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science at Texas Woman’s University, Houston, Texas in 2014.  

Dr. Beriones participated at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation / Robert Wood Foundation Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting A Path to Achieve Health Equity Campaign for Action Virtual Summit, June 3-4, 2021, that developed action plans and measurable outcomes and on September 9, 2021, that discussed organization’s priority on major recommendations and sub-recommendations.  She is the PNAA Foundation / PNAA Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Lead Champion, CDC Project Firstline. PNAA Foundation / PNAA are Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) partners on CDC Project Firstline Infection Prevention Control. A faculty of PNAA Online Leadership Development Program (iLDP) for Chapter leaders’ education / training in leading their chapters. 

She was a Nursing Director at Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH) and recipient of Nursing Leadership Excellence Award in 2004.  She was honored for her stellar leadership endeavors in building the first shared governance nursing unit. In 2004, she was one of the Texas Nurses Association District 9, Top 20 Outstanding Nurses. In 2019, the recipient of Dr. Jose Rizal Excellence Award for Nursing Leadership and Service given by Knights of Rizal, Houston, Texas.

In 2015-2017, Manager of Education, Research, Professional Excellence at Saint Francis Hospital Bartlett, Tennessee.  Her significant contributions included: engaged shared governance councils, staff professional development, and Hospital RN Residency Program. She has been a speaker in local, state, national, and international levels.  She has presented numerous topics on leadership, clinical practice, education, and research; and has written articles and publications.  Other significant contributions to professional nursing: 

  • PNAA South Central Region (SCR) Vice President (VP) 2018-2020 and 2010-2012
  • Founders and Advisers of Philippine Nurses Association of Tennessee (PNA-TN) 2016 and Philippine Nurses Association of Nashville, Tennessee ((PNAN-TN) 2018.
  • PNAA Education Committee Co-Chair 2014-2016 and Education Chair 2008-2010.
  • Conducted eight Regional Conferences, four National Conventions, and two International Nursing Conferences in Manila and Cebu Philippines. 

Latina M. Brooks, PhD, CNP, FAANP, is an assistant professor and director of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, Frances Payne Bolton (FPB) School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).  Dr. Brooks holds a Bachelor’s of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Philosophy from CWRU.  She received NIH funded for post-doctoral training in metabolism and pathophysiology at MetroHealth Medical Center, Schwartz Center for Nutrition & Metabolism and the Cleveland Clinic Learner Research Institute, Department of Pathobiology.

Dr. Brooks has been a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specializing in primary care for women for over 20 years. She has provided primary care services for women and children of all ages, with a particular interest in African American women, the medically underserved and women with cognitive and functional disabilities.  

For the last 8 years Dr. Brooks has been an academic program administrator and faculty, responsible for the education of future Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).  Currently, she serves as faculty and Program Director for the MSN and DNP programs at CWRU.  The MSN program includes 10 APRN (nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery and nurse anesthesia) majors.  Previously, Dr. Brooks was the inaugural director of the DNP and FNP programs at Ashland University and was part of the team that developed and implemented these programs at Ashland. Dr. Brooks has been an invited speaker internationally to discuss models of health care, clinical practice and advanced practice nursing education in the United States.  Along with clinical practice, teaching and program administration, Dr. Brooks has also conducted research over the course of her career, primarily in the clinical setting.  Dr. Brooks was a site principal investigator on the national clinical trial for the FDA approved hormonal intrauterine device Liletta.  Dr. Brooks has also served as site principal investigator on other contraceptive and device studies for Watson Laboratories and Roche Molecular Systems. Dr. Brook’s advisory committee appointments have included the Cuyahoga County Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities, where she served on the Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Subcommittees and the Ohio Board of Nursing Inaugural APRN Advisory Committee.

Joan O’Hanlon Curry, MS, RN, CPNP, CPON®, is the Administrative Director, Pediatric Clinical Services of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children’s Cancer Hospital.  She received a BA in psychology from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio and a BSN from Pace University, Pleasantville, NY and her MS from Columbia University in New York, NY as a pediatric nurse practitioner.  Currently, Ms. O’Hanlon Curry is a Samuel H. and Maria Miller Scholar in the DNP Nurse Executive Track, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, with an anticipated graduation in 2023.  

