Dr. Patricia Sayers, DNP, RN – Pemberton, New Jersey

Pat was awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Leadership Track; a MSN from the University of Texas, Galveston (Child Health Specialist), and BSN from the University of Miami. Clinically, she has served patients at the bedside and student nurses within university classrooms. Engagement as a Eucharistic Minister, CCD instructor, Blue Army Rosary team leader, Pro-life marcher, Catholic Nurse witness during governmental hearings, prayer group member, and lector during a High Mass for Health Care Workers, St.Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City are recognizer by her as her greatest honors. Pat is the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants (CICIAMS), Vatican City’s NGO Representative to the United Nations and Chair of the 2022 CICIAMS XXI World Congress. At this time, her primary goal is to assist members in assuming emerging Catholic Nursing leadership roles essential to the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and nations.

Term July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024.

President Elect

Maria V. Arvonio, MA, BSN, RN – Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

Maria is a Catholic Nurse presently working as a Nursing Supervisor at a local hospital. Experiences in Nursing include Critical Care and Emergency Care Staff /Charge Nurse positions,  In-Service Hospital Instructor & Nursing Supervisor. She is active in her parish and serves on  liturgy and music ministries, facilitates a Divine Mercy Cenacle; developed/coordinated parish retreats on healthcare & spiritual topics i.e.  end of life care,  forgiveness and healing, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Awarded BSN 1983 from Villanova University, Villanova Pa, and MA Healthcare Ethics 2013,from St. Joseph University, Phila. Pa. Maria has been an active member of NACN USA since 2012 and served has a Committee Chair , Regional Director for Lower Northeast Region, CICIAMS NGO United Nations Representative and is a member of the Ethics & Spirituality Committee. Through NACN-USA Maria has experienced various opportunities which included : participating at the International Healthcare Conferences held by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development at the Vatican; offering personal insight regarding caring for patients with COVID from a NACN USA member’s perspective to a Vatican healthcare panel ; selected to represent nurses at the Whitehouse for National Nurses Week May 2020 after submitting an essay; offered presentations at a variety of NACN USA conferences; facilitates the development of the NACN USA Taskforce on Mandates & Right of Conscience. Her goals for NACN USA are to be of service to help continue to increase membership and awareness of NACN-USA; offer opportunities for panel discussions and prayer groups within membership; and help us continue to stand together united with the Fire of the Holy Spirit has “CATHOLIC” Nurses.

Term July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2024 when she assumes the role of President of NACN-USA.

Corresponding Secretary

Debra Kelsey-Davis, RN, MHSA – Chicago, Illinois

[Acting Corresponding Secretary.  Recruitment underway.  If interested in this position, contact us at the Volunteer page.]

Debra is co-Founder of Nourish for Caregivers, a Catholic ministry which provides support and wholistic programs to nourish caregivers. She is also co-Founder Sagacity.Care, a digital health platform connecting patients, their caregivers and the healthcare team. For NACN-USA, she serves as the acting corresponding secretary responsible for reviewing and responding to the messages from the website, serves on the Communications Committee and its Newsletter and Publicity subcommittee. We are grateful for her years of service.

Term Expired.




Anne T. Reeser, DNP, MSN, APRN-BC – Saint Johns, Florida

Anne was awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D. C. and continues to work at CUA teaching in their online DNP program. She earned a Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree, an MSN, and a BSN from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami and was employed at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital for the Public Health Trust. She currently works at Phoebe Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia as an NP Hospitalist for the Gastroenterology Department and has been working in Gastroenterology for the past 27 years. Anne is married with three children and three grandchildren.  Her faith and family is essential to her career and life’s work.  She is active in her parish and is the Treasurer for The Council of Catholic Women at San Juan del Rio Roman Catholic Church in Saint Johns in the Diocese of Saint Augustine, FL.  She has taught Faith Formation for over 20 years and was the middle school, high school, and Confirmation director.

