Executive Dean's Advisory Board
SCHOOL OF NURSING ADVISORY BOARD
The UW School of Nursing has maintained an active and engaged Advisory Board for over 30 years. The Advisory Board fosters closer ties between the University of Washington School of Nursing, its alumni, and the community. The Board offers strategic advice to the Dean with a focus on building community, raising awareness, and attracting resources to the School. It works collaboratively with School of Nursing faculty and leadership to promote the School’s mission to advance nursing science and practice through generating knowledge and educating future leaders to address health for all.
Eli Almo, Board Chair
Eli Almo has been actively involved in the senior housing industry for three decades asPresident and CEO of Era Living LLC, a Seattle-based owner and manager of retirement communities.
Since establishing Era Living in 1985, in collaboration with his wife and Co-Founder, Rebecca Almo, Eli has overseen the management and renovation of ten senior housing complexes in Washington State, including eight properties currently operated by Era Living. He has been instrumental in the development and enrichment of key partnerships between Era Living and community entities including the University of Washington Retirement Association, as well as the UW Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Medicine, enhancing opportunities for healthy aging and lifelong learning for Era Living residents and UW students alike.
Mr. Almo’s commitment to improving quality of life for older adults is manifest in funding for the Aljoya Professorship, an endowment established by the Almos in 1996 to promote gerontological research at the University of Washington.
Mr. Almo is Chairman of the University of Washington School of Nursing’s Advisory Board; he is a Trustee and the former Asset Committee Co-Chairman of Samis Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization with an extensive real estate portfolio.
Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Dean and Professor Emerita of Nursing at Columbia University School of Nursing. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Washington School of Nursing where she served on faculty for 14 years.
Prior to her appointment as Dean at Columbia she was the Alumni Endowed Professor of Nursing and Chair of the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington. Her primary research relates to public health systems, health disparities and health equity. Her major grant funding includes the NIH Center for the Advancement of Health Disparities Research (PI) and PI and Director of the National Program Office for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Turning Point Initiative. Previous appointments include Deputy Secretary for the Washington State Department of Health and Chief of Nursing Services for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health.
Dr. Berkowitz has served on a number of boards including Hanford Environmental Health Foundation, Washington State Board of Health, Washington Health Care Commission, Washington State Academy of Science, New York Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Medicine Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Public Health Foundation and chair of the Board of Trustees of Group Health Cooperative. She is past President of the American Academy of Nursing and currently serves as a member of the Report Review Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Board of Trustees for Swedish Health System in Washington State, the Advisory Board of the University of California Davis Health System Board of Advisors and the University of Washington School of Nursing Board of Advisors. She holds a Ph.D. in Nursing Science from Case Western Reserve University and Master of Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington.
Chandan Chauhan is an entrepreneur who is passionate about creating technology companies that provide internet services for consumers and enterprises. He is the CEO of Clocktree.com, which is focused on technology innovations that make healthcare accessible to all. He has cofounded two other successful internet companies, TalentWise and Intelius. At Microsoft, Mr. Chauhan was a member of the original development team that created Windows, and later he was a key player in creating CarPoint, Microsoft’s first internet application.
Chandan has utmost respect for the nursing profession and is honored to be affiliated with the UW School of Nursing in the advisory board capacity. He looks forward to actively participating in the nursing for the 21st century dialogue from the perspective of using cutting-edge technology for patient care and the research.
Kitti Cramer is a C-Level executive with over twenty years of enterprise risk management experience with a health insurance company generating $4 billion in annual revenue. Led major transformative initiatives, including business process and system transformation for all lines of business resulting from the Affordable Care Act, including selling new products on three different states’ public exchange platforms for the individual market. Led incident response activities for large cyberattack, including notifying customers, negotiating with various federal and state law enforcement and other agencies, and designing Board governance approach for Cybersecurity.
Kitti leads strategic planning and meetings for the chairs of the Governance, Audit & Compliance, and Compensation committees of the independent Board.
Kitti actively participates on management committee evaluating and managing investments in early and mid-stage private-equity companies, including serving as an observer on early-stage board.
Sherri Del Bene
Sherri Del Bene RN, MN NEA-BC has been on the Advisory Board at the UW School of Nursing since 2014 and is a proud alumna of the University of Washington School of Nursing. She is an Assistant Administrator in Patient Care Service at UW Medical Center. Sherri ensures that patient care is consistently top of mind and all those who are cared for through UW Medicine benefit from the expertise of their healthcare providers. She began her nursing career at UWMC when it consisted of only the Pacific Tower.
