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Seattle University


Taking the Lead

Written by Mike Thee
September 24, 2012

Danuta Wojnar, associate professor and chair of the Department of Maternal/Child and Family Nursing, has been named one of just 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Wojnar joins a select group of nurse leaders chosen to participate in the prestigious three-year leadership development program through which nurse leaders enhance their effectiveness in improving the nation's healthcare system.

Wojnar has long been active in promoting health for underserved and vulnerable populations. She plans to focus her Executive Nurse Fellows research project on developing a Center of Health Advocacy for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations at Seattle University. 

"Being chosen to be an Executive Nurse Fellow is the greatest honor I've ever received to focus on my own leadership development," said Wojnar. "This program will help me…do more to better meet the health care needs of vulnerable populations. I also hope this fellowship will bring more recognition to Seattle University for living the mission of serving the underserved." 

An established leader in nursing education, Wojnar is a reviewer for the Western Institute of Nursing and the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Human Reproduction, and Qualitative Health Research, as well as a consultant for the international nonprofit global health organization PATH and the Baby Friendly Initiative at University of Washington Valley Medical Center. 

Wojnar is as much a leader on campus. She chairs the Rank and Tenure Committee, serves on the Student Progression Committee, the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Evaluation Committees, the Workplace Satisfaction Initiative, and has contributed to the development and implementation of the college's new Doctor of Nursing Practice program. 

The Executive Nurse Fellows program was begun in 1998 to strengthen the leadership capacity of nurses who aspire to shape health care locally and nationally. 

"Now more than ever, with our health care system preparing to care for millions more patients, many of whom are living longer but with more chronic conditions, we need nurse leaders who are well prepared to participate as full partners in this historic transformation," said Linda Cronenwett, who co-directs the Center for Creative Leadership at which the Executive Nurse Fellows program is located.