Pitt alum receives prestigious RWJ award

NEWS RELEASE[Gretchen Wright]

August 7, 2012

Frontier Nursing University's Ulrich Chosen for Highly Competitive National Nurse Fellowship

As Nursing and Health Care are Being Transformed, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program Provides Leadership, Professional Development

Suzan Ulrich, DrPH, CNM, FACNM, associate dean of Midwifery and Women’s Health at Frontier Nursing University, has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Ulrich joins a select group of nurse leaders chosen to participate in this three-year, world-class leadership development program that is enhancing nurse leaders’ effectiveness in improving the nation’s health care system. 

Ulrich has served in many capacities at Frontier Nursing University in the past 12 years and was active on the leadership team that achieved regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Colleges as a stand alone graduate nursing university in 2005. As chair of the Admissions Committee, Ulrich tripled admissions from fewer than 200 students in 2005 to more than 600 students in 2011. She is a fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwives, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and Delta Omega Honor Society of Public Health. Ulrich is an advocate of birth centers and served as the director of the North Shore Birth Center in Beverly, Massachusetts from 1991-2000. She is past director and vice president of the board of directors of the American Association of Birth Centers. Her nursing degrees include a Master’s of Science in Nursing  with a specialization in nurse-midwifery from Georgetown University, a Master’s of Nursing specializing in maternity nursing from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Duquesne University.

Begun by RWJF in 1998, the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF) program strengthens the leadership capacity of nurses who aspire to shape health care locally and nationally. The program will provide Ulrich and her colleagues with coaching, education and other support to strengthen their abilities to lead teams and organizations in improving health and health care. The ENF program is located at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), and co-directed by: Linda Cronenwett, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Beerstecher Blackwell Term Professor and former dean of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and David Altman, PhD, executive vice president of Research, Innovation and Product Development at CCL.

“Now more than ever, with our health care system preparing to care for millions more patients, many of whom are living longer but with more chronic conditions, we need nurse leaders who are well prepared to participate as full partners in this historic transformation,” Cronenwett said. “The RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program has a proud history of building and enhancing the leadership skills of extraordinary nurses all across the country. We are delighted to be able to work with this new cohort. Each of our new Executive Nurse Fellows has made a powerful commitment to improving health and health care and is poised to become an even more effective leader.”

“I am really grateful for this opportunity,” said Ulrich. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting—and challenging—three years. I hope it will help me make a bigger contribution both in and outside of my organization, and allow me to advocate for nurse-midwives in a changing health care system.”

Executive Nurse Fellows hold senior leadership positions in health services, scientific and academic organizations, public health and community-based organizations or systems, and national professional, governmental and policy organizations. They continue in their current positions during their fellowships, and during the fellowship each develops, plans and implements a new initiative to improve health care delivery in her or his community.

In addition to Ulrich, the other 19 RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows – selected from approximately 150 applicants – are:

  • Rita Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC,  NEA-BC, director of Diversity and Inclusion, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia;
  • Beth Bolick, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP-AC, CCRN, coordinator of the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (AC PNP) Program,  Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago;
  • Beth Brooks, PhD, RN, FACHE, president of Resurrection University, Oak Park, Ill.;
  • Richard Cuming, RN, MSN, EdD, NEA-BC, senior vice president and chief nursing executive, Jackson Health System, Miami;
  • Sheila Davis, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, director of Global Nursing, Partners In Health, Boston;
  • Cole Edmonson, BSN, MSN, DNP, FACHE, NEA-BC, vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas;
  • Loraine Frank-Lightfoot, RN, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer, Wooster Community Hospital, Wooster,Ohio;
  • Carolyn Hayes, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, nurse executive at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston;
  • Bernadette Khan, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of Specialty Services, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Plainview, N.Y.;
  • Pamela Kulbok, DNSc, RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor of Nursing and Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.;
  • Linda Lawson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, administrative director of Nursing Operations, Del Sol Medical Center, El Paso, Texas;
  • Shawanda Poree, BS, BSN, MBA, deputy director for the Healthcare Placement Service, Veterans Health Administration Healthcare Retention and Recruitment Office, New Orleans;
  • Lisa Sgarlata, RN, MSFM, MSN, chief administrative officer , Lee Memorial Hospital, Lee Memorial Health System, Fort Myers, Fla.;
  • Janice Smolowitz, EdD, DNP, ANP-BC, DCC, senior associate dean and professor, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York;
  • Elizabeth Speakman, EdD, RN, CDE, ANEF, associate professor, School of Nursing, co-director, Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Education, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia;
  • Ellen-Marie Whelan, PhD, NP, FAAN, senior advisor at the Innovation Center, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Baltimore;
  • Debra White, RN, MSN, MSA, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC,  vice president and chief nursing officer, Saint Luke’s Health System, Kansas City, Mo.;
  • Danuta Wojnar, RN, PhD, MN, MED, IBCLC, associate professor and chair, Department of Maternal/Child and Family Nursing, Seattle University College of Nursing, Seattle; and
  • Laura Wood, DNP, RN, MSN, vice president and national director, Clinical Solutions, Siemens Healthcare, Malvern, Pa.

The fellowship is supported through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For more information about the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program visit:  www.ExecutiveNurseFellows.org.



About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.