Sherri has a BA from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and a BSN from the University of Arizona. She earned her Master of Nursing at the UW School of Nursing in 1999. Sherri has a daughter Siena who lives in Atlanta. In her time away, she loves walking with her dog Oliver and spending time with family and friends when it is safe to do so. She has been a member of the same book club for 28 years and has read some remarkable books and traveled to interesting places on annual retreats.
Jody Evans Smith
A Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1981 from UW led Jody to a career in intensive care and surgical nursing, becoming a strong advocate for those who are unable to speak for themselves. A trailblazer, Jody was in the first group of RN First Assistants to be nationally certified. She held additional certifications in Critical Care and Operating Room nursing.
Now retired from nursing, Jody nourishes her quest for life-long learning with travel, figure skating, and community volunteering. She has been a member of the Advisory Board since 2018. She has a keen interest in innovation powered by research. Her aim is to be a positive, contributing citizen of the world.
Jennifer has been a proud member of the health care community in the Pacific Northwest for her entire, multi-decade career. Before joining Kaiser Permanente as the Vice President for Quality and Safety in both the Northwest and Washington Markets and serving as the Regional Chief Nursing Executive in Washington, Jennifer was the Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality at the Washington State Hospital Association where she was instrumental in creating a formal partnership for the nearly 200 hospitals across Alaska, Oregon and Washington whose exclusive focus was on reducing harm and improving patient outcomes. Prior to her role at WSHA, she completed a successful tenure as the Chief Executive at both Swedish Edmonds and Swedish Ballard, where she was actively engaged in leading all aspects of hospital and ambulatory operations and established a deliberate focus on quality and safety while also creating a thriving work and care environment. Jennifer also served as one of the Swedish system’s Nurse Executives. Preceding her employment at Swedish, Jennifer served on the leadership team at Virginia Mason Medical Center for nearly a decade.
Jennifer has conducted clinical research in pulmonary and critical care medicine, with a special emphasis on venous thromboembolic disorders; participated on clinical teams investigating sleep patterns and nighttime hormone levels in women with irritable bowel disorders; and received grant support to implement evidence-based depression treatment delivered by nurse care managers in ambulatory care. Jennifer is passionate about serving her community in the Pacific Northwest and is the current Chair of the Northwest Healthcare Response Network Board of Directors, as well as Vice President of the Washington State Nurses Association Board and a member of the Board for Sound Generations. She also serves on the Advisory Committee for LifeCenter Northwest and multiple schools and colleges of nursing across the state.
Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Portland, returned to Oregon once again to earn a Master of Science degree with a dual focus on clinical care and education and has also completed the Human Resources Management program at the University of Washington. Highlights of her career include receiving the Honorary Recognition Award in 2017 from the Washington State Nurses Association and attaining American Nurses Credentialing Center Pathway to Excellence Designation with her Ballard team in 2015, making it the first hospital in the state to achieve this prestigious acknowledgement. Most recently, in November of 2017, Jennifer received the Distinguished Nurse of the Year award from the March of Dimes, which was given in honor of her many years of nursing leadership across the region.
Patty Hayes, MN, RN is the Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County, a metropolitan health department of 1500 employees. Public Health is one of the largest health
departments in the country, serving the 2.2 million residents of King County, Washington. It provides a full complement of public health services including communicable disease control, environmental health services, jail health services, emergency medical services coordination, medical examiner services and a county-wide community health center system. As co-lead in the development of the Best Starts for Kids Initiative, Patty provides leadership to the $65 million-dollar groundbreaking investment that focuses on prevention and early intervention strategies for children, youth and families in King County. Most recently, Patty has been responsible for the COVID-19 response for King County. In addition, County Executive Dow Constantine and Patty declared Racism as a Public Health Crisis. The Executive asked Patty to co-lead the efforts in the county to address systemic and institutionally racist governmental policies and procedures and build pathways for community-led solutions. Prior to her role as Director, Patty led the department’s largest division, Community Health Services, which delivers personal health services at locations across the county.
With over 30 years of experience in public health, policy development and advocacy, Patty previously served as the Executive Director of WithinReach, a statewide non-profit that connects families to food and health resources. She also worked for the Washington State Department of Health in various positions including Assistant Secretary of Health for Community & Family Health as well as the Director of Legislative, Policy and Constituent Relations. Patty has a bachelor and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Washington, School of Nursing.
Patty has received numerous honors and recognition, including:
- 2020 Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award from the University of WA
- 2019 Peter Dyer Heart of Nursing Award from the University of WA School of Nursing.
