Lillee Smith Gelinas, MSN, RN, FAAN

Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer VHA Inc.

Currently Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for VHA Inc, Gelinas has 35 years of experience in healthcare including five years in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. The National Patient Safety Foundation recently named VHA vice president and chief nursing officer Lillee Gelinas, RN, MSN, FAAN, to its board of directors.

Formerly a VHA shareholder hospital CNO, she has served at VHA since 1986, supporting the improvement of hospital clinical and economic performance through leadership, culture, healthcare quality and safety strategies.

VHA supports the achievement of clinical excellence for its hospitals with a practice improvement model that focuses on qualitative research and design principles which drive superior performance. Gelinas works closely with the VHA staff professionals including clinicians, engineers, designers and anthropologists who implement that model.

Gelinas facilitates VHA’s national and regional networks with Chief Nursing Officers and nursing leaders, and is a moderator for vhatv broadcasts and webinars. She serves as the VHA national nurse planner for educational programs and assures adherence to American Nurse Credentialing Center guidelines for over 200 programs annually.

Examples of her areas of focus which have touched thousands of VHA’s clinicians and senior leaders include the VHA Leadership Conference, the vhatv Nursing Leadership Excellence Series, VHA’s Return to Care, and the VHA Foundation Healthcare Safety Network.

Numerous national organizations throughout the United States call upon her expertise, including the American Nurses Association, The Joint Commission, Institute of Medicine, National Patient Safety Foundation, the National e-Health Collaborative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  For the National Quality Forum (NQF), she co-chaired the Nursing Care Performance Measures Project with the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Mary Naylor, which resulted in the establishment 15 national voluntary consensus standards for nursing-sensitive care in the United States. She is currently a member of the NQF National Priorities Partnership Care Coordination Workgroup.

A Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), she serves on The Academy’s Workforce Commission and the Informatics Expert Panel. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of American Nurse Today magazine.

She was appointed to the American Health Information Community (AHIC), a Federal Advisory Committee, as the “consensus nominee” for the nursing profession, nominated by the American Nurses Association, and served from 2005-2008.  AHIC, a commission authorized by the White House under former President George Bush, was charged with promoting Information Technology adoption in healthcare within 10 years to lower costs and enhance quality.

Gelinas attended Louisiana State University, earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in nursing, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania where she also studied at the Wharton School of Business.