News Story

Renowned Nurse Leaders to Serve as Visiting Distinguished Professors

NOVEMBER 19, 2018 – This coming semester, three renowned nurse leaders will join Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies as visiting distinguished professors: Ms. Maria Gomez (NHS’77), Dr. Patricia Grady (NHS’66), and Dr. Mary Wakefield.

“I am delighted that these nurse leaders have agreed to join us as we work to advance health equity and promote population health through teaching, practice, community engagement, and research and scholarship,” says Dr. Patricia Cloonan, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Maria Gomez, Patricia Grady, and Mary Wakefield pictured above the school logomarks

Pictured left to right are Ms. Maria Gomez, Dr. Patricia Grady, and Dr. Mary Wakefield.

Distinguished Leaders

Gomez earned her bachelor of science in nursing at Georgetown and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1988, she founded Mary’s Center, a community health center in the Washington, D.C., area that serves some 50,000 individuals on an annual basis. In 2012, she received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian honor awarded in the United States, at the White House. Gomez will continue her leadership role as president and CEO of Mary’s Center while sharing her expertise with the school in community and public health.

Grady earned her bachelor of science in nursing at Georgetown and her PhD in physiology from the University of Maryland. From 1995 until August 2018, Grady served as director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, where she is now director emerita. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Grady is a neuroscientist and leader in nursing science. She will engage with NHS on related areas.

“It’s an exciting prospect to return to Georgetown University, which provided such important grounding for me at the onset of my career,” Grady says. “So many things I’ve accomplished subsequently were influenced by those early days on the Hilltop. The exposure to national and international issues and perspectives, taking classes in nearly every school on campus, and the strong science grounding helped me be better prepared for later challenges and opportunities.”

‘Energy and Enthusiasm’

Wakefield served as a visiting distinguished professor at our school last year and will return again this year. Also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Wakefield previously served as the administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She will continue her work with NHS on health policy and health equity with a focus on rural and underserved communities.

“At Georgetown, I witnessed abundant faculty talent, which was matched by the energy and enthusiasm of students as they prepared to step into a range of careers that will shape next generation health care,” says Wakefield. “It became clear to me very quickly that in today’s Georgetown classrooms, one has a window on tomorrow’s health and health care. I’m delighted to return to the NHS, and I look forward to contributing to work underway that advances the health of rural and other underserved populations through health policy, stakeholder engagement, innovation and leadership.”  

Cloonan says she looks forward to working together with the visiting faculty to help advance the school’s initiatives. 

“Their expertise, developed over distinguished careers, will be an invaluable addition to our mission-oriented work,” says Cloonan. “I am particularly pleased that two of the three are nursing graduates of this school.”