Alumni Board of Directors

Alumni board of directors candid photo with Dean Azita Emami

The Yale School of Nursing Alumni Association (YSNAA) Board of Directors is an opportunity to engage with the greater YSN community in a leadership capacity. Members meet in New Haven annually and also collaborate on a number of initiatives via conference calls throughout the year.


  • To further the mission (better health for all people) and strengthen the interests of the Yale University School of Nursing.

  • To promote professional standards and educational advancement of nursing.

  • To promote fellowship among graduates of the School.

  • To increase the visibility of the School within the university.

  • To support collaboration between the student and alumni communities.


Nominations for new Board members are accepted yearly during the month of March. If you are interested in serving on the Alumni Board, please reach out to Mike Regan, Program Manager: Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs, at

Board members are elected to three-year terms, which begin July 1.


elyssa noce 17 MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-C, CDCES, CNN-NP

Elyssa is a nurse practitioner with the section of nephrology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, providing ambulatory care to patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease on dialysis. She specializes in the management of patients with late-stage CKD, kidney stones, and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Prior to her career as a nurse practitioner, she worked in early childhood education and as a registered nurse, developing a passion for nephrology care. Her special interests include diabetes management in kidney disease, encouraging nurse practitioners to assume leadership roles in interdisciplinary teams, and mentoring new providers. She teaches as a part-time lecturer at YSN in the primary care curriculum and as a clinical seminar instructor.

She is the former president of the Southern New England Chapter of the American Nephrology Nurses Association. She is a current member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing, Delta Mu Chapter, and serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the End Stage Renal Disease Network in the New England region, a division of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that oversees dialysis and transplantation practices, and on the Education Advisory Panel for the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, an organization dedicated to the educational needs of patients and providers regarding polycystic kidney disease. She participated in an Executive Leadership Program offered by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and has been implementing those leadership skills throughout her daily life as a nurse practitioner, nursing instructor, preceptor, and in her participation in these advisory roles. 

Elyssa has a BA in developmental psychology and a BS in human biology from Framingham State University as well as a BSN from Pace University. She completed her MSN at Yale University in 2017. During her time as a student, she was heavily involved in the HAVEN Free Clinic and served as the student relations director, chair of sustainability and development, and a clinical volunteer, and served as a volunteer for the Neighborhood Health Project. Elyssa is currently pursuing a clinical-track DNP through the University of Massachusetts. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and advocating for improved care for patients with kidney disease in the United States and worldwide.

vice president
Caroline R. Piselli 15 DNP MBA, FACHE, Six Sigma Black Belt

Caroline provides transformational executive leadership consulting at Guidehouse, formerly PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to the world’s largest payer/provider and leading global, commercial, academic and government clients. She co-led recent presidential transition initiatives, commercial strategic innovative design through implementation of large VBC/CINs/M&A/population health models and associated new payment design, care coordination/whole person care, customer experience, EMR value/change management, and nursing competency/career ladder/retention models. Her extensive expertise ranges from global strategy, M&A, operations, commercialization/patent process, clinical practice, and research. Caroline is a recognized national speaker (>250 presentations) and author, serving on healthcare Boards. She is committed to giving back and continues to volunteer providing executive strategy sessions and guest lectures about critical topics, such as population health, VBC, quality, technology and M&A to renowned universities like Yale University and George Washington University (GWU). She also co-designed and piloted the 1st GWU Doctorate: Public Health Field Study class. 

Caroline was appointed to the executive council of 3M Health Information Systems (3M HIS), serving most of the largest US payers, providers, vendors, national organizations and international ministries of health. Executive management spanned from Global Business Strategy, Marketing, Business Unit operations/financials, Design for Six Sigma and Clinical & Economic Research during an era that 3M HIS was responsible for ICD-10 creation, VBC/reimbursement grouper design (e.g. DRGs, bundles, episodes, preventable readmissions, etc.) and US implementation under CMS contract.

During Caroline’s mid-career, she co-directed enterprise-wide strategic planning, marketing and business development for a $1.5 billion academic IDN, Yale New Haven Hospital/Health System (YNHHS) from concept to initial integration, inclusive of a new senior service line/physician group and Medicare supplement plan. She began her career at Yale New Haven Hospital as a CCU nurse, managed CCU/Transplant/Electrophysiology, National Institutes of Health (NIH) research, clinical services reengineering & evidence-based, community and corporate revenue generating Health Promotion.

