Monday, July 23, 2007

Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing Names New Dean

MAYWOOD, IL) July 23, 2007 - Mary Klotz Walker, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University, Seattle, Wash., has accepted the position as dean of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University, Chicago. Her start date is Oct. 1, 2007.

"We're proud that Dr. Walker, who is an alumna of Loyola University, Chicago, has been selected for this important role," said Paul K. Whelton, MD, MSc, president and chief executive officer of Loyola University Health System.

"As we enter a period of growth and change, Dr. Walker's leadership in direction setting, and her tremendous development capability will help to bring new vitality and to the Niehoff school. At the same time, her personal warmth and collegiality will help to further collaborations that will enhance the academic life of our nursing students," Whelton added.

A native of Lansing, Mich., Walker has served as professor and dean at Seattle University since 2000. Prior to her move to Seattle, she served as professor and director of the Doctoral Program, University of South Florida, Tampa. Walker has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, since 2003, and is a representative on numerous key committees. On a national level, she was recently elected to the Board of Directors American Association of Colleges of Nursing, while locally she has served as secretary on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Kidney Center Foundation and is a member of the Governor's Task Force on Long-term Care. Over her career, she has held numerous professional memberships and positions of leadership for regional, state and national nursing societies and review boards for nursing research.

An experienced and successful academic administrator, Walker's list of accomplishments during her tenure at Seattle University's College of Nursing is long and varied. From 2000-2007, she led an effort to double the size of the college and attract new faculty, with a 36 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment, and a 170 percent increase in graduate enrollment. Her effectiveness at fund-raising is evidenced by her ability to bring in $9.6 million in gifts and pledges for the College of Nursing since her appointment as dean. Walker's efforts also increased ethnic diversity at the nursing school.

Under Walker's leadership, Seattle University College of Nursing developed a fast-track immersion master's entry program, the first in the northwestern United States. Her efforts also led to the opening of a 21,000-square-foot Clinical Performance Laboratory that includes clinical simulators, exam rooms for nurse practitioner education and other instructional areas.

Walker's commitment to public service and community outreach is evidenced by her involvement in numerous organizations that seek to serve the greater good and to help individuals, families, and communities who have health-care needs.

In applying for the post as the Niehoff School of Nursing dean, Walker wrote, "[Loyola University Chicago] was the institution that shaped my thinking and commitment around issues of social justice and influenced my career as a nurse, an academic, a scholar, and a servant to others."

The Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, president of Loyola University, Chicago, said, "Mary's depth of experience in academic and clinical nursing will make her a strong leader for our Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. I look forward to her and her faculty developing a strategic plan for the school over the next several months."

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.