- 2018 Kresge Foundation Emerging Leaders in Public Health.
- 2018 Honorary Assistant Dean to the University of Washington School of Nursing.
- November 2017 Patty was named one of the most influential people of the year by Seattle Magazine.
- 2015 Cynthia F. Shurtleff Award, a statewide honor that recognizes extraordinary leadership and dedication to the health and well-being of women, children and families in Washington.
- 2014 Heroine of Health Care award from the Center of Women and Democracy.
- Induction into the Washington State Nurses Hall of Fame in 2002.
Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, FAAN, FAEN is a healthcare change agent and clinician with over 25 years of experience designing, implementing and optimizing the health care delivery system using digital health tools and technology. She is the SVP of Telehealth & Innovation for Optum Health, where she is focused on modernizing the care delivery organization using digital health tools and telehealth. She most recently led clinical operations for Amazon Care, a healthcare initiative for Amazon employees and their families. Before joining Amazon, she designed and launched a national solutions center for patient access, virtual care, and care coordination for Ascension Health. She has a proven track record of delivering successful programs at scale that improve health and save money. She continues to integrate new technology into the care delivery model in order to deliver the most effective and efficient operating model. She is an adjunct faculty member in Population Health at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas-Austin and at the University of Washington School of Nursing.
Henderson thrives with complex challenges and consistently delivers results that exceed expectations. She is known for her ability to execute and sustain these models in advance of them becoming an industry standard as evidenced by her first launch of a telehealth program in 2003 which is recognized as one of only two of HRSA’s Centers of Excellence. She is resourceful, collaborative and known for her creative solutions that engage patients and empower clinicians. She has testified before multiple U.S. Senate committees and given numerous presentations across the country, including a TEDx, to advance telehealth policy and share innovative new models of care.
A few of her other leadership roles include service as an executive board member for the American Telemedicine Association; AAMC Telehealth Committee member, ANA co-chair for Committee on Connected Health and NQF Telehealth Committee. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the Emergency Nurses Association.
Henderson received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she was recognized as the 2019 Distinguished Alumna from the School of Nursing. She maintains national certification as a family and acute care nurse practitioner.
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Evelyn graduated from the University of Washington and was recruited by her former high school principal to teach English. Following her teaching career, she received a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Puget Sound, and a second master’s degree in Family Therapy from Pacific Lutheran University. Her success as a professional therapist, and the founder of Lakewood Professional Counseling Center with nine associates required her to become familiar with real estate, leasing and management. While serving the community for 18 years as a clinician, she began developing office buildings.
The past 25 years she has worked alongside her late husband, Gene Lynn, in the healthcare industry. Together they developed, constructed and operated Healthcare facilities under the name “Careage” which stands for “Care for the aged”. They both shared the passion for helping people and believed that to enhance another person’s life was the most gratifying of all rewards. It has been their calling and mission! Evie now serves as Chairman of the Careage Board of Directors.
Joanne Montgomery, BSN, is a 1977 graduate of University of Washington School of Nursing. She enjoyed a full career specializing Medical/Surgical Intensive Care, Emergency Room and Recovery Room bedside Nursing.
After retirement she was reunited with UW SoN. In 2002, the then dean Nancy Woods asked her to join School of Nursing Advisory board and she has served since. In addition, she has been a member of ARCS (Achievement Awards to College Scientists) for over two decades. She spearheaded efforts for approval for the School of Nursing to be eligible for Graduate level ARCS Fellowships. With her husband she has donated two ARCS endowments and has led others to create three more endowments.
She has multiple other initiatives as a board member. She created and initially funded Nursing Shark Tank to promote and showcase nursing Innovation. She was Nursing School Co-Chair UW Be Boundless Campaign raising over $40 million. She co-initiated Magnusson Health Science courtyard beautification project. She avidly supported stewardship of Nurse Camp to inspire future nurses. As a board member, she recruited new members, and reached out to Alumni and other supporters. In 2010, she joined the UW Foundation Board as Nursing School Unit Director and continues to serve.
She has been honored with a named Nursing Professorship sponsored by Corus Pharma and Gilead Sciences in 2006; the Peter Dyer Heart of Nursing award in 2013; the 100 top Nursing Influencers awarded at the School’s centennial celebration in 2018.
