Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNPs Secure Promotions, Earn Recognition

Mandy Richards '25 DNP discusses the Hartford HealthCare transition with Mel Kosturko '22 DNP.
March 13, 2023

The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Post-Master’s DNP Program in Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy is designed for working nurse leaders seeking to further advance their leadership trajectory in traditional or non-traditional healthcare leadership roles. Leadership experience is a requirement for admission as well as an advanced degree, master’s level in nursing or a related field (e.g., MSN, MBA, MHA, MPH).

“YSN’s Systems Leadership DNP Program prepares our students and alumni for leadership at the highest levels of healthcare systems as well as non-traditional healthcare leadership in government, consultancy, community agencies, and policy,” said Program Director of the Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program, Mary Ann Camilleri, JD, RN, FACHE. “Their DNP projects are designed for large-scale system change with a futuristic view of a healthcare delivery system.” 

YSN caught up with a few current students and recent alumni to see how they are making a difference in their communities and applying the work of their DNP projects.

Dustin Bass ’23 DNP, MHA, BSN, RN, CEN, NE-BC
Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services at Atrium Health Cabarrus

Dustin BassA third-year student in our Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program, Bass currently oversees the operations of Emergency, Forensic Nursing, and Trauma services. He was recently selected by the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) for the Class of 2023 Young Professionals in recognition of his significant potential as a healthcare leader. The designation shows that Bass demonstrates exemplary leadership within his organization, community, and the nursing profession, and embodies innovation, influence, and inclusion. He presented his DNP project, “Reducing Unnecessary Emergency Department Visits through an Advanced ED Care Management Program,” at the Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance. His doctoral Advisor is Mary Ann Camilleri JD, RN, FACHE.

Dr. Elizabeth M. Clark ’22 DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Elizabeth ClarkBased on her doctoral work in the Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program at YSN, Dr. Clark presented a poster on “Equipping Nurses for Political Involvement” at the American Academy of Nursing Conference in Washington DC in October. DNP Division Chair  Joan Kearney PhD, APRN, FAAN was her doctoral Advisor and  contributed to the accepted abstract. Dr. Clark also co-authored a poster with Clinical DNP Program Director  Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Chair, Joan Kearney PhD APRN FAAN, and Professor Emerita Jane Dixon, PhD, “Worker’s Experience of Patient Aggression During Nursing Intervention,” for the APNA 36th Annual Conference. 

Dr. James DeMarco ’22 DNP
George Washington University Hospital

James DeMarcoDr. DeMarco presented a poster at the APNA 36th Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA on “Use of Nurse-Driven Protocol to Increase Metabolic Screening and Interventions for Inpatients on Antipsychotic Medications,” a project which reports on his doctoral work in the Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program at YSN where Dr. Joanne DeSanto Iennaco was his doctoral Advisor. DeMarco currently works as the manager of the psychiatric medical unit at George Washington University Hospital, and he is an adjunct professor at George Washington University. 

Robbie Freeman ’24 DNP, RN
Vice President of Clinical Innovation and Chief Nursing Informatics Office at Mount Sinai Health System (New York)

Robbie FreemanMr. Freeman was recently named to the Becker’s Hospital Review list of “Rising Stars: 104 Healthcare Leaders to Know” list. He has served as the vice president and chief nursing informatics officer at Mount Sinai Health System since 2021. His responsibilities include driving technology strategy to support nursing practice and patient care, leveraging different forms of technology, and overseeing clinical data science and digital engagement teams. He is also an assistant professor of health administration at New York University. His doctoral Advisor is Mary Ann Camilleri JD, RN, FACHE.

