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Joan Vitello, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAAN, dean of the Graduate School of Nursing

Joan Vitello, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAAN, dean of the Graduate School of Nursing

Why were you drawn to UMass Medical School and to the GSN at this stage in your career?
I was fortunate to have served on the Advisory Board of the GSN for several years and was very aware of the high caliber of graduate students, faculty and staff that was part of the fabric of UMMS. I was also attracted to the medical school and the opportunity to promote, be involved with and continue to foster interprofessional education, research and communication. After all, it is the only medical school in Massachusetts with an affiliated nursing school. Thus it became a unique opportunity to serve in educating the next generation of health care physicians and nurses.

What has inspired you since arriving?
I am inspired every day when I get a chance to interact with many of the people employed at UMMS,  from the house keeping folks to the Provost and Chancellor, the dedication and passion of the faculty and staff is palpable here. It is a special joy to observe and interact with our talented graduate students on their learning journey to become health care professionals. I am deeply appreciative of the fact that our graduates go on to promote the health and well-being of folks here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as more than 90 percent of our students remain here to provide healthcare or lead their organizations. Lastly, our shared vision of creating a community of health, discovery and human dignity inspires me to be the best for this school and to ensure that we realize this vision every day!

What are the hopes for student and faculty here in the GSN?
My hope someday would be to have a donor to name the GSN in his or her honor so that we will have the sustainability of funds to continue our excellent programs and to be able to invest in new programs. I would also like to see a term chair for research so that we can attract more outside funding for nursing research. For our students and graduates, I want them to feel known and cared for by our faculty and staff even after they leave us to pursue their careers.  The recent recognition as one of the top 20 schools in this country by nursing schools almanac.com is just one of the many accolades I hope will be forthcoming for the GSN and UMMS. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead and serve this remarkable institution.