UC Davis Appoints Heather Young as Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing; Young to Lead New Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing

Photo: Heather Young
Heather Young will lead a new school of nursing at UC Davis.

The University of California Board of Regents this week approved the appointment of Heather Young, a nurse leader, educator and scientist from Portland, Ore., as associate vice chancellor for nursing at UC Davis.

Young, a nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health, will lead a new school of nursing at UC Davis. The UC Board of Regents, which approved Young's appointment on Monday, is now reviewing the nursing school. Upon the regents' anticipated approval of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, Young will also be named dean of the school.

Young currently serves as the Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor, director of Rural Health Research Development and director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

"Heather's record demonstrates her ability to inspire the kind of collaboration essential for creating the novel, interprofessional learning environment we are seeking to establish at a new school of nursing," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "She has a national reputation for scientific rigor and creativity. Her notable energy level will be of tremendous value in shaping an innovative curriculum, recruiting top faculty and securing support for the school."

UC Davis is establishing the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing with a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest philanthropic commitment in the nation in support of nursing education. The UC Davis School of Nursing will bear the name of visionary philanthropist Betty Irene Moore, who with her husband established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The school anticipates accepting its first class of 50 candidates for the Master of Science in Nursing program and eight candidates for the doctoral program in the fall of 2009. Candidates for the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree will enroll within the following two years.

Graduates will serve as educators, researchers and leaders of health-care teams that advance patient-care quality and safety, prevent and treat disease, and improve access to health care in an ever-changing and increasingly complex national health-care system.

"The emphasis at UC Davis on reaching out to medically underserved communities, improving patient safety and collaborating across multiple disciplines is a great match for my own interests and priorities," Young said. "UC Davis has embarked on a course to create a different kind of nursing school, one that goes beyond traditional boundaries, and I am thrilled to be a part of it."

Young is a UC Davis alumna who graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She later earned an associate's degree in nursing from Sacramento City College, and then a bachelor's degree in nursing from Southern Oregon State College. Young then went to the University of Washington, where she received a master's degree in nursing with a specialty in gerontology and, later, a doctorate in nursing science.

Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor of human health sciences at UC Davis and dean of the School of Medicine, said, "Heather's breadth of innovative leadership successes, knowledge of nursing and passion for a healthier world make her a terrific match for our desire to impart to our future students a complex array of knowledge and skills that transcend those of traditional nursing programs.

"She is the kind of leader who will prepare our nursing graduates to take executive management and leadership positions in a range of health-care organizations," Pomeroy added. "They will be able to apply their nursing perspectives to lead public health, health policy, health research and other fields critical to the future of our nation."

Young's extensive research has focused on environments that promote healthy aging, with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health-care systems for older adults. She has played an instrumental role in shaping long-term care policies in Washington state and beyond through her evaluation research. In addition, she has been a co-investigator on several longitudinal studies of family care giving, one of which explored long-term care decision-making and care giving among Japanese-American families.

Her current research focuses on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings; technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals; and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults. She has published more than two dozen studies and secured millions of dollars in grant support.

With a teaching career that has reached both undergraduate and graduate-level students, Young has led students through clinical, theory, research and gerontological courses. She also has regularly participated in community education, bringing the academic perspective to health-care providers in the field.

In addition to her extensive academic and research background, Young also has experience as a hospital nurse practicing in the operating room and critical intensive care units, and as a nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care.

Ann Bonham, executive associate dean at the School of Medicine and the interim associate vice chancellor for nursing education, said, "Heather is precisely the kind of dynamic and visionary nursing leader we were seeking, someone who will direct the creation of our transformative nursing science program and shares UC Davis' longstanding commitment to diversity and community. She is a well-regarded national leader who welcomes the opportunity for calculated risks and new frontiers."

Claire Fagin, RN, Ph.D., who serves as chairwoman for the UC Davis nursing school's national advisory board and is professor and dean emeritus for the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, shares Bonham's enthusiasm for Young's appointment.

"Heather's experience as a nurse leader, educator and researcher in addition to her energetic personality make her a perfect fit for this school," Fagin said. "She is the leader we need to build a phenomenal School of Nursing that will impact nursing throughout the country."

Once established, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis will join professional schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, law, business and education. In addition to the funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a mix of public funding and additional philanthropic support from other donors will be required to realize the long-term vision for the school.

"We are very pleased and excited that Heather Young will be the dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing," said George Bo-Linn, chief program officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. "She brings the perfect mix of transformative leadership, creative energy and academic credentials to help realize the vision for the highest caliber of nursing leadership, education and research."

The new school aims to foster nursing excellence through a comprehensive educational model that incorporates scientific rigor and immersive, interprofessional education for its students. The school will provide a comprehensive educational opportunity that couples academic rigor common to both nursing and medicine, with interdisciplinary educational opportunities in basic sciences, humanities, public health, business administration and information technology.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing will be part of the UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing UC Davis School of Medicine, the 577-bed acute-care hospital and clinical services of UC Davis Medical Center, and the 800-member physician group known as UC Davis Medical Group. To learn more about the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, visit the web site at http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/nursing.

As associate vice chancellor for nursing, Young will be paid an annual salary of $350,000. Additional details about her compensation are available at: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/compensation/salaryactions.html.

About the University of California, Davis

UC Davis, which celebrates its centennial this year, is one of the nation's top public research universities, with a tradition of service to the region, the nation and the world. UC Davis is a pioneer in interdisciplinary problem-solving, and its four colleges, five professional schools, more than 100 academic majors and 86 graduate programs provide a comprehensive, rigorous and research-based learning environment for students, faculty and researchers. The 30,000-student university has its main Davis campus in the Sacramento Valley, near the state capital and San Francisco Bay Area. The UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Medical Center are located on the Sacramento campus near downtown.

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Established in 2000, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation operates proactively in three specific program areas: Environmental Conservation, Science and the San Francisco Bay Area, where a significant and measurable impact can be achieved. Distinct initiatives under each program employ a portfolio of grants and other activities to achieve targeted, large-scale outcomes. Achievement at this scale requires strong partnerships with communities, government entities, other nonprofit organizations and the private sector. The Foundation's Environmental Conservation Program includes the Andes Amazon, Marine Conservation and Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiatives and its commitment to Conservation International. Its Science Program includes its Marine Microbiology Initiative and its commitment to California Institute of Technology. Its San Francisco Bay Area Program includes the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative and support for Bay Area land protection and science and technology museums. The Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 billion dollars in grants since its inception through 2006. For more information, visit http://www.moore.org or contact Chris Pallato at Chris.Pallato@Moore.org.

Media Resources

Lisa Lapin, Executive administration, (530) 752-9842, lalapin@ucdavis.edu

Jenny Carrick, UC Davis Health System, (916) 734-2543, jennette.carrick@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

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