Board of Directors

 
2018 President  
Andrea Owens 
MSNEd, RN, CRNI,  
VA-BC

 

Andrea began her nursing career in adult critical care where she practiced for nearly 15 years and attained the distinction of Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Following her tenure in critical care, her clinical practice has taken her through infusion therapy, clinical education, school nursing, nursing leadership and vascular access. Andrea has been an active volunteer in her personal and professional life and has held positions of leadership in multiple organizations. She remains an active ACLS Instructor for the AHA, is a Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI), Vascular Access-Board Certified (VA-BC) and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). Andrea is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Marian University, Leighton School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN. Establishing an interdisciplinary vascular access simulation module for nursing and medical students is her visionary goal.

Andrea has been the recipient of The Gardner Foundation Award, Sharing Expertise Scholarship for CRNI Certification and The Gardner Foundation Award Education Scholarship through the Infusion Nurses Society. In addition, she has served as President and Presidential Advisor for the Indiana Chapter of the Infusion Nurses Society (IC-INS).

Currently active on the editorial review board forThe Journal of the Association for Vascular Access,she has also been honored to participate as an Item Reviewer on the Vascular Access Certification Corporation (VACC) Item Review committee since 2010. She has presented at local and national conferences and has been the recipient of a poster presentation award. In her role as a volunteer for AVA over the last few years she has served as a Membership Committee member, Chair-Elect, and then to the honor of chairing the Membership Committee for two years.

   

   

2018 President-Elect

Ken Symington, MD, VA-BC             



Dr. Kenneth Symington has 35 years of experience in medicine - the last 30 years of it practicing in Diagnostic as well as Vascular & Interventional Radiology. He began his career however, as a general practitioner in the Indian Health Service.  His present  practice- Inland Imaging,  in Spokane Washington, is a highly sub-specialized group of 55 radiologists with 7 interventional radiologists. He has been specializing in venous access methods and devices for the past 25 years.  He has spoken at several national and international meetings on various interventional radiology topics and has trade marked the "Sweet-Spot” catheter tip assessment method.
   

 

 

2018 Presidential Advisor

Josie Stone,
RN, CPNP, CRNI, VA-BC™


 

 

   

Secretary

Lori Kaczmarek,
RN, BSN, VA-BC™

 

 

Lori’s nursing career includes experience in the Cardiac ICU, Cardiac Surgery and Heart Transplant spectrum. A nurse for over 30 years now, she advanced her practice and specialized in Vascular Access since 2010.  During her tenure in critical care, Lori was honored with the Excellence in Critical Care Practice award presented by 3M Healthcare and the Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).  She is also the recipient of the Coronary ICU Nurse of the Year presented by Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI.  She is past President of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter of AACN (GMAC-AACN), and past member of their Executive Board and Program Planning Committee.  In addition, she served as a Special Interest Consultant for AACN in WI and MI and a mentor for nursing students attending Alverno College as a Clinical Co-Assessor.  This is her second year on the AVA Board of Directors.  She is also a Director for the AVA Foundation.

Lori earned her BSN in 1987 from Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI with support studies in Business, Management and Leadership Development.  She is currently completing her MSN with emphasis in Informatics through Grand Canyon University.  She is VA-BC since 2011 and in her current position is the Director of a 25-RN Vascular Access Team in Wisconsin. Their team provides vascular access service to twelve acute care, sub-acute care and long-term care facilities.  Her day to day responsibilities include billing, payroll, staff development and education, scheduling, and capital management.  She’s presented locally, nationally and internationally on vascular access team management and outcomes and has a special interest in developing databases for vascular access data management and quality tracking.  


   


Treasurer
Jocelyn Grecia Hill,
MN, RN, CVAA(c),VA-BC

Jocelyn is a nurse educator for infusion therapy, vascular access and home infusion programs at Providence Health Care in Vancouver, BC Canada. She completed her MN in 2012 and has been nursing since 1990. She was President of the Canadian Vascular Access Association (CVAA) from 2013-2014 after serving one term as Director at Large. She served as Chair for the AVA DTEAM in 2015 and on the Board of Directors for VACC for 2 terms as Director at Large. Jocelyn is the founding and current president for the Vancouver AVA Network (CAVAN), the first network outside of the US. She is an active member and has presented at numerous conferences of national and international associations related to the specialty of vascular access and infusion therapy.

