News Release

Announcing the Johnson & Johnson nursing innovation fellows

Program aims at advancing health care through nurse-led innovation and leadership within health systems

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

PHILADELPHIA (May 24, 2023) – The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is pleased to announce that ten teams from health systems around the country have been selected for the Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellowship Program (JJNIF), powered by Penn Nursing and the Wharton School–a ground-breaking, one-year, team-based nursing fellowship for Chief Nursing Officers, nurse executives, and senior nurse leaders.

The fellowship is unique in that two nurse leaders – one Chief Nursing Officer or nurse executive and one other senior nurse leader from the same organization – participate and work together to address a real-world challenge their health system is facing using human-centered design and business and leadership principals specific to innovation. The fellows come from geographically diverse areas from across the US. They come from large and small health systems as well as stand-alone hospitals and public health systems in urban and rural locations. The fellows for 2023 are:

Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Valhalla, New York

  • Jill M. Wegener MSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Kara Dyer-Dombroski MSN, RN, Director of Nursing

Corewell Health South, Saint Joseph, Michigan

  • Natalie Baggio MBA, BSN, RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive
  • Sandra Plank DNP, CNOR, NPD-BC, Senior Director of Clinical Education, Talent Development & Resiliency

Hawai‘i Pacific Health, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

  • Amy Thomas, MSN, APRN, System Chief Nurse Executive
  • Tracy Methered, MBA-HCM, BSN, RN, Director of Clinical Informatics 

James J. Peters Veteran Administration Medical Center, Bronx, New York

  • Noreen B. Brennan PhD, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Executive
  • Salvacion Francisco EdD, OL, MSN, RN, Deputy Chief Nurse Executive

Jefferson Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Colleen Mallozzi MBA, RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Informatics Officer
  • Charlene Eltman MSN, RN, RN-BC, Division Director Clinical Informatics

North Carolina Division of Public Health, Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Susan Haynes Little, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, CPH, CPM, FAAN, Chief Public Health Nursing Officer
  • Angela Callicutt, MSN, CPHQ, Assistant Director of Nursing

Olympic Medical Center, Port Angeles, Washington

  • Vickie Swanson, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer 
  • Aaron Possin, MSN, MBA, Emergency Department Director

Trinity Health, Illinois and Indiana Regions

  • Peggy Norton-Rosko, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Regional Chief Nursing Officer, (Illinois and Indiana)
  • Dawn Vollers, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Regional Director (Maywood, Illinois)

West Virginia University Health System, Morgantown, West Virginia

  • Melanie M. Heuston, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nurse Executive
  • Lya M. Stroupe, DNP, Director of Nursing Professional Practice and Education

Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut

  • Ena Williams, PhD, MBA, RN, CENP, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
  • Jeannette Bronsord, DNP, Executive Director of Surgical Services

The fellowship will immerse participants in the innovation process by focusing on human-centered design and design thinking methodologies and will teach fellows how to apply it to their specific challenge area. The innovation curriculum provided by Penn Nursing will be paired with business acumen, change management and strategic leadership skills development through Wharton Executive Education. At the conclusion of the fellowship, fellows will pitch their innovative solutions with the goal of bringing that solution back to their healthcare system to implement.

During the fellowship, participants will work on a health care problem specific to their health system. While two-person executive leadership teams from each health system are the selected fellows, fellows may invite extended team members from their health system who can help them identify the problem and develop their solutions to attend virtual sessions as well. The program will conclude with a final in-person pitch session where fellows will describe the problem they are addressing and their recommended solution.

The program begins with a virtual half-day kick-off meeting in early June 2023, followed by an in-person 5-day Summer Innovation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, from June 26-30, 2023. Following that there are three, 2-day virtual synchronous sessions (one each quarter) throughout the year and a 2-day in-person closing event at Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ, on May 22-23, 2024.

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About the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing. For the eighth year in a row, it is ranked the #1 nursing school in the world by QS University. For the second year in a row, our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is ranked # 1 in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. Penn Nursing is also consistently ranked highly in the U.S. News & World Report annual list of best graduate schools and is ranked as one of the top schools of nursing in funding from the National Institutes of Health. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through innovation in research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, & Instagram.  

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