Transition on Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees

    • March 23, 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced the election of Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, to its board of trustees. She joins a diverse group of 13 other board members in leading the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans.

A registered nurse for more than 40 years, Burnes Bolton is vice president for nursing, chief nursing officer, and director of nursing research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. She is one of the principal investigators at The Burns and Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

“We are extremely pleased to have Linda Burnes Bolton serve as a trustee and lend her considerable talents to our work to ensure a robust health care workforce that meets the needs of all Americans in the decades to come,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA. “Linda has been an important colleague of ours for many years through her involvement in various programs to improve the quality and equality of health care, and develop and retain skilled nurse leaders. RWJF will benefit from her vast experience as we help the next generation of health care leaders consistently deliver care that is equitable, effective, patient-centered, and cost-efficient.”

As Burnes Bolton joins the board, Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, completes her term and becomes a Trustee Emeritus. A noted nursing workforce expert, Salmon is dean of the School of Nursing and a professor at the University of Washington.

“There is no question that I will miss being a part of this remarkable board and wonderful Foundation—what an incredible privilege and pleasure it has been to serve on this board,” Salmon said. “Fortunately, as a Trustee Emeritus, I will join a large group of former trustees who continue as part of the RWJF extended family. I love knowing that I will continue to be connected to such a positive and powerful force for improving health and health care in this country….and for truly shaping the future of nursing in such important ways.”

“During the decade of my service as a board member, the Foundation adopted a new level of commitment to building the capacity of nursing as a societal good,” Salmon continued. “The board and senior leadership of the Foundation have been explicit in forging a strategic commitment to nursing—one that has been lived out through the remarkable work of dedicated staff and the commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars of support. Nursing matters to RWJF. It has from the beginning. It is very important to understand, however, that RWJF’s commitment to nursing is directly linked to the important roles that nursing can and does play in improving health and health care in this country. I have to believe that Florence Nightingale would be very proud! Improving the health of vulnerable people and the overall public were at the core of her commitment to advancing nursing.”

“It is gratifying to know that nursing continues to be an important focus for the Foundation,” Salmon concluded. “The Future of Nursing report sets the stage for a very exciting time. And the recent appointment of Linda Burnes Bolton to the board is very strong evidence of RWJF’s exceptional commitment to nursing and its impact on the public’s health. Linda is an outstanding choice and will be instrumental in continuing the Foundation's strong commitment to nursing and to the good it can do for society. Linda will be terrific!”

Burnes Bolton is a past president of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Black Nurses Association. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Arizona State University. In 2009 she was appointed vice chair of the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Nursing from Arizona State University, Burnes Bolton received two master’s degrees—in Maternal Child Health and Population Health—and a doctorate in Population Health and Behavioral Science, all from UCLA.