   

   

Director-at-Large
Russell Nassof, J.D.




Russell is an attorney with over 25 years experience in clinical healthcare and environmental risk management advising clients worldwide on liability and risk minimization for emerging issues. He has owned and operated 3 major consulting groups (one of which was sold to a public company), and is an active presenter and educator on reducing risk and liability for vascular catheter related issues and healthcare associated infections. Russell is a consultant to the insurance industry on managing risk for outbreaks (MERS, Fungal Meningitis, Ebola, Legionnaire's Disease)and with respect to the opportunity to underwrite coverage for emerging medical technological advancements. He has been instrumental in introducing legal and risk management issues to numerous healthcare organizations including ASHRM and APIC.
   

   


Director-at-Large
Madalyn George-ThiemannRN, MSN, NS
Patient Advocate

 

 

Madalyn began her nursing career after graduating from a diploma nursing program in Utica, NY. In 1968 she began her career as a staff nurse on a general pediatric unit in a community hospital in Syracuse, NY. She gradually gained her nursing degrees culminating with a master’s degree from Syracuse University. Meanwhile Madalyn continued to work at the same hospital in various roles as educator and resource person for the pediatric staff. She taught in the college of nursing affiliated with the hospital for 24 years. 
 
Madalyn adopted two boys, the second with a high tech medical need necessitating a vascular access device for many years for the delivery of TPN. Madalyn is passionate about patient advocacy and family-centered care and brings her experience and passion to the board of directors.
   

   

Director-at-Large
Tonja StevensRN

Tonja is a passionate Vascular Specialist practicing at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, in Washington, D.C. She started her Nursing journey over twenty years ago in the emergency department, where she learned the importance of vascular access. Tonja spent seven years teaching health, and expanding the cardiac rehab program at her local college in Baltimore, MD. She continued to expand her skill list by adding PICC insertion, followed by becoming a Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Specialist and doing home infusion therapy. For over ten years, Tonja has been an educator to medical professionals all over the country, sharing her knowledge in both adult and pediatric care. 

Through out her career, Tonja noticed a constant issue; all patients need a proper working vascular access device. Her curiosity is what brought Tonja to AVA, as she searches for improvements and advancements in vascular access  Tonja acquired her VA-BC in 2014 and became a reviewer for the Journal of Association of Vascular Access. (JAVA) in 2016. She assisted in the development of the Concession Statements AVA published in 2017. She also had the honor of assisting in the development of the new Guidelines for Central Venous Access. Tonja has worked on the Design Team for the past 2 years, and looks forward her many new adventures to come within the AVA family.

   

   


Director-at-Large
Amy StoneRN, BSN, CRNI, IgCN, VA-BC

Oncology

 

Amy Stone is a board certified vascular access and infusion specialist with additional certification in Immunoglobulin therapy.  Amy began her journey and developed her passion for vascular access and infusion therapy in 1995.  She currently works as an independent contractor providing vascular access, infusion services, and education throughout the state of Alaska since 2007 and expanding in 2014 to the lower 48.  Throughout her career Amy has had experience in telemetry, Level 1 Trauma and Cardiac ICU, PACU, Oncology (both inpatient and outpatient), as well as Clinic and home infusion.  She has worked with University of Alaska Anchorage as a clinical instructor for both the AAS and BSN programs in Med/Surg, Advanced Med/Surg and Pediatrics. 

Amy is one of the founding members and President of the Alaska Vascular Access Network (PolarVAN).  She has been involved in AVA serving 2 years as a member and 1 year as Chair of AVA's Conference Design Team (D-Team).  Amy has been active in INS, serving on several task forces since 2007 and in ONS as the local chapter President (Denali Oncology Nursing Society-Alaska DONS) and board member since 2015 to present.   She has presented locally and nationally on topics related to vascular access and infusion therapy.   She has enjoyed living and raising her 3 boys in Alaska for the past 11 years.                                                                 
 
 
   

Director-at-Large

Lorelle Wuerz, PhD(c), MSN, BS, BA, RN, VA-BC
Advanced Practice & Leadership

 

Dr. Lorelle Wuerz is a visionary, innovative, results-oriented nursing leader who is recognized as a high-energy team player who achieves successful results.  Lorelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Psychology and Music.  In addition, she has a Masters of Nursing Science (MSN) with a specialization in Leadership and Administration and has completed her PhD in Nursing with a specialization in leadership and administration.  Dr. Wuerz is dually certified in Vascular Access and as a Nursing Executive Advanced.

