Mary Pat Thomas named director of the Power of Nursing at Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness

Mary Pat Thomas, director of the Power of Nursing program in the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI).

The Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI) at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine has named Mary Pat Thomas director of the Power of Nursing, effective Dec. 5, 2016.

Thomas succeeds Marty Jessup, who joined RISHI in February 2015.

“Marty’s outstanding tenure as Power of Nursing director has been noteworthy for setting a new standard and many achievements under her leadership,” said Evangeline Andarsio, M.D., director of RISHI. “In October 2016, Marty was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the profession. We are enormously grateful for Marty’s service and leadership to RISHI.”

Thomas has extensive clinical experience in hospital nursing and transformational leadership. She retired from Premier Health’s Learning Institute in Dayton in December 2015 as the clinical nursing educator for OB/women services. Since then, she served as adjunct consultant with Creative Health Care Management Transforming Cultures Through Relationships. As a facilitator, coach and mentor for new facilitators of its Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring, Thomas focuses on creating an environment that allows participants to discover what matters most in caring for self, colleagues, patients and their families.

“We are excited to have Mary Pat assume this new role,” Andarsio said. “With more than 44 years of nursing experience, she brings considerable knowledge and leadership as well as a kind heart and a friendly, passionate nature.”

Thomas is a registered nurse and has a master’s degree from the Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health. She is board certified as an advanced holistic nurse (AHN-BC) and is a certified healing touch practitioner (CHTP). Thomas is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing and coordinates an annual Holistic Nursing Conference sponsored by Wright State University’s Zeta Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. She is the Dayton Area Chapter leader for the American Holistic Nurses Association and serves on the Boonshoft School of Medicine’s advisory committee for the Medical-Spirituality Conference.

The Power of Nursing is a 15-hour elective course that utilizes discovery model guidelines for nursing students and graduate nurses. The course enables the formation of a genuine community of inquiry that encourages an in-depth sharing of experience, beliefs, aspirations and personal truths. Participants and course directors meet on an equal footing and interact in a setting that supports honest reflection and personal discussion on foundational perspectives and values in nursing.

The curriculum is also being utilized in community-based healthcare organizations to train new graduates and experienced nurses.

The Power of Nursing is unique and significant because it emphasizes the fundamentals of successful nursing practice, specifically reconnecting with the human elements of deep listening, presence, acceptance, loss, grief, healing, courage and self care.

The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is a community-based medical school affiliated with seven major teaching hospitals in the Dayton area. The medical school educates the next generation of physicians by providing medical education for more than 444 medical students and 443 residents and fellows in 13 specialty areas and 10 subspecialties. Its research enterprise encompasses centers in the basic sciences, epidemiology, public health and community outreach programs. More than 1,500 of the medical school’s 3,229 alumni remain in medical practice in Ohio.

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