Danyel Germain
strategic communications officer
Danyel Germain 16 DNP, MSN, RN, CHSE

Danyel brings over 20 years of clinical, academic, consulting, and executive leadership experience to the board. She is a 2016 graduate of the Yale Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in Leadership, Management, and Policy and has a Master of Science degree in Nursing with an emphasis in Nursing Education. 

Danyel serves as the Vice President of Customer Success at Elsevier, a global business enabling researchers and healthcare professionals to advance science and improve health outcomes. Danyel is responsible for a diverse set of teams implementing clinical solutions for point-of care, education, and reference and works with clinicians and health system stakeholders to maximize value by leveraging innovative technologies, analytics, and evidence-based practices. 

Prior to joining Elsevier, Danyel was responsible for the oversight of system clinical education and professional development at CommonSpirit Health. At CommonSpirit Health, she led the development of a national nurse residency strategy, the implementation of a national simulation-based resuscitation training initiative across multiple system divisions, and co-led a system-wide education optimization initiative, partnering with leaders from across the organization to recommend strategy for the redesign of educational functions. 

Danyel is a passionate advocate for healthcare simulation with specialty certification as a certified healthcare simulation educator (CHSE), simulation consultant, member of the Society of Simulation in Healthcare, and has deep experience in simulation center program development and design/build. 

In addition to mentoring doctoral nursing students, she enjoys providing thought leadership for nursing and has presented for organizations such as the National League for Nursing, the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and the Association for Nursing Professional Development.

nancy kraus 78 msn

Nancy Kraus graduated from YSN in 1978 in the 2nd class of the GEPN program.  Her bachelor’s degree is in government from Oberlin College. She recently retired from clinical practice in New York City after thirty-nine years in women’s health care and in clinical instruction of midwifery students from five midwifery programs. Nancy is still married to the husband she met at Yale when he was a law student and has two sons and two delightful grandchildren. She has been very active with the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives, with local and national midwifery organizations, and with her Quaker Meeting.


Tayo Adjapon-YamoahTayo Adjapon-Yamoah ’15 MSN

Tayo, a Ghanaian-Nigerian alum from Accra, became a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner after graduating from Yale’s GEPN program in 2015. She currently works for Tribeca Pediatrics as a primary care PNP but first started practicing in rural Arizona with minimal access to specialty and inpatient care. She speaks fluent medical Spanish and has extensive experience particularly in adolescent care, sexual health, mental health, LGBTQ+ health, and LARC insertion. She loves forming relationships with families from the newborn visit and beyond. In her spare time, she likes to read, hike, travel, and climb. She was a fellow of Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa in 2012 and continues to support the organization as a volunteer. She is an advocate for common sense, sustainable practices in healthcare.

jd wailua brandman 94 msn, Aprn, pmhcns/np, faanp

Wailua brings 50 years of licensed nursing to the board. Of those 50 years, 25 years were in acute care settings across the lifespan; the last 25 years have been in advance practice psychiatric mental health nursing. His passion is the evolution of Consciousness and caring for those who can’t care for themselves. Wailua is an artist and healer. A cultural entrepreneur, his vision changed the nursing culture in Hawai`i to a full practice authority state. He has performed on stage and screen. His award-winning jewelry designs continue to accumulate in the collection he has willed to YSN to create an endowed scholarship for future YSN students.

Leadership has been on his agenda since basic nursing school (El Centro Community College, Dallas, TX) and continuing in local, state, and national arenas. He was a student member of the YSN Executive Committee during his time at YSN. 2012 to 2016, he held a seat on the board of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). Wailua pioneered the role of PMHNP in the state of Hawai`i as the first one in the state in 1995. The impact of his leadership and clinical practice garnered him induction into the Fellows of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (now American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP]) in 2011. He has founded and co-founded and held Presidencies in multiple state professional nursing organizations and non-profits. Wailua is the current Treasurer of the Hawai`i Association of Professional Nurses (HAPN) and serves on the APRN Practice and Policy Committee of the Hawai`i State Center for Nursing and the AANP Awards Committee.

