This program will provide you with three inspiring perspectives on how leadership principles can lead to an improved work environment.
To present outcome based information on leadership strategies for success.
ADA Past President
Director of University Nutrition
St. Louis, MO
Connie Diekman is a Nutrition Communications Consultant and Director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. Ms. Diekman is Past President of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Ms. Diekman served on the ADA House of Delegates Leadership Team from 2004 to 2006 and was a member of the ADA’s Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009. Previously, she served as a delegate from the state of Missouri to the ADA House of Delegates (governing body). She is a former Chair of the American Heart Association, Missouri affiliate.
Ms. Diekman is also a former media spokesperson for ADA. In this position, she appeared in countless radio and television interviews at the local level and on national shows, ranging from The TODAY Show to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Ms. Diekman is the voice of the “Eating Right” minute, which airs daily on WBBM radio in Chicago, and is a former television nutrition reporter with St Louis’ NBC affiliate and the local Fox affiliate.
Ms. Diekman earned her master’s degree in education counseling from the University of Missouri, St Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition, dietetics, from Fontbonne College (now University).
President and COO
Ninfa Saunders, RN, MSN, MBA, PhD, assumed the role of President and COO of Virtua Health in September 2010. She is responsible for all health care operations throughout Virtua’s four hospitals, two rehabilitation centers, senior services, home care, and ambulatory and outpatient services.
Dr . Saunders has more than 30 years of clinical nursing and hospital administrative experience. She earned a master of business administration degree from Emory University in Atlanta, a master of science degree in nursing from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Concordia College in Manila, Philippines. In 2006, Dr Saunders completed her doctorate in healthcare administration at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Saunders was recently appointed as Dean’s Professor at the Mayers School of Business, University Sciences of Pennsylvania. She is an Associate Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta and a Visiting Scholar for the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves on the faculty of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and GE Leadership Program at GE’s Jack Welch Learning Center in Crotonville, New York. In 2007, Dr. Saunders was appointed to the Advisory Board of Forbes magazine, and in 2008 she was nominated to the “Top 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.”
Director of Clinical Nutrition Services
Jane Ryan is a Registered Dietitian and Corporate Director of Clinical Nutrition for Virtua Health in New Jersey. She received a bachelor of science degree in dietetics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of science degree in management from the University of LaVerne in California. Dr. Ryan also earned a PhD in organization and management with a specialization in leadership from Capella University. Dr Ryan is an Adjunct Professor for Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey, where she instructs both nutrition and business courses. At Virtua Health, Dr. Ryan is responsible for the financial, clinical, quality, and regulatory aspects of nutrition services for four hospitals, two nursing homes, and a center for women. In addition, four ambulatory Centers for Nutrition and Diabetes are under her leadership. Dr Ryan is certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt and Coach and has facilitated numerous projects for Virtua over her 23 years of service for the organization. Some of the most recent projects include the design of the electronic medical record, wound care initiatives, development of a new leadership curriculum, and departmental design of new Virtua facilities.
Susan Roberts, MS, RD, LD, CNSD, completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as her dietetic internship training at Texas A&M University. She has been active in the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Dietitians in Nutrition Support (a practice group of the ADA), and the North Texas chapter of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition for many years.
She has worked at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas for the past 21 years and is currently employed by ARAMARK Healthcare. The first 14 years were concentrated in the areas of hematopoietic stem cell transplant and nutrition support. She has been in a management role for the past six years and also the Dietetic Internship Director for the past two years.
Ms Roberts’s focus is on elevating the recognition of the Registered Dietitian (RD) and the importance of nutrition therapy through enhancing the RD’s practice and demonstrating how this can benefit patients, other clinicians, and health care organizations.
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