Log in

The Voice of Nursing Leadership in Pennsylvania

Log in

SWPONL Board candidates

Below please find the candidates in alphabetical order for Chair-Elect (one open position), Secretary/Treasurer (one open position) and Director at Large (seven open positions) for the 2024 SWPONL Board.

Board Member position details

Chair-Elect Candidates

 Traci Fick, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
 Chief Nursing Officer, Westmoreland & Frick Hospitals/Independence Health (formerly Excela Health)

 Membership provides access to a community of diverse nurse leader advocates from a variety of work settings; provides a wide range of resources to guide the decision making in nursing practice; and a collective nursing voice to influence legislative decisions.

I find tremendous value in having a strong network of leaders to share solutions and to work together to advocate for nursing practice. With the intense disruptors that nurse leaders face, including, artificial intelligence, out of control spending, and diverse agendas in our government, SWPONL provides access to legislative updates, specialty and focused educational events, as well as networking events to learn from each other. SWPONL pulls the nurse leader community together to strengthen advocacy on important issues that impact our profession.

Serving as a member for many years, and as a Director at large since 2022, has provided me the opportunity to further understand the processes of the board and to be a voice in the decision-making processes of the organization. As Chair Elect, I will continue the important work to support and advance the mission of the organization, through networking opportunities, research, and collaborative relationships with our members and beyond.

Increasing the opportunities for nurse leaders to collaborate while supporting professional development must be a continued focus. Expanding member diversity from non-traditional nurse leader roles will support dynamic information sharing. Mentoring through a succession planning process will strengthen the organization to remain a strong pathway for continued nursing education and the development of nursing leaders.

Laura Lincoln, DNP, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager/Allegheny General Hospital

I have been a member of the SWPONL since 2016, and since 2019, I have volunteered on the education committee. I believe that my development as a nursing leader has been richly impacted by the opportunities made available by SWPONL. Not only have I grown as a leader, I have also had the opportunity to develop relationships with other leaders in the region.

I would describe my leadership style as transformational. Motivating nurses to become engaged as drivers of change is the most efficient and effective leadership tactic. I believe these skills and experiences can translate well to other leadership experiences, like board membership. I would like to serve on the Board of Directors because I believe it would be an opportunity to advance my knowledge, skill, and ability as a nursing leader. Board membership would also be a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with other leaders to advance the organization and mentor other nursing leaders in the region.

I foresee the direction of the organization’s shift to engaging with new leaders who are on the succession bench for formal leadership. After attending the most recent conference, I believe that the future of the organization should focus on ways that leaders can connect to the power of perception to revitalize the blueprint of nursing in our region.

I appreciate the consideration of the membership to elect me to the board and am looking forward to collaborating with leaders across the region to ensure the organization’s success!

Secretary/Treasurer Candidates

Logan Breisinger, MSN, RN-BC
Manager, Workforce Management/Allegheny Health Network

As a Workforce Management Manager in AHN Finance Operations since 2019, I am a solution-oriented finance healthcare leader eager to help SWPONL develop key approaches for financial longevity and sustainability. With a background in healthcare finance my ultimate objective is to be a part of making healthcare financially sustainable in the future. Current applicable duties include participating in annual budget development to establish appropriate priorities and resources to achieve expected outcomes; measuring expectations against actual budgetary performance and ensures variances are within given targets. I am an active HFMA member (Healthcare Financial Management Association).

Michele Carlson,  MSN, BSN, CPN, NEA-BC
Senior Director, Acute Clinical Services/UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

I respectfully submit for consideration my nomination for the Secretary/Treasurer position. My nursing career spans 38 years and I have been in roles with increasing leadership responsibilities for the past 29 years. I am currently employed as the Senior Director of Acute/Clinical Services at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I maintain two national certifications. It has been my honor to serve on the Board of Directors of SWPONL for the last two years and as the Chair of the Membership Committee—a role I have held for over five years. I believe my experience with these two roles provides me with a strong foundation to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer. I look forward to the opportunity to serve our organization in another meaningful way. If elected Secretary/Treasurer I commit to working with the Board of Directors to look for additional membership opportunities/offerings besides the annual conference and our spring/fall networking events. I would also like to review the potential to offer increased support to our membership. We know the increased demands our nurse leaders face daily, so what can we do as an organization to help? Increasing our membership diversity is another opportunity I would like to explore. Thank you for your consideration.

