National Program Office (NPO)

The RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program is a national program supported by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Center for Creative Leadership and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. The National Program Office is located at the Center for Creative Leadership. The National Program Office (NPO) serves as the primary liaison with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Any inquiries regarding the Executive Nurse Fellows program fellowship or requests for technical assistance should be addressed to the NPO.

Program Contact Information:

Center for Creative Leadership
One Leadership Place
Greensboro, NC 27410
(336) 286-4277
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Responsible staff members at the NPO are:

David Altman, Ph.D., Co-Program Director
David Altman is the Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program at the new National Program Office located at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) in Greensboro, NC. He is also the Executive Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Product Development at the Center for Creative Leadership. He currently serves as Co-Director of RWJF's Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders program. David directs many of the senior leadership programs at CCL. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Before coming to CCL, he was a tenured Professor at Wake Forest in the Division of Public Health Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to joining Wake Forest, David was a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention at Stanford University School of Medicine. David was a Fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Program. He is active in a number of professional associations and is a Fellow of three divisions in the American Psychological Association and a Fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He is also a member of the American Public Health Association, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention of the American Heart Association, the Society of Public Health Education, and Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine where he was selected as Alumni of the year in 2007, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.
Linda Cronenwett, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Co-Program Director
Linda is the Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Executive Nurse Fellows program. She is also the Beerstecher Blackwell Term Professor and former dean of the School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she was the Sarah Frances Russell Distinguished Professor of Nursing Systems at UNC-Chapel Hill. From 1984-98, she was an administrator in the Department of Nursing, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and provided leadership in nursing and inter-professional research utilization and quality improvement projects. In addition to her role in the RWJF ENF program, Dr. Cronenwett is the principal investigator of a national initiative, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, currently in its third phase of funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, and the North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety and is an appointed member of the Special Medical Advisory Group on Veterans Affairs. Dr. Cronenwett is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Her past service includes terms of office on the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health, editorial advisory boards of Applied Nursing Research, Online Journal of Knowledge Synthesis for Nursing, Journal of Nursing Measurement, and the Joint Commission Journal of Quality Improvement, and numerous offices in professional associations, including President of the New Hampshire Nurses Association and Chair of the American Nurses Association's Congress of Nursing Practice. She earned her master's degree in parent-child nursing from the University of Washington and her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Michigan.
Karen Dyer, Ed.D., Lead Program Designer
Karen is the Lead Program Designer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Executive Nurse Fellows at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). She is also the Group Director of the Education and Non-Profit Sector (ENP) for CCL. In addition to providing training and program design support for ENP, Karen is a facilitator for CCL’s Women’s Leadership and other custom program initiatives. Prior to CCL, she was the Executive Director of the Chicago Academy for School Leadership, responsible for providing rigorous, results-based professional development for Chicago Public School principals and administrators. Previous to this, Karen served as the Executive Director of the Bay Area and North Bay School Leadership Centers, both part of the California School Leadership Academy. A former elementary school principal, Karen has been an adjunct professor of educational leadership for California State University Hayward and Nova University. Author and co-author of several books, chapters, articles, and training modules, she continues to consult with and do conference presentations for education and nonprofit leaders throughout the US, Singapore, and India. Karen is the Co-Director of RWJF's Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders program.
Lynn Fick-Cooper, M.B.A., Program Designer
