Board of Directors

This story was published in the Fall 2021 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

This story appears in Passing the baton.

The Board has many respon­si­bil­i­ties, including ensuring the prior­i­ties adopted by the WSNA General Assembly are incor­po­rated in the strategic plan for each biennium. The Board also approves the budget for WSNA and appoints and reviews the execu­tive director. Board members act as ambas­sadors for WSNA, repre­senting the associ­a­tion to the member­ship and other organi­za­tions as appropriate.

The chairs of the Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare, Legisla­tive and Health Policy Council, and Profes­sional Nursing and Health Care Council are elected separately and serve as full members of the Board by virtue of their offices. Two of the director-at-large positions must be filled by non-manage­rial, non-super­vi­sory, direct patient care providers repre­sented by WSNA for collec­tive bargaining.

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Lynnette Vehrs

IENA, Spokane

My top priority while on the board of direc­tors is racism. It was one of the big issues that were revealed during the pandemic. It has always been there, but I now have eyes and ears to try to recog­nize it and address it. I hope to be a little bit better and more evolved.”

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Justin Gill

NWRNA, Bothell

One perspec­tive I feel that I bring to the board is the fact that I still consider myself a newer’ member of the profes­sion. Our health care system, workforce and care delivery systems will face unique challenges moving forward. We can learn from our approaches to solving tough problems from the past, but the next gener­a­tion of nurses needs to be engaged and active in order to tackle problems of the future.”

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Martha Goodall

IENA, Mead
I will bring a unique perspec­tive to the board because I am always willing to look at and try to under­stand others’ opinions and ideas. The best answer to a problem usually comes from a group effort.”

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Chair, Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare
Julia Barcott

CWRNA, Yakima
We’ve seen how coming together as nurses during the pandemic, and before, can really change the lives of our patients and in our commu­ni­ties. I don’t want people who aren’t nurses making decisions about nursing issues. It’s impor­tant for WSNA members to join elected and appointed bodies because these get you closer to being in the room where it happens.’”

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Chair, Profes­sional Nursing and Health Care Council
Chuck Cumiskey

RONA, Olympia
I spent 27 years in the Army Reserve and retired as a Colonel Nurse Corp Officer. I found my Army career very rewarding and the service to our country an essen­tial part of being an American. I also played football in high school and college, which fostered my compet­i­tive mindset and outlook on life. These life events strongly influ­enced my leader­ship philos­ophy and will provide a unique perspec­tive to the board.”

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Director At-Large
Phoebe Dang Lim-Vuong

KCNA, Kent
There seems to be an enormous chasm for those in the field being able to join our efforts to help create supportive health care policies, as nurses already commit themselves in clinics and hospi­tals. I would love to push an initia­tive in getting my fellow young nurses and their passion for patient care into our fold and helping to drive the much-needed health care policies supporting both nurses and the patients.”

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Director At-Large
John Gustafson

RONA, Poulsbo
My top priority on the board is to help nurses in Washington state achieve safe nurse staffing. I will stand up, speak out, show up and do whatever it takes to improve staffing issues because doing so will have a huge, positive impact on the reten­tion of nurses and quality of patient care.”

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Director At-Large
Heather Stephen-Selby

KCNA, Renton
I had a passion for nursing very early on in my child­hood; I had multiple health issues and was cared for by compas­sionate nurses who put their patients first. My mother went to nursing school, only to find she fainted at any sign of blood — but shared her love of caring for others with me. My father’s great, great grand­mother was one of the nurses who went to Crimea to work with Florence Nightin­gale. I became a nurse because it is in my DNA!”

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Director At-Large, Staff Nurse
Sara Bergen­holtz

North Central Region, Wenatchee
In all the history of nursing, I do not think there has been a moment where nurses were so primed to stand together against those who think to utilize our time, skills, knowl­edge and passion. You can run a hospital with a handful of physi­cians, but you can’t run a hospital without enough nurses. I would like to see us own that fact and use it to stand together across the state.”

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Director At-Large, Staff Nurse
Martha Galvez

South­east Region, Pasco
Because I continue to work at the bedside, I feel I can give a realistic and true perspec­tive of the day-to-day challenges of nursing and how it relates to safety of patients and job satis­fac­tion. So many times, the people making decisions that affect nursing are discon­nected from bedside nursing or have very little hands-on patient care experience.”

Passing the baton