Meet the Candidates (2019)

AAACN would like to introduce you to the 2019 ballot candidates.

In early November, each member will receive an email from Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) inviting you to participate in this year’s ballot. You'll be provided a unique and randomly-generated login for the election website (to ensure confidentiality).

Please take a moment to meet the candidates and read their statements. Learn about the Responsibilities of the BOD Positions, and also read about the Responsibilities of the Nominating Committee Members.

By voting in this election, you will make an important contribution, as the election of the best-qualified candidates helps to shape AAACN's future.

Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order under the position they are nominated for. The descriptions below are intended to help familiarize members with this year’s candidates for office; this is NOT the election ballot.

Director Candidates (4)

There are four candidates running for three open positions.

Deena Gilland, DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Deena Gilland, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
VP of Patient Services and CNO, Ambulatory Care
Emory Healthcare, Atlanta, GA

AAACN member since 2013

Candidate Statement:
There has never been a more important time for nurses in ambulatory care.

Now is the time for ambulatory nurses to show the value they bring to the changing face of healthcare, and AAACN is poised to be the national leader. I have relied on the powerful resources AAACN offers to impact nursing at our health system, including the RN Residency Program, the CCTM Toolkit, the Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Telehealth Nursing, and the valuable Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

If elected to the Board of Directors, I would continue to support these membership resources as well as promote AAACN’s national presence and power to influence healthcare and ambulatory nursing practice. Being an active member of AAACN, attending and presenting at the national conference, and serving on workgroups such as the Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Ambulatory Care Nursing Revision Task Force, Leadership SIG, and the Nurse Executive Group have been imperative to my role and our ambulatory practice.

I am honored to be considered for a seat on the Board of Directors and am excited to see what the future of AAACN will bring.

Gregory Kopp, MN, MHA, RN, CENP

Gregory Kopp, MN, MHA, RN, CENP
Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Dept. of VA
Golden, CO

AAACN member since 2014

Candidate Statement:
I love AAACN! I’ve been a member since 2014, and have found the people, continuing education, annual conferences, and special interest groups (SIGs) to be amazing resources for our practice settings.

We live and work in a dynamic and changing health care environment. AAACN exists to help guide practice and to unify us as ambulatory care nurses. I believe in and support the current organizational strategic goals of serving our members; expanding our influence; and strengthening our core. Today’s nurses want their work places to align with their values and they want to know that their skills are being used for a worthy cause. I believe AAACN’s membership wants the same for their organization.

My 25-year nursing career spans the diversity of our membership. I’ve worked in the private sector, not-for-profit, Air National Guard, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. I’m also an affiliate faculty at both Colorado Christian and Regis Universities. The Board of Directors’ work is critical for continued influence in meeting the diverse needs of its membership.

My goal for serving on the Board is to support the foundation of leadership, and to represent the voice of AAACN members and their contributions to the profession. I had the pleasure of chairing the AAACN/AMSN Hand-Off Toolkit Task Force. I’ve also served on the Legislative Team and participated in the Leadership and VA SIGs. Finally, I recently published a ViewPoint article on work place violence.

I would sincerely appreciate your vote to be on the Board of Directors of AAACN.

Christine M. Ruygrok, RN-BC, MBA

Christine M. Ruygrok, RN-BC, MBA
Associate Quality Administrator
Kaiser Permanente; Pasadena, CA

AAACN member since 1989

Candidate Statement:
It is an honor to be considered as a candidate for the Board of Directors of AAACN. Since Spring 2018, I have been serving as an appointed member of the board. I have also served as Chair of the Leadership SIG and instructor for Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification Review Course. Additionally, AAACN has provided me opportunities to serve within our organization by presenting at conferences and writing an article for ViewPoint.

The organization's long-standing tradition of serving as a unifying community for all registered nurses is something I have strongly supported. The Ambulatory setting is dynamic and varied place to practice. I strongly believe we can impact the quality and effectiveness of care delivery by sharing our experiences, talents, and passions.

If elected to the Board of Directors, I will serve our members by promoting nurse professionalism and shared learning experiences across a variety of clinical challenges. My long career in the ambulatory environment, 15 years of membership, and network of healthcare professionals provide a strong foundation to deliver on this pledge. As a board member, it will be my goal to get to know as many members as possible, and to better understand how AAACN can support our professional growth.

Thank you for this opportunity to deliver results for an admirable organization

CMDR Assanatu (Sana) Savage, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-C, CDR, NC, USN

CMDR Assanatu (Sana) Savage, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-C, CDR, NC, USN
Phase II Director for DNP Students, USUHS
United States Navy, Bremerton, WA

AAACN member since 1999

Candidate Statement:
I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors. I am prepared and driven to move the organization to the next level in 21st century health care. As Director I will work toward and support AAACN in all endeavors to continue to be the voice for ambulatory care nursing. I will be instrumental in increasing our visibility, spearheading initiatives, mentoring and inspiring member involvement and promotion of the telehealth sub-specialty.

