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Tennessee Action Coalition

Board of Directors

The Tennessee Action Coalition is governed by a diverse group of stakeholders representing the interests of nursing organizations, the business community, health care providers, consumers, public relations, and academia.  Tennessee Action Coalition members of the board of directors and others associated with the Coalition are engaged in a variety of initiatives, activities, and programs, including:

  • Defineproblems and identifying opportunities related to health and health care, e.g., conducting comprehensive environmental scan which is significant because the state no longer has a nursing workforce center.

  • ​Determine Coalition priorities collectively based on what the coalition can uniquely contribute and where we can have maximum impact.  

  • Partner with a widening circle of stakeholders to advance the agenda of improved health and health care.

  • Convene stakeholders to discuss issues.  

  • Consider and highlight innovative practices and policies to effectively utilize the skills of nurses and to quantify the benefits to consumers and businesses of these practices and policies

  • Identify policy and practice barriers to more widespread adoption of these innovative practices and explore how businesses, consumers and policymakers can work together to remove those barriers and create positive incentives for change. 

  • Determine steps to persuade employers to recognize, acknowledge and support the valuable and critical role of nurses in American health care.

  • Offer programs to develop emerging nurse leaders and equip all nurses with the knowledge and skills to be effective agents of transformative changes.  

  • Provide support to other organizations as they work on common goals. ​


Board of Directors' Officers:

Chairman: Vickie Niederhauser  |  Vice Chair: Bill Jolley  |  Immediate Past Chair: Debbi Honey  |  Secretary/Treasurer: Carole R. Myers

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Sharon Adkins, MSN, RN Greg Bailey, APR Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC 
​Nurse Leaders ​Public Relations ​Providers
​(Nashville) Sharon is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA). She has been active in both the state and national levels in the promotion of the nursing profession and its varied roles. In her 20 plus years at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, she developed and directed the Center for Parish Nursing and Health Ministries. During her presidency of the Health Ministries Association, that organization jointly developed the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing with the American Nurses Association (ANA). In her current role she works as an advocate for the 83,000 nurses in Tennessee in the legislative, community and educational arenas to advocate for the profession and for accessible, quality patient care for the citizens of Tennessee.

(Nashville) Greg founded Bailey & Company Public Relations in 2013. He has experience in all areas of public relations, including strategic planning, public affairs, media relations, social media and crisis communications. Previously, he was a founding partner of Katcher Vaughn & Bailey Public Relations after more than 15 years in journalism and public relations. Bailey is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a past president of the Nashville chapter. He is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Nashville and serves on several nonprofit boards in Nashville.

​(Nashville) Marilyn is the executive chief nursing officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center providing oversight for strategic initiatives and planning related to the provisi​on of quality patient care for Vanderbilt University Hospitals and Clinics. Marilyn is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow, a member of the American Nurses’ Association, Tennessee Nurses’ Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, as well as Sigma Theta Tau. She is widely recognized for her leadership in nursing and healthcare and is a board certified nurse executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.​

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Deborah Hall-Turner, BSN, RN Debbi Honey, MHA Susan Jacob, PhD, RN
Advocates/Consumers Providers At-large

(Crossville) Debroah has practiced as a professional nurse for over 40 years, focusing on health care quality of care and service. Currently she serves as the TN AARP Community Team Leader for Fairfield Glade, TN. Her professional nursing experience includes Chief Operations Officer for a Wayne County, MI based Medicaid HMO, Clinical Compliance Officer, largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Detroit, MI and Vice President for Community Access, Director for Quality Improvement positions with public and private health care delivery systems serving our most vulnerable populations. She has served on numerous community advisory and professional committees focusing on improving health status for diverse populations.

(Chattanooga) Debbi is President of Honey Consulting, Inc. and provides comprehensive consulting and operations support to healthcare organizations. She specializes in quality and patient safety, clinical leadership and staff development, nursing services and operations, and service line development and optimization. She is the former Vice President, Clinical Operations for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow Program and currently serves on the board of Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation.

(Memphis) Susan is Professor Emeritus from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she served as Executive Associate Dean and Interim Dean in the College of Nursing. Prior to that she served as Dean of the School of Nursing at Union University. She currently serves as an accreditation consultant for Schools of Nursing and an education consultant for Faith Community Nursing through the Church Health Center. She co-authors Contemporary Nursing: Issues, trends, and management. Dr. Jacob has consistently served in leadership roles in Sigma Theta Tau International and the Tennessee Nurses Association. Susan served as a board member for the Nursing Institute of the Mid-South and has been a strong supporter of the Action Coalition and efforts to advance nursing.

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Alvin D. Jeffery, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN, FNP-BC

Bill Jolley, MPA Beverly Jordan, MSN, RN, CENP 
Under 40 Leaders Providers Nurse Leaders
​(Nashville) Alvin is a PhD student at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing where he is studying health services research.  He works as a Quality Scholar Nurse Fellow at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, and he holds part-time appointments as an Education Consultant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and as an adjunct instructor with several colleges and universities. He also serves as the Vice President of District 3 of the Tennessee Nurses Association.

