Announcing a Leadership Transition at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies

May 9, 2019

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

I write to share important news about our School for Nursing and Health Studies (SNHS). Patricia (Pat) Cloonan, Ph.D., RN, Dean of the SNHS, has informed me that she will conclude her term of service as Dean and return to the faculty at the end of this summer. Pat has provided leadership for the SNHS since 2014, first in an interim capacity and for the last three years as Dean of SNHS. I am deeply grateful to Pat for her steadfast commitment to our Georgetown community, and I wish to express my most sincere appreciation for all she has done for the SNHS community over the past five years.

During her time as Dean, Pat strengthened both our undergraduate and graduate programs, advanced our commitment to academic excellence, and oversaw the launch of several new academic programs, including the Executive Master of Science in Health Systems Administration, the Clinical Nurse Leader Master of Science, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, and the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice. During her tenure, applications to the SNHS have risen to record- breaking numbers, and she has also provided tremendous leadership in growing our online nursing education program, which has enabled more than 1,000 advanced nursing leaders to obtain degrees over the last eight years, many of whom have gone on to provide critically needed care in medically underserved areas.

Pat has been deeply engaged in strengthening our work to promote health equity, and better understand the social determinants that have perpetuated health inequality for vulnerable communities on a local and national level. She has continued to pursue her scholarly work on improving health literacy and developing equitable systems of care. She directs a funded project focused on developing new models for engaging community health workers in the District of Columbia. Under her leadership, graduates of our SNHS have pursued careers oriented towards service, guided by an enduring commitment to health access, equity, and quality.

Prior to her tenure as Dean, Pat had already been a distinguished member of our Georgetown community for more than 20 years. As chair and associate professor of Health Systems Administration, she helped launch the Georgetown University Open School Chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, leading students through projects related to quality improvement and patient safety. For many years, she also co-led the Health Care Leadership Institute with colleagues from the McDonough School of Business. She has served on a wide range of community boards, including MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Over the course of her decades with our University, Pat has left an indelible mark on our students and faculty who are dedicated to pursuing careers in healthcare. She has grounded our work in the conviction that health is inextricably linked to the ability to flourish, and has inspired many of our students to not only provide care to individual patients, but to strive to enact system-wide change on a policy level. In 2014, Pat was recognized with the Georgetown University Medical Center’s Outstanding Service Award. In 2018, she received the Distinguished Healthcare Leader Award from the National Association of Health Services Executives.

In the time ahead, Dr. Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of our School of Medicine, and I will share a plan for interim leadership as we begin a search for Pat’s successor. I look forward to the opportunity to come together as a community and recognize the many ways that Pat has enriched and strengthened our School of Nursing and Health Studies, and our University.

Please join me in expressing our appreciation to Pat, for her tireless efforts and her continuing dedication to our Georgetown community, as she prepares to conclude her service as Dean.


John J. DeGioia