Sue Hassmiller

Susan B. Hassmiller
2012 Excellence in Leadership Award winner Susan B. Hassmiller

A nurse researcher who leads the nationwide nursing campaign to improve health care, Future of Nursing Campaign for Action leader Sue Hassmiller was awarded the 2012 Excellence in Leadership Award from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis Sept. 20 as part of the school’s annual ceremony to welcome new graduate students.

The award celebrates and recognizes nursing leaders who exemplify the values of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and serve as role models for the enactment of the school’s vision to transform health care through nursing leadership, education and research.

“Leadership is fundamental to our profession because nurses are uniquely positioned to lead improvement from multiple settings, whether in hospitals or in our communities,” said Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. “Nursing students at UC Davis are prepared to drive the change necessary to improve health wherever they work. Part of that preparation is honoring those professionals who have personified that leadership.”

Hassmiller, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1997, is presently the senior adviser for nursing. In this role, she shapes and leads the foundation’s strategies to address nurse and nurse faculty shortages in an effort to create a higher quality of patient care in the United States. Drawn to the foundation’s “organizational advocacy for the less fortunate and underserved,” Hassmiller is helping to ensure that RWJF’s commitments in nursing have a broad and lasting national impact.

In partnership with AARP, Hassmiller directs the foundation’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which seeks to increase access to high-quality, patient-centered care in a health care system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success. This 50-state effort strives to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report on the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Hassmiller serves as the report’s study director.

“What I love about this school is that it is so completely aligned with what the Future of Nursing campaign is all about,” Hassmiller said when she received the award. “The emphasis on leadership is so critical. You are in the perfect place.”

Previously, she was a member of the National Board of Governors for the American Red Cross, serving as chair of the Disaster and Chapter Services Committee. She is now a member of the national nursing committee, and is the Board Chair for the Central New Jersey Red Cross.

Hassmiller served with the Health Resources and Services Administration as executive director of the US Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship. In this role, she addressed national and international primary care initiatives. Her work has also included service in public health settings at the local and state level, and she taught public health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University in Virginia.

A fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Hassmiller is also a member of the Joint Commission’s National Nurse Advisory Council, the CMS National Nurse Steering Committee, and the New York Academy of Medicine. Among the many awards she has received is the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor given to a nurse by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“Dr. Hassmiller’s career and her dedication to the nursing profession and the communities we serve clearly exemplify this school’s vision to transform health care through nursing leadership,” Young said.