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Penn’s Rebecca Clark, PhD, Joins Betty Irene Moore Fellowship Program at UC Davis Nursing School

Rebecca Clark, PhD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor of Perinatal Nursing, Midwifery, and Women’s Health at Penn Nursing and a Nurse Scientist at Pennsylvania Hospital, is one of 16 nurse scientists accepted to the fourth cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. She is the first nurse scientist from Penn to be accepted to this program.

This fellowship program, funded by an initial $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and an additional $7.5 million grant awarded this year to expand the program’s capacity, recognizes early- to mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship. As part of the three-year fellowship program, fellows receive $450,000 to conduct an innovative project or study with the potential to address a gap in knowledge, meet a vital need, alter care delivery or design a new solution to advance health. Per Clark, “Communication is a leading root cause of preventable maternal morbidity and mortality, and a critical part of your experience when you give birth. Sports teams watch video recordings of their games to get even better. We plan to use the same method to help our high-performing health team up our communication game during maternity stays to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

“Penn Nursing could not be more enthusiastic in its support of Dr. Clark. Her leadership, productivity, and impact at this point in her career is impressive. Further, her role as a clinician-educator within Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Medicine provides her with the resources to maximize impact to improve birth outcomes in the practice and academic settings. Dr. Clarke’s potential is limitless,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We are confident she will immerse herself in all the Fellowship has to offer and leverage it to develop and grow her research and leadership skills.”

“Since arriving at Pennsylvania Hospital in July 2021, Dr. Rebecca Clark has proven to be a capable, innovative, and highly productive early-career researcher. We cannot overstate Rebecca’s value to Pennsylvania Hospital Nursing. She is insightful, thoughtful, creative, and inclusive; these attributes make her approachable and inspire our nurses at all levels of practice to get involved in research and elevate the science of our practice,” said Melissa Zak, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer at Pennsylvania Hospital. “We appreciate Rebecca’s passion and advocacy for ensuring equity, belonging, and inclusion in healthcare delivery; we are thrilled that her participation in the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship will help further her work toward reducing racially disparate birth outcomes.”

In addition to the project, the fellowship program features a hybrid online and classroom curriculum designed and taught in partnership with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and national experts to enhance leadership and innovation capacity, strengthen strategic thinking and collaborative skills, expand professional networks, develop entrepreneurial skills, and propel innovative ideas to fruition. A mentor selected by the fellow and an additional mentor provided by the national program office round out the educational experience.

“Our fellows go on a unique journey of self-discovery during their three years in the fellowship program in which they delve deeper into their roles as leaders and discover methods for spearheading change and promoting more equitable health care practices for their populations of interest,” said Heather M. Young, national program director for the fellowship and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis dean emerita. “These fellows are the next generation of nursing leaders, and they have immense potential to transform the nursing profession and improve health equity and health care services.”

The fellowship program is made possible by Betty Irene Moore’s passion to advance nursing with the goal of better outcomes for individuals, families and communities. The foundation seeks to prepare nurses as collaborative leaders with the skills and confidence to inspire others, enact change and challenge the status quo. With the creation of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, the foundation supports nurse leaders who take ideas to scale that advance high-quality, high-value care and optimal health outcomes.