Marissa R. Parker, MSN, RN
Manager of Hospital Operations/AHN Wexford Hospital

 I am in leadership as a Manager of Hospital Operations at AHN Wexford and just became a SWPONL member this year and went to my first annual conference as a poster presenter. I became a member with the encouragement of my boss, Mary Wood, and found that the purpose of the organization aligned with my own personal beliefs in the advancement of nursing leadership and education. To provide some background about myself, I received a BS degree in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry form the University of Pittsburgh. After, I attended Western Pennsylvania Hospital’s School of Nursing, receiving my diploma in nursing, then on to California University of Pennsylvania (now Pennsylvania Western University) to receive my BS in Nursing. I have just received my MSN in leadership from PennWest University and am currently working on attaining my MBA as well.

As you all know, one of SWPONL’s purposes is to promote cost-effective patient-care delivery systems, through education, nursing research, and advancing the practice of leadership. This personally is important to me due to my own family and friends that can’t afford health care or unable to be insured. With that said, the reason I would like to serve on the Board of Directors as the Treasurer/Secretary is to learn more about how to manage a budget and help allocate funds to more research and legislation support to help with healthcare access and costs.

Director at Large Candidates

Sarah Austin, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Unit Director Intensive Care Unit/UPMC St. Margaret

A SWPONL membership is valuable to nurse leaders in all phases of their career. Leaders can take advantage of educational opportunities as well as network with leaders across the region. I maintain a SWPONL membership to build a network of nurse leaders who bring new creative ideas and support that have been invaluable in my career. The yearly conference, networking sessions such as the Hackathon and virtual learning opportunities have all added insight and perspective that I have used to build myself as a nurse and leader. I have been fortunate enough to join the Legislative and Advocacy subcommittee which has been a great opportunity to stay involved in nursing advocacy, a passion of mine throughout my career.

Serving on the board of directors would be extremely beneficial to my journey as a nurse executive. To learn about the inner workings of a board and help to grow an organization I respect so much would be a remarkable experience for me. I would love to see the organization grow its membership, and continue its focus on education, advocacy and professional development.

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Carlow University in 2008 and began my career as a staff nurse at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital. I graduated with my Master of Science in Nursing in the Fall of 2014. I followed a progressive leadership path at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital as a clinician, Administrator on Duty finally Unit Director in our Intensive Care Unit since October 2017.

Nicole Evanick, DNP, MSN, RN
Chairperson and Chief Nurse Administrator, Department of Nursing and Health Professions/Pennsylvania Western University

I have been a member of SWPONL since 2011. Since this time I have attended many of the annual conferences as a member and have had the pleasure of presenting at several of them. I enjoy working with my colleagues in this organization because there is always an opportunity to learn and make a positive impact in healthcare.  

I would like to serve for an additional term on the Board of Directors, because I have been in a position as a leader within hospital organizations, and I am now a leader within a large academic organization which I feel brings a variety of experiences to the table. I would like to bridge the gap between the preparation of our future nurses and the institution in which they work for. It is important to partner with organizations across Pennsylvania to ensure a pipeline of well prepared and dedicated nurses. I would like to see SWPONL assist our up-and-coming nurse leaders at the bedside, as well as our nurse leaders in the board room and the classroom to ensure excellent academic and clinical preparation of our new nursing workforce; the workforce that we will count on to care for our communities. 

Randal Geiselhart, MSN, RN, PCCN
Nurse Manager/AHN- Forbes Hospital

I value being a member of SWPONL because I am very proud of my profession. Being a part of this professional organization keeps me abreast of the most up to date information and what is to come. It provides me with the opportunities to become the best Nurse and Nurse Leader that I can be. With the information I acquire from SWPONL, I am able to directly apply to my staff development and patient centered care, moving my unit forward. SWPONL has also served as a networking tool for me to meet others who are equally as passionate about nursing.

I would be honored to serve on the Board of Directors as it is so very important for nurses to have a voice and be a part of decision making processes. I am a firm believer that change is good and for our profession to move forward we must be ever changing. I would like to be a part of the evolution and change and help in anyway that I can. As a Director at Large I feel that I can be an advocate for Nurses in the Southwestern area and inadvertently the patients we serve.

Kristie Hast, DNP, RN, NE-BC
Nursing Manager/Allegheny Health Network, Allegheny General Hospital

I have been a part of this amazing nursing profession for 12 years. During those twelve years, I started as a bedside nurse on a cardiac telemetry unit where I eventually became a clinical supervisor on that unit. A little over four years ago I took on the role of a nursing manager of a cardiac telemetry unit and a cardiac intensive care unit. I feel passionate about professional development and during those twelve years, I obtained my MSN, my Nursing Executive Certification, and most recently received my DNP in healthcare administration. I am a member of SWPONL because I believe it is important to be a part of a leadership community and network with other leaders across the region. Serving on the Board of Directors would be an honor and privilege where I aim to support the organization and strengthen the voice of nursing leaders. If selected to serve on the Board of Directors, I would like to help accomplish growing the organization by mentoring and educating new leaders.

