Omaha System Board of Directors
A 12-member volunteer Board of Directors was established in March 2001 to provide leadership for Omaha System revisions, presentations, publications, conferences, Website, and other advisory activities. More details are included in the 2005 book, Appendix D. The Board meets every two years following the Omaha System International Conference and communicates by phone and email between Conferences. Board members also communicate with members of the Listserv.
Current Board members have diverse practice, education, research, and automation expertise related to the Omaha System. To contact a specific Board member, use the following information.
Kathy is Professor and vanAmeringen Chair in Nursing Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Director of the Center for Integrative Science in Aging, and the Vice President of Research and Director of the Center for Homecare Policy and Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. While a doctoral student, she conducted the first Omaha System study in acute care. Kathy leads a program of federally- and foundation-funded research in the use of information technology to improve health care and clinical decision making for older adults. She is the author of more than 200 abstracts, articles and chapters, and has been the Principal Investigator or a Co-Investigator on over 30 funded studies. At Penn Nursing, Kathy instituted the use of the Omaha System in several transitional care research projects.
Kathy is the author of Chapter 5, Use of the Omaha System in Research, in the 2005 book. She has presented at Omaha System International Conferences and has served on the Omaha System Board of Directors since 2001. She was appointed to the National Quality Forum Steering Committee on Care Coordination in 2009. Her contributions to health informatics research were recognized with the Heart Failure Society of America Nursing Investigator Award, the Rutgers University College of Nursing’s 12th Annual Recognition Award for Advancement of Technology in Health Care, and the Eastern Nursing Research Society Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Research Award. Kathy received the first Omaha System Excellence in Research Award during the 2011 Omaha System International Conference. She co-founded a software company, RightCare Solutions, in 2011 that is based on her team’s research.
Pam is the Nursing Informatics Consultant for the State of Maine’s Public Health Nursing Program, the first statewide system to implement the Omaha System. Prior to accepting this position, she was a field public health nurse in rural Maine for 20 years. She has used the Omaha System in practice with maternal, child, adult and population focused clients. In 2002, she shared responsibility for the statewide implementation of the current electronic information system, which integrates the Omaha System into clinical nursing documentation.
Pam coordinates learning activities and trains new field staff in software and Omaha System use. She is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the software application and communication with their software vendor. The Maine application is currently used by approximately 70 geographically diverse staff, representing field PHNs, management and clerical users. Pam aggregates and analyzes ongoing Omaha System and other organizational data to communicate program effectiveness for the benefit of public health partners and ongoing program quality assurance. This includes leadership responsibilities for ensuring the accuracy of the data, and providing reports to numerous internal and external groups. Pam has shared Maine’s Omaha System implementation and data utilization experiences in a variety of forums including nursing informatics publications, American Public Health Association’s Annual Meetings, University of Maryland’s Summer Institute of Nursing Informatics, and Omaha System International Conferences. Pam contributed to the 2005 Omaha System book and has served on the Omaha System Board of Directors since 2005.
Alex is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master’s degree concentration in Public Health Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. She conducts research to explore the symptom experience of Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes and study strategies to improve diabetes self-management. She has used the Omaha System in teaching nursing students and to document outcomes of her research. She is interested in seeing the Omaha System used in Texas. She is a member of The University of Texas at Austin Omaha System Users Group.
Alex is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and is a member of the editorial board of Public Health Nursing journal. She served as President of the Texas Public Health Association in 2013-2014 and in many other positions with TPHA. She also served as Secretary of the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association. She joined the Omaha System Board of Directors in 2014.
Bev is an independent contractor providing training and consultation services to both Champ Software and the Institute for Wisconsin’s Health, Inc. (IWHI). After a career as a staff PHN for St. Louis County, MN and Polk County, WI, Bev was the Director of Polk County Health Department in Balsam Lake, WI for 21 years. While there, she instituted the adoption of the Omaha System for public health and home care documentation in the early 1980’s. The agency was one of the test agencies to fully develop the Omaha System. She has used the Omaha System in practice with home care, maternal, child, adult and reproductive health clientele. Bev spent 15 years as Director of Operations & Clinical Services for the HMO in the Mayo Health System in La Crosse, WI. There she instituted electronic health records for medical management and participated in the Mayo-wide implementation of clinical EHR.
Bev has trained over 40 agencies in the use of the Omaha System in the Nightingale Notes software of Champ Software (Mankato, MN). She teaches the use of the rich pool of data available not only for client care management, but also for community assessment, program effectiveness, quality improvement, community-based programs and Public Health Accreditation Board documentation requirements. Bev contributed to the original Omaha System book and has been on the Board since 2013.
Karen is a health care consultant. She was employed at the Visiting Nurse Association of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska from 1978-1993 where she was the principal investigator of Omaha System research. Since 1993, she has offered consultation services to prospective, new, and experienced interprofessional Omaha System users and software developers nationally and globally. Karen has served as a visiting scholar and speaker in more than 21 other countries.
Karen’s practice includes documentation, information management, outcomes measurement, and dissemination of the Omaha System. She provided testimony for federal meetings and the Institute of Medicine. In 2008, she was included in the American Medical Informatics Association-Nursing Informatics Working Group's Nursing Informatics History Project. She received the MNRS Informatics Section Distinguished Researcher Award, and alumni awards from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing and the University of Iowa. In 2010, she received the Ruth B. Freeman distinguished career award from the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association. Karen is the author of the 2005 Omaha System book, 5 more books, more than 100 articles and chapters, and 70 editorials. She conducts workshops, and is a co-developer of the Omaha System Web site. Since 2001, she has been the chair of the Omaha System Board of Directors, and the lead co-chair of the Omaha System International Conferences.
