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Updated 10:00 AM July 10, 2006




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Oregon's Potempa new dean of nursing

President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Teresa Sullivan have named Kathleen Potempa as the next dean for the School of Nursing. Her appointment has been reviewed with the Board of Regents Personnel, Compensation and Governance Committee and is effective Oct. 1, pending approval of the full board. Potempa currently serves as vice president and dean of the School of Nursing at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland.
(Photo courtesy Kathleen Potempa)

"Dean Potempa is a creative and innovative leader who will bring U-M a wealth of ideas for advancing nursing research, clinical practice and interdisciplinary collaboration," Sullivan says. "Her move to Michigan is wonderful news for all of us, but especially for the students and faculty of the School of Nursing."

Over the course of her career Potempa has filled leadership roles within health systems, academic nursing, interdisciplinary research teams and university executive management. At OHSU she has developed and expanded academic programs in research through recruitment of new faculty and establishment of centers of excellence. She has supported growth of the clinical mission of the school and led a statewide effort to transform undergraduate nursing education in Oregon.

"Provost Sullivan and I are confident that Dr. Potempa will promote the School of Nursing as a national leader in education, research and practice," Coleman says. "Her experience with faculty recruitment, and with development of programs that successfully bridge the academic and clinical experiences, will serve the University of Michigan well."

Potempa has been the dean at OHSU since 1996 and, in 2002, was promoted to vice president and dean of the school, in recognition of her expanded responsibilities for the research, practice and educational mission on all four OHSU campuses. She also provides leadership in the OHSU health system, including oversight of the professional development of nursing, and she has responsibility for all educational outreach programs in the state of Oregon.

"Dr. Potempa assumes the leadership of the School of Nursing at a time of great challenge for nursing professionals in the health care environment," says Dr. Robert P. Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs. "She brings a deep understanding of organizational change in modern health care systems and the academy that will benefit both the school and Health System."

Although Potempa will be new to U-M, she is no stranger to the Michigan area. She received her nursing diploma from Providence Hospital School of Nursing (Detroit), her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Detroit, and her master's of science and doctor in nursing science degrees from Rush University in Chicago. She has held faculty and administrative appointments in nursing at Rush and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"I am very excited to join the University of Michigan School of Nursing and the university community," Potempa says. "It is an honor to join the faculty of this prestigious university, and to join the School of Nursing with its tradition of excellence."

Potempa's research focuses on fatigue, exercise and cardiovascular fitness. Her most recent project, Transforming Primary Care: The Healthy Aging Project, was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

She has authored numerous professional publications, presented more than 70 papers around the world, and has completed a visiting professorship in Beijing, China. Potempa has served on expert panels and committees, including NIH review panels. She currently is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Professional Nursing.

Potempa has served since 1997 on American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN) task forces and committees, including service as chair, and as a member of the Task Force on Distance Education and Nursing, the Doctoral Conference Planning Committee, the Task Force on Hallmarks of Professional Practice and the Nominating Committee. She has been a member of the American Academy of Nursing Finance Committee and the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice.

Potempa is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Rush University in 2003 and the Oregon Medical Research Foundation Mentor Award in 2002.

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