Rebecca Lavezoli, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CBC
Unit Director Womancare Birth Center/UPMC Magee-Womens

SWPONL provides an opportunity to network and embrace ideas beyond the work walls of an organization. I have appreciated my time involved with SWPONL, which has allowed me to travel to DC to advocate for nursing legislation, meet with peers across the state facing similar barriers within the profession, share ideas at conferences related to best practices and phenomenal ideas to support the nursing work environment. It is through these connections that a professional organization such as SWPONL provides that allows for nurses to unite and work together and not separately for common goals to continue to strengthen the nursing profession.

I would like to serve on the Board of Directors at large to continue to stay connected and involved with SWPONL in a more intimate way. I appreciate the opportunity to influence decisions to create opportunities for nurses to come together. You never know how an educational session, networking event, or conference will impact an individual in their path.

I would like to see continued growth in membership, newer and different leaders encouraged to attend events, and more diversity in membership. This is an area of opportunity that I would like to commit to—supporting future nurse leaders to attend events and build networking into their professional growth journey.

Brett Mohney, MSN, RN
Nursing Manager, Trauma, Surgical ICU and Vascular Access Team/Allegheny General Hospital

I am a Nursing Manager at Allegheny General Hospital, and I would like to apply to serve as a Director at Large on the Board of Directors for the Southwestern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders. I have been a member of SWPONL for about 5 years, and my membership has had a very positive impact on my nursing career. This organization has allowed me to remain current on best practices, taught me about new ideas, enhanced my knowledge and understanding of legislative impacts in healthcare, and enabled me to create lifelong professional connections and friendships. Being a member of SWPONL has also allowed me to share the knowledge and experiences I have gained with others. I have had the opportunity to advise both novice and experienced leaders during SWPONL events which has been a very rewarding experience. Serving on the Board of Directors would allow me the opportunity to help support nursing leaders across our region who I know work so hard to have a positive impact on the patients we serve. I have reached a point in my career in which I can impact healthcare and leaders in new ways. Serving as a SWPONL Director at Large would help facilitate and enhance my ability to support our profession. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Denise M. Petras, DNP, RN, NPD-BC
Director of Professional Practice and Education/Allegheny Health Network, Allegheny General Hospital

Hello colleagues! I have been a member of SWPONL for over 10 years and have enjoyed both the professional the relationship-building that has been a part of my experience as a member as well as the opportunity to engage in professional development. Membership is a great way to stay connected with the leaders in Western PA as well as the matrix to PONL at the state level.

I am a former Director At-Large board member and my term ended in 2013. At that time, I was a relatively new member of SWPONL and it was a way for me to become more involved in a leadership organization. I would like to become re-engaged with the board to support the work of SWPONL. I am interested in seeing the organization grow in membership and would be active in recruiting new members. I’m also passionate about focusing my efforts on continuing professional education offerings that inspire and excite seasoned leaders as well as ignite the spirit of inquiry in new leaders.

My career tenure includes Director of Education for most of my career and I also have served as a CNO for 5 years. My passion is teaching and coaching leaders and all levels of staff especially related to challenging communication and emotional intelligence. I also am part-time faculty at Waynesburg University. I earned a DNP in the executive leadership track at the University of Pittsburgh, an MSN in community health (LaRoche), MA in adult and community education (IUP), and BSN (Carlow).

Glenn Repko, DNP,RN,CCRN-K, NE-BC
Director, Care Support/Independence Health (formerly Excela Health)

I am seeking your support for the Director at Large position for SWPONL. Over the course of my nursing career, I have held various leadership positions; most recently as the Director of Care Support for Independence Health. My current position has provided valuable learning opportunities, especially related to discharge planning along with various staffing models. I chose to become a member of SWPONL to take advantage of the valuable networking opportunities the membership provides. I believe that evidenced based practice needs to be the foundation for any policy changes that impact health care. Currently I serve as a committee member for the PONL legislative committee. Over the next several years, I feel that an emphasis needs to be placed on improving health through advocacy. Collaboration with other professional organizations is essential to advocate for policies that improve patient outcomes and promote the nursing profession as a whole. This can be accomplished through the organization of advocacy campaigns and educating nursing leaders on the importance of health policy at the local and national levels. The adoption of nurse led care models has been proven to improve patient outcomes. I feel this is an area that SWPONL can advocate for through collaboration amongst healthcare organizations. Advocating for policy that recognizes, funds, and reimburses nurse led care models will be essential as healthcare continues to transform. Thank you for considering me for the opportunity to serve as a Director at Large for SWPONL.

