Jonas Center Spring 2014 Newsletter


In This Issue
Khan Academy Winners Announced

Cathy Rick Joins Jonas Center

Jonas Center Supports Student Policy Summit

Announcing the First Issue of 
RIBN Connections 

Vet 1  

Save the Date!

Join us on June 5th for a day of golf at the Stanwich Club in Greenwich,CT to benefit the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which provides funding and support for the nurses who are at the forefront of progress in advancing the care provided to our wounded heroes.


Please contact Garwood Events 

for more information:  



Not a golfer but still want to do your part to help the men and women who have served our country get healthy and back on their feet? You can make a
100% tax-deductible donation
on our website.




Barbara and Donald Jonas Fund Stem Cell Research

Barbara and Donald Jonas have committed to support the work of Stephen H. Tsang, M.D., PhD, groundbreaking stem cell research which will lead to a cure for degenerative retinal diseases. 


For the past decade, Mr. Jonas has been living with Late Onset Retinal Dystrophy (LORD), a rare hereditary condition that destroys the cells responsible for peripheral vision and depth perception. When he learned of Dr. Tsang’s research for a therapy to treat the disease that has been destroying his sight, he knew he had to help. Mr. Jonas was determined to do everything he could to spare others from the progressive vision loss that has marked the past decade of his life.   


Read more in the Fall 2013/Winter 2014 issue of Columbia University Medical Center Newsletter, Viewpoint.



Attention Jonas Nurse Leaders and Veterans Healthcare Scholars


Share Your Story!
The Jonas Center is excited about the compelling work each of you are doing and invites you to share your story with the Jonas community — whether it’s your recent achievements or what being a Jonas Scholar means to you.

Send your story to Julianne Palomba at: 



The Jonas Center congratulates its most recent Jonas Scholar graduates:

February 2014


Loretta Lynn Bilder, PhD

Indiana University


January 2014


Rydell Todicheeney, PhD

University of San Diego


December 2013


Annette Asper, DNP

Frontier Nursing University


Kisha Coleman, DNP

University of Alabama at Birmingham


Noriko Morgan, DNP

Vanderbilt University


Ann Nielson, PhD

University of Northern Colorado 

Danielle Perkins, PhD

University of Missouri at Kansas City


Ursula Rodriguez, DNP

University of Texas at Houston


Tracey Wiese, DNP

Frontier Nursing University

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Spring 2014
Khan Academy Winners Announced




The Jonas Center, Khan Academy, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing are pleased to announce that 14 individuals were chosen to join a select group of educators working to transform how health education is delivered across disciplines around the globe.


The partnering organizations launched an international competition last fall to generate interest among health profession students, faculty, and practitioners in creating innovative healthcare tutorials through videos and exercises, which will be made available for free through the Khan Academy website. This content will support graduates of nursing programs in preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam.


The competition received almost 100 submissions from individuals around the world, emerging from over 60 hospitals and academic institutions. The competition winners sharpened their technical skills by participating in a training camp with Khan Academy educators from March 2-9, 2014 in California. To read more about the winners, visit the Khan Academy website.



Cathy Rick Joins Jonas Center 


On February 1st, 2014, the Jonas Center appointed Catherine J. Rick, RN, PhD(h), NEA-BC, FAAN, FACHE, (pictured left) as Senior Advisor for Nursing Leadership. Ms. Rick brings extensive experience in clinical, leadership and executive level healthcare roles to her new position having recently retired from her role as Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)/Senior Nurse Executive for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where she oversaw more than 80,000 nursing personnel caring for nearly six million veterans annually.


Ms. Rick advises the Jonas Center on its primary programs, including the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program, launched in 2008 and recently expanded to prepare 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders nationwide by 2018; and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, created in 2012 and led by Brigadier General (Ret.) William Bester to address veterans’ life-altering health issues by increasing the field of qualified caregivers through scholarships to doctoral-level nursing candidates.


Read more about Ms. Rick’s thoughts on the vital role of nursing within the healthcare industry here.






Jonas Center Supports 

Student Policy Summit


More than 200 nursing students froacross the country gathered in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, March 23rd for the 2014 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Student Policy Summit. For the fifth consecutive year, the Jonas Center for  Nursing and Veterans Healthcare was recognized as a platinum level sponsor, providing scholarships for two outstanding students to attend the conference. The annual summit includes sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing’s role in professional advocacy and gives attendees the opportunity to learn about nursing advocacy first-hand through visits to Capitol Hill and lectures from national leaders. With a shared vision of fostering the future of nurse leaders, the Jonas Center is excited to continue our support for AACN’s important work. 


(Above photos – Left to Right): Two PhD nursing students received Jonas Center-supported scholarships: Jennifer Lewis RN, MSN, MBA, CPHM, University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing; and Crystal Epstein, MSN, APRN-NP, PMHNP-BC, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing.






 Announcing the First Issue

of RIBN Connections


The Jonas Center is proud to announce the first issue of RIBN Connections, a new e-newsletter from The Foundation for Nursing Excellence. The Spring issue highlights the graduation of the first North Carolina RIBN cohort in May, new Student Success Advocate from the Triangle-Triad region, Susan Maloney, and an article from Editor Kellie Monacell titled, “Where You Fit in: How RIBN Students Help NC.” 


The Jonas Center’s grant, A Multi-Regional Model to Increase the Number of Baccalaureate Nurses in the US (RIBN), partners associate and baccalaureate degree nursing programs in NYC and North Carolina to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses. 


Follow the link to read the newsletter RIBN Connections. For more information about the RIBN program please visit the website




About the Jonas Center for Nursing and 

Veterans Healthcare


In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the leading national philanthropic funder dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs currently support nearly 600 doctoral scholars nationwide, with a goal to support 1,000 Scholars by 2020.




 Jonas Center Team

Darlene Curley, MS, RN, FAAN

Executive Director


Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, FAAN

Senior Advisor


William T. Bester, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Brigadier General (RET)

Senior Advisor, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program


Catherine Rick, RN, PhD (h), NEA-BC, FAAN, FACHE

Senior Advisor for Nursing Leadership


Kelly Mahoney, MPA

Director of Programs and Operations


Eliza Kaye

Development Associate


Julianne Palomba

Program Assistant