A thought leader in Hawai`i, Wailua maintains a solo private practice in Honolulu providing primary mental health care with prescriptive authority and has precepted masters and doctoral PMH students from nearly a dozen top tier universities across the country, both for resident and non-resident students. His expert consultancy is sought after by policy makers and pharmaceutical companies alike. He is the author of the self-help book, Misery or Happiness: It’s ALL about ENERGY.

“As a Yale Nurse, I hope to support and assist this board in bringing YSN alumni voices together to solidify and amplify our impact on bringing better health to the world.”

Wailua was honored with YSN’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021.

Naomi CazeauNaomi Cazeau ’11 MSN

Naomi Cazeau, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP: received her MSN from Yale School of Nursing in 2011. She is currently an adult nurse practitioner within the Adult Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as well as an adjunct faculty member at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. Naomi is dedicated to advancing the nursing profession. She’s an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society, has published several peer-reviewed articles, is a peer-reviewer for both the American Journal of Nursing and the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON), and is a former member of CJON’s editorial board. Naomi has a research interest in health equity particularly among patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants and cell therapies. She is currently leading a study investigating the impact of social support on medication self-management among adult allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients. She’s received internal funding from MSKCC and a health equity research grant from the DAISY Foundation for her study.

Leah Chasm-VelascoLeah Chasm-Velasco ’16 MSN, AGACNP-BC

Leah Chasm-Velasco is a board-certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She was a GEPN in 2013 and graduated with her MSN in 2016. While at Yale, Leah worked as a teaching fellow for human anatomy and for a seminar in community health nursing and public health. She was also a student representative on the YSN Alumni Board, participated on the Dean Selection Committee, and the Student Government Organization. She was awarded a Yale President’s Public Service Fellowship for the 2015 summer and worked with the Yale Pathways to Science Summer SCHOLAR program. Prior to Yale, Leah graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Child Development that she puts to good use raising her four daughters.

Upon graduating from Yale University, Leah was accepted into the esteemed Mayo Clinic’s Cardiology Fellowship in Phoenix, Arizona. There, she honed her training in general cardiology for one year prior to returning to Connecticut to commence her clinical career as a nurse practitioner at Hartford Hospital in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. Upon her return to New Haven, CT, she accepted an adjunct faculty position at YSN. There she assisted in running simulation labs, served as a guest lecturer, and precepted accelerated RN and nurse practitioner students in a clinical setting. Leah returned to Mayo Clinic as a mechanical heart coordinator after working in critical care during the COVID pandemic. Her love for critical cardiac care led her back to Hartford Hospital’s Cardiac ICU In January 2023.

Angelarosa DiDonatoAngelarosa DiDonato 18 DNP

Dr. DiDonato is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Program Director for the Doctor of Nursing Practice-Nurse Anesthesia Program. Dr. DiDonato has over 25 years of nursing experience including 12 years as a CRNA. She began her career at Penn Nursing in the sim lab as the first simulation coordinator for the nurse anesthesia program. During her time as sim coordinator, Dr. DiDonato expanded the program from about 8 simulations a year to around 25 simulations a year. After completing her DNP at Yale University, Dr. DiDonato returned to Penn Nursing as the Associate Program Director. She is a passionate advocate for the CRNA profession serving on the board of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists as a board trustee, vice-president, and president. She is the co-developer and co-host of the Amplify Nursing Podcast with Marion Leary, Director of Innovation at Penn Nursing.

april feld 16 dnp, rn, ccm, cphq

April is the Director of the Ambulatory Care Management Team for the Clinically Integrated Network at Stony Brook Medicine (SBM).  In her role at SBM, April built out an Ambulatory Care Management Team, offering multiple post-acute and longitudinal care models that are a part of an overarching health system care management strategy. April is involved with system level initiatives and innovations that impact patient care, cost, quality and experience and works with Inpatient and outpatient Teams as well as SBMS’ Post-Acute partners. 