Karen is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing where she teaches and conducts research. She is the director of the Omaha System Partnership within the University of Minnesota Center for Nursing Informatics. This practice-based research network employs standardized data to inform health care quality questions. Karen’s cutting-edge research employs diverse methods including visualization, theory-based analysis, data mining and longitudinal analysis with the goals of improving practice quality and population health.
Beginning in 1998, Karen led the implementation of automated Omaha System-based software at Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment, Stillwater, MN. She serves as a leader to Omaha System users including public health nurses and managers, educators, software vendors, and home care agencies. Karen and the Minnesota Omaha System Users Group received the American Public Health Association Public Health Nursing Section's 2008 Nursing Creative Achievement Award for their joint efforts. She received the Creighton University School of Nursing Alumni Merit Award in 2014. She is the author of Chapter 3, Use of the Omaha System in Practice, in the 2005 book; has been a member of the Omaha System Board of Directors since 2001; is a contributor to the Omaha System Web site; and has been a co-chair of Omaha System International Conferences since 2005. In 2011, Karen received the first Omaha System Excellence in Education Award. In 2013, Karen initiated the First International Conference on Research Methods for Standardized Terminologies, a pre-conference of the Omaha System International Conference.
Suzanne is the Community Health Director of the Kitsap Public Health District. She is also adjunct faculty at Olympic College’s RN to BSN nursing program, and clinical faculty at the University of Washington School of Nursing. In 2003, Suzanne was one of the leaders who initiated adoption of the Omaha System to measure outcomes in local public health departments throughout Washington. In 2006, she led the successful implementation of the Omaha System and electronic documentation in her county’s Parent Child Health and HIV/AIDS Case Management programs.
Suzanne was instrumental in organizing a Washington State Omaha System Users Group. She serves as a subject matter expert to local public health agencies in Washington and Oregon when they explore use of the Omaha System and electronic documentation. She is Co-Chair of the Washington State Community Health Leadership Life Course Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of Healthy Start Kitsap and Hospice of Kitsap County. She was appointed to the Washington State Nurse Advisory Practice Group effective July I, 2014 through June 30, 2015. Suzanne received the first Omaha System Excellence in Practice Award, and joined the Omaha System Board of Directors in 2011. She spoke about the value of using the Omaha System and electronic documentation to generate outcome reports at the 2011 Omaha System International Conference, and numerous other conferences.
Judy is an independent health care consultant and a licensed Clinical Nurse Specialist in community health nursing in the state of California. She works with agencies, groups, and software developers using computerized Omaha System-based documentation.
Judy has presented at numerous Omaha System International Conferences and American Public Health Association Annual Meetings. Her topics included effective strategies when transitioning to the use of the Omaha System and computerized documentation, the relationship between the Omaha System and Healthy People Leading Health Indicators, and the use of the Omaha System in early intervention programs. Judy is a co-developer of the Omaha System Web site. She has been a co-chair of the Omaha System International Conferences since 2008, and a member of the Omaha System Board of Directors since 2009.
Nancy was employed at the VNA of Omaha from 1967 to 2000 in a variety of staff and management positions that involved documentation, quality, compliance, and automation. In the early 1970s, she was a supervisor with responsibilities for record review when she and other managers discussed the agency’s need to streamline documentation, quantify multidisciplinary practice, generate aggregate clinical data, and prepare for automation.
Nancy was a member of the first federally funded research team in 1975, and of the following three federally funded research teams that developed, revised, and refined the Omaha System. She is the co-author the first two Omaha System books (1992) and more than 10 additional articles and chapters. She made numerous speeches about the Omaha System. After leaving the VNA in 2000, Nancy had documentation and quality of care responsibilities in quality management positions for several managed care companies. She retired from nursing in 2011. Nancy has served on the Omaha System Board of Directors since 2001.
Karen is responsible for establishing the McKesson Extended Care Solutions’ strategic direction for products and services. The Extended Care Solutions team is principally focused on the home health, hospice, and private duty markets. Karen joined McKesson in 2004, and brought over 30 years of home care experience to the role, including patient care, clinical supervision, project management, and operations.
Karen has served as president of the Mississippi Nurses Association Board of Directors, a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Regulatory Reform, and a member the Mississippi Association for Home Care Board of Directors. In 2012, she was appointed as the American Nurses Association representative to the Joint Commission's Professional and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). The PTAC is responsible for reviewing technical requirements/changes, and providing recommendations to the Joint Commission. She has written for publication, and presented extensively including at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice annual conferences and Omaha System International Conferences. Karen joined the Omaha System Board of Directors in 2011.
Dr. Frances Kam Yuet Wong is a nursing professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research work and publications are in the areas of advanced nursing practice, transitional care, and nursing education. Frances has published over 120 refereed articles, edited 3 books, and her works have been cited over 480 times in literature. She successful developed transitional care models for different patient groups including those who have cardiac, renal, respiratory, and stroke conditions, and palliative needs.
Dr. Wong led a team to test and confirm the validity of the Omaha System used among the Chinese population, as well as to translate the Omaha System into Chinese (Appendix A available here). She has been appointed as adjunct and honorary professor in key universities including the University of Pennsylvania and Sunyatsun University. She has also served as an external examiner for the PhD Board of Examiners in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Frances is actively involved in global nursing development and is currently serving as an elected core member in the International Council of Nurses INP/APN Network, panel judge for The Excellence in Educational Research Award Task Force of Sigma Theta Tau International, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.