Press Release

WSNA elects Justin Gill as first person of color and first male president

Gill, 33, is not only the first person of color and first male president in WSNA’s 115-year history, but he is also one of the youngest.

Gill Justin optimized
Justin Gill, WSNA president
Credit: Meryl Schenker

Seattle, June 28, 2023 – The Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) announced Wednesday the election of a new board of directors, including incoming President Justin Gill, an urgent care nurse practitioner at Providence Medical Group in Everett.

Gill, 33, is not only the first person of color and first male president in WSNA’s 115-year history, but he is also one of the youngest.

“I think it’s a good step having a male and person of color in this role,” Gill said. “Hopefully it gets a more diverse group of nurses seeing themselves in leadership roles.”

Gill has been WSNA’s vice-president since 2021. He is a former chair of the WSNA Legislative and Health Policy Council, a former American Nurses Association Political Action Committee board member, and a former adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington Bothell.

He said his priorities coming into office include building and unifying the nursing profession, pushing forward the importance and role of nursing as we come out of the pandemic, and moving forward on measures to ensure safe nurse staffing in our hospitals.

“I think we have a lot of opportunity to continue to make progress on staffing,” Gill said. “Staffing has long been an issue for me and continues to be a major issue now.”

Gill considers himself an advocate for nurses and wants to encourage other nurses to take part in pushing for policies that benefit nurses and their patients.

“I think that nurses really underestimate the value they bring and the legitimacy they bring to policy discussions,” Gill said. “Being the most trusted profession, we have a lot of leverage and a lot of political capital to make changes in a positive way.”

Also elected to the WSNA Board of Directors are the following registered nurses:

  • Julia Barcott, Vice President (Intensive Care Unit, Astria Toppenish Hospital, Toppenish).
  • Martha Goodall, Secretary-Treasurer (Intensive Care Unit, Providence Holy Family Hospital, Spokane).
  • Edna P. CortezChair, Labor Executive Council (Recovery/Perioperative Acute Care Unit, Seattle Children’s Hospital).
  • Erin Allison, Chair, Legislative and Health Policy Council (Emergency Department, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham).
  • Mikey Ann O’Sullivan, Chair, Professional Nursing & Health Care Council (Nursing Lab & Sim Director, Faculty, Spokane Community College).
  • Sara M. Bergenholtz, Member-at-large in staff nurse position (Emergency Department, Confluence Health, Wenatchee).
  • Kelsey Gellner, Member-at-large in staff nurse position (Seattle Children’s Hospital).
  • John Gustafson, Member-at-large (Retired, Medical-Surgery Unit, Poulsbo).
  • Pamela Pasquale, Member-at-large (Professional Foot Care Nurse, self-employed, Wenatchee).
  • Heather Stephen-Selby, Member-at-large (Director of Clinical Services, Healthpoint Community Health, Renton).

Board members are elected for two-year terms.

WSNA, founded in 1908, is the only organization dedicated exclusively to advancing the profession for more than 110,000 registered nurses in Washington state.