Transformational Leaders

Inspiring Nurse Leadership

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's nursing excellence begins with our visionary leadership team. Through their knowledge and expertise, they guide the work of our Magnet®-recognized staff. Their direction, structure, and support allow our nurses to reach new heights in clinical care and professional fulfillment.

Eileen Ferrell is the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She provides strategic direction and leadership for operational departments, including Clinical Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and Advocacy and Pastoral Care. Ferrell is responsible for advancing organizational goals through executive decision-making processes. She works closely and collaboratively with the senior nurse leadership team to ensure that nursing operations run smoothly and successfully. Ferrell joined MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in 1975 as a new graduate clinical nurse. She worked for several years in the public health arena of nursing practice. With more than 25 years of committed service to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Ferrell has been an integral and highly visible leader in the Nursing department. She is not only passionate about the field of nursing in general, but has been an enthusiastic and devoted champion of nursing at MedStar Georgetown. Under her leadership, MedStar Georgetown was granted Magnet®-recognized status. This designation has since been twice renewed. Ferrell is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies Board of Advisors, and various community organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in health services administration from Georgetown University.
Jo Ellen Carpenter is the Assistant Vice President for Nursing Operations at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.  She has over 37 years of healthcare experience and has held leadership positions in four large healthcare systems. Her past roles have included Magnet® Program Director, Chief Nursing Officer, and Hospital Administrator.  A native of North Carolina, Carpenter began her career at Watauga Medical Center in Boone as a nursing assistant and moved into increasingly senior positions at that hospital, culminating in the CNO role. Carpenter received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Gardner Webb University, a master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a master’s in business administration from Appalachian State University, and a doctorate of nursing practice from Duke University.  Carpenter has received Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC) status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).  
As Assistant Vice President of Quality, Safety and Practice Excellence Lorelei Stellwag is responsible for leading the Center for Patient Safety and achieving clinical quality outcomes. She also serves as the Nursing Informatics Director, focusing on the transformation of workflow processes and organizational readiness as MedStar Georgetown implements an electronic medical record system. Dr. Stellwag began her career with MedStar Health in 1999 as a surgical/trauma ICU nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Through her work experience, she brings first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing direct care clinicians. Dr. Stellwag studied chemical engineering and transitioned to nursing as a second-degree student.  She received her doctorate in nursing practice from the University of Alabama and her master’s in nursing administration from George Mason University. She is a member of the Health Information and Management Systems Society, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), and the Greater Washington Area Council of AACN. She is an officer and member of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Anita Abdeen is the Clinical Director for Pediatrics and Perinatal Services. She graduated from California State University at Long Beach with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and has been practicing pediatric nursing for 21 years. She worked in many hospitals across the country as a travel nurse before coming to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Prior to her current role, she was the clinical manager of C53, which takes care of General Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology and Epilepsy Monitoring. She is currently earning her doctorate of nursing practice at Old Dominion University. She has had several opportunities to travel internationally to volunteer with under-served populations. On a personal note, she became a mother to a baby boy this past year.
Kate Avery is the director for surgical services. Avery began her nursing career at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital as a new graduate nurse on the Adult Transplant Unit. Most recently, she has served as the manager of that unit. Avery has served as the Leader of the Hospital Practice Council, presented at the International Transplant Nurses Society annual conference, and received a Nurse of the Year award. Prior to becoming a nurse, Avery worked in the financial industry as an Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs. There, she specialized in media and government relations, philanthropy and event planning. Avery received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Villanova University in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in American Politics from the University of Virginia in 2003.
Laurie Dohnalek is the Director of Medicine, Oncology and Emergency Services. This role provides leadership to 300+ FTE’s and includes the nursing care delivered to patients on hematology, oncology, medicine, medicine/tele, intermediate care, dialysis, and apheresis units vascular access team, emergency department and stroke program. Dr. Dohnalek is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, finance, quality, safety and programmatic outcomes in this Service Line. She manages a team of seven Nurse Clinical Managers and a Stroke Program Coordinator. She has been in a nursing leadership role for over 30 years. Dr. Dohnalek obtained a master’s degree in business administration and a post-master’s certification in nursing administration. She recently graduated with a doctorate of nursing practice from Old Dominion University. In addition, she has attended Wharton’s Nursing Leadership programs and completed a 3-year commitment on the National Nominating Committee for the Oncology Nursing Society. She has received several nursing leadership awards and accolades throughout her career. These include the Nurse in Washington Internship and DNP student scholarship. She is currently a member of the “Capitol Gang,” a healthcare advocacy group. She has participated in lobbying activities such as One Voice Against Cancer, senate hearings, and meetings with government representatives. Due to her efforts in healthcare advocacy, she received the Excellence in Oncology Nursing Health Policy and Advocacy Award. Dr. Dohnalek has presented nationally and has published many nursing journal articles. She was a founding member of the Virginia Association of Doctors of Nursing Practice (VADNP), and currently serves as President. Additionally, she is a Co-Chair of the VADNP annual conference.
