2014 Jonas Policy Scholars





                  Laura Brennaman 

Laura Brennaman, PhD, RN

Psychiatric/Mental Health/Substance Abuse Expert Panel

Laura has been a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative Fellow since 2010 while working on her PhD at the University of New Mexico, College of Nursing.  She successfully defended her dissertation with distinction in Fall of 2014, subsequent to becoming a Policy Scholar.  Her dissertation entitled Boarding patients who require involuntary mental health evaluations in Florida explored barriers and disparities of access to emergency, involuntary mental health services. During her studies, Laura published two theoretical articles dealing with crises and recoveries of mental illnesses.  She has additional manuscripts under review to disseminate findings from her dissertation research.

Laura worked as a staff nurse, manager, and clinical educator in emergency departments for more than 25 years; in this setting, she witnessed the catastrophic consequences of inadequate access and quality of health care for low-income and chronically ill people, especially those with mental illness.  Repeatedly, she experienced the emergency department’s inability to be the “safety net” for this vulnerable population.  The goal of improving access to mental health care for people who rely on safety-net providers spurred Laura’s plan of research to study policies and strategies that can improve access to mental health services for diverse and underserved populations.

Laura was a regional mentor for the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) National Screening Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment Project to guide emergency departments throughout the nation in the implementation of effective alcohol screening and intervention processes. She is adjunct faculty for Nova Southeastern University’s BSN nursing program at the Fort Myers, Florida, campus. 

 Emerson Ea

Emerson E. Ea, DNP, APRN, CNE

Cultural Competence and Health Equity Expert Panel

Emerson Ea is currently Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University College of Nursing and a PhD student at Duquesne University School of Nursing. He obtained his Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University and Master of Science in Nursing from Long Island University. His dissertation research focuses on self-care among Filipino Americans who have hypertension. He has published 8 peer-reviewed articles and authored/co-authored 1 book and 4 book chapters on topics that relate to work and personal-related outcomes among internationally-educated nurses, gerontologic nursing, and nursing education and practice. He received the Nursing Research Award from the Philippine Nurses Association of New York in 2012, the NYU College of Nursing Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011, and most recently, the Most Outstanding Nursing Alumnus Award (Nursing Research Category) from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. He was PI of several research projects including a community-based pilot study that explored the relationships among acculturation, job stress, psychological distress, and hypertension among Filipino Registered Nurses and Domestic and Home Care Workers. 

At NYU College of Nursing, he is chair of the Undergraduate Test Review Committee and an active member of several committees, workgroups, and mentorship groups. He is an active member of the Philippine Nurses Association, the Asian American and Pacific Island Nurses Association, and the Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. He was also Senior Manager for Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research at Mount Sinai Hospital from 2011-2013.

 Sunny Hallowell

Sunny G. Hallowell, PhD, PPCNP-BC, IBCLC

Breastfeeding Expert Panel

Sunny G. Hallowell is a T32 postdoctoral fellow (T32NR007104) at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. She is a health services researcher focused on pediatric nursing outcomes.  Dr. Hallowell’s dissertation developed the first empirical evidence demonstrating the association between nursing organizational factors and the provision of human milk to newborns in the NICU.  She has published two papers in the areas of nursing organizational factors, human milk and preterm infant development and two widely read blogs on the role of nurses’ in improving health care access in America.  Dr. Hallowell received her BS in Nursing (2000) from the University of Toronto and her MS in Nursing (2005), and PhD in Nursing (2013) from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is President-Elect of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners –Pennsylvania/Delaware chapter, a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Content Expert for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania.  She is interested in health policy related to the quality and safety of care in the NICU; family-centered care, human milk and the use of human milk at discharge as a quality measure. In addition to being a researcher, Dr. Hallowell is a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Lactation Consultant and has taught thousands of parents and hundreds of nurses, nurse practitioners, and medical interns about the essentials of newborn care, importance of human milk and breastfeeding. 

 Alicia Rossiter

Alicia Gill Rossiter, MS, FNP, PNP-BC, FAANP

Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force Reserves Nurse Corps

Military/Veterans Health Expert Panel

Alicia Gill Rossiter is a Doctorate of Nursing Practice student at the University of South Florida College of Nursing where her area of study is military and veteran health focusing on women veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) secondary to Military Sexual Trauma (MST).  Ms. Rossiter has published two papers in the area of women veterans health.   She is the Director of the Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at the University of South Florida College of Nursing.  Ms. Rossiter also serves as the College of Nursing Military Liaison and was instrumental in the development of the “Introduction to Military and Veteran Health” course as well as implementing military and veteran centric healthcare across curriculum.  In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Rossiter serves in the United States Air Force Reserves as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) where she is the IMA to the USAF Chief Nurse and Assistant Professor/Adjunct Faculty at the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland—the Nation’s only federal/military health science university.  Her awards/honors include Bob Woodward Jonas Veteran Healthcare Scholar, American Association of Nurse Practitioners State Award of Excellence state of Florida, Tampa Bay Business Journal Healthcare Hero, and Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.  She hopes her research and expertise on Women Veteran Health Issues, PTSD, MST, and educating nurses to care for veterans will support the vision of the Military and Veteran Health Expert Panel. 

 Katherine Simmonds

Katherine E. Simmonds, MS. MPH, WHNP-BC

Primary Care Expert Panel

Katherine Simmonds is a student in the PhD program in the College of Nursing at the University of Rhode Island. She is a certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and has provided sexual and reproductive health care to underserved populations for over twenty years, including in a variety of settings in greater Boston. She currently coordinates the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner track at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, where she is a Clinical Assistant Professor. Her scholarship has focused primarily on “unintended” pregnancy prevention and care, and she has co-authored more than a dozen articles and book chapters on various aspects of nursing care and education on this subject. She is the founder and currently serves as an Advisory Board member of the Reproductive Options Education Consortium for Nursing at Provide, is an active member of the Association for Reproductive Health Professionals, an advisor to Nursing Students for Choice, and a former Advisory Committee member of Clinicians for Choice. She co-founded and co-chaired the Special Interest Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health within the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and a current Jonas Scholar and CoreAlign Generative Fellow. Her policy interests include integrating high quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services into primary care in the United States, eliminating sexual and reproductive health disparities, and promoting reproductive justice. During her time as a Jonas Policy Scholar she will be working with the newly established Primary Care Expert Panel. 

Deborah Gross

Jonas Policy Scholar Senior Advisor

Deborah A. Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Dr. Deborah Gross is Senior Advisor for the American Academy of Nursing Jonas Health Policy Scholars Program.  She is also the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Endowed Professor in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and holds joint appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine, and the Department of Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Gross is best known for her work in promoting positive parent-child relationships and preventing behavior problems in preschool children from low-income neighborhoods. Previously, as the Associate Dean for Research and a department chair at Rush University College of Nursing, Dr. Gross and colleagues developed the Chicago Parent Program, an innovative parenting program that improves parenting behavior and reduces child behavior problems. The program has been used in a agencies serving low-income families across the country and is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Dr. Gross was a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, and among her many recognitions are the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research President's Award for outstanding research, induction in the Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame, and the American Academy of Nursing Edge Runner award honoring developers of model programs offering solutions to health care challenges.  Dr. Gross was recently appointed as an Ambassador of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research.  She has served on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, published more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and currently serves on the editorial boards of Research in Nursing & Health and Nursing Outlook.