Dr. MaryEllen “Mel” Hope Kosturko ’22 DNP, MAHSM, RN, CENP
Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Hartford HealthCare

Mel KosturkoAfter an extensive career at Yale New Haven Health that began in 1990, Mel began a new role as Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Hartford HealthCare on December 27. She succeeds Mandy Richards ’25 DNP, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC (see below), and the two YSN affiliates will partner closely on the transition. Mel most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Bridgeport Hospital. Mel is a 2022 graduate of the Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program at YSN where her work focused on post Covid trauma and trauma informed care for the nursing workforce. Her doctoral Advisors were Drs Mary Ann Camilleri and Joan Kearney. 

Dr. Lynn Malerba ’15 DNP
Treasurer of the United States | Chief, Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut

Lynn MalerbaDr. Malerba was sworn in as Treasurer of the United States in September 2022, making history as the first Indigenous person to hold the office. When her signature appears on U.S. currency, it will be the first inked by a Tribal leader and Indigenous woman. In her role as Treasurer, she also leads the newly created Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. Her DNP project, “Indian Health Funding: Time for Change” raised awareness of the resource and funding issues in Indian Health Services led her to a significant role in leading change for indigenous populations on a national level. She also recently discussed nursing and healthcare topics with YSN’s Associate Dean for Equity Angela Richard-Eaglin, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, CDE®.

Dr. Esther Moas ’21 DNP, MS, RN
Vice President of Care Transitions for Mount Sinai Health System

Dr. Moas was recently elected as a Fellow to The New York Academy of Medicine, a recognition of her top performance as a nursing professional. Upon her completion of the Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program at YSN, Dr. Moas advanced to her current role as a member of the Nurse Executive Cabinet at Mt. Sinai Health System and leads system-wide strategy for improving quality of care across the care continuum to reduce preventable admission, re-admissions, and total cost of care. Her DNP project work focused on Evaluation of a Nursing-Led Telephonic Self-Management Program for Patients with COPD on Health Care Utilization where she worked with her DNP doctoral Advisor, Tish Knobf, PhD RN FAAN, Chair of the PhD Program.

Mandy Richards ’25 DNP, MSN, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Executive for Intermountain Healthcare

Mandy Richards, a second-year student in our Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program, was recently named the Chief Nursing Executive for Intermountain Healthcare, a non-profit healthcare system of 25 hospitals and 255 ambulatory care clinics in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. She has built a distinguished career in executive nursing, coming to Intermountain from Hartford HealthCare in Hartford, Connecticut where she has served as the Executive Vice president and Chief Nursing Officer over the past two years. Before her time in Connecticut, she spent 15 years with Allina Health in Minneapolis, MN, where she served in ever-expanding leadership roles, and ultimately as the chief nursing officer for the health system. In her time with Allina, Richards served as the CNO and VP of Patient Care and VP of Clinical Operations for multiple hospitals within the system. Mary Ann Camilleri JD, RN, FACHE is her doctoral Advisor.

Dr. Christie Torres ’22 DNP, MSN, RN, APRN, FNP-BC 
Chief Nursing Officer of Advanced Diagnostics Healthcare Systems

Christie TorresDr. Torres recently accepted a CNO position at Advanced Diagnostics Healthcare Systems in Houston, Texas. She is also the recipient of the 2022 Visionary Award from the Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP), and is actively engaged with their Legislative Ambassador Program, an initiative addressing legislators on full practice authority issues in Texas. In a continuation of her work as a YSN student in our Healthcare Leadership, Systems and Policy DNP Program, she co-authored a manuscript with Professor Emerita Jane J. Dixon, PhD titled, “An Evaluation of The Climate Change and Renal Health Awareness and Education Toolkit for Healthcare Providers: Reducing Climate-Health Risks in Primary Care” and has submitted it to The Journal of Climate Change and Health. Dr. Torres also serves as a board member of the Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility (TxPSR) and will help integrate some aspects of the toolkit into UT Southwestern Medical School’s core curriculum. 

Upcoming Information Sessions

The program is hosting a series of information sessions on March 8 at 4 pm, March 15 at 4 pm, March 24 at 1 pm, and March 29 at 4 pm. Register for the next information session here.