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PONL 2023 Annual Conference presenters

General Session Speakers

Steven Carson, MHS, BSN, RN
Senior Vice President, Population Health Temple Health

Mr. Carson is accountable for the Center of Population Health’s operations, oversight, and development of care management and performance improvement initiatives, focused on pay for performance and insurance third party risk life clinical and financial outcomes. He has over 30 years of hospital, home health, and leadership experience. Mr. Carson is a registered nurse and has an undergraduate degree from Gwynedd Mercy University and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.

Lisa Davis, MHA
Director, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and Outreach Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration Penn State

Lisa Davis ensures that the Pennsylvania office of rural health exceeds its mission of being a source of technical assistance and service to advance rural health care delivery. On national and state levels, she serves on a wide range of boards of directors, advisory committees, and task forces focused on rural health policy and research, economic development, outreach and education, and vulnerable populations and specific health issues such as oral health and cancer. She is the recipient of distinguished service awards from national and state organizations and associations. The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health received Awards of Merit and Excellence from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, FAAN
Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Fennimore is an accomplished leader and educator with more than 30 years of experience in health care management. She brings her real-world experience and executive knowledge to the classroom to DNP students in the Health Systems Executive Leadership program. In her faculty practice, she serves as a consultant for UPMC Health Plan, where she served as the Director of Clinical Programs responsible for case management services for vulnerable populations, including children and adults with complex physical and behavioral health care needs, as well as pregnant women. With other members of the executive team, Dr. Fennimore developed case management strategies and clinical programs to achieve strategic business and financial goals. 

She earned her BSN from West Virginia University School of Nursing and both her MSN (with a specialization in oncology nursing) and her DNP (in nursing administration) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

Prior to her appointment as a full professor in the appointment stream in the Acute and Tertiary Care Department, Dr. Fennimore held several leadership positions at UPMC Presbyterian including clinical instructor, nurse manager, director of oncology disease management, director of nursing, and the director of organizational development and nursing education and research. She was the Director of Nursing Education for the Oncology Nursing Society from 1999-2006. She served as a Director of Clinical Programs at UPMC Health Plan supporting case managers caring for members enrolled in governmental health plans. In addition to her DNP faculty responsibilities, Dr. Fennimore is the coordinator for the Nursing Education Minor/Certificate Program. She was selected as the 2020-2021 recipient of the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award/Appointment Stream. She has published in the Journal of Nursing Administration, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Nursing Management, Journal of Professional Development, the Oncology Nursing Forum, Cancer Nursing, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Nursing Clinics of North America, Journal of Emergency Nursing, Journal of Nursing Education, Nurse Educator, and the Journal of Nurses in Professional development.

Dr. Fennimore is fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.  She is actively involved in professional organizations including the Oncology Nursing and was the national president of the Oncology Nursing Society from 2018-2020. She is an active member in the American Nurses Association where she serves as the Organization Affiliates Liaison to the ANA Board of Directors and a commissioner on the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing. In addition, she is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders; the Southwestern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders; the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing; the American Case Management Association; the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association; and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing.

Rose Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Professor Emeritus, Florida Atlantic University

Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, is known for helping current and future nurse leaders develop leadership and coaching skills. Rose is an emeritus professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University and currently serves as a faculty member in the Marian K Shaughnessy Nursing Leadership Academy at Case Western Reserve University. Before becoming a faculty member, she was a nurse leader with the Department of Veterans Affairs for 25 years at five medical centers. Rose edits a popular leadership blog,, read by thousands of nurse leaders each week and is Editor in Chief of Nurse Leader, the official journal of the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She is a Gallup-certified strengths coach and author of The Nurse Leader Coach: Become the Boss No One Wants to Leave, The Nuts and Bolts of Nursing Leadership, and A Team Approach to Nursing Care Delivery. Rose is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship Program. In 2018, she was selected as the nurse researcher of the year by AONL. In 2020, she was selected by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses for their Pioneering Spirit Award in recognition of her groundbreaking work in nurse leader development.

Lisa Summers, MSN, DrPH
Co-Founder and President, Healing Politics

Lisa sees Healing Politics as the culmination of a career that was grounded in clinical care and education before expanding to policy and advocacy. Lisa practiced clinically for 20 years as a nurse and midwife and held faculty positions in schools of nursing and medicine before shifting to health policy work. She spent 11 years at the American College of Nurse-Midwives, where she was Director of Professional Services, and held policy positions at the American Nurses Association and Centering Healthcare Institute. She has spoken and written widely on healthcare policy and advocacy and, for 10 years prior to co-founding Healing Politics, taught health policy at Yale School of Nursing.

