UVM Medical Center announces new chief nursing officer

After a six-month national search, officials at the UVM Medical Center have hired a chief nursing officer.

Mary Kate FitzPatrick will fill the position effective Sept. 21, 2015 and report to Eileen Whalen, president and chief operating officer at the UVM Medical Center.

FitzPatrick is a registered nurse, has a doctor of nursing practice from Vanderbilt University, is a board certified advanced nurse executive, a board certified acute care nurse practitioner and a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

FitzPatrick is currently the clinical director for Neurosciences and Women’s Health and Neonatal Nursing Divisions at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Laurie Aunchman, president of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, said that she is looking forward to seeing what FitzPatrick will bring to the table.

“I’m sure she’ll have some ideas and initiatives she’ll want to bring forward and we’re looking forward to it,” Aunchman said. “We’ve had that position that’s been open for some time.  I’m optimistic that she’ll be there and be an asset to the institution.”

Whalen was pronounced interim chief nursing officer while also carrying out the duties of president in January 2o15, and will continue to do so until FitzPatrick takes over the position in September, Mike Noble, spokesperson for the UVM Medical Center, said.

Whalen and FitzPatrick are both past presidents of the Society of Trauma Nurses, a professional nonprofit organization that serves to provide optimal trauma care for all, and knew each other previously, Noble said. Currently, they both sit on the board of directors of the American Trauma Society, according to the American Trauma Society’s website[1].

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Whalen says FitzPatrick’s strong academic background will serve the hospital well. Patricia Prelock, dean of UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Whalen will strengthen the relationship between the college and the medical center, according to the July 16 press release[2].

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