Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN, was officially installed on December 7, 2017 as the sixth president of MGH Institute of Health Professions.
Speaking to an audience of members from the MGH Institute community, representatives from area colleges and Partners HealthCare, family, and friends, President Milone-Nuzzo pledged to build upon the Boston graduate school’s 40-year mission of preparing health professionals and scientists that advance care for a diverse society.
“When I arrived here four months ago, I knew that I was coming to a place where there was a strong foundation for educational excellence, an engaged community of scholars, highly motivated and accomplished students, and a commitment to a respectful and caring community,” she said. “Building on our values and employing our strengths, we will continue to prepare future generations of health professionals who are poised to change the world. We will innovate in education, in the development of new knowledge, and in the application of that new knowledge in health care delivery, all within a supportive and nurturing community. Together, we will work to continue to make lasting differences that matter.”
Dr. Milone-Nuzzo spent the past 14 years at the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing, serving as Dean and Professor since 2008. She is a widely published and nationally recognized nursing leader who led that school to new heights in research activity and academic reputation.
In her address, she recognized the successful efforts of the school’s past two leaders, Presidents Emeritae Jan Bellack and Ann Caldwell, who over the past 20 years created a financially stable school that has doubled to 1,600 students and solidified its reputation as a leading voice of interprofessional education in health care.
Dr. Milone-Nuzzo told the audience of her vision for the IHP as it enters its fifth decade. This includes fostering an ethical community grounded in respect, dignity, justice, and compassion; creating an environment of curiosity, innovation, and creativity in the improvement of health care and health care delivery; and building upon the legacy of the school’s founders, Drs. John Hilton Knowles and Charles Sanders from Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Over the course of my presidency, I hope to model values that advance our reputation as an exemplary academic institution preparing the health care leaders of tomorrow,” Dr. Milone-Nuzzo said. “Leading the organization with integrity and in a manner that is consistent with the values I learned early in my life, and guided by the moral imperative of acting when action will make a difference, is what I bring to this role and to higher education.”
In his keynote address, Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, spoke of working with Dr. Milone-Nuzzo while he was dean of the College of Medicine at Penn State. He noted that she had made a substantial impact on improving the quality of education at Penn State’s nursing school, calling her a “multiplier” which he described as someone who brings people together to make positive changes in an organization. “I only discovered this type of leader a few years ago, but I met it personified in Paula Milone-Nuzzo. She is very unassuming but she has a gift of bringing out the genius in people and putting together teams who can make a difference,” he said.
Dr. George Thibault, chair of the Board of Trustees, led the investiture portion of the inauguration. He and President Emerita Bellack presented Dr. Milone-Nuzzo with the school medallion and charter, respectively, at which time she officially was installed as the Institute’s president.
“Paula, today, you are in good company,” said Dr. Thibault. “Not only that of those gathered here but also of the small distinguished group of those Institute founders and leaders with whom you take your place in history; women and men whose wisdom and vision created and guided the growth and development of this innovative interprofessional graduate school over the past 40 years. The stewardship for its future is now yours to safeguard, nurture, and shape. We, the members of the Board of Trustees, have great confidence in you.”