Lynn is the Program Designer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Executive Nurse Fellows at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). She is also Co-Deputy Director and Lead Faculty for RWJF's Ladder to Leadership National Program Office at CCL, where she oversees the successful implementation of the program in each community across the United States. Ladder to Leadership is a fellowship program designed to develop the next generation of community health leaders in some of the most vulnerable communities across the United States. To this role, Lynn brings more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions from a variety of nonprofit organizations. In addition she has more than 10 years of group facilitation experience in leadership development programs, including CCL’s Women’s Leadership Program, Leadership Development Program, and a variety of customized programs. Lynn's previous experience at CCL includes serving as group director of institutional advancement with responsibility for fundraising and alumni relations; corporate relations manager where she managed the corporate giving program; and manager of marketing with responsibility for the marketing strategy, marketing communication, and public relations functions. Prior to joining CCL, Lynn held a variety of positions including: managing government and community affairs for the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce; serving as vice president of marketing for Huthwaite, a sales research and training firm outside Washington, D.C.; and serving as director of public relations for IHFRA (International Home Furnishings Representatives Association). Committed throughout her career to nonprofit work, Lynn’s experience includes volunteer work with Reading Connections, an organization dedicated to adult literacy, and Junior Achievement, an organization focused on teaching children the principles of entrepreneurship, business,and economics. As well as volunteering in K-12 classrooms, she currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement. Lynn received her B.A. in Communication with an emphasis in public relations and M.B.A. with an emphasis in marketing from the Bryan School of Business both at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Andrea Williams, M.A. Ed., Deputy Director
Andrea Williams (Andi) is the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program. In this role she is responsible for developing the operating structure of the National Program Office and the day-to-day management of the program. Andi is also a Research Associate at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). As a research associate she has worked on a variety of research projects at CCL, including work for RWJF's Public Health team.  For fifteen years Andi was the Deputy Director of the RWJF-funded Substance Abuse Policy Research program. She is a consultant to several other RWJF National Programs on their database development.  Prior to joining CCL in 2004, Andi worked for ten years as a Research Associate at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine (WFUSM) and was involved in multi-site evaluations of government-funded public health programs as well as legal and economic public health research. Andi is a committed volunteer in the community. She is on the Executive Board of Sherwood Forest Elementary PTA, volunteers in computer classrooms, is a listening buddy for K-5th graders, chairs and serves on several committees within her church, and is an active volunteer with Samaritan Ministries. Andi has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in counseling, both from Wake Forest University. She makes her home in Winston-Salem, NC with her husband, Paul, and two young children, Ainsley and Luke.
Tracy Patterson, M.A., Evaluation
As the Lead Evaluator for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Executive Nurse Fellows program, Tracy leads the effort to gather data that will inform program improvements and help stakeholders determine the impact of the program. Tracy is also Manager of Client Evaluation Services in CCL’s Evaluation Center where she works with CCL staff, clients, and external evaluators to design and conduct customized evaluation processes for CCL programs, products, and services. Prior to joining the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®), Tracy combined her interest in addressing complex social problems with her management skills to contribute to a variety of public health initiatives. As a research associate at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, she played a key role in a variety of complex, multi-site program evaluations at the national level. She also served as a manager and program designer with government and non-profit organizations including the Department of Health and Human Services in Raleigh, N.C., the Guilford County Health Department in Greensboro, N.C., and the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C. Tracy holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.
Valerie Swan, B.A., Program Manager
Val is the Program Manager for RWJF’s Executive Nurse Fellows at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) in Greensboro, NC. Her experience spans over fifteen years of diverse work in health care, not-for-profit, academic, legal, and corporate spheres. Through both professional roles and volunteering, Val has proven a deep commitment to fostering quality of life improvements across the socioeconomic spectrum. Her interest in this area was formalized with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Arizona and later expanded to include health, nutrition and mentoring young adults. Val has successfully combined these interests through her service to the CCL®/YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, HIV/AIDS education, and Victory Junction Gang Camp for children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses. Val’s natural enthusiasm for communications and building relationships has positioned her as the central team "hub" in many of her roles, including Communications Assistant for the Infectious Disease Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. In her current work at CCL, Val’s mission is to strengthen the Executive Nurse Fellows program by providing the fellows, alumni, National Advisory Committee (NAC), RWJF, and program team with the information, tools, contacts, resources and logistical support needed to ensure their success.
Ruth Deviney, Program Assistant
Ruth is the Program Assistant for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Executive Nurse Fellows program at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) in Greensboro, NC. She also supports the Advancement and Education and Nonprofit groups at the Center. Prior to joining CCL, Ruth worked with Lucent Technologies as a Sr. Account Executive, Marketing Specialist, and Project Manager. She also has five years of diverse experience at Volvo Trucks in the Sales and Marketing organization. Ruth was born in Greensboro, NC and has always lived in Greensboro, even though she spent many years “on the road” with Lucent. She enjoys running, gardening, shag dancing and interior design. She is President of her Homeowners’ Association and spends many hours at the Carriage House Memory Care taking care of and playing with the residents.