Ms. O’Hanlon Curry started her career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1993 as a staff nurse and began her advance practice career in 1998.  In 2004, she joined The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in Bronx, NY as the nurse manager for the outpatient pediatric hematology/oncology program, along with the advanced practice providers, to assist in revitalizing the program.  In 2018, Ms. O’Hanlon Curry joined the team at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  

Ms. O’Hanlon has been an active member of the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON) and is currently the immediate past president of national APHON.  Ms. O’Hanlon Curry is also a member of the Children’s Oncology Group and has been the responsible Investigator Nurse at both The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the Children’s Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson along with being a nurse auditor.  She has been the co-chair for the annual New York, Long Island, and New Jersey regional APHON conference since 2010.  She is an instructor for the APHON Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Course and has been teaching classes since 2006 as well as being a section editor for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions of The Pediatric Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider Curriculum.  Ms. O’Hanlon Curry was on the board of directors as treasurer for the national organization from 2012-2018.  She was the recipient of the Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse® of the year award from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation in 2007, as well as the Dr. Patricia Green Leadership Award in 2008 from APHON.

Dr. Dolansky is Associate Professor and holds the Sarah Cole Hirsh Endowed Professorship of Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). At the CWRU School of Medicine, Dr. Dolansky is an Associate Professor and is on the Advisory Board for the Clinical Translational Science PhD program. At the Veterans Health Administration (VA), she serves as the Nurse Advisor for the National VA Quality Scholars (VAQS) program and as the Co-director of the VAQS program at the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System (NEOHS). At the NEOHS, she is Chair of the Advisory Committee for the VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC).  From 2012-2022, she served as the Director of the QSEN Institute (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) and led an international community of healthcare providers with the goal to enhance quality and safety competencies in both academia and practice ( She currently is the Director of the Sarah Cole Hirsh Institute at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing that provides vision and resources to engage nurse leaders and nurse scientists in implementation science focused on improvement of the quality and safety of healthcare within clinical learning environments. 

Dr. Dolansky received her PhD from CWRU and both her BSN and MSN from Kent State University. She completed a National Institute of Health (NIH) Career Development Fellowship (KL2) and a John A. Hartford Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship. She is certified in TeamSTEPPS, Interactional Science, Implementation Science,  Lean Green Belt, and Practice-Based Research Network Methods.

She is Co- Principal Investigator of a 4-year funded research project from The John A. Hartford Foundation to implement the Institute for Healthcare Improvement evidence-based Age-Friendly Health Systems into the 1,100 MinuteClinics across the country. This exemplar academic-practice partnership seeks to enhance our understanding of implementation science and ensure the reliable delivery of evidence-based age-friendly care and published in the Implementation Science Special Issue of the journal, Worldviews on Evidence-based Nursing. Dr. Dolansky is the Principal Investigator of a 4-year Health Resources and Services Administration grant to both enhance the role of the RN in primary care through academic-clinical partnerships and transform the undergraduate curriculum to include primary care competencies. She is Co-Investigator on an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant to implement an evidence-based protocol targeting urinary incontinence. Her prior NIH research included understanding the impact of cognitive function and depression on the self-management of heart failure as a Co-Principal Investigator. 

The majority of her interprofessional work contributes to quality improvement education and includes co-authoring the book “Fundamentals of Healthcare Improvement,” the guidelines for publishing quality improvement in education, and the massive open online course (MOOC) “Take the Lead on Healthcare Quality” that has reached over 15,000 interprofessional professionals across the world. She has published over 110 databased and 35 non-databased  manuscripts, 25 book chapters, and 2 American Heart Association Scientific Reviews. She received as principal investigator over 6.5 million dollars in research grant funding and over 8.6 million dollars in education grants. She was presented with 30 awards for her contributions in teaching and practice improvement including a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and Nurse Researcher of the Year from the Ohio Nurses Association.

Evelyn Duffy, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, is the Florence Cellar Professor of Gerontological Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton (FPB) School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) where she has served on faculty since 1989. Dr. Duffy directs the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program and is Associate Director of the University Center on Aging and Health. 

Dr. Duffy received her BS in nursing from Baylor University in 1975, her MS in Gerontological and Adult Advanced Practice Nursing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1981, and her DNP from CWRU in 2004 and was honored with the Dean’s Legacy Award. Dr. Duffy’s clinical practice is in the Center for Geriatric Medicine at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center where she provides primary care to adults and older adults in the Otis Moss Jr. Health Care Center in an underserved area of Cleveland.

