Linda Groah, RN, MSN, CNOR, CNAA, FAAN

Linda K. Groah, RN, MSN, CNOR, CNAA, FAAN, has been the CEO/executive director of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) since March 2007.

A veteran perioperative nursing executive, Linda has devoted her career to perioperative nursing practice, education, and executive management. Her previous professional positions include international healthcare consultation, chief operating officer of Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, Calif, nurse executive for Kaiser Foundation Hospital-San Francisco and Kaiser Foundation Hospital-South San Francisco, Calif; director of nursing OR-PACU-Surgery Center at the University of California San Francisco Hospitals and Clinics; and OR director at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Ga.

Throughout her career, Linda has focused on improving patient safety. At Kaiser Permanente-San Francisco, she introduced and piloted several patient safety initiatives including walking rounds for administration and the implementation of the “Just Culture” concept, an environment where actions are analyzed to ensure that individual accountability is established and appropriate actions are taken. Just Culture is now a national healthcare standard.

Linda authored the first textbook in the US that included periOperative nursing roles and functions; the innovative nursing roles of nurses in the operating room were piloted and tested at the University of California-San Francisco and have been replicated in clinical ladders concepts across the country. She has authored numerous articles for trade journals and text books on subjects ranging from clinical perioperative nursing, to administrative issues in management and leadership in health care and nursing.

Awarded AORN’s Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing in 1989, Linda was inducted in 2000 as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. In 2005, she received Nursing Spectrum magazine’s California and US Nursing Excellence Award for Leadership. In 2006, she was named one of San Francisco’s 100 most influential women in business.  In 2011 Linda was named by Becker’s as one of the top 10 Leaders in the Area of Clinical Quality.

Linda currently is the immediate past treasurer for the Nursing Organization Alliance, serves as the Vice Chair of the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care.  She also is a member of the editorial board of Nursing Spectrum.

Lillee Smith Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN

Currently Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for VHA Inc, Gelinas has 35 years of experience in healthcare including five years in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. The National Patient Safety Foundation recently named VHA vice president and chief nursing officer Lillee Gelinas, RN, MSN, FAAN, to its board of directors.

Formerly a VHA shareholder hospital CNO, she has served at VHA since 1986, supporting the improvement of hospital clinical and economic performance through leadership, culture, healthcare quality and safety strategies.

VHA supports the achievement of clinical excellence for its hospitals with a practice improvement model that focuses on qualitative research and design principles which drive superior performance. Gelinas works closely with the VHA staff professionals including clinicians, engineers, designers and anthropologists who implement that model.

Gelinas facilitates VHA’s national and regional networks with Chief Nursing Officers and nursing leaders, and is a moderator for vhatv broadcasts and webinars. She serves as the VHA national nurse planner for educational programs and assures adherence to American Nurse Credentialing Center guidelines for over 200 programs annually.

Examples of her areas of focus which have touched thousands of VHA’s clinicians and senior leaders include the VHA Leadership Conference, the vhatv Nursing Leadership Excellence Series, VHA’s Return to Care, and the VHA Foundation Healthcare Safety Network.

Numerous national organizations throughout the United States call upon her expertise, including the American Nurses Association, The Joint Commission, Institute of Medicine, National Patient Safety Foundation, the National e-Health Collaborative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  For the National Quality Forum (NQF), she co-chaired the Nursing Care Performance Measures Project with the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Mary Naylor, which resulted in the establishment 15 national voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care in the United States. She is currently a member of the NQF National Priorities Partnership Care Coordination Workgroup.

A Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), she serves on The Academy’s Workforce Commission and the Informatics Expert Panel. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of American Nurse Today magazine.

She was appointed to the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a Federal Advisory Committee, as the “consensus nominee” for the nursing profession, nominated by the American Nurses Association, and served from 2005-2008.  AHIC, a commission authorized by the White House under former President George Bush, was charged with promoting Information Technology adoption in healthcare within 10 years to lower costs and enhance quality.

Gelinas attended Louisiana State University, earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in nursing, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania where she also studied at the Wharton School of Business.