Hanan Foley is the Director of Quality and Safety at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. In her role, Foley leads hospital-wide efforts to enhance a culture of safety and continuously improve clinical quality outcomes. Through this work, she is helping MedStar Georgetown achieve outstanding performance on key, nationally-standardized metrics of quality and safety. Foley’s healthcare career spans over 36 years, most of which were spent working in Critical Care Nursing and Quality Improvement. She has also served as adjunct faculty in the Department of Health Systems Administration at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies and as an advisor to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School students. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the American University of Beirut and her master’s degree in nursing administration from Georgetown University. She is also certified in Healthcare Quality.
Sharon Galdos began her nursing career at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in 1982, after graduating from the University of Virginia with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Over the span of her 35 years at Georgetown, she has held several positions. She has served for 17 years in nursing leadership, with her past roles including the Clinical Manager of a Neurology and Medicine unit and the Nursing Manager of the Department of Neurosurgery. She is currently the Director of Patient Placement, Flow and Throughput and the interim Director of Nursing Support Services. She is pursuing her master’s degree in nursing leadership and management.
Over the past 30 years at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Kim Groner has held many positions, including staff nurse in medicine and the Medical ICU, Assistant Manager and Clinical Manager for the Medical ICU, Clinical Nursing Educator and a part-time faculty member at Georgetown University School of Nursing. Groner received a master’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University School of Nursing and a post-masters certificate in the Adult Nurse Practitioner program at The George Washington University. As a nurse practitioner, she worked with patients coping with chronic pain and fatigue. She began her career and love of clinical research in 1996. Groner returned to Georgetown University after working at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI from 2002-2007, where she conducted clinical research and oversaw the clinical enterprise of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. Groner has co-authored abstracts, articles and book chapters. She is currently the Director of Professional Practice, Research and Outcomes. She serves as the Magnet® Program Director at MedStar Georgetown and is the chair of the Biomedical-B Institutional Review Board for Georgetown University.
As director of pre- and post-clinical units that support the operating rooms, endoscopy suites, interventional radiology, and cardiac catheterization lab, Kerstin Magee is responsible for the Surgical Waiting Rooms, Pre-Surgical Testing, OR Holding, Surgery Center, Main PACU, Endoscopy PACU and the 7West Procedural PACU. With over 25 years of peri-anesthesia experience and a passion for perioperative operations and clinical care, Magee brings experience and leadership in a complex and dynamic environment. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University, Magee started her nursing career at Georgetown University Hospital in medical-surgical patient care. She then transitioned to the post-anesthesia care unit. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Maryland University College and entered leadership in 2003. Since that time, Magee gained expertise in planning, designing and opening new clinical units to support growth in perioperative services, implementing numerous performance improvement initiatives and projects. Today, Magee continues to offer operational leadership and provides strategic planning guidance to MedStar Georgetown peri-anesthesia nursing services. Magee is a certified peri-anesthesia nurse. She is a member of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nursing and the Chesapeake Bay Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Magee is a long-standing member of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) Safety Strategic Work Team, offering guidance to national peri-anesthesia nursing topics on safety.
Janice Oppenheim is the Administrative Director of Nursing and Clinical Services at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Lombardi Cancer Center. In her role, Oppenheim provides leadership and support for the clinical departments that deliver high quality, outpatient oncology care. This also supports the hospitals efforts at maintaining ACOS Commission on Cancer Accreditation and NCI Accreditation for the Lombardi Cancer Center. Oppenheim’s career spans over 35 years. Almost 29 of those years have been served here at MedStar Georgetown. She has experience in multiple facets of oncology care and has held a Director position in the cancer center since early 2001. Oppenheim obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Hunter College, Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. She holds a master’s degree in health care administration from University of Maryland University College. She holds a certificate of paralegal studies from Georgetown University. She has maintained her ONS Oncology Certification since 1989.