 Dr. Duffy was inducted as a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2007. In 2009, she was awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA). She served as national president of GAPNA from 2011-2012 and in 2018, she received the GAPNA Foundation Dave Butler Spirit Award for her contributions to GAPNA and the profession. The National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence recognized her as a Distinguish Educator in Gerontological Nursing in 2019. She serves on the advisory committee for the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. 

Dr. Duffy served as an expert in the development of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners Competencies in 2010 and 2016. Her expertise in policy is represented in her publications in Advanced Practice Nursing Roles: Core Concepts for Professional Development by Kathy Bair, Chapter 9, Health Care Policy: Implications for Advanced Nursing Practice and in Health Policy and Advanced Practice Nursing-Impact and Implications 3rd edition, Chapter 16, The Aging Population. With her co-authors Laurie Kennedy-Malone and Lori Martin Plank, she published her textbook, Advanced Practice Nursing Care in the care of Older Adults 2nd edition in 2019, which has consistently been number one on Amazon. She will soon release with Laurie Kennedy-Malone the 3rd edition of the book in 2022. She is active in policy locally and nationally, representing GAPNA on the NP Round Table and the APRN Workgroup, national advocacy groups advancing APRN priorities for patients and practice.

Dr. Duffy has shared her expertise in advanced practice education and health policy internationally as a visiting lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and consulting with faculty on at the University of Auckland and Auckland University School of Nursing, New Zealand; Aichi Medical University, Japan; and Department of Nursing and Health Care Sciences Institute of Technology Tralee Dromtacker, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Her research initiatives have focused on the care of older adults, most recently using music as a non-pharmacologic method of managing behavioral issues in dementia. She serves as the gerontological expert on a grant from the John A Hartford Foundation to integrate the Age Friendly System into the CVS Health Care Minute Clinics. She is the APRN expert on an interprofessional research team investigating the economic advantage of full practice authority for APRNs. 

In service to Case Western Reserve University Dr. Duffy has held many leadership roles: the FPB representative to the CWRU Faculty Senate Executive Committee and member of the Faculty Senate Nominating committee, and the Faculty Senate ad hoc Health Education Campus Committee.  She is the current Chair of the FPB School of Nursing Faculty and the Chair of the FPB Executive Committee.

Hilla Fighel, PhD, RN, received her doctorate degree from the Faculty of Medicine at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in the field of Medical Education and a Specialist Nurse degree in nursing policy and administration. Established and managed the Department of Licensing Examinations in the Ministry of Health for 7 years, and previously  served as head of all post basic training programs for nurses in the State of Israel. 

For the past 7 years, she has been the director of the Department of Professional Development in the Nursing Division, Ministry of Health in Israel.

The Nursing Division is a ministerial body established in 1994 and is part of the Ministry of Health’s management. Its purpose is to determine the nursing policy for 70,000 nurses in the State of Israel and their professional functioning in all descriptors and in all health organizations in the country. Among other things, the Nursing Division, promotes the development of the nursing profession as a leading and significant profession in  the health care system and promotes the professional advancement of the nurses for the benefit of patients  and their families.

The Department of Professional Development, headed by Hilla, works uniquely to redesign the role of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) role and to adapt it to the needs of the health system according to changes and global trends in nursing. 

In recent years, Hilla has been advancing the development and implementation of the APRN role across the healthcare system, in various descriptors and clinical areas. Within a few years, APRN's already operating and influencing, providing quality and available care for hospitalized patients and at community care clinics in Geriatrics, Neonatal care, Diabetes care clinics, Palliative care and post-Surgery care, Pain Control, Family Nurse  Practitioner (FNP) and Rehabilitation. Currently, we are developing the role of Psychiatric NP and Wound Care. Hilla's is personally responsible for leading the most senior leadership program in the State of Israel - Nursing Policy and Administration Expertise. This program training the most senior leadership avenue – Chief Nursing Executives all over the health system. This program includes skills such as- setting health policies at the national level, tools for innovative management of health organizations, and meaningful and influential leadership. 

Hilla is married and is the mother of three daughters. She lives in Herzliya, and enjoys skiing, ice skating and street art. 

