Honorary Deans

HONORARY ASSISTANT DEANS OF CLINICAL PRACTICE

The UW School of Nursing appoints Honorary Assistant Deans of Clinical Practice in recognition of their particularly significant role in the School of Nursing and our community.

Eight Chief Nursing Officers and administrators have been appointed/reappointed as Honorary Assistant Deans of Clinical Practice in recognition of their particularly significant role in the School of Nursing and broader community.

Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) and other administrators play an integral part in nursing by providing vital input and support for our educational, public service and policy making efforts. We benefit from their knowledge and community connections of those who work outside academia. We are thrilled to have them as an Honorary Assistant Deans and are grateful of what they contributed to not only the school, but also to our institutions, the community, and profession. – Dr. Azita Emami, Executive Dean of the UW School of Nursing

The new and continuing honorary assistant deans include:

Sue Birch

Sue Birch

Sue Birch, MBA, BSN, RN, serves as Director of the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), the state’s largest health care purchaser. A nurse by training, Birch is passionate about improving population health and reducing overmedicalization by focusing on the social determinants of health. She has led efforts to combat the opioid public health crisis through increased access to treatment and public education, eliminate hepatitis C through innovative value-based drug purchasing, and implement a Medicaid benefit for supportive housing and supported employment.

Theresa Braungardt

Theresa Braungardt

Theresa Braungardt, MN, RN, FACHE, currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at UW Medicine | Valley Medical Center located in Renton, WA. Prior to that, she worked at Harborview Medical Center in successive nursing leadership positions for 22 years.

Theresa received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing Leadership and Management from the University of Washington, Tacoma, where she maintains a position as Clinical Instructor. Additionally, she holds Nurse Executive Board Certification from the American Nurse Credentialing Center and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Theresa has thirty-three years of experience in clinical care and hospital operations management from staff nurse to senior vice president, and an educational background in nursing leadership and healthcare management. She has a passion for creating opportunities to inspire and motivate all members of the healthcare team to achieve clinical excellence, and has managed many outstanding teams to improve clinical care systems. As a result, she has improved quality and safety for patients. Theresa is currently a nursing Board member of Seattle Pacific University, Renton Technical College, and the Clinical and Community Advisory Board at the University of Washington School of Nursing.

Theresa loves to offshore fish, downhill ski, hike, kayak and is an avid boater and outdoor enthusiast. She currently resides in Des Moines, WA with her husband of 30 years and her son.

Jennifer Graves

Jennifer Graves

Jennifer Graves, MS, RN, is currently serving as Chair & Vice President of Quality and Safety and Regional Chief Nurse Executive at Kaiser Permanente Washington. She 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.  Jennifer received the 2017 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

Patty Hayes

Patty Hayes, MN, RN, recently retired as Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County, and has over 30 years of experience in public health, policy development and advocacy. 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.  Patty co-led the efforts in the county to address systemic and institutionally racist governmental policies and procedures and to build pathways for community-led solutions. Patty has received numerous honors and recognition, including the University of Washington Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award in 2020.  Patty has a bachelor and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Washington, School of Nursing and was inducted into the Washington Nursing Hall of Fame in 2002.

Kristi Henderson

Kristi Henderson

Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, FAAN, FAEN, currently serves as Senior Vice President of Innovation & Telehealth at OptumHealth and 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. At Optum Health, 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.

Cindy Sayre

Cindy Sayre

Cindy Sayre, PhD, RN, serves as Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Washington Medical Center. With 37 years of nursing experience, Sayre has spent 20 years at UW Medical Center.  Her work at UWMC has included work in professional development, advanced practice in diabetes management and professional practice.  After successfully leading the team to a 6th Magnet Designation in 2016, she was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer in 2017.

As a strong proponent of nursing education, she helped lead the increase of nurses prepared at the BSN and higher level at UWMC to more than 80 percent through her robust relationships with the UW School of Nursing and other local nursing programs.

Sayre is especially proud of the work she has done with UW Continuing Nurses Education to create and build the Medical Surgical Specialty Program course offerings and the impact to improved patient care and nurse education that has resulted.