Laurie Benson, BSN, RN, is an accomplished corporate executive, entrepreneur, and corporate board director. During the past 25 years, she has served on seven corporate boards in the technology, finance, insurance, manufacturing, and services industries, and currently serves on five corporate boards. Additionally, she has expertise and is actively engaged in the healthcare industry through board service, executive leadership, and innovation roles. Benson serves as a C-suite advisor to CEOs, presidents, and entrepreneurs on complex issues including board governance, strategy, business growth, innovation, high-performance teams, human resources, and succession planning. She developed this capability through her 25 years as CEO and cofounder of Inacom Information Systems (1984-2009), where she grew this IT systems integrator to $80M at time of sale to Core BTS. The company consistently achieved high-level national industry partner rankings with Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and EMC, including being recognized as Microsoft's Worldwide Partner of the Year for client-centered implementations. Benson has received numerous awards, most recently the UW Madison Distinguished Alumni Award 2013; UW Madison Chancellor's Entrepreneurial Achievement Award 2013; In Business 2011 Executive Hall of Fame; ATHENA Award 2010; and National SBA Women in Business Champion 2009. In addition, she was recognized in Directors & Boards magazine's “Directors to Watch” 2013. Benson's ongoing leadership and involvement in healthcare organizations originally stemmed from her University of Wisconsin-Madison bachelor of science degree in nursing and continues today through her ongoing leadership on the school of nursing advisory board.
She demonstrates leadership in board governance as an active member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Women Corporate Directors (WCD), Women Business Leaders in Healthcare (WBL), and Global Board Ready Women. She is an accomplished speaker on leadership, culture, innovation, including leading change in healthcare.
Gladys Campbell, MSN, RN, FAAN, is an independent healthcare consultant and leadership coach in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to that, she was CEO of the Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives (NWONE) and CNE and senior leader for clinical strategy for the Washington State Hospital Association. She began her career in Seattle where she graduated from the University of Washington School of Nursing. After graduation, she was commissioned as an officer in the United States Public Health Service and worked in successive leadership positions in Boston, New York, and Washington, DC, where she completed her graduate degree at the Catholic University of America. While in Washington, DC, she spent 20 years at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, where she became an associate chief nurse executive (CNE) for the organization and co-led the development of a unit-based model of clinical research. After retiring from the United States Public Health Service, Campbell worked in Nashville, Tennessee, as an associate CNE and as executive director for the Tennessee Regional Research Institute of Saint Thomas Medical Center. In November of 2003, Campbell relocated to Portland, Oregon, where she was the assistant administrator for Nursing and Patient Care Services at the Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center. In January 2007, Campbell became the CEO for NWONE and the CNE and senior leader for clinical strategy for the Washington State Hospital Association. She served in this role for nine years before leaving to become an independent consultant. Campbell has served as a fellow in the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Appraiser Program and a fellow in the College of Critical Care Medicine; she is a past president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She is a career long member of the American Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau International, a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, a past member of the board of directors for the Certification Corporation of AACN, and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has been a member of the editorial board of Clinical Issues in Critical Care Nursing and is a published author and a frequent speaker with an extensive list of presentations to her credit.
Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, is professor ad honorem at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Previously, she was the director of the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership and the Katherine R. and C. Walton Lillehei Chair in Nursing Leadership at the School. She received her BSN from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; her MSN in cardiovascular nursing from the University of Alabama in Birmingham; and her PhD in nursing from the University of Michigan. Starting her career as a staff nurse in cardiovascular intensive care, Disch had her first board experience with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, having been encouraged to become active by a mentor from graduate school. Over the course of her career, she eventually served as a chief nurse executive in two major medical centers; she served as interim dean at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, USA; and she held numerous national leadership positions, such as president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, chair of the American Nurses Association Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines, chair of the University Hospital Consortium's Chief Nurse Executive Council, and board member and chair of the national board of AARP. Disch has served as a board member on several major healthcare boards, such as Allina Health and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. Currently she is a member of the board of Aurora Health Care and chair of the board of Chamberlain College of Nursing. She is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Nursing. Her research has centered on nurse/physician relationships and quality and safety within healthcare organizations. For the past 10 years, she has been a faculty leader for the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative. Disch has lectured and published widely on patient safety and is a coauthor of an American Journal of Nursing 2014 Book of the Year Award winning book, Person and Family Centered Care. She has received a number of awards for her work, among them the 2015 Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Award for a Distinguished Career from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses; the Dorothy Garrigus Adams Award for Excellence in Fostering Professional Standards and the Mary Tolle Wright Award for Excellence in Leadership from Sigma Theta Tau International; the President's Award from the American Academy of Nursing; Distinguished Alumna Awards from the Schools of Nursing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and the University of Wisconsin; and the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Wisconsin.