Term December 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

Recording Secretary

Susanne Staiano, MSN, RN, CSN – Petersburg, New Jersey

Sue was awarded an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania in Nursing Administration. She has worked as a clinical instructor, supervisor and staff nurse in the specialty areas of Pediatrics, Pediatric Rehab and School Nursing.

Term December 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.



Region 1 – Regional Director

P. Renée Frost, BSN, RN

Renee has been an RN for over 25 years, working in a variety of settings. She served in the US Army Reserve from 2009-2015. Renee serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Term: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025.



Region 2 – Regional Director

Brian G. Schuster, BSN, RN – Binghamton, NY

Brian has been a Medical-Surgical Nurse for the last two years in Binghamton, NY. He works at Lourdes Hospital which is part of the Ascension Health national Catholic healthcare network.

Brian serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C. (including liaison with the Archdiocese of the Military Services (AMS) office in D.C.).

Term November 10, 2022 – June 30, 2024.



Region 3 – Regional Director

Cynthia Thelen, MSN, LNHA, BSN, RN – Jackson, Michigan

Cynthia is a retired nursing professor who currently works for the State of Michigan as an Administrative Manager in the area of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for long term care nursing home survey and certification.  NACN-USA she serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky.


Term July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023.


Region 4 – Regional Director

Linda Lopp, MSN/Ed, RN
Citra, Florida

Linda works as a nurse educator. For NACN-USA she serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico. 

Term July1,  2022 – June 30, 2024.


Region 5 – Regional Director

Sylvia Suarez-Ponce,RN, BS-HCL, was awarded a Master’s of Art degree in Pastoral Studies in 2022.  She is board certified in epidemiology and infection prevention and control.

Sylvia is employed by Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital as MRSA/MDRO Coordinator, Infection Prevention and Control. She is located in Chicago, IL

For NACN-USA, this position serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas.

Term July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

Region 6 – Regional Director

Rosalinda Jimenez, EdD, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
Lubbock, Texas

Rosalinda is an Assistant Professor of Graduate & APRN Studies. She practices as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi.

Term July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024.

Region 7 – Regional Director

Theresa Newlin, MSN, ANP-BC, RN – Kosse, Texas

Theresa serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming.

Term November 10, 2022 – June 30, 2023.




Region 8 – Regional Director

Kimberly Wohead, MSN, BSN, RN – Prescott, AZ

Kimberly serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico.

Term July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024.


Region 9 – Regional Director

Bonnie Blachly, MSN, RN
Everett, Washington

Bonnie’s Catholic faith is the mainstay and compass that guides her life and career as a nurse. She works actively in the parish as a Parish nurse along with being a participant and occasional leader in the Sacred Story Program known as “Forty Weeks.” Bonnie has a Master of Nursing degree from the University of Washington, Bothell along with her background in Gerontology where she served as a staff nurse, Director of Clinical Education, Director of Nursing and Nursing Home Administrator. After leaving those positions, she started a Consulting Business and has added a new arm to business as a Certified End-of-Life Doula. Bonnie strives to help all people to see the value and dignity in the dying process. For NACN-USA, she serves as a liaison between the Board of Directors and members in the following states: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands & American Samoa.

Term Term July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023.



Priest Chaplain

Reverend Michael G. Whyte
West Simsbury, Connecticut

Appointed on July 31, 2013 by the Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of Joliet, NACN’s Episcopal Advisor, with the acknowledgement and approval of the Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell, Archbishop of Hartford, and at the recommendation of the NACN-USA Board of Directors.



Immediate Past President

Ellen Gianoli, BSN, MA RN
Palo Cedro, California

Ellen is a seasoned Catholic nurse with a variety of experiences that span staff nurse, charge nurse, public health nurse, department head, hospital educator and college nursing educator. She understands the concerns of nurses to remain morally sound within the intensely changing healthcare environment. Ellen has been the NACN-USA Pacific Regional Director since June 2017, reaching out to nurses on the Pacific Coast all the way to the Northern Mariana Islands. She has taken part in International Healthcare Conferences held by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development at the Vatican, as well as other conferences both in Rome and in the U.S. Ellen firmly believes that our international presence through CICIAMS is essential to keeping a voice for good on the world stage. Term July 2020 – June 2022.