Prior to joining SBM (August 2020), April spent 13 years at the VNS Health (Formerly known as The Visiting Nurse Service of New York) where she served in many capacities. For the last 8 of those 13 years, April focused on building out the VNS Health population health strategy and care management infrastructure in VNSNY’s journey to value. April has experience with value based arrangements that span from BPCI- Model 3 participation for Heart Failure and AMI DRG groups (2014-2018), to DSRIP hospital avoidance 2b8 (2015-2020), and care management arrangements under managed care value based contracts (2017-2020).  April has specific expertise in implementing risk stratification methodologies and building evidence based models of care that incorporate technologies of which to date include: Transitions of Care, Remote Patient Monitoring, Advanced Illness Care Management [end of life], and Longitudinal Complex Care Management. 

April holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from New York University College of Nursing and her doctorate from Yale University.

kennetha gaines 20 dnp

Kennetha has a strong background in providing clinical leadership and expertise, focusing on mother and newborn infant care, specifically, with an emphasis on perinatal outcomes for women of color.

Kennetha’s experience includes nursing and management leadership throughout the care spectrum for various metropolitan hospitals and community clinics. Currently, Kennetha is a Director of Nursing at UCLA Health system. She manages four primary care ambulatory clinics, two school-based clinics, and three neighborhood outreach clinics.

Kennetha has expertise in managing comprehensive services including reproductive health, family planning, behavioral health, disease management and prevention. Kennetha believes that nursing has offered her the unique opportunity to integrate community-based experience with a more fundamental science and evidence-based delivery of nursing interventions. Kennetha has demonstrated commitment to serving in communities that are largely underrepresented.

Kennetha holds three masters’ degrees from UCLA in African American Studies, Urban Planning and Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Yale School of Nursing and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She also enjoys traveling to new places with her two children and husband.

Josephine Garcesa-DuqueJosephine Garcesa-Duque 23 DNP

Josephine is a lifelong learner and believes that “we are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. After working in several ICU settings for 23 years, she completed her MSN in Education at Kaplan University online. She is pursuing her Doctorate in Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy at Yale School of Nursing and is graduating in May 2023. Currently, she is an Administrative Nurse Manager of CTICU/SICU at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein Campus. She is certified in Critical Care and Nurse Executive Advanced. She is an active member of the American Association of Critical Care, NYC and Nassau County chapter, and Sigma Theta Tau, Delta Mu chapter. Emotional intelligence and agility among the Nurse Leaders are her biggest advocacies.

Josephine believes that Nursing is an art and science of caring. As a clinician, educator, and executive nurse leader, she believes that caring theory and leading with a heart is the central guiding principle for her to be successful. As a leader, she stands on the promise that “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another”.

Ewelina GibekEwelina Gibek ’20 DNP

Ewelina Gibek is the Manager of CRNA Services at Bridgeport Hospital. In this role, she is responsible for management and coordination of all aspects of anesthesia care delivered by the CRNA team, such as adequate and appropriate staffing, preparedness for patient volume and case mix, patient safety, and quality of care delivery.

Mrs. Gibek has served on several hospital level councils and committees, such as Informatics Committee, Ethics Committee, Safety and Quality Council, and Diversity and Inclusion Council. She currently serves as a board member on Medical and Professional Advisory Committee for the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

Mrs. Gibek graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of New Rochelle. She obtained Master of Science in Nursing and Certificate in Anesthesia from Fairfield University. In May of 2020, Mrs. Gibek completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the Yale University School of Nursing. She is currently pursuing Master of Business Administration degree with Healthcare Management concentration at Quinnipiac University. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. She is a recipient of Agatha Hodkings Memorial Award for Academic Excellence and graduated from her undergraduate and graduate programs with Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude respectively.

Allison GradyAllison Grady ’11 MSN

Allison Grady is a member of YSN Class of 2011 with a concentration in pediatrics. She graduated from Smith College in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Government. Following graduation, she worked for the American Medical Association where she was an editor of the Journal of Ethics (nee, Virtual Mentor). Upon graduation from YSN she accepted a job as a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner at Children’s Wisconsin where she continues her clinical work. In 2018, she began teaching at UW-Milwaukee and is currently teaching on both undergraduate and graduate levels, with a focus on the role of simulation in clinical decision making.  Allison is an active member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners where she is the Chair of the Palliative Care Special Interest Group, a member of the Health Policy Board, and a chapter officer for health policy in the Wisconsin chapter. She is also a long-standing member of the Children’s Wisconsin Bioethics committee and the Children’s Oncology Group ethics committee. She has published several book chapters on topics related to pediatric primary care and a personal narrative about teaching clinicals on a neuroscience unit. Allison plans to begin her DNP in September 2023.

