Senior Nursing Leadership


sue-eckertSusan Eckert, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CENP

Chief Nursing Executive

Susan Eckert, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, is senior vice president of Nursing and chief nursing executive for MedStar Washington Hospital Center. A member of the Hospital Center nursing family for more than 30 years, Eckert is a highly experienced nurse executive with an extensive background in nursing leadership and clinical services.

Eckert began her career at the Hospital Center as an SICU staff nurse, moved into the role of head nurse a few years later and then served as a Surgical Critical Care clinical nurse specialist. She later became director of Critical Care and Emergency Services, and served in that role for 15 years. During that time, Sue led initiatives that fostered the development of competency-based nursing education programs, models for patient care delivery and professional development programs for staff and leaders.

Most recently, Eckert has served as director of the Institute for Innovations in Nursing Readiness, ER One Institute, providing consultation to a private industry, government agencies and health care organizations to enhance preparedness for emergency/disaster events in hospital settings and the nursing profession.

A member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Eckert received a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Georgetown University and a master of science in nursing from Catholic University of America. Her passion for patient-focused care and the professional development of nurses is well known, and will provide our nursing team with experienced, dedicated leadership.

LEWIS-caren-approved-2015Caren C. Lewis, MSHA, BSHA, BSN, RN
Vice President, Perioperative Services & Anesthesia

Caren C. Lewis, MSHA, BSHA, BSN, RN, is vice president, Perioperative Services & Anesthesia at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She is responsible for the Hospital Center’s surgical services, including 44 operating rooms and procedure areas, pre-operative processing and testing, post-operative recovery, sterile processing and OR supply chain management.

Prior to her arrival in 2013, Lewis served as Chief Nursing Officer at two different 150-bed community hospitals. She brings many years of leadership experience in an 800-licensed bed academic Level 1 trauma system. Her CNO leadership experience includes inpatient and outpatient nursing areas, emergency rooms, inpatient and outpatient surgical service departments; respiratory care and sleep labs; infection prevention; home care services; inpatient behavioral health units, including Geriatrics-Psychiatry; Pharmacy; Materiel Management; Purchasing and physician-contracted services for Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology.

Lewis has 38 years of healthcare experience, including almost 25 years of leadership from the patient care unit level to senior leadership. She holds undergraduate degrees in both Nursing and Healthcare Administration, and has a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

Lewis is a proven leader, who believes in ensuring our patients receive safe, compassionate care and in building positive physician relationships.  She is an expert in leading collaborative teams focused on improving operating margins, operations, patient throughput, surgical capacity, accreditation readiness and other process improvements initiatives. Lewis is an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and has served on national committees and as the President of a state chapter.

Tonya-WashingtonTonya Washington, MSN, RN
Vice President, Nursing Operations

Tonya received her BSN from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and her MSN from George Mason University. She has been a nurse for 21 years, starting as a staff nurse at New York University Medical Center. She then moved to the Washington, D.C. area, and took a position as an assistant head nurse at George Washington University Hospital. She has been at MedStar Washington Hospital Center since 1997, first as a Clinical Manager on Unit 2D, Pulmonary Medicine, and then as head nurse.

Tonya's love of cardiology led her to seek the position of head nurse on 4NE in 2002. She was promoted to senior nursing director for Medical Surgical Nursing in 2008, and became assistant vice president of Nursing in March, 2010. She served as interim chief nursing officer from July 2010 to April 2011, when she was named vice president for Nursing Operation. Her primary areas of practice are cardio-thoracic surgery and medical cardiology. She is a member of the District of Columbia Organization of Nurse Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

BRUCE-nancyNancy Bruce, MBA, BSN, RN
Assistant Vice President, Nursing Operations, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Nancy L. Bruce, MBA, BSN, RN, is assistant vice president, nursing operations, for the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She is responsible for managing nursing in all cardiac inpatient and outpatient service areas, including five cardiac units, two cardiac intensive care units, a cardiovascular cath lab, electrophysiology lab and specialized LVAD unit. In addition, Bruce is also involved with the planning and organization of the MedStar Heart Hospital, which will open in May 2016.