Jason H. Gilbert, PhD MBA RN NEA-BC, serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive for Indiana University Health.  He joined IU Health in 2011 as Director of Nursing Operations at the Indiana University Health Adult Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN. Since then, he held several progressive executive leadership roles at both the regional and system level. In his current role he leads a team of more than 9,000 registered nurses and interprofessional team members multiple hospitals and clinics across the state of Indiana.  Prior to joining the IU Health team, Jason served in a nurse manager and staff nurse role at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

Dr. Gilbert holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from the Ohio State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science from Indiana University. He maintains board certification in executive nursing leadership (NEA-BC).  His area of research interest focuses on social and human capital and the impact on organizational outcomes.  

Dr. Gilbert is passionate nurse leader committed to improving healthy work environments, patient and family engagement, and patient outcomes. He has authored and presented on various leadership topics including: Organizational intellectual capital and the role of the nurse manager. A proposed conceptual model (Nursing Outlook, 2017);  Human and Social Capital: Relationships Matter in Organizations (Presented at the American Organization for Nursing Leadership Annual Meeting, 2019); Indiana University Health nursing COVID-19 spirit of inquiry and innovation descriptive qualitative study (Nursing Outlook, 2021); and Reducing Harm During COVID-19: Advancing High Reliability Through CNO/CMO Partnerships (Presented at the Vizient Education Connections Summit, 2021). He serves on the board of the Indiana Center for Nursing, the board and legislative chair of the Indiana Organization for Nursing Leadership and is a member of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

For the past 2 years, Tmira Hefetz has been the director of nursing at Geha mental healthcare center. In the majority of her 27 years carrier, Tmira worked at Clalit healthcare services, which serves more than 4 million people in Israel. Tmira started her professional journey as a nurse in the closed ward and made her way to team lead, emergency head nurse and deputy director of nursing in Geha mental health center. She held a variety of roles in the clinical filed of mental health as well as 8 years cross country responsibilities as head of professional nursing development at Clalit healthcare headquarter.  

In addition to her academic degrees in nursing (B.A, M.P.A) Tmira is a certified lawyer with LL.B and LL.M degrees from leading universities in Israel. This extended academic background supports her in decision making processes and day to day work. Since 2019 she is an active PhD student in the nursing faculty at Haifa University and is expected to graduate next year.  

Tmira has also taken responsibilities outside the hospital and is currently the deputy CEO of the national ethics committee of nursing in Israel. Under this role she is part of the policy makers in guiding nursing behavior, addressing challenges in daily work of nurses across all clinical disciplines.  

Tmira is married and has two children, aged 19 and 24, and a dog. Maintaining a healthy family life in parallel to a meaningful and prosperous carrier is a key element is her work life balance philosophy.

Dr. Holub is the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital. She has experience in both non-profit and profit organizations and oversees all nursing functions and patient care practices for her facility in the Cypress community.

With more than 28 years of nursing experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as CNO to the newest acute care facility within the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. She is a proven leader with a track record of not only improving patient satisfaction, but also garnering respect from those who serve under her. She has a passion for coaching and developing others, inspiring excellence, and driving innovation in nursing.

Since joining the Memorial Hermann Cypress campus in May 2018, she has been integral in the hospitals growth and expansion. She has guided them to a Level III trauma designation, maternal and neonatal intensive care level II designation, bariatric designation, and chest pain certification. Her emergency department received the coveted Lantern award and Dr. Holub has started the facility on their primary stroke and Magnet designation journeys.  She is currently the Chair of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Chief Nursing Officer Council and the executive sponsor of the system’s Magnet, Women’s, and Evidenced Based Practice and Research Councils.

She has been with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System for 23 years and is a graduate of the Memorial Hermann Nurse Executive Leadership Academy. Previously, she was with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, where she served as the Senior Administrative Director of Emergency Services, Trauma Services and Clinical Support Services. Among her numerous accomplishments, Dr. Holub was instrumental in helping guide Memorial Hermann The Woodlands on its journey to a Level II trauma designation, construction and expansion of the main emergency department, and the build and opening of an offsite emergency center that better provided care to the community.

She earned her bachelor and master degrees in nursing from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston followed by her doctorate in nursing at The University of Texas at Austin with a focus on emergency department throughput. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, Doctor of Nursing Practice Organization, Sigma Theta Tau International, Texas Nurses Association, Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Mary Beth Modic is a Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist(CDCES) at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned a BSN from the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, a MSN from Kent State University and a DNP from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Modic is known for her work in inpatient diabetes management, mentoring and patient education. 

Dr. Modic was elected a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2018 and recognized with  a Lifetime Achievement  Award by the Nursing Institute, Cleveland Clinic in 20210. She received the Nancy M. Albert Nursing Research Award from the Cleveland Clinic in 2006 and 2008. She is the recipient of the Poinsetta Jeffery Humanitarian Award in 2001. In 2015, Dr. Modic received the Association of Patient Experience’s (AfPE) Outstanding Caregiver Award and the Scholarship in Teaching Award from Case Western Reserve University.

She served as a co-editor of a book published for the lay public entitled Navigating your Hospital Stay: A Guide Written by Expert Nurses. She co-authored a book about nurses for middle schoolers with Dr. Joyce J. Fitzpatrick. The book, Luminaries of the Past: Stories of Fifty Extraordinary Nurses celebrates the contributions of 50 remarkable nurses who made a difference in the world. Each story is accompanied by a watercolor illustration of the nurse. The book was selected as a 2021 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in the Creative Works category.

She is the chief architect  of MAGNUS, an empowerment experience for clinical nurses.  It provides a forum which expands each participant’s view of nursing beyond their unit, department and practice setting. MAGNUS offers strategies on how to be relevant, innovative and forward thinking. To date, more than 600 clinical nurses throughout the Cleveland Clinic Health System in Northeast, Ohio have completed MAGNUS.

She led the curriculum revision for the Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) program which was passed on extensive patient feedback. She started the Nursing Institute ‘s “No Sew Fleece Blanket” making initiative for the Cleveland Clinic Health System for the largest men’s emergency shelter in Northeast, Ohio. Under her leadership, the nursing staff made and donated over 4500 blankets for the gentlemen who seek respite at the shelter. She also volunteers for MedWorks, a network of healthcare professionals, who donate healthcare services to the uninsured and underinsured in Northeast Ohio. 

Dr. Germaine C. Nelson, the current Clinical Program Manager for the Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health, World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai and is the CEO of Project Laureate-CP a company established to provide educational programs that empower others to align their present goals and dreams, and to move into careers in healthcare and the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and is adjunct faculty at the Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Nelson is the former Senior Associate Director of Nursing in the Emergency Department of New York City Health + Hospitals-Kings County and the previous Director of Nursing-Emergency Medicine at New York- Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia.  

Dr. Nelson is a graduate of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University and earned an MBA from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Nelson has a demonstrated record of achievement in education and healthcare leadership. She is a content expert on Barcode Medication Administration in the Emergency Department and the reasons registered nurses override alerts during medication administration. She has facilitated the development of a cancer case management acuity tool utilized for the assignment of clinical resources. Additionally, she has participated in several global projects with the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) creating educational teaching and resource guides to be used during medical missions. She has an established record of involvement in projects committed to social justice, gun violence mitigation and participated in the Northwell Health Gun Violence Prevention Forum in New York City, and advocates for affordable for housing in Brooklyn, New York.   

Dr. Nelson is co-author of a chapter on Decision Making by Nurse Managers in Nursing Concept Analysis Applications to Research and Practice and co-author of “Emergency Department Crowding and Hand Hygiene Compliance,” in BMJ Quality & Safety.   She co-authored and published “Early Detection and Treatment of Severe Sepsis in the Emergency Department,” identifying barriers to implementation of protocol-based approaches in the Journal of Emergency Nursing. Dr. Nelson is a medical legal nurse consultant. She is active in the Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, INC. a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association and is a scholarship committee member.  Dr. Nelson co-chairs the Mount Sinai Medical Center New York Diversity Council.  She is committed to working on diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare and is a member of Black Women Leaders Connect-Mount Sinai an employee resource group (ERG) committed to providing career development opportunities.

Rebecca A. Owens, DNP, MBA, MSN, RN-BC, is the Chief Nursing Officer at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) overseeing development, implementation, and evaluation standards of nursing practice, clinical decision making, and quality of care monitoring. Dr. Owens is responsible for facilitation of evidence-based practice, recruiting and hiring procedures, and nursing department material/fiscal resource management, research, and education.

Prior to joining NYSPI, Dr. Owens was the Patient Care Director and Interim Director of Nursing & Quality at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Payne Whitney Manhattan Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP), and Mobile Crisis Community Outreach Program. She holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Case Western Reserve University - Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Master’s in Nursing Science (MSN) - Nursing Administration, and Palliative Care, from University of Phoenix, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) - Marketing, and Strategic Planning from City University London, a Batchelor’s of Arts – Marketing and Journalism from the George Washington University, and an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS) from Cochran School of Nursing.