Nicole Seagriff 11 MSN

Dr. Nicole Seagriff attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007. Upon graduation she began work as a Registered Nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital while completing her Master of Science in Nursing degree at Yale University in 2011 to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. While at Yale she recognized the need for access to primary care services for underserved patients and chose to complete an additional year of training through the nation’s first nurse practitioner residency program at The Community Health Center, Inc (CHCI) based in Middletown, CT. 

Since completion of the residency program in 2012 she has worked as a primary care provider at CHCI. Concurrently, she serves as the On-Site Medical Director of the Norwalk and Stamford locations of the Community Health Center managing clinical operations of three health centers as well as the Clinical Program Director of the National Nurse Practitioner Residency Program. 

In 2016 she graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Duke University with a focus on genetic testing for breast cancer mutations in underserved populations. With an intention to use the leadership skills acquired from her training at Duke, she became the Clinical Program Director overseeing the clinical aspects of the Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Program. 

In addition to work, she is the President of The Pink Agenda which is a 503© dedicated to raising money and awareness among young professionals for breast cancer research and care.  Since its inception less than a decade ago, The Pink Agenda has raised nearly $7 million for life saving research.  

Nicole was honored with YSN’s Decade Award in 2022.

katie degregorio silvestri 19 msn
Sarah Spiller 19 MSN

Sarah Spiller graduated from Yale School of Nursing in 2019 as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time at Yale, Sarah was committed to elevating the voices of her fellow students and building up the YSN community, both as a YSN Executive Committee member and YSN Orientation Leader. She represented YSN as a Senator on the Graduate & Professional Student Senate. During this time, Sarah also worked as a clinic volunteer at HAVEN free clinic. Access to safe and thoughtful care has always been a core tenant to Sarah’s approach to her work. 

Sarah began her career as a Registered Nurse at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Seattle University in 2014. 

In 2019, Sarah joined Planned Parenthood of Pasadena & SGV. Sarah currently serves as Lead Clinician, where she provides family planning and reproductive health services for her patients, including medication abortion services and gender affirming hormone care. She also delivers clinical support and education for licensed and non-licensed staff between two health centers, and precepts APC students and rotating residents. This past year, Sarah supported the launch of a new telehealth platform and trained to provide first trimester aspiration abortions. As legislation around the county aims to restrict this area of healthcare, Sarah is proud to serve the communities in the greater Los Angeles area alongside her dedicated colleagues.

Jana WheelerJana Wheeler ’99 MSN

Dr. Jana Wheeler YSN ’99 is a Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. She earned her BSN from Mercer University in 1993, and her MSN from YSN in 1999 as a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. In 2017, she got her DNP from Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and her Post-Masters Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health in 2023, also from MUSC.

She has worked as a PNP in various roles since 1999 and as a Nurse Educator since 2016.

She currently teaches at University of South Carolina of Beaufort (USCB) in Bluffton, SC, where she is the Simulation Lab Coordinator and Associate Professor. She has published and presented numerous articles on the Pedagogy of Simulation. She enjoys doing research, service and teaching at USCB’s prelicensure BSN program.

She also works as PNP, seeing Pediatric Otolaryngology patients at MUSC.

She is certified as a PNP (PPCNP-BC) a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE), a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and will soon add PMHNP-BC to her certifications.

Dr. Wheeler enjoys going to the beach with her 3 Boston Terriers and exercising in her spare time. She is excited to reconnect with YSN through service on the YSNAA Board of Directors.


Vanessa Acosta ’24 MSN

Devin Thomas ’24 DNP


Mike Regan

Program Manager: Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs


Bridget Cota ’09, Co-Chairperson, Alumni Fund, Co-Chairperson, Class Agents

Jonathan Johnson ’18 MSN, Faculty Representative

Azita Emami | Dean, Yale School of Nursing

Gail McCulloch | Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Affairs