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2015-2016 CCI Board of Directors



Frances Skupski, MBA, BSN, CNOR
Randolph Hospital, Asheboro, NC

Vice President
Debra Dunn, MBA, MSN, RN, CNOR
East Orange General Hospital, East Orange, NJ

Will Paco, MBA
Zulily, Inc, Seattle, WA 


Heather Burrell, MSN, RN, CNOR
Jamestown Community College, Western, New York

Gretchen Gemeinhardt, PhD, MBA, FACHE
University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX

Antoinette (Toni) Manning, BSN, RN, CRNFA
James Lawrence Kernan Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Marie Paulson, MS, BSN, RN, CNOR
Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, CA

Julia (Julie) Thompson, PhD, RN, CNS, CIP, CNOR, CNS-CP
Harris Health System, Houston, TX

Theodore (Ted) Walker, MSN, RN, A-CNS, BC, CNOR, CPPS
Air Force Medical Operations Agency, San Antonio, TX

Linda J. Wanzer, DNP, RN, CNOR
Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland

Board Bios

President - Frances Skupski (Fran), MBA, BSN, CNOR, is the Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist at Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, NC and serves as President of the Board of Directors for CCI. She has over 35 years of nursing experience and almost 31 years in Perioperative nursing. She previously served as the Perioperative Educator at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac MI for over 12 years. As an Educator and Clinical Nurse Specialist she fosters the ongoing education of RN, technical and ancillary Perioperative staff and collaborates with other nursing, surgical and interventional departments in the staff development process. A strong Perioperative patient safety advocate she has been an integral member of the team involved in the implementation of the surgical safety checklist and time out process as well as other Perioperative safety initiatives at both Randolph Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. She has developed and taught multiple Perioperative internship courses, including Periop 101, participated in 2 Perioperative electronic record implementations, and has played a key role in Perioperative policy development and updates in both her roles. She received the Joy of Nursing Educator Award in 2002 and a second Joy of Nursing nomination in 2012. Fran is a retired Navy Nurse Corp Commander and has previously held roles as the Assistant Director of Nursing, Perioperative Services and Department Head of the Main OR, at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, and held positions as Clinical Leader and Staff RN in the surgical services department at other Naval hospitals. She retired from the National Naval Medical Center in 2000. Her other awards include two Navy Achievement Medals, a Navy Commendation Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, and the Shea Arentzen Senior Nurse of the year award for the United States Navy Nurse Corps. Fran has been active in local AORN chapters (AORN of Metro Detroit and AORN of Greater Washington D.C.) holding positions as treasurer, secretary, communications, and educational planner. She has participated on volunteer committees with both AORN and CCI. She has been on the CCI Board of Directors since the Spring of 2012 serving in multiple board liaison roles. Fran has been certified since 2001.

Vice President - Debra Dunn, MBA, MSN, RN, CNOR, currently serves as the Perioperative Nurse Manager at East Orange General Hospital in East Orange, New Jersey. She previously was an OR Nurse Educator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and spent the previous 18 years at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital as staff nurse, OR Educator, and OR Nurse Manager. Debra is on the AORN Journal Editorial Board, serves as a Peer Reviewer for perioperative nursing journals, has published over 30 articles, and has presented at the AORN Annual Meeting and Surgical Conference EXPO. Previously the AORN Journal awarded Debra the First Place award in their Clinical Category, and the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing awarded Debra the Mary Hanna Memorial Journalism Award also First Place in their Clinical Category. Debra also won the New Jersey Governor’s 1999 Nursing Merit Award, Acute Care/RN Category, and the Francis Black Humanitarian Award in Healthcare for a recycling program she initiated while at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital. She serves on the AORN Syntegrity Task Force; and spends a week abroad performing surgical missions (ENT, Ophthalmology, Urology, and General) with Healing the Children, New Jersey, twice a year. Lifelong learning through formal and informal education programs is a major theme in Debra’s life, and she enjoys “paying it forward.” Debra has volunteered on CCI’s CNOR Item Review and Cut Score Committee, CNOR Item Writing Committee, and the CNOR Survey Task Force.

Treasurer - Will Paco, MBA, serves on the CCI Board as Treasurer, a Public Member and currently leads the Learning and Development function at zulily, inc. Will is an established professional who has spent more than 10 years working within corporations such as E*TRADE, Time Warner Cable, and Starbucks to develop high impact learning (training) programs that drive business results. Will has led multiple teams with varied responsibilities in learning including instructional design, training delivery, and learning technologies. Will is passionate about finding the right mix of learning and resources/support that enable individuals (and ultimately organizations) to succeed. Will earned a B.S. in Information Systems Management from CSU Sacramento and an M.B.A. from Queens University of Charlotte concentrated in executive coaching. To support his continued growth, Will serves with industry organizations such as the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) whose goal is to develop successful learning professionals and move the learning industry forward.

Heather BurrellHeather Burrell, MSN, RN, CNOR  is currently a full time Assistant Professor of Nursing at Jamestown Community College in Western New York and works perdiem as a staff nurse at Olean General Hospital. She has 18 years of nursing experience with 16 of those years being perioperative. Her perioperative background ranges from staff roles of circulator, scrub, pre/post-op, recovery room, endoscopy and charge. She spent 6 years in the role of Surgical Services Nurse Educator. Heather is a member of AORN and ANA. She has participated on several volunteer committees with CCI including job analysis task force and CNOR test plan development. Heather has worked as a reviewer on several of CCI's publications including the Certificate Program for Surgical Services Educators and the Certificate Program for Surgical Services Management. Heather is also a peer reviewer for the AORN Journal. She remains active in her local AORN chapter holding a current role of board of directors and several past roles such as past president elect and past president.

Gretchen GemeinhardtGretchen Gemeinhardt, PhD, MBA, FACHE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Policy and Community Health of the UT School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty in 2012, Dr. Gemeinhardt spent a year as a director in corporate compliance and three years as director of leadership development for Harris Health System, building a leadership development program where she fulfilled her passion to help leaders see and achieve their leadership potential. Prior to joining Harris Health System in 2008, Dr. Gemeinhardt was responsible for education at Memorial Hermann Hospital. The opportunity to develop leadership and education programs for hospitals was a natural transition for Dr. Gemeinhardt who for six years developed future healthcare administrators as an assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University’s Master’s in Healthcare Administration program. Dr. Gemeinhardt has over 20 years experience as a management consultant serving K-12 and higher education, health care and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Gemeinhardt has been a member of the business faculties of Rice University, University of St. Thomas and the University of Houston. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters and regularly presents at national conferences such as American Society for Training & Development, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, National American College of Healthcare Administrators, American College of Healthcare Executives and National Academy of Management. She has served as an examiner for Baldrige Performance Excellence Program for ten years. Ms. Gemeinhardt received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Management and MBA from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Art from Hamilton College in Psychology and English.

Antoinette (Toni) Manning, BSN, RN, CRNFA, has more than twenty years in perioperative nursing first as staff nurse , then CRNFA. Toni is a member of AORN and Sigma Theta Tau National honor society for nurses, and she currently works as a CRNFA at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Institute in Baltimore Maryland. She was selected by that hospital as Nurse of the year in 1996. Prior to her work at University of Maryland, Toni worked for twenty five years in long term care and hospice care. Toni’s prior experience with CCI has been in test item review, cut score committee, and CRNFA job analysis committee.

Marie Paulson, MS, BSN, RN, CNOR, is a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Finance Committee with CCI. She is currently the Regional Director of Perioperative Services for the Southern California Region of Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California. Marie has over 36 years of nursing experiences in which 35 of those years are in Perioperative nursing. The majority of those Perioperative years were spent as a Perioperative Director and Educator in both main hospital operating rooms and in the Ambulatory Specialty of Perioperative surgery. She has a certification in Health Science Education as a teacher for California community colleges in which Marie has taught Perioperative Nursing for over 15 years. Marie is a member of AORN, ACNL, and AONE. She has participated on volunteer committees with both AORN and CCI. Marie has worked with CCI several times over the years as a CNOR test development & Item review committee member, Surgical Services Management job analysis committee member, as well as a proponent of CCI’s Certificate Program for Surgical Services Management.

Julia (Julie) Thompson, PhD, RN, CNS, CNOR, serves as the Administrative Director of Research & Sponsored Programs at the Harris Health System in Houston, Texas and faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Nursing in Houston in a unique innovation where perioperative nursing is the site for the required clinical experience in the first nursing course in the BSN curriculum. A perioperative nurse for over 25 years and certified as a CNOR since 1990, Dr. Thompson has practiced as a staff nurse, manager, assistant director, educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, consultant, and researcher in surgical services. She holds a BSN from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; a master’s in perioperative nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio; and an earned doctorate in nursing research from Texas Women’s University. Dr. Thompson serves as a Peer Reviewer for the AORN Journal and has published many articles and presented at health care conferences locally, regionally, and nationally on various perioperative nursing and research topics. Previously, Dr. Thompson was Chair of AORN’s National Research Committee and worked at the Center for Nursing Practice at AORN Headquarters as a Clinical Nursing Specialist. Dr. Thompson research interests include perioperative nursing recruitment and retention including the effects of the work environment and culture. She is a member of nursing’s national honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International, AORN, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), ANA, and Texas Nurses Association (TNA). Julie has been active in local AORN chapters holding positions of president, vice-President, and treasurer. She is an inductee of the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing Alumni Hall of Fame. Dr. Thompson was honored as one of 20 Outstanding Nurses in Houston by TNA District 9 in 2010. She received a bronze medal from the Good Samaritan Foundation of Texas in 2011 and 2012 for Excellence in Nursing. Her CCI experience includes service on the APRN Task Force (2009 – 2010), APRN Job Analysis Task Force (2011), CNS Advisory Council (2013-2014), CNS-CP Item Writing Committee (2013-2014), and authored and presented the Leadership Module for the Surgical Services Management Certificate Program, authored the Evaluation and Outcomes Module for the Certificate Program for Surgical Services Educator Certificate Program and the Cultural Diversity Reference Book.

Theodore (Ted) Walker, MSN, RN, A-CNS, BC, CNOR, CPPS works as a Lt Col in the USAF and is currently the Chief, Air Force Patient Safety assigned to Air Force Medical Operations Agency in San Antonio, TX. He works closely with all aspects of perioperative nursing to ensure patient centered care remains a top priority in the military medical services. Ted manages a patient safety program with 96 contract staff in 75 hospitals and clinics throughout the world. His focus is in the development of collegial teams and believes that through the strong bonds of trust and teamwork at all levels of the perioperative patient’s care, we are able to preserve the safety of our patients. Having graduated from the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences as a Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist, he earned the Certified Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2007 Ted has served on active duty for over 22 years and has held positions as a Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist, Staff Nurse Operating Room, Operations Officer Operating Room, Instructor/Course Supervisor Nursing Service Management (NSM)/NSM –Air Reserve Component. He looks forward to continued service to our country and giving our Airmen, Sailors, and Soldiers the best perioperative care in the world.

Linda WanzerLinda Wanzer DNP, RN, CNOR, holds the academic rank of Associate Professor in the position of Director for the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist masters and doctor of nursing practice programs at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. Retired from the US Army after 28 years of service, during which time she was appointed as the Perioperative Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. She holds her Doctorate from the University of Alabama where she focused her scholarship on patient safety within the perioperative environment. Nationally involved, Dr. Wanzer’s commitment to the perioperative community led to her involvement with CCI as a member on the Advisory Council for the development of the CNS-CP certification exam. She held national appointments on AORNs Presidential Commission for Patient Safety, National Task Force for Advanced Practice Nursing, and as Subject Matter Expert and co-advisor for the development of AORNs Perioperative Medication Safety Recommended Practice Guideline. She has authored/co-authored more than 30 articles, book chapters, manuals, national tool kits, position/guidance statements; presented numerous national and international podium and poster presentations and completed several research/evidence-based protocols focused on patient safety. And lastly, she was the recipient of AORN’s 2012 Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing.