2016 Jonas Policy Scholars

2016 Academy Jonas Policy Scholars



Jocelyn C. Anderson, PhD, RN, FNE-A, SANE-A

Violence Expert Panel

Jocelyn Anderson is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Anderson completed her undergraduate degree in nursing St. Cloud State University in 2008. Her graduate work was completed at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and included a Clinical Nurse Specialist Master’s degree as well as her PhD. Her doctoral research focused on the intersection of intimate partner violence, HIV and mental health symptoms among a sample of women living with HIV in Baltimore City. Additional areas of Anderson's research have included use of alternate light source technology in clinical forensic assessments and use of smartphone technology as a response to patients who have experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence. She has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University Center for Global Health and the Sigma Theta Tau Nu Beta Chapter. Anderson is an internationally certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE-A) and practices clinically at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, where she provides medical forensic care for patients who have experienced physical or sexual violence. Anderson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International and the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International. She participates actively in the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), serving on the Board of Directors for IAFN's Maryland/DC Chapter. Anderson’s also served as a Campus Leadership Fellow for Futures Without Violence during the 2015-2016. During her time as a Jonas Policy Fellow, Dr. Anderson will be working with the Violence Expert panel and hopes her work will contribute to improving health care for patients who have experienced violence.



Veronica Barcelona de Mendoza, PhD, MSN, RN, APHN-BC

Genomic Nursing & Health Care Expert Panel

Veronica Barcelona de Mendoza is a nurse-epidemiologist with a focus on public health and health disparities in birth outcomes in minority populations. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the Yale School of Nursing, working on the Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure Study with Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor (PI).

Dr. Barcelona de Mendoza has over fifteen years of experience working in a variety of maternal and child health settings, including a local health department in Arlington, VA and as a consultant with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Latin America. She has master’s degrees in Community Health Nursing and Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and is ANCC Certified as an Advanced Public Health Nurse. Dr. Barcelona de Mendoza earned her doctorate in Reproductive Epidemiology at Tulane University. She has published 13 peer-reviewed manuscripts with a focus on the areas of acculturation, social determinants of health in pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes, and preterm birth and DNA methylation and has presented nationally and internationally on these topics.

Dr. Barcelona de Mendoza’s research interests include perinatal epidemiology, health disparities, and epigenetics. She is currently investigating how DNA methylation is associated with preterm birth and subsequent chronic illnesses such as hypertension among African American women. Through the utilization of multi-omic methods, she hopes to contribute to the science on health disparities and guide policy and clinical practice to improve maternal and child health. She recently completed the NIH’s Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institute of Nursing Research in June of 2016, and will be participating on the Genetic Nursing & Health Care Expert Panel.



Desiree Bertrand, MSN, RNC

Cultural Competence & Health Equity Expert Panel

Desiree Bertrand is a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She received her BSN from the University of the Virgin Islands (1995) and a MSN in Nursing Education from Midwestern State University (2002). She is currently a PhD candidate at The Medical University of South Carolina and is a is a recent recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Program (2014).

Ms. Bertrand nursing experience includes, acute care (Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, Nursery and Medical/Surgical), travel nursing, home health care, military nursing (honorably discharged as a Captain), nursing education, and nursing research.

Ms. Bertrand is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of the Virgin Islands. Her research interests are women's health, health disparities, and intimate partner violence. She also serves as Co-Principal Investigator on a NIMHD funded study: The Empowered Sisters Project – Risk Reduction Study, which is conducted under The Caribbean Exploratory Research Center, University of the Virgin Islands, School of Nursing.



Jordon Bosse, MS, RN

Primary Care Expert Panel

Jordon D. Bosse is a PhD candidate in the College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is predominantly interested in the health and health disparities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) individuals, with a focus on mental health. His dissertation will focus on transgender identity among emerging adults, sibling relationship perception, and mental health. Mr. Bosse received a BA from Goddard College where he conducted a mixed-methods research project entitled, Surviving the Fire: Risk Factors and Protective Factors in the Lives of Maine LGBTQ Youth. He received his BS in Nursing from the University of Southern Maine and his MS in Nursing Education from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.