Despite the challenging times surrounding healthcare reform, AAACN continues to provide opportunities for growth and services for the ambulatory care nursing community. Today I’m proof of the opportunities and professional growth AAACN can afford its members. I am grateful for the opportunity to have demonstrated successful service and leadership as member of the Nominating Committee, Program Planning Committee, Co-Chair of the Tri-Service Military Special Interest Group (SIG), and as Director and Secretary on the Board of Directors.

I co-authored a chapter in the Core Curriculum for Ambulatory Care Nursing, 1st edition, and served as a reviewer for the 4th edition, currently in production; authored several ViewPoint articles; and conducted poster and podium presentations in several conferences. I have participated in various task forces, most recently the Lippincott Procedures Task Force, both as an author and reviewer, while continuing to serve as a manuscript reviewer for ViewPoint.

I look forward to the opportunity to be among the future Directors who will work diligently to accomplish the mission and vision of AAACN.

Nominating Committee Member Candidates (2)

There are three candidates running for two Nominating Committee Member positions.

Julie Alban, DNP, MPH, RN-BC, CCCTM

Julie Alban, DNP, MPH, RN-BC, CCCTM
Nurse Manager - Primary Care
VA, The Villages, FL

AAACN member since 2010

Candidate Statement:
It is an honor to be considered as a candidate for the Nominating Committee. Having been an active AAACN member for almost 10 years, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the professionalism and leadership AAACN promotes.

As Co-Chair of the VA Special Interest Group (SIG), reviewer for both the Ambulatory Care and Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCTM) Core Curriculums, and as an AAACN member representative of the MSNCB task force that developed and launched the CCCTM exam, I have been able to promote AAACN’s mission to advance the art and science of ambulatory care nursing.

AAACN is the industry leader for ambulatory care nursing and having passionate, motivated, and dedicated members is the key to its continued success. If elected, I would be committed to identifying candidates who would promote AAACN’s mission and vision and help expand the organization’s influence to achieve a greater impact on the quality of ambulatory care.

I am proud and honored to be part of such a proactive and professional organization and would welcome the opportunity to serve AAACN in this role.

Katherine Andersen, MSN, RN-BC, CCM

Katherine Andersen, MSN, RN-BC, CCM
Virtual RN Care Coordinator
Boise VA, Boise, ID

AAACN member since 2014

Candidate Statement:
I love AAACN! I have been actively involved since joining four years ago and have felt the power of thousands of ambulatory care nurses working together to move our specialty forward. My own practice and my organization have benefited through multiple opportunities I’ve had to serve within AAACN, including the role of VA SIG Co-Chair; multiple telehealth task forces including the Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Telehealth Nursing Revision Task Force; reviewing the updated CCTM Core Curriculum; presenting both on podium and posters at the annual conferences, and writing for ViewPoint.

The importance of choosing leaders for our organization cannot be understated. AAACN continues to be recognized and called upon by other groups for our expertise and development of nursing standards of practice. Our association’s core values, goals, and initiatives require knowledgeable and experienced leaders that can take ambulatory care nursing into the future.

I have held multiple leadership roles within the VA, AAACN, and other groups. Serving and working with others was something taught to me as a child that has continued with me through life. Improving things for our profession is very important to me.

I have become a better leader and person because of AAACN and I ask for your support and your vote. I look forward to serving on the Nominating Committee. Together, utilizing innovative ideas and creating dynamic processes, we will continue to make AAACN the premier nursing organization.

Denise Hannagan, MSN, MHA, RN-BC, EDAC

Denise Hannagan, MSN, MHA, RN-BC, EDAC
Senior Healthcare Consultant
HDR, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

AAACN member since 2006

Candidate Statement:

As an active member of AAACN since 2006, I have come to value the leaders that have been elected, but also to the many leaders that work behind the scenes, and know I am well-positioned to be elected to the Nominating Committee do to my longevity and participation in the organization.

I have been on the Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification Review Course “On the Road” faculty since 2012 and have contributed as a chapter co-author for the Care Coordination and Transition Management Core Curriculum, 1st edition, and as a chapter reviewer for the 2nd edition. I have attended approximately 8 conferences and leadership symposiums.

The role of the Nominating Committee is to get to know the members and identify the potential of those for future leadership roles in our growing organization. Change is good and inevitable; therefore, my goal for participation on the Nominating Committee is to nurture our new members, see the wealth of knowledge in our current members, and work to have a plan of succession and options for the future of AAACN.

From the AAACN Online Library