Heather Tyler 
Vice President of State Legislative Advocacy for The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

Heather Tyler is a public policy specialist with more than 20 years of experience. As vice president of state legislative advocacy for the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, Heather establishes and maintains effective relationships with the legislative and executive branches of state government as well as with hospital leaders statewide. She is often called upon to translate nuanced and technically specific information from the health care community into timely, understandable, actionable material for state government leaders. 

Heather joined HAP in 2021.  Among previous experience are serving as Chief of Staff for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Administration and Director of Policy and Communication for a national think tank.  Heather began her career as staff to the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees.

Rapid Roundtable Presenters

Michele Adzema, MSN, RN, CMSRN
Patient Care Specialist, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Michele Adzema is a Clinical Nurse Specialist who has worked at Lehigh Valley Health Network for the past 10 years. She graduated from Cabrini University with a BS in Biology in 2009. She received her BSN from DeSales University in 2013 and her MSN in 2023 with a concentration in Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist. For the past four years, Michele has worked as a nursing leader as a Patient Care Specialist on the neuroscience and trauma medical-surgical units. Her responsibilities include facilitating quality improvement in nursing quality indicators, education of nursing staff, facilitating evidence-based practice projects in the nurse residency programs. Michele’s favorite part of her nursing career is helping new nurses grow in their roles and advance their professional practice. She is a member of the Society of Trauma Nurses, and the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Association for Nursing Professional Development. She is an AHA BLS instructor and is an instructor in Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Trauma Nurse Course. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Jaime Bartholf, BSN, RN
Nurse Manager, Riddle Hospital, Main Line Health

Jaime began her career as a unit secretary & PCT at Riddle Hospital in 1999. After a few years, Jaime finished school and joined the Medical Surgical unit, the Progressive Care Unit as an RN in 2002. Two years later she continued to expand her nursing knowledge and skills when she transitioned to the Emergency Department as a staff nurse. Jaime fell in love with the Emergency Room and held this role for 12 years. In 2016 Jaime was promoted to the Clinical Coordinator on night shift where she held this role for three years. In this role she was responsible for patient flow, staffing and scheduling and was the nursing ER leader for operational issues and helped lead the night team through an ED expansion. After several years, Jaime continued her progressive leadership journey and became the Assistant Nurse Manager of the ER. She helped lead her staff through a variety of changes and challenges, most notably the pandemic and surges over the last year and a half. In 2021, Jaime assumed the role of Nurse Manager of the ER department. Jaime received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Neumann University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business from Eastern University.

Claire Bethel, PhD, RN-BC
Magnet Program Director, UPMC Community Osteopathic Hospital

Claire Bethel, PhD, RN-BC is the Magnet Program Director at UPMC Community Osteopathic Hospital in Harrisburg, PA. She has been a nurse for 12 years, during which she has worked in medical-surgical, critical care, and education settings. Claire first studied presenteeism in direct care nurses during her doctoral studies. In her role as Magnet Program Director, she saw an opportunity to study presenteeism in nurse managers as a way to improve their well-being.

Cindy Brockway, MSN, RN, CCRP
Director of Research, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital

Cindy Brockway is currently the Director of Research at Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She has held leadership positions in Cardiovascular and Oncology Disease Management, Case Management, and Critical Care Services. Cindy is passionate about providing evidenced –based patient care and mentoring and empowering care providers. She has been a facilitator for the Fuld Institute for EBP and Co-Leads the interdisciplinary Research and Evidenced-based Council at the hospital. She earned her BSN at Michigan State University and MSN at the University of Delaware.

Denise Derolf, BSN, RN, PHRN
Patient Flow Supervisor, Tower Health/Tower Direct

  • 25+ years’ experience of Nursing Acute Care, 911 Emergency Services and Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse.
  • Expert in Hospital Patient Flow 
  • Leadership Focus in Admissions and Discharges processes.
  • Previous Roles: Educator, Assistant Nurse Manager, and Critical Care Transport Nurse She is a pre-hospital Registered Nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Alvernia University where she is currently in pursuance of her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.

Darla Frack, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Vice President, Patient Care Services, St. Lukes University Health Network

VP of Patient Care Services of a Level 2 Trauma Center for past 12 years. Close to 20 years of nursing leadership experience. Master of Science in Nursing Administration and American Nurse Credentialing Center Certified Nurse Executive.

Patricia Frazier, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Director, Patient Care Services, St. Lukes University Health Network

Accomplished nurse leader proven successful with program development, service line growth and creating winning teams. Recognized for driving high quality patient care with outstanding outcomes focusing on patient safety as the highest standard. Patient experience scores reflect the partnership and engagement developed with nursing through excellent collaboration and communication. Over 15 years of nursing leadership experience.

Jackie Hunt, MSN, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CMSRN
Director of Nursing, UPMC Community

I have been a nurse for 22 years and served in a variety of roles throughout UPMC including professional staff nurse, staff educator, and unit director. I have been the Director of Nursing at UPMC Community Osteopathic for the past six years.

Erin Marturano, MBE, MSN, RN
Ethics Manager, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Erin Marturano is the Ethics Manager at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). She currently assists with the growth of the Ethics Committee, Ethics Consultation Service, Nursing Ethics Core Council, and Nurse Leader Ethics Fellowship as well as ethics education and programming for all HUP team members. Erin is co-creator of Ethics Everywhere, a monthly electronic ethics publication that is disseminated to all hospital staff. She also manages the Nursing Ethics Special Interest Group, a monthly series for clinical nurses and other disciplines to discuss ethical concerns and identify strategies to fulfill ethical obligations. Erin was an inaugural 2018 Nursing Research Fellow at HUP and conducted a research study on moral distress among inpatient oncology nurses. Her other interests include creating programs to develop ethical competency in inpatient staff, with a focus on frontline nurses and nurse leaders. Her work has been published in Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing and American Nurse Journal. Erin is a member of the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities and serves on the planning committee for the National Nursing Ethics Conference. Erin holds a MBE from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, a MSN in Health Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and a BSN from Temple University.

Caitlin McIntosh, MSN, RN
Magnet Program Director, UPMC West Shore Hospital

Caitlin McIntosh, MSN, RN is the Magnet Program Director at UPMC West Shore in Mechanicsburg, PA. Caitlin has been a nurse for eight years during which she has worked in med-surg, ortho, neuro, and nursing excellence settings. Caitlin became interested in the topic of nurse manager presenteeism as a way to address nurse wellbeing in her current role.

Alexis Rucinsky, MSN, MS, BSN, RN
Unit Director, UPMC Community

Unit director for a neurology/medical-surgical unit at UPMC Community.

Nicole Stefanic, MSN, RN, CBC
Senior Clinician, UPMC Magee Women's Hospital

Nicole Stefanic is a Senior Clinician in the Womancare Birth Center at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh PA, a delivery hospital of nearly 10,000 births per year. Nicole began her nursing career in 2008 after receiving her Associates degree in Nursing from the Community College of Allegheny County. Nicole furthered her education by obtaining her Bachelor of Science in nursing in 2010, followed by her Masters of Science in Nursing Education in August of 2022. Nicole is an active leader in numerous OB Collaborative initiatives within Magee including Interviewing of RN candidates. With Nicole’s leadership skills combined with her desire to continually improve the overall success of our large 270+ employee unit, her approach and insight is invaluable.

Tara Stickley, MSN, MBA, RNC-OB, CBC, C-EFM
Unit Director, UPMC Magee Women's Hospital

Tara Stickley is the Unit Director of the Womancare Birth Center at UPMC Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh PA, a delivery hospital of nearly 10,000 births per year, where she has worked since 2014. She received her bachelor's degree in Nursing in 2012 from Carlow University with a minor in Counseling. In 2018, she graduated from Carlow University with her MSN in Nursing Education and Leadership and Business Administration with focus in healthcare. Together with her 1 co-unit director, 8 clinicians, 3 nurse educators, and 2 programmatic nurses, she has guided her staff of over 270 individuals through the pre and post pandemic realm of Labor and Delivery nursing. With her partnership in identifying hiring challenges, paired with resource limitations during COVID, the development of this OB Collaborative approach to interviewing was developed and successfully implemented.

James Thomas, DNP, RN, CEN
Director of ED, ICU, PCU and SWAT Team, Riddle Hospital, Main Line Health

James is an experienced leader who has served in adult and pediatric academic health systems. Currently, he serves as the Director of Nursing with oversight of the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Progressive Care Unit and SWAT Team. Responsibilities include the development, achievement and maintenance of the goals of the departments by focusing on the department’s daily operations while delivering exceptional patient care.

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