The Connell-Jones Endowed Chair in Nursing and Patient Care Research will continue to elevate the standard of nursing, patient care and research.

Gaurdia Banister, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, executive director of the Institute for Patient Care and director of the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, was honored as the inaugural incumbent of the Connell-Jones Endowed Chair in Nursing and Patient Care Research during a celebration on June 26, 2017, at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation.

“The demographics of this country are changing and it is important to provide culturally competent care to patients of all walks of life.”

Funded through the generosity of Mrs. Margot C. Connell, this endowed chair is now the second in the Department of Nursing and Patient Care. It will help advance the nursing profession and patient and family-centered care at Mass General through a diverse range of research programs. A longtime supporter of Mass General, Mrs. Connell previously funded the Connell Research Scholars and Connell Ethics Fellows, two programs that have helped elevate the role of nurses as scientists.

“We share the belief that investing in nursing research will not only advance knowledge but, more importantly, will lead to innovative new approaches to delivering patient care, which will result in lowering costs and improved patient outcomes,” Mrs. Connell said.

Reaffirming Clinical Excellence for All

Before coming to Mass General in 2007, Dr. Banister served as the senior vice president of patient care services at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, a community hospital with a special focus on underserved populations.

Today at Mass General, Dr. Banister continues to exercise her passion for providing the best care possible to diverse patient populations while promoting interdisciplinary research to enhance the field of nursing. A committed educator, Dr. Banister is an associate professor at UMass Boston’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and a professor at the MGH Institute for Health Professions.

Dr. Banister shared how this chair provides invaluable time and resources to devote to mentorship in order to enhance care for a range of patients. “One of my areas of focus are students so that they understand the importance of providing exemplary patient care,” Dr. Banister said. “The demographics of this country are changing and it is important to provide culturally competent care to patients of all walks of life.”

“Gaurdia’s sense of community is inclusive and inspiring,” Dr. Ives Erickson said.

Inclusive and Inspiring

The evening also shined a spotlight on Dorothy Jones, EdD, RNC, ANP, FAAN, the first director and senior nurse scientist of the Munn Center and professor of nursing at the Boston College Connell School of Nursing, one of the chair’s namesakes. “Dottie’s passion for nursing practice, her commitment to mentoring the next generation, her scholarly contributions to the profession and her fundamental belief that all patients and families deserve exemplary care make her name an extraordinary fit for this chair,” Dr. Banister said.

Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, chief nurse and senior vice president for Patient Care Services, praised Dr. Banister as a visionary leader. “Gaurdia’s sense of community is inclusive and inspiring,” Dr. Ives Erickson said. “And her sense of bringing scholarly work together under one umbrella is truly incredible.”

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