Therese Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, is a principal leading the clinical strategy within consulting engagements for the Healthcare Transformation Services business of Philips Healthcare. She has expertise in healthcare strategy, operational productivity, optimization modeling, analytics, clinical staffing, business development, and demand planning. Prior to joining Philips in 2014, Fitzpatrick was a founding partner for two consulting and analytics firms focused on mathematical optimization modeling and logistics science in strategic clinical workforce planning. She served as CEO of a private equity-owned nurse staffing company. After growing revenues to $8+ million annually, she facilitated a merger with another staffing firm to form the largest regional clinical staffing organization in Chicago, doubling revenues in the first year. She built a consulting division that provided hospitals with strategies related to demand planning, staff optimization, and budgeting. Fitzpatrick has served as CNO and COO in both academic and community healthcare systems, including a Top 100 hospital system. Having received certification in negotiating strategy from Harvard University, her leadership practice has focused significantly on improving operations and staff productivity in unionized organizations. She is widely published on nursing optimization, clinical staffing, and clinical activity analysis. Her work on optimization modeling was awarded the Greatest Potential Contribution to Nursing Practice by the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. Her research and analysis on the recently implemented staffing legislation in Illinois is becoming a national example of a viable alternative to mandated staffing ratios. In 2013, she coauthored (with Connie Curran) Claiming the Corner Office: Executive Leadership Lessons for Nurses, a book that teaches nurses how to develop personal leadership potential in preparation for senior executive positions. Fitzpatrick serves on several boards of directors, including the editorial board of the journal Nursing Economic$; Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Illinois; Turning Point Community Mental Health Center, Illinois; and the advisory board for the College of Science and Health at DePaul University, Chicago. She is an assistant clinical professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Nursing, Department of Health System Sciences, where she teaches graduate administrative studies. Fitzpatrick received her BSN and MS in nursing administration from DePaul University. She received a PhD in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
James W. Gauss, MHA, is chair of Board Services at Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm based in Irvine, California, and devoted to healthcare, life sciences, higher education, and nonprofit industries. He has more than three decades of experience advising board members and CEOs on board succession planning, skill-set evaluation, and recruiting in periods of rapid change and transformation. He combines industry expertise and research in his work with healthcare, academic, nonprofit, and corporate boards across the country. In his previous role as president and CEO of Witt/Kieffer, Gauss counseled hundreds of boards and search committees on organizational structure, core competencies for successful trustees and C-suite executives, leadership assessment, diversity, and effective onboarding, among many other areas. Currently serving on the National Board of Advisors for the American Hospital Association Center for Healthcare Governance, Gauss thoroughly understands the culture of today's successful boards as well as the needs of high-performing boards in the future. He has recruited business leaders from a broad range of disciplines, is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and has been widely quoted on board issues in general business and in healthcare press, including Directors & Boards, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CEO Update, Trustee, Hospitals & Health Networks, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Diversity Executive, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Becker's Hospital Review, and Inside Higher Education. Named by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 100 most influential executive search consultants worldwide, he has deep relationships with boards and industry leaders within healthcare, insurance/managed care, and higher education, as well as with a wide variety of other businesses and foundations. Gauss assists boards in assessing where gaps exist in current areas of expertise, planning for future board member succession, and recruiting trustees and directors who have the vision and skills to achieve an organization's strategic goals.
He is widely recognized for his work on diversity and disparities of care issues. In addition to being widely published in this area, he recently served two terms as a board member with the American Hospital Association Institute for Diversity and chaired a task force on Advancing Diversity in Governance and Leadership. Gauss holds an MHA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a BA from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He regularly presents to healthcare and business audiences nationally.
Susan Groenwald, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, is a pioneer who helped develop the specialty of oncology nursing. While holding a joint appointment at Rush University and Rush Medical Center, she was elected to the inaugural board of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS); co-led a team that created the first standards for oncology nursing practice; and helped found the first chapter of the ONS in Chicago, for which she served as vice president. Groenwald was director of the Oncology Nursing Graduate Program at Rush University and authored a comprehensive oncology nursing textbook, which received an American Journal of Nursing Book Award in 1988 and again in 1997. Additionally, she coauthored a cancer symptom management textbook and was on the editorial boards of three cancer nursing journals. She created and managed one of the first telephonic cancer symptom management programs to serve cancer patients throughout the United States. Groenwald spent 20 years in the business sector growing and developing companies that were later sold. In 2006, she became president of Chamberlain College of Nursing, growing Chamberlain to one of the largest nursing colleges in the country. Under her leadership, the college has graduated more than 18,000 BSN nurses and established a master's degree program with five specialty tracks including informatics, education, administration, healthcare policy, and family nurse practitioner. She also established a DNP-degree program with two tracks. Groenwald spearheaded the development of partnerships with key nursing organizations, which led to the establishment of the National League of Nursing/Chamberlain Center for the Advancement of Nursing Education and the Sigma Theta Tau International and Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for Excellence in Nursing Education. She received her BSN and MSN from Rush University; a certificate in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Higher Education/Higher Education Administration from Capella University.
Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 1997, is presently the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing. In this role, she shapes and leads the Foundation's nursing strategies in an effort to create a higher quality of care in the United States for people, families, and communities. Drawn to the Foundation's “organizational advocacy for the less fortunate and underserved,” Hassmiller is helping to assure that RWJF's commitments in nursing have a broad and lasting national impact. In partnership with AARP, she directs the Foundation's Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which seeks to ensure that everyone in America can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing care and promoting health. This 50-state and District of Columbia effort strives to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's report on the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Hassmiller served as the report's study director. She is also serving as co-director of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, an initiative that provides scholarships, mentoring and leadership development activities, and postdoctoral research funding to build the leadership capacity of nurse educators and researchers. Previously, she served with the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she was the executive director of the U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship and worked on other national and international primary care initiatives. She also has worked in public health settings at the local and state level and taught public health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University in Virginia. Hassmiller, who has been very involved with the Red Cross in many capacities, was a member of the National Board of Governors for the American Red Cross, serving as chair of the Disaster and Chapter Services Committee and national chair of the 9/11 Recovery Program. She is currently a member of the National Nursing Committee, and is serving as immediate past board chair for the Central New Jersey Red Cross. She has been involved in Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the United States and abroad, including tornadoes in the Midwest, Hurricane Andrew, September 11th, the 2004 Florida hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina, and the tsunami in Indonesia. Hassmiller is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a member of the Joint Commission's National Nurse Advisory Council, Meridian Health System Board of Directors, the Health Resources and Services Administration National Advisory Committee for Nurse Education and Practice, and the CMS National Nurse Steering Committee. She is a founding member of the National Nurses on Boards Coalition. Hassmiller received a PhD in nursing administration and health policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, master's degrees in health education from Florida State University and community health nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a bachelor's degree in nursing from Florida State University. She is the recipient of numerous national awards in addition to receiving the distinguished alumna award for all the schools of nursing from which she graduated and two honorary doctoral degrees. Most notably, Hassmiller is the 2009 recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor given to a nurse by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Daniel J. Pesut, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, is a professor of nursing in the Nursing Population Health and Systems Cooperative Unit of the School of Nursing at the University of Minne-sota and director of the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership. He holds the Katherine R. and C. Walton Lillehei Chair in Nursing Leadership. Pesut is a popular author, speaker, coach, and consultant and is known for his ability to inspire and help people access and develop creative ideas and design innovative solutions to challenging problems. He is internationally known for his work in nursing education, creative teaching-learning methods, self-regulation of health status, clinical reasoning, futures thinking, executive coaching, and leadership development in the health professions. He is a certified Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara coach. He is past president (2003-2005) of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. He served on the board of trustees of the Plexus Institute, which is an organization with the mission to foster the health of individuals, families, and communities, organizations, and our natural environment by helping people use concepts emerging from the new science of complexity. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a board certified clinical nurse specialist in adult psychiatric mental health nursing. Pesut is the recipient of many awards, including an Army Commendation Award while on active duty (1975-1978) in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps; the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Edith Moore Copeland Founder's Award for Creativity; The American Assembly for Men In Nursing Luther Christman Award; Distinguished Alumni Awards from Northern Illinois University School of Nursing-College of Health and Human Services; as well as a number of other distinguished alumni, teaching, mentoring, and leadership awards. Pesut earned a PhD in nursing from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in psychiatric mental health nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. He has completed certificates in management development from Harvard Institute for Higher Education, core mediation skills training from the International Association of Dispute Resolution (IARD), and integral studies from Fielding Graduate University.
Linda Procci, PhD, RN, is a clinical professor of nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Procci recently retired after 17 years as vice president of service line operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she served for 15 years as vice president and COO at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. She also previously held the position of director of training in nursing, University Affiliated Program, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Her extensive leadership and management experience in complex, academic, tertiary, and integrated healthcare organizations have led to measurable success/satisfaction for stakeholders, improved clinical outcomes, and positive financial returns. She currently serves on the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Foundation Board, the Board of Visitors for the UW School of Nursing, and the Wise & Healthy Aging Board. Procci holds BS and MS degrees in nursing from UW Madison and a PhD in education from the University of Southern California.