Bruce returned to the Hospital Center in 2015 after nine years as director of cardiac and vascular services at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, MD. In that role, Bruce oversaw the hospital’s certification by the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Systems Services as a Cardiac Interventional Center, recognition by Healthgrades as a 5 Star Recipient for Coronary Interventional Procedures and Heart Failure as well as a Joint Commission Top Performer for Heart Attack Care and Heart Failure. Her areas also received initial and ongoing accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission for both Echo and Vascular Labs and accreditation by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Bruce brings 32 years of nursing experience to her role, including work for the National Institutes of Health and two decades at the Hospital Center. Among her past roles at the Hospital Center: staff nurse and manager in the Cardiovascular Recovery Room, manager of the renal transplant unit and director of Nursing Education.

Bruce earned her BSN from the University of Maryland and her Master’s in Business Administration from Loyola University in Maryland with a concentration in finance. She has been active at the Maryland state level including appointment to the Maryland Health Care Commissions’ Cardiac Data Advisory Committee and the Cardiac Services Advisory Committee, formulating state regulations surrounding the provision of heart services in Maryland.

Jane McGee, MSN, RN, CMSRN, RN-BC
Senior Nursing Director, Medical Surgical Nursing

Jane McGee is senior nursing director, Medical Surgical Nursing, at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She is responsible for overseeing the operational and clinical performance of the Medical Surgical Division, which includes seven medical units and four surgical units. She also has oversight for dialysis services and behavioral health.

McGee’s 40 years of nursing experience includes front-line care and leadership roles in surgical critical care, emergency medicine and cardiac care. For the past 20 years, she has worked in the medical surgical areas as a front-line nursing director and a nurse practitioner. In her eight years as a nurse practitioner, she practiced on the medical units at the Hospital Center and also in primary care at an inner city clinic, which provided care to the underserved population of Washington, D.C.

McGee holds a BSN from the University of Maryland, an MSN from The Catholic University of America and Nurse Practitioner Certification from The George Washington University. She has certifications in Medical Surgical Nursing and Gerontological Nursing. In 2010, she worked with a team at the Hospital Center to establish the D.C. Chapter of the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses (AMSN), and served as the first president of the chapter.

NORTH SAALE janiceJanice North Saale, MSN, RN
Senior Nursing Director, Critical Care and Neurosciences

Janice North Saale, MSN, RN, is senior nursing director, Critical Care and Neurosciences, at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She is responsible for resource and capacity management in the Department of Nursing, and oversees nursing supervisor and nurse responder teams.

Nursing is a second career for Saale, who first earned a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University. She spent several years in hospital and corporate communications and public affairs roles before earning a BSN from the University of Maryland in 2002.

Saale came to the Hospital Center in 2003. Her nursing expertise includes critical care nursing and leadership. She has served as a critical care educator and manager, inaugurating the clinical care facilitator role for the ICUs at the Hospital Center. She was appointed nursing director of the neurological ICU and Stroke Center in 2010, and moved into her current role in 2015.

Saale earned an MSN from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2014, with a focus on healthcare systems management.

Ariam-GebrehiwotAriam Yitbarek, MS, RN
Senior Nursing Director, Ambulatory Care Services

Ariam received her BSN from the University of Maryland and her MS in Health Systems Management from George Mason University. Her primary area of expertise is in interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, heart failure, heart transplant and medical- surgical nursing. Ariam has 15 years of experience as a nurse. She started her career as a staff nurse at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. She came to Washington Hospital Center in 1998 to work on the Cardiac Surgery Step-down Unit. She was promoted to Clinical Manager in 1999, and became a nursing director of 4E in 2004. She became senior nursing director of Medical-Surgical Services and Medical-Surgical Specialties in 2009. She has since assumed additional responsibilities, including Capacity Management and Central Staffing. Ariam is a member of the Association of Nurse Executives, the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, and the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses.