Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing
Ten emerging nurse leaders were named winners of the new Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing Award at the summit. Each of these nurses has made extraordinary efforts to improve the health and lives of people in their communities. The award was created by the Campaign for Action.
“It’s amazing to see the difference that these 10 people are making in their communities and the health care system,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing and director of the Campaign for Action. “The lives of the people they care for are better because they fearlessly tackled—or are tackling—daunting health care challenges.”
The Campaign created the Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award to celebrate nurse leadership and efforts by nurses to improve health and health care. Recipients have worked to help medically fragile children, neurologically impaired individuals, and low-income women in rural areas, among others. Their work is helping to improve the quality of medical care in Vermont, protect health care workers from exposure to carcinogens in North Carolina, prevent bedsores and reduce Medicaid costs in Texas, and recruit and encourage minority nursing students in Wisconsin, to name a few. They are:
- AnnMarie Walton, MPH, BSN, PhD candidate, who is an oncology nurse in North Carolina.
- Dan Lose, BSN, DNP candidate, who works at UnityPoint Health–St. Luke’s Hospital and is on the board of directors of the Iowa Nurses Association.
- Danielle Howa Pendergrass, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, who opened Eastern Utah Women’s Health, an independent practice that serves more than 20,000 women, from teens to seniors.
- Diana Ruiz, DNP, BSN, RN, who is director of population health at Medical Center Health System in Odessa, Texas, where she leads programs to improve patient care and community health.
- Dorene Hersh, MSN, RN, who oversees 250 public health nurses in Seattle-King County, Washington. These nurses work in ambulatory care, correctional facilities, and in advanced practice roles.
- Frances (Fran) Keeler, MSN, RN, who was a nurse administrator in Massachusetts for 18 years before moving to Vermont, where she works as a health system regulator.
- Jake Creviston, MN, RN, PMHNP, DNP student, who is working to promote interprofessionalism and quality improvement.
- Jessica Gonzalez Contreras, MPH, BSN, RN, who provides in-home care to first-time, low-income mothers through the Nurse Family Partnership of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana.
- Josie L. Veal, PhD, RN, APRN, who is working to raise standards and improve diversity as a member of the Wisconsin Action Coalition.
- Maria Torchia LoGrippo, PhD, MSN, BSN, who teaches nursing at Rutgers and Seton Hall University and is pursuing a post doctorate degree.
“These outstanding leaders truly represent the future of nursing,” said Susan Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist at the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "We look forward to working with them as they lead change to advance health.”
*The new Nurses on Board Coalition includes: AARP; American Academy of Nursing; American Assembly For Men in Nursing; American Association of Colleges of Nursing; American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; American Association of Nurse Practitioners; American Nurses Association; American Nurses Foundation; American Organization of Nurse Executives; Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association; Association of Public Health Nurses; National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers; Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare; National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, Inc.; National Association of Hispanic Nurses; National Black Nurses Association; National League For Nursing; National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing; National Student Nurses Association; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Sigma Theta Tau International.