Mr. Bosse was a recipient of the Hluchyj Fellowship in his first year at UMass through which he conducted a human factors analysis of a university health center evaluating intrapersonal, environmental, and technology-related barriers to providing safe and appropriate care to LGBTQ patients. He was also a training fellow at the Fenway Institute’s Summer Institute in LGBT Population Health, during which he conducted a secondary data analysis regarding determinants of healthcare utilization among transgender and gender nonconforming college students in the US. He has presented various work in posters and papers related to LGBTQ health at local, regional, national, and international conferences as well as through invited lectures. Mr. Bosse has received two graduate student leadership awards while at UMass Amherst, and is an active member of the Social Justice and Diversity Committee. He is the co-founder and co-leader of the LGBTQI Health and Health Disparities Research Interest Group of the Eastern Nursing Research Society and a member of the social media and marketing committee of the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing (INDEN).

Mr. Bosse is interested in learning how to collect, identify, and disseminate evidence that can be used to influence policy makers’ decisions with the potential to decrease health inequities in the LGBTQ population as well as influencing guidelines on how to best prepare healthcare professionals to collect sexual orientation and gender identity related data in research and practice. He hopes that his work with the Primary Care Expert Panel, will provide him with the knowledge and skills to become a leader in advocating for better access to appropriate healthcare for the LGBTQ population.


Melissa Kurtz, MSN, MA, RN

Breast Feeding Expert Panel

Melissa Kurtz is a doctoral candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Her dissertation focuses on perceptions of parenting and decision making for NICU parents. This work is funded through the Southern Nursing Research Society, Eastern Nursing Research Society, Sigma Theta Tau International, the Heilbrunn Family Center, and the March of Dimes. From 2014-15, she was a NIH-funded TL 1 Pre-doctoral Clinical Research Training awardee. Ms. Kurtz’s current clinical practice is in the Johns Hopkins NICU. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Florida and a joint Masters Degree from Yale University in the Schools of Nursing and Divinity (Ethics Concentration). After graduating from Yale, she went on to complete a two-year fellowship in bioethics at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics where she facilitated complex health care discussions between patients, families, and health care teams.

Ms. Kurtz’s expertise in the ethical care and decision making processes for critically ill infants and their families comes out of her 16 years of clinical work in the NICU. She has authored eight peer-reviewed publications, a chapter on the impact of ethical conflict and dilemmas on nurses, co-authored an American Nurses Association pamphlet on moral distress, and served as a contributor to the revised Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life (Oxford University Press, 2013). Since 2011, she has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Medical Ethics Advisor Newsletter and she has served as an independent reviewer for two peer-reviewed journals, Circulation and The Hastings Center Report. During her time as a Jonas Policy Scholar, Ms. Kurtz will be working with the breastfeeding expert panel, enabling her to continue her advocacy for critically ill infants and families.



Stephen McGhee, MSc, BSc, PGCE, DPSN, RNT, RN, VR

Military & Veterans Health Expert Panel

Stephen McGhee is Director of Global Programs and a Doctoral student within the College of Nursing (CON) at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Originally from Scotland which is part of the United Kingdom (UK), Stephen moved to the United States (US) with his wife in 2014. Prior to moving to the US, Stephen held a faculty position at the University of Stirling and was a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department (ED). Stephen has been a member of the British Armed Forces since 1994 and is now at Lt Col in the British Army Medical Services Reserve. Stephen’s main research areas are veterans and military nursing research, alcohol consumption and the role of the ED in screening and Nurse Education. Stephen has served on both steering committees of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Defense Nursing Forum and Defense Nursing Professoriate. In total, Stephen has published 13 peer reviewed papers and is currently an International Advisor to the journal Nurse Education Today (NET). Stephen will be supporting the work of the Military and Veterans Care Expert Panel and hopes that his International experience can help support future Academy policy development in order to enhance the care of those from this community who may have very unique needs.


Deborah A. Gross, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Jonas Policy Scholar Senior Advisor

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.