Greg Nickels was the 51st mayor of Seattle, a Democrat who served two four-year terms from 2002 through 2009, following a 14-year stint on the King County Council. While he ran for mayor as one who would follow the “Seattle way” of public inclusion and consultation, Nickels went his own way while he was in office — an approach that brought results, but that also siphoned away public support and eventually contributed to his defeat in the 2009 primary. During his first term Nickels focused on fixing the city’s fire stations and potholes; his second term focused more on light rail, urban density, and combating climate change.
Greg Nickels married Sharon Colwell of Ellensburg in 1978. Their son Jacob was born in 1981 and their daughter Carey in 1983. Greg and Sharon Nickels continue to live in the West Seattle house the family moved to in 1986.
Healthcare consulting fulfills Teri’s lifelong passion for influencing the environment that patients receive “care” and caregivers give “care”. She has been a caregiver, a patient and the member of a team designing the space, analyzing the financial viability and the statistician identifying the need.
Teri’s career in healthcare started as a caregiver in orthopedics and oncology then transformed into working for the internationally known architectural firm NBBJ. She has been part of consulting and design teams helping communities and healthcare providers identify their needs and realize their visions for providing efficient, healing and functional healthcare space. Her career has included facility utilization planning, financial feasibility and cost analysis, operations analysis, and program and functional planning as well as facility design with HMOs, universities, hospitals, and freestanding clinics.
Teri Oelrich is a partner with NBBJ and leads the company’s Healthcare Analytics and Consulting group. She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from UW and has a clinical background in nursing, working in a variety of settings, including medical-surgical units and adult and pediatric intensive care units. She also holds an MBA, and coupled with her operational knowledge, she brings a valuable mix of clinical and business acumen to healthcare projects.
Rogelio Riojas has served as President and CEO of Sea Mar Community Health Centers since 1978, a health and human services non-profit organization committed to providing quality, comprehensive health, human and housing services to diverse communities, specializing in service to Latinos. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from a small community clinic in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, to a large multi-faceted health and human services organization serving more than 300,000 individuals annually in eleven counties throughout Washington state.
Mr. Riojas currently serves on the University of Washington Board of Regents and the Sound Community Bank Board. Mr. Riojas has served on several advisory boards, including Western Governors University and South Seattle Community College, as well as served on the Board of Directors for Community Health Plan of Washington.
Mr. Riojas is a graduate of the University of Washington with bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science and a master’s degree in health administration.
Brooks Simpson has over 40 years of experience in medical sales and marketing. He retired from Physio-Control after 20 years of service including senior management positions as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, International, and North American Sales.
During his tenure at Physio-Control he was involved with the divestiture from Eli Lilly, sale to Bain Capital, IPO and acquisition by Medtronic. In 1999, Mr. Simpson founded Pacific Rim Medical Systems, a distributor of cardiovascular devices. He is a limited partner in Bain Capital and was on the Board of Physio-Control from 2011-2016. Mr. Simpson is also chairman of the R. Hunter Simpson Foundation. He is a Director on the University of Washington Foundation Board, in addition to external advisory board member for the UW Department of Global Health, Department of Bioengineering and co-chair of the School of Nursing. He is Chairman elect of the Washington Research Foundation and President of the Medic One Foundation. Other boards include the Physio Foundation and Resuscitation Academy.
Joycelyn Thomas, ARNP holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, Master of Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington. Currently, she works as a Family Nurse Practitioner at a Family Practice Clinic for Catholic Health Initiatives where she is also the Medical Director. She is a nurse practitioner specializing in the care of persons of all ages, and her interests include improving patient provider communication with African Americans. Joycelyn collaborated with a large northwest medical center focusing on improving provider communication with African American patients. As a result of this collaboration, Dr. Thomas developed evidence-based recommendations for implementation into an existing communication-training course for providers to be utilized by the collaborating agency.
Currently she serves as a board member of the University of Washington Advisory Board, African American Reach and Teach Health, and Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization where she is the president.
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS
- Sandy Dyer
- Charyl Kay Sedlik
- Teresa Urquhart
PAST BOARD MEMBERS
- Dawn Atkin
- Gubby Barlow
- Shari Behnke
- Cheryl Berenson
- Catherine Booth La-Force
- Ellery C. Cramer
- Peter Dyer *
- Margie Elliot
- Clif Elliott
- John Espinola, M.D.
- Cynthia Huffman
- Treuman Katz
- Frankie Manning
- Myrene Mcaninch*
- Betty McCurdy*
- Anne Mckinley
- Shan & Lee Mullin
- Ann Nieder
- Christopher Porter
- Jean Reid
- Helen Sikov
- Johnesse Spisso