Dr. Owens was a participant in the distinguished New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center Emergency Department Nurse Residency Program, where she specialized in medical trauma, psychiatric emergencies, and end-of-life/palliative care and education.  Prior to her career in health care, Dr. Owens held multiple marketing, public relations, and consulting positions, concentrating on the travel and hospitality sector.  This experience included several years of living and working in Cozumel, Mexico, and London, England. 

Dr. Owens is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Nursing, and Associate Professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. She has served on the Board of Trustees at Tara Mandala Buddhist Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and is a member of the ANA, APNA, AACN, AONL, and Sigma Theta Tau. Owens also holds certifications in hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy nursing, New York State rape and domestic violence crisis counseling/victim advocacy, meditation, and reiki energy therapy. Dr. Owens’ publications include the impact of a mindfulness intervention on burnout, stress, and building resilience in healthcare providers, improving the psychiatric inpatient experience through a pandemic, treatment of eating disorders in medical and psychiatric settings, and updates in substance use disorders/treatments.

Denise Robinson, DNP, MPH, BSN, RN, WOCN, is an experienced nurse executive with over 20 years of nursing experience. She is currently the Senior Vice President (SVP) System Chief Nurse Executive (CNE) for the Bassett Healthcare Network, overseeing five hospitals and 103 ambulatory care sites, including 26 school-based health.

Dr. Robinson received a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a BSN from Skidmore College. Her experience includes ten years of high-level Executive Nursing Leadership, successful Magnet Designations, and redesignations; Orthopedics, Medical-Surgical Specialties, Transplant, Acute Rehabilitation with CARF designation, Nursing Quality, and Patient Safety focused-initiatives, and implementation of Wound Ostomy and Continence programs in organizations with more than 1100 beds. 

She has received numerous awards for service and leadership, including Nursing Excellence from Good Samaritan Hospital and The Visiting Nurse Service of New York. In 2012, Dr. Robinson was the recipient of multiple awards: Outstanding Achievement Award in the Advancement of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Clinical Excellence Award in Nursing Leadership, the Regional Finalist Award from Nursing Spectrum NY/NJ in the Patient and Staff Management Category and was a national candidate in the same category as Regional Finalist.

Dr. Robinson has traveled abroad to promote her educational programs as a subject matter expert. She has written over 25 abstracts and presented several abstracts in poster or podium presentations since 2003 in National Professional Health Care conferences all over the United States.  In 2013, she represented New York-Presbyterian Hospital speaking with nurses in Japan on Cancer Research and differences in care delivery in the United States and Canada. In 2018 she was one of the educators with the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Global Nurses Missionary ministry teaching Wound Ostomy and Continence and Leadership to the nurses at Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica.

Dr. Robinson is focused and passionate about developing and implementing educational programs that facilitate professional growth and development of nurses through mentorship and succession planning. She initiated the first Doctorate of Nursing Practice program and L.E.A.D program with Case Western Reserve University Frances Bolton School of Nursing at the Bassett Healthcare Network. During the challenges of COVID-19, Dr. Robinson was able to support her nursing leaders and new graduate nursing residents in attaining the American Nurses Credentialing Center Practice to Transition Accreditation Program (PTAP) designation in November 2021. Her dedication to nursing excellence is evident through multiple successful Magnet designations and re-designations including the first virtual site visit in the United States in June 2020 at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  Dr. Robinson continues to lead by example and is a role model for aspiring nurse leaders.

Lavonia Thomas DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPHIMS, is the Nursing Informatics Officer at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas.  She received her BSN from James Madison University in Harrisonburg Virginia, an MSN in Nursing Administration from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia and her DNP with an informatics focus from reh University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston Texas.

Dr. Thomas began her career as a staff nurse in the neuroscience unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville Virginia.  After completing several travel nurse assignments, Dr. Thomas joined the intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital in the metropolitan Washington DC area.  She began as a staff nurse and moved through the ranks with progressive responsibility as a manager, director, and eventually the executive director for the critical care division and neuroscience service line before accepting her current position.

Dr. Thomas is dual certified as a nurse executive and a health information management professional.  She has successfully leveraged her operational expertise to expand nursing’s influence for all of health IT at her current organization.  She has led efforts in business continuity management and is a well-recognized partner with information technology with readiness efforts to respond to cybersecurity threats.