Chair: President Elect, Maria Arvonio, RN, BSN, MA NE
New Jersey

This committee annually reviews the Articles of the Association and By-Laws to recommend items for revision or addition. Following review of the Board of Directors the changes are approved by the Membership.




Membership & Elections

Chair: Suzanne Gullotta, RN, MHS, FNP-BC

This committee promotes and sustains membership, liaisons with nursing schools and national student nursing meetings, seeks and reviews applications to determine volunteer interest for a committee membership or elected position. Oversees the annual elections.




Ethics & Spirituality

Ellen Gianoli, BSN, MA RN
Palo Cedro, California

This committee assures that NACN-USA maintains fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the directives of the Holy Pontiff. It acts in an advisory role to the membership and BOD related to spiritual and ethical issues that provide information and insight to nurses and other healthcare providers fostering acts of spirituality in their role of caregiver to influence the healing ministry of the person and outcomes of those in their care.




Subcommittees: 1) Newsletter & Publicity, 2) Social Media, 3) Website, 4) Mailchimp

Chair, Janet Munday, BSN, RN

This committee publishes newsletters, maintain social media platforms and the website.



Awards & Scholarships

Chair: Kathryn “Katie” Grauerholz, MSN, ANP-BC

Katie has more than twenty years of experience as a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner specializing in preventive medicine, weight management, professional education, hospice, and perinatal loss. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from San Diego State University and a graduate degree in nursing from the University of San Diego. She authored several articles on pregnancy loss grief and workplace resilience published in peer-reviewed healthcare journals. Katie is passionate about providing faith affirming,  compassionate care.

This committee publicizes the awards and scholarships of the Association, establishes written/electronic protocol for review and selection of eligible applicants for all awards offered by the Association and provides the names of the selected awardees to the President/Board of Directors for final approval.



Education, Practice & Research

Subcommittees: 1) Bereavement Program, 2) Drugs: Pre-Birth to Pre-Death, 3) Military and Veterans Suicide Prevention, 4) Healing and Fitness: Issues and Solutions (Alternatives to: Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Tai Chi, Yoga)

Chair: Judy Dusek, DNP, M.Ed, MSN, APRN, CNS, CMSRN, ACNS-BC

This committee works with the President and Board of Directors to determine appropriate educational offerings, practice and research topics and agendas for meetings of the Board of Directors and Association. Develops goals and objectives of any educational offerings of the Association and seeks continuing education credits. Identifies and makes available a list of appropriate, current resources, upcoming conferences and workshops and speakers names and expertise. Develops standardized practice resources to assist nurses and other health care providers to provide Christian care (e.g. Bereavement/Grief Training Programs and Resources, Ministry to Homebound etc.). Oversees the 2017 Summit Blue Ribbon Panel Work Groups: Drug Use Pre-Birth to Pre Death, Military and Veterans Suicide, Health-Fitness Management Issues and Solutions.

  • Bereavement Program – Alma Abuelouf, BSN, RN & Jeanine Gaudet, RN
  • Drug: Pre-Birth to Pre-Death – Diana Ruzicka, RN, MSN, MA, MA, CNS-BC & Jill Zolfo, BSN, RN
  • Military Service & Veterans Suicide Prevention – Patricia Sayers, DNP, RN, Maria Arvonio, MA (HCE), RN & Ellen Gianoli, BSN, PHN, RN
  • Healing and Fitness – Maria Arvonio, MA (HCE), RN; Pat Sayers, DNP, RN & Peg Olson, RN, BSN
  • Speakers Bureau – Judy Dusek, DNP, M.Ed, MSN, APRN, CNS, CMSRN, ACNS-BC


Archives & History Ad Hoc

Chair: Cheryl Hettman, PhD, RN

This committee works with the President and the Board of Directors archiving key documents and recording the history of the organization. Local & Regional Council with historical information are encouraged to contact Dr. Cheryl Hettman at

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