Mary McFadden is a Nurse Epidemiologist and Director of Infection Prevention at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She is also a Clinical Advisor to the School of Medicine and to the Master's in Health Services Administration (MHSA) students at Georgetown University.   McFadden is a member of the National Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). She is the current president of the Metro D.C. chapter of APIC, and Co-Chair of the D.C. Hospital Association’s ID/IP Task Force, which is currently working on infection prevention issues and regulatory reporting requirements in the District of Columbia. She has taken the lead on many task forces designed to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAI’s) such as CLABSIs, CAUTIs, SSIs, and C. difficile. These tasks forces were sponsored by the Delmarva Foundation, D.C. Hospital Association and the Department of Health. McFadden was the lead investigator on a city-wide study to investigate the prevalence of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in D.C. healthcare facilities. The study was published in the June 2017 issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. She is certified in Infection Prevention and is a Fellow of National APIC. She was chosen as 2016 Chapter Leader of the Year by the Metro D.C. chapter of APIC. McFadden has authored and co-authored many articles on epidemiology and practice. McFadden was previously the Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at Memorial Health University Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center in Savannah, Georgia. She is originally from Massachusetts, where she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Assumption College in Worcester. She received her master’s in health care administration from St. Joseph College in Maine. She has worked in Infection Prevention for 29 years, first achieving her certification in 1992. She is past president of the Coastal Empire Chapter of APIC in Southeast Georgia and past president of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Infection Prevention Network. McFadden has served on many statewide and community task forces for Terrorism Preparedness and Hospital Mutual Aid.
Amber Pennel began her career in 2006 with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She has held several positions, including bedside nurse on 2 Bles, Oncology Referral Nurse Counselor, Outpatient Infusion Nurse, and Outpatient Case Manager with our Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also worked as a Clinical Case Manger in our Case Management Department. In November, 2016, she assumed her current role as the Director of Case Management. Pennel holds a bachelor’s from Frostburg State University, with a major in economics and minor in business administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgetown University. She us currently pursuing her master’s in health administration with Drexel University and is on track to complete this degree in the fall of 2018.
Susan Phillips comes to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital from the University of North Carolina Hospitals – Chapel Hill, where she previously served as the Vice President of Surgical Services. With more than 30 years of experience, Phillips has been responsible for the administration and management of the Operating Room, PACU, Emergency Department, Anesthesia, Central Services / Sterile Processing, Ambulatory Services and GI Services. She provides leadership to physicians and staff working to improve on-time operations. Under her guidance, MedStar Georgetown is implementing changes in patient process, standardization and staffing redesign that will be valuable to the hospital’s operations. Phillips has directed unit construction of a new facility, has expertise in quality improvement, and has made numerous presentations at local and national perioperative conferences. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia and a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia.
Claire Piccirillo has 20 years of nursing experience, including medical-surgical nursing, progressive care, recovery room, and psychiatry. Having previously excelled in her role as the Director of Surgical Services, Transplant and Psychiatry, Piccirillo was recently named interim Director of Critical Care, Neurosciences and Psychiatry. She earned a master’s degree in health administration from Georgetown University and a doctorate of nursing practice from Johns Hopkins University.
Vicki Runyon is the Interim Senior Director for Perioperative Operations at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.  Runyon began her career in operating rooms as a Surgical Technician at Bristol Memorial Hospital in Bristol, Tennessee in 1971. She completed her undergraduate studies at East Tennessee State University and earned her master’s degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.   Runyon began her management career as the Nurse Manager of the Orthopedic Surgical Team at Vanderbilt University Hospital and later accepted the OR Director position there. After moving to Tampa, Florida in 1995, Runyon held multiple AVP, OR Director, Executive Director and Nursing leadership roles at University Community Hospitals (currently Florida Hospital), Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point, Shands Jacksonville, and Moffitt Cancer Center. Over the past few years, Runyon has taken interim roles at Yale University Hospital in Connecticut, Lahey Hospital in Boston, Jackson Memorial in Miami, Southeastern Regional in North Carolina, and now at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. She plans to finish her career at MedStar Georgetown. Runyon is a member of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). She has obtained previous CNOR certifications and is a previous member of American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). Runyon is currently responsible for the Operating Rooms, Recovery Rooms, Preoperative Holding units, Sterile Processing, Preadmission Testing and 7 West/Endo PACU at MedStar Georgetown.