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Ellen O'Brien
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January 7, 2002

Victoria L. Rich, PhD, named Chief Nursing Officer for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Victoria L. Rich, PhD, has been appointed Chief Nursing Officer for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), a 672-bed quaternary care facility included annually on the national "honor roll" for hospitals compiled by U.S. News & World Report.
Dr. Rich, formerly Vice President for Patient Care Services at the University Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., assumes her post at HUP today.
"After a national search for the best person to lead our nursing service, we know we can offer Dr. Rich an enthusiastic welcome," said Garry L. Scheib, HUP Executive Director. "She comes to us with the highest credentials and experience, and a reputation for creative, visionary nursing leadership."

A specialist in the field of medical-care safety and staff dynamics, Dr. Rich was responsible for the clinical operations at University Community Hospital in Tampa, which encompasses a 434-bed tertiary care hospital and a 120-bed community hospital. Along with the nursing service, she oversaw the pharmacy, laboratory, neurodiagnostics, emergency services and a 27-bed, hospital-based skilled nursing unit.

At HUP, Dr. Rich will be responsible for the HUP Nursing Service, which includes the hospital's nurses, certified nursing assistants and support staff, and for advancing patient care by developing procedures designed to further clinical accuracy, professional responsiveness and compassion in all aspects of hospital service.

"I'm pleased to join colleagues at HUP who, by diligence and sacrifice in the face of
the myriad challenges confronting the health care industry, have established themselves as national leaders in the field of medical care and fostered HUP's reputation as one of the most vibrant and esteemed hospitals in the country," Dr. Rich said. "I hope and expect to use my own expertise to contribute to the Penn Health System's mission of providing the highest quality care to every patient HUP serves."

Dr. Rich is an acknowledged expert on patient safety. She is a sentinel event consultant for BBRN Consulting and the Horty Springer law firm in developing safety plans for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JAHCO), the Agency for Health Care Administration, and Health Care Financing Administration. Last year she served on the Florida Hospital Association's Steering Committee for Patient Safety and Reduction of Medical Errors. She has also lectured on the topic of medical-error reduction.

At University Community hospital, Dr. Rich developed a "bi-directional communication" program for the nursing staff that included an annual nurse management retreat, a preceptor program, a monthly newsletter, round-the-clock quarterly meetings for the nursing staff and the institution of RN and LPN of the year awards.
"I know that Dr. Rich will make major contributions to patient care at HUP as well as in our University of Pennsylvania nursing education and research missions," said Dr. Maureen McCausland, Chief Nursing Executive of UPHS.

Dr. Rich is a graduate in Biology of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she was also awarded a BSN degree, summa cum laude. She holds MSN and doctoral degrees in Nursing Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Graduate School of Nursing at the University of South Florida and the University of Pittsburgh.

Her many professional association memberships include: the Health Advisory Board Nursing Academy, Voluntary Hospitals of America, Southeast Nursing Executives, the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, and both Eta and Zeta Lamda chapters of Sigma Theta Tau. Her research has included an ethnographic study of emergency room culture in South Florida, and a cooperative effort with New York University to examine the abuse of the elderly in emergency rooms. Her doctoral dissertation examined methods for preventing staff-nurse burnout.


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