Our Clinical Advisory Board
LaWanda Baskin MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CENP, CNRN LaWanda is an Assistant Professor and serves as the Interim Director at the School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice in the College of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi. As a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over twenty years of nursing experience, her clinical practice experience includes orthopedics, family practice, emergency, and urgent care. Her clinical research focuses on social support and culture’s effect on health outcomes, and her academic research interest includes methods to improve student experiences in online courses. LaWanda enjoys cooking and camping, as well as spending time with her husband and three children.
Casey Blumenthal DNP, MHSA, RN Casey has 40 years of nursing experience, including acute care, home health, administration, leadership, regulatory practice, and more. She was a Vice President for the Montana Hospital Association from 2002-2018, where she provided hospital and post-acute members with various membership services, liaised with state and federal agencies, and oversaw rural nursing workforce development. Casey is co-lead for the Montana Action Coalition, and co-director of the Montana Center to Advance Health through Nursing, which she founded in 2011 to begin implementation of the recommendations from the 2010 IOM Future of Nursing Report. Casey is an avid skier and mountain biker who loves to travel with her husband to pursue both activities.
Catherine Burger MSOL, RN, NEA-BC Catherine runs a consulting and freelance writing business, is an advanced board-certified nurse executive, and serves as the Chief Nursing and Marketing Officer for Moxie Apparel, Inc. In her 30 years as a registered nurse, Catherine Burger has worked in a myriad of specialties across the continuum of healthcare, including labor and delivery, ICU, home health, ambulatory care, education, and clinical practice consulting. Situated in the beautiful Idaho mountains, Catherine loves spending time with her husband, their five children, and raising service puppies for Canine Companions for Independence.
Melissa Fritz MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CENP, CNRN Melissa is currently the Director of Patient Care for Abbott Northwestern Hospital, which is part of Allina Health, responsible for the operational leadership and delivery of high quality and safe patient care across three Intensive Care Units, Critical Care Float Pool, Rapid Response, Telemetry Units, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and the Allina Health Remote Monitoring Center. Prior to this position, she has held a number of leadership positions at Allina Health. She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. In her free time, Melissa enjoys running, gardening, and traveling.
Trish Morton PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, FAAN Trish is Dean Emeritus, University of Utah College of Nursing and the editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing sponsored by the AACN. Prior to her deanship, Dr. Morton held various teaching and administrative positions at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Trish has authored three textbooks, numerous book chapters, and over 50 journal articles. She has served on the editorial board of six nursing journals and for seven years was the editor of a journal sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She is a certified acute care nurse practitioner.
Fred Neis MS, RN, FACHE, FAEN A graduate of the University of Kansas, Fred got his healthcare start as a firefighter/paramedic while pursuing his BSN. Today, Fred is an executive with Lumeris, leading efforts to support health systems and providers in a value-based care world. Keeping to his roots, he continues to work shifts for a fire department each month and is an author and speaker. With over 25 years of clinical experience, he has worked in various settings including the ICU, ED, and as a flight nurse, as well as served in health system leadership. He’s a dad, runner, lover of good food and drink, spectator to live sporting events, and world traveler.
Fernando Villa MSN, RNC-NIC Fernando currently is a nurse manager at Mount Sinai Hospital in interventional radiology. He began his career in 2010 in the neonatal ICU, where he formed an interest in airway management and congenital heart defects. He has also worked in physical rehab, telemetry, transition of the newborn, postpartum, and telephone triage for endocrinology. Fernando is a first-generation Mexican American and a Texas native who enjoys traveling, cooking, and brewing kombucha at home. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his husband and cat, and is very involved with community organizing for education equity.