(Nashville) Bill is Vice President for Rural Health Issues and Executive Director of the Tennessee Rural Partnership (TRP) at the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA). He is responsible for establishing rural health networks, performance improvement and expanding services for hospitals. Through TRP he is working to enhance statewide collaboration on workforce planning to better serve underserved communities and health providers by assisting in recruitment, placement and retention of physicians and other health professionals. He also works to achieve an abundant, competent and motivated healthcare workforce through THA’s Center for Health Workforce Development. Bill is representing THA on the board.

(Memphis) Beverly is Vice-President and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer for the Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, Memphis, Tennessee is responsible for the corporate strategy and full implementation of the new integrated electronic medical record. This project, branded Baptist OneCare and powered by the Epic vendor, is the largest project in the 101- year history of Baptist and involves all 14 Baptist hospitals along with its Baptist Medical Group clinics and patient financial systems. All 14,000 Baptist employees and greater than 4,000 affiliated physicians will utilize the new EMR while continuing the support of the mission of Healing, Preaching and Teaching and contributing to the system goals of quality, safety, satisfaction, and fiscal stewardship.​

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Rebecca Kelly, MPA Stephen McClure Brian W. Mountain, CRNA, DNP, APN
Ex-Officio Public Relations Under 40 Leaders
(Franklin) Rebecca has served as Senior State Director for AARP in Tennessee since 2005, overseeing the work of 7 staff and more than 1,000 volunteers, in support of a membership of more than 650,000. Prior to that, she worked for 9 years as Associate State Director, focusing on volunteer management and community development throughout the state. Rebecca has served on numerous national committees within AARP and is a frequent spokesperson for issues of concern to people over 50 and their families. Rebecca has 29 years of experience in the field of aging. 

(Nashville) Stephen believes that older adults and their needs must be part of the conversation about Nashville’s growth and that Tennessee should be more conducive to a productive, engaging, and fulfilling life for all residents, regardless of community, age, infirmity, or income level. Stephen is Marketing Manager, Content at HealthStream, with responsibility for blog management, brochures, magazine editing, writing, and Web content. His earlier work experience has included proposal writing, Web copywriting, book publicity, and public relations. A native of Tullahoma, Tennessee, Stephen holds an M.S from Columbia University in New York, N.Y., and a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. 

​(Knoxville) Brian is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee. He has experience as a Registered Nurse Anesthetist and has served as a Clinical Mentor at a number of institutions. As a co-founder of Professional Anesthetist Continuing Education Development in Knoxville, TN, Dr. Mountain is a​ctively involved in student mentoring and continuing education.

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Vickie Niederhauser, DrPH, RN Cristie Upshaw Travis, MSHA​ Mona Newsome Wicks, PhD, RN, FAAN
​Ex-Officio ​Business At-Large
(Knoxville) Vickie is currently Dean and Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing. Prior to her current position, Vickie held various leadership roles at the University of Hawaii at Man​oa, School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene including Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Department Chair. The focus of Dr. Niederhauser’s scholarly activities is in the area of child and adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, with an emphasis on immunizations and childhood obesity. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow Program and is a board member of the Beryl Institute and The RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows Alumni Association.
(Memphis) Cristie is Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Business Group on Health, a business coalition with 15 employer members and affiliates providing health care benefits to approximately 350,000+ residents of the Mid-South and Tennessee, which focuses on sharing solutions and providing tools to manage health benefits in. Ms. Travis is a former Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Business Coalition on Health; she is former Chair of the Board of Directors for The Leapfrog Group and currently serves as Chair of the Business Development Committee of their Board of Directors; and she serves on the Purchaser Advisory Committee for NCQA.

(Memphis) Mona is Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, Tennessee. She directed the UTHSC PhD Nursing Program from 2000 through 2006 and the Office of Research and Grant Support (ORGS), the college's nursing research center that supports faculty and student scholarship, from 2005 - 2012.   Dr. wicks served as Associate Dean for Research from 2007 - 2012.  She currently teaches PhD and DNP students and is the CEO and Chair of a non-profit organization that supports disadvantaged families. Dr. Wicks' research focuses on cultural diversity/cultural competence and conducting research to eliminate health disparities, particularly among black women who are family caregivers.
Kelly A. Wolgast, DNP, MSS, RN, FACHE  Lin Zhan, PhD, RN, FAAN

(Nashville) Kelly is an Assistant Professor and Director of the MSN in Healthcare Leadership program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TN. Kelly has many years of executive nursing and healthcare leadership experience and has a strong background in Medical-Surgical Nursing. Kelly earned her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from Penn State University, a Masters of Science in Nursing (Administration and Education) from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (Executive Nurse Leadership) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kelly is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).​

(Memphis) Lin is the Dean and Professor, Loewenberg School of Nursing at the University of Memphis.​ Dr. Zhan received a PhD degree from Boston College, a Master of Science degree from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from West China University of Medical Sciences. Dr. Zhan is a Dean and Professor, Loewenberg School of Nursing at the University of Memphis. Dr. Zhan is a Fellow of American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) and serves on the Academy’s Expert Panel on Aging and Global Health. Her program of research focuses on Quality of Life of older adults and ethnic minorities. She has published over 100 articles and six edited books. She has served as a consultant for Partner Harvard Medical International in an effort to advance nursing in Asia. Dr. Zhan has received numerous regional, national, and international awards for her excellence in education, scholarship, and leadership. 


​​Click HERE​​ to donate to the Tennessee Action Coalition​