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Profile – Esther Emard: Routhier Executive in Residence

Esther Emard: Routhier Executive in Residence

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Esther Emard, MSN, RN, MSLIR holds the position of Executive in Residence at The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing. The title however doesn’t really tell you much about what she does.

Interim Dean Mary Sullivan had been looking for a person to fill the Routhier Chair of Practice created by a gift from the Routhier Foundation in 2007 which was currently vacant. Fortunately for the Nursing School, she was able to come up with a solution in the person of Esther Emard who had long ties to the University. According to Ms. Emard, “This temporary vacancy was a wonderful opportunity for her to support the College of Nursing.” Esther earned her Masters in Nursing and a Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations at The University of Rhode Island and was currently teaching at George Washington University School of Nursing while also serving on the Care New England Health Care System’s Board of Directors, Vice Chair of their Quality Committee, Credentialing Committee and Co-Chair of the VNA Clinical Services and Quality Improvement Committee. She is a member of the Blueprint for Health Executive Committee for the State of Vermont and a member of the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurse Associations of America.  According to Esther, “Serving on these boards keeps her current on regional and national health care issues. It also enables her to provide an expanded perspective to some of the challenges and opportunities that are in the current health care delivery system.”

Ms. Emard has over thirty years of health care executive leadership on a national, regional, and local level. Among her many positions, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Committee for Quality Assurance for twelve years and then an additional one as a consultant for the organization.  Prior to that, she was Senior Vice President for all health care delivery services, in all five New England State for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. She currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Nursing and has recently been appointed to the Search Committee for the Dean’s position for the College of Nursing. Esther was also recently appointed as a Trustee for the URI Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous national, regional and local awards of recognition for her service to the nursing community and health care in general. Ms. Emard had previously taught at The University of Rhode Island almost twenty years ago, and currently teaches two courses at the Doctoral level: “Theoretical Study of Nursing Administration/Leadership” and “Health & Social Policy”.

In her position as Routhier Executive in Residence, she has created of a series of lectures for the entire Nursing Community of Rhode Island. “This has been a wonderful opportunity to be innovative in structuring the lectures and working to advance the nursing role in the health care system within Rhode Island”, according to Esther. “The topics for the lectures are cutting edge issues facing the practice of nursing in all areas.” Her target audience is “all Registered Nurses in Rhode Island” but the lectures are open to all health care people as well as the general public. Nurses receive contact hours for continuing education while attending the lectures. The lectures are rotated to geographically diverse locations: the first one was at URI, the second at Miriam Hospital and the third lecture series will be held at Butler Hospital. Because of her own diverse contacts and experience, Ms. Emard has been able to attract an exceptional group of national, regional and local experts to speak on the current challenges and opportunities in Health Care today.

The first lecture topic in this series was titled “Realizing the Potential of Health Reform for Nursing; The Opportunities and Challenges. Are We Ready?” The second series was titled “Using Payment to Advance Delivery System Reform” The third lecture series which will be held on November 13th.  “Leadership in today’s complex health care environment: what’s required?”  The working topic for the final lecture program (in April 2016) will be focused on “Using Performance Measurement to advance Health Care, Quality and Patient Safety”.  The location for the final lecture has not been determined.

In all of these lectures, Ms. Emard has tried to convey the idea that “there are challenges and opportunities for nursing practice to advance health and health care. “In many instances there are external factors far beyond Rhode Island and even New England that are demanding changes in how we pay and deliver health care.” “We all need to be aware of these changes.” Ms. Emard state that she is “most grateful for the opportunity to be able to support the goals of the Routhier Lecture series and URI’s College of Nursing”.

Ms. Emard has been asked to continue on in the position of Routhier Executive in Residence for another year. The University of Rhode Island has been fortunate in finding such unique and talented individual to continue providing her leadership and input to the College of Nursing and the Nursing Community of Rhode Island.




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