Network Executive Director
Family Practice & Counseling Network
Bala Cynwyd, PA
Donna L. Torrisi graduated from Villanova University with a B.S.N. in 1972. She received her M.S.N. in 1976 from the University of Pennsylvania as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In 1991 she co-wrote a National Bureau of Primary Health Care/Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) grant to provide health care to residents of public housing. She became the director of this project and opened a nurse-managed health center in the Abbottsford Public Housing Development in Philadelphia in 1992. Since than her program has received three expansion grants one in 1994, 2002, and 2003. They currently serve over 6,500 primarily low income people with primary care, behavioral health and oral health. The sites have been recipients of multiple awards including the HRSA National Models that Work Award and the Smith Kline Beecham Community Impact Award. Ms. Torrisi received the Villanova University Leadership in Nursing award, the University of Pa. Lillian Brunner Sholstis award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, the Pa. Nurses Association Leadership award for Innovative Practice, and the National Alliance for Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing, Practitioner of the Year Award.
She was a key leader in the state of Pennsylvania that culminated in legislative change redefining primary care provider to include nurse practitioners. This gave nurse practitioners entrée into managed care as participating providers. She has published and lectured on the nurse- managed model, the art of negotiating with managed care organizations and on integrating behavioral health and primary care. She is a founding member and the first chairperson of the National Nursing Centers Consortium, and has been a faculty member for the Institute for Health Improvement Depression Collaborative. Her book, "Community and Nurse Managed Health Centers, Getting them Started and Keeping them Going", was published in May 2005. Donna is a 2005 graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship Program.