Wendy Reynolds, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, NE-BC
Clinical Director, Maternity and Women's Health/Westmoreland Hospital

A membership to SWPONL should be essential to all nursing leaders. I value the mission statement of the organization to shape healthcare with innovative and expert leaders. Expert leadership cannot be attained without the participation in the professional organization and the networking of fellow leaders. When nurse leaders come together within the organization, ideas and information are shared. In turn, the voice of the nursing grows within our commonwealth.

Within the next few years, I would like to see upcoming leaders becoming more involved within the organization. I believe when nurses hear the name of the organization they are intimidated and believe it is geared toward the formal leadership positions within nursing. I believe all nurses are leaders. I would like to see a reduced one-time registration fee for upcoming leaders in order to entice them to become involved in PONL. I believe we need to grow the next generation of nurse leaders within our professional organization.

Nicole Santucci, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Clinical Director/UPMC Passavant

I have been privileged to have seventeen years of progressive nursing experience in nursing leadership, emergency medicine, nursing education, and hospital operations. Currently, I am a Clinical Director at UPMC Passavant where I have oversite of our medical-surgical units, inpatient rehab, hospital-based Nurse Practitioners and wound and skin nurses.

SWPONL membership has played a role in shaping my journey as a healthcare professional. The organization provides opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Membership offers access to resources, conferences, and professional networking. This platform facilitates connections with peers who share similar goals and challenges, enabling the exchange of ideas and solutions. These membership benefits allow me to remain up to date in the ever-changing healthcare landscape which is essential for my role as a Nurse Leader.

Having the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors reflects my commitment to the nursing profession and a desire to make an impact. As a board member, I would value having a forum to advocate for critical issues affecting nursing, healthcare, and patient outcomes. The opportunity to network with influential leaders while knowledge sharing to help shape educational programs, resources and best practices would play an instrumental role in my own leadership development. I feel my career progression and leadership experience would allow me to have meaningful contributions to the group. I appreciate your consideration for this opportunity.

Deborah Schweitzer, MSN, RN-BC
Unit Director/UPMC Presbyterian Hospital

Please consider me to serve as a SWPONL Director at Large. I have served on the SWPONL membership/education committee for the past 3 years and have held a SWPONL membership since 2016. My goal is to take a greater role in growing the positive impact SWPONL has on nursing leadership and the future of the nursing profession. I also plan on continuing my current membership on the SWPONL membership/education committee.

I have held a leadership position for the past 20 years as a Primary Nurse Care Coordinator and currently as a Unit Director at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. As a Director at Large I would lend my leadership expertise to the advancement of SWPONL, positively effecting nursing legislation, resolving issues related to nursing practice and leadership as well as providing education that would further the growth and development of the nursing profession in general. My own career has greatly benefitted from being a SWPONL member from information shared at the annual conference, meetings, and educational sessions regarding current and relevant topics related to the nursing profession. The availability of the networking opportunities has proven valuable in developing professional collegial relationships in the profession as well as developing friendships.

Serving as a Director at Large, I would have opportunity to be actively engaged in important decision making for the growth, development, and advancement of SWPONL. I value the expert knowledge of the diverse group of SWPONL leaders. I would be honored to be considered to serve as a Director at Large.

Bridgett Trump, MSN, BSN, RN
Director of Nursing/Washington Health System Greene

As the Director of Nursing, and nurse leader in my organization, I have found that my membership and ability to participate and network with other nurse leaders across Southwestern Pennsylvania has provided me with the opportunity to become a better leader. I have been able to share educational ideas, best practices, and networking to improve my leadership skills and nursing practice.

Being a member of SWPONL has given me the opportunity to develop collaborative relationships with many organizational leaders both locally and nationally. I currently serve on the legislative committee for SWPONL. Being a member of the legislative committee has provided me with information and knowledge that I am able to actively participate in and share with my organization so that we are all supporting and moving in the same direction.

I believe that with my leadership experience, and the experience of others we can continue to move the organization and our healthcare environment in a positive direction. I would like to serve on the board so that I can learn from other experienced nurse leaders who have served and continue to serve in different roles. I would be honored if provided the opportunity to influence the future of healthcare in Southwestern Pennsylvania by serving as a director at large for SWPONL.