 Dr. Wuerz has worked in the Vascular Access specialty since 2005.  During this time, she has successful transformed Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) teams, Outpatient Infusion Centers, as well as Inpatient Vascular Access IV teams and Phlebotomy teams in both the adult and pediatric settings.  In addition, Dr. Wuerz has had experience managing Medical Surgical as well as a Labor and Delivery, Recovery, and Post-Partum, Critical Care, Surgical and Transplant services.

 Currently, Dr. Wuerz works at New York Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospital of Cornell (NYP/Cornell).  NYP/Cornell is an 800+ bed major metropolitan teaching hospital in the New York Presbyterian System, which has some 2,600 beds located New York, New York.  Dr. Wuerz currently leads the Surgical ICU, Trauma and Transplant services and leadership liaison to vascular access services across the system.

 Aside from Nursing, Lorelle is an accomplished musician and loves to play and piano and sing for personal enjoyment! 

 
   

 

Director-at-Large

Stephanie Pitts, MSN, RN, CPN, VA-BC
Pediatrics & Marketing

 
Stephanie has worked in healthcare for over 20 years. She has followed her passion and has spent her nursing career focused in pediatrics and vascular access. She developed the pediatric vascular access program at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida in 2008 and remains a per diem nurse on the clinical team.  She was honored in 2017 with the Janet Pettit Scholar Award recognizing her research and dedication to advancing pediatric vascular access. Stephanie has served in various leadership roles with AVA including President of GULFVAN and President of the Pediatric Special Interest Group. 

Stephanie is the Global Clinical Marketing Manager for AngioDynamic, Inc.  She enjoys the opportunity to work in the medical device industry bringing innovative technology to health care providers and patients. She resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Daniel and two teenage boys.  

   
 
   

 

Director-at-Large

Samantha Crandall, MSN, RN, CPHQ, CPPS
Quality & Patient Safety

 
Samantha works as the System Patient Safety Specialist for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, California.  Her nursing career began in skilled nursing and evolved into Quality and Safety.  She is certified as a professional in healthcare quality and as a professional in patient safety (CPHQ and CPPS).  Samantha holds a masters degree in nursing (MSN) with an emphasis on leadership from the University of San Diego (USD), and is currently pursuing her PhD (also from USD) in nursing research with an emphasis on patient safety.  Samantha holds her green belt in lean six sigma performance improvement and enjoys working on and facilitating process improvement projects.
   
 
   

 

Director-at-Large

Christie Chapman, RN, BSN, CIC
Infection Prevention

 
Christie has worked in the field of infection prevention for 6 years after practicing many years as an ICU and Perioperative nurse.  She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 2012 and her Certification in Infection Control (CIC) in 2013.  Christie is currently an infection preventionist at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).  She has served as Secretary, President-Elect and 2017 President of San Diego/Imperial County Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) Chapter and was a presenter at the 2017 national APIC conference in Portland, Oregon.  A large part of her responsibilities at UCSD and professional passion have revolved around improving infection prevention practices around vascular access.
   
 
   

Director-at-Large

Gwendolyn Coney, MSN, RN, CRNI, VA-BC
Alternate Site Care

 

Gwen Coney has been a Registered Nurse for 15 years. Her nursing background includes; infusion therapy education, home infusion, hematology/oncology, vascular access team, pharmaceutical nurse educator, legal nurse consultant, nursing management and outpatient infusion therapy. Gwen received her certification in infusion therapy (CRNI) in 2005 and her board certification in vascular access (VA-BC) in 2012. She is a current and active member of the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), American Nurses Association (ANA), Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), and the Association for Vascular Access (AVA).

 Gwen earned her Associate s degree in Nursing from Raritan Valley Community College, where she served as Class Secretary. Her Bachelor of Science Degree is from Cedar Crest College. Gwen completed a dual Master’s degree program at The University of Alabama and has a Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Arts in Management. She is a Vascular Access Clinical Manager for 3M.