Sharon Undereiner, MBA, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Director of Nursing/Allegheny Health Network, Wexford Hospital

My name is Sharon Undereiner, and I am the Director of Nursing at Allegheny Health Network, Wexford Hospital. I value my SWPONL membership as it empowers nurse leaders to engage in a platform that encourages decision-making, strategizing, and transforming practices to advance our profession. As nurses, we share the common goal of health promotion and facilitation of service excellence. Being a voice to help champion these efforts is my true passion which influences a shared vision through inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. My desire to pursue service excellence for the patients and staff I serve is a direct reflection of my involvement with SWPONL focusing on high reliability efforts; quality, safety, experience, and engagement. My connection with SWPONL has also provided me an opportunity to engage my colleagues in becoming members, which included 4 new associates in 2023.

As a member and collaborative partner, I have encountered many exceptional leaders, that have directly impacted my own growth and development during my tenure with SWPONL. I have been an active participant on the Planning and Education Committee since 2019, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to advance my services to the Board of Directors role. My membership with SWPONL has offered professional connectivity venues, expansion in my abilities as a nurse leader, and an environment that promotes a true sense of togetherness. Serving on the Board of Directors would enable a continued space to mutually focus on growth, development, and rejuvenation of practices that impact our profession at large.

Robin R. Weaver, PhD, RN, CNE
Associate Professor/Pennsylvania Western University

I became a member of SWPONL to facilitate my professional development as a nurse leader. I was attracted to the organization due to its mission “to advance contemporary nurse leadership through advocacy, professional networking, education, and implementation of the Institute of Medicine- Future of Nursing Report.” I value the benefit of networking and collaboration to develop innovative ideas that will promote the role of nursing and nursing leadership, ultimately facilitating the establishment of best practices in nursing. I would like to continue to serve as a board member so that I may positively impact the educational and professional development of future nurse leaders. For future directions, I would like to explore academic and clinical educational leadership topics of nursing to compliment clinical and managerial leadership topics provided in recent years through SWPONL’s educational meetings and conferences. I believe the skills I have developed through my experience as a staff nurse, clinical director, educator, SON Director, Program Coordinator, and Department Chair have prepared me to serve as a valued member of the SWPONL Board of Directors.

Rebecca Weiss, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, NPDA-BC
Director, Nursing Education and Professional Practice/AHN West Penn

I would be honored at the ability to serve as a Director on the SWPONL Board. I have been a proud member of SWPONL since 2015 and a member of the SWPONL Education Committee since 2017. I believe I have attended every conference since 2016! I started my SWPONL membership as a unit educator and currently am in a Director role. I feel the relationships I have built and maintained through my involvement in SWPONL and the learning experiences I have been afforded through events and conferences has helped me grow and prepare myself as a formal leader. I have chaired the SWPONL Education and Conference Planning committee for the past two years, and as I pass the baton at the end of this year, I am ready to get more involved in the SWPONL Board. I believe in my role as Education chair, I have helped drive the SWPONL conferences and networking events in a new direction and keep the engagement of the membership post COVID and changing of conference venue. I would love to participate in helping to move SWPONL forward, as we want to maintain current membership but also shine brightly enough that new leaders (or educators like myself) are interested in participating and contribute to our organization’s growth. It would be my mission as a Director at Large, to not only help carry out Amy Snyder’s vision, but also to help bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the Board as I did with the Conference and Education Committee.

Heidi J. Zedlar, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC, Doctorate Candidate
Chief Nursing Officer/Dedicated Nursing Associates, Inc

Mentorship, learning, and collaboration are what inspired me to become a member of SWPONL. I was completing my MSN with a heavy interest in legislation and was asked by a member to join—and I did! Since then, I have also been part of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for SWPONL and PONL and even met with Senators and Congresswoman Dean. Being a part of this organization has led to amazing opportunities and provided great learning experiences, not to mention meeting inspiring leaders and mentors.

I am inspired by the growth of the organization and would love the opportunity to continue that growth. I imagine SWPONL as the inspirational hub of new leaders. I have so many ideas for the Membership Committee!

For these reasons and many more, I would like to serve as a Director at Large to assist with the long-term goals of the organization as well as the business of the organization. I feel my educational background in Business coupled with my experience in the executive suite have prepared me to be a great candidate for this position.

Thank you for your consideration.

© Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders

461 Cochran Road #246

Pittsburgh, PA 15228


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software