Newswise — Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, a leader in health care policy and nursing development, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree from the State University of New York at Upstate Medical University Commencement Sunday, May 17 at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center, Oncenter Complex, 800 S. State St., Syracuse.

Burnes Bolton is vice president for nursing, chief nursing officer, and director of Nursing Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. She is one of the principal investigators at The Burns and Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai. To date, she has served as the principal investigator on 10 research projects, totaling over $12 million, related to health services management, the evolution of nursing and improved modes of patient care delivery.

Early in her career, Burnes Bolton was among those representing the National Black Nurses Association who were contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Nursing to develop a community education program for the Healthy People 2000 program. The effort resulted in the Community Collaboration Model that linked physicians and nurses in professional societies with neighborhood businesses and organizations, reaching people to raise awareness of how they can take charge in improving their health. Today, the initiative is used as a model in more than 100 communities throughout the United States.

Burnes Bolton also served as vice chair of the Institute of Medicine Commission on the Future of Nursing, whose report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, served as a foundation for changes in the nursing profession and the health care delivery system. The report’s recommendations focused on the critical intersection between the health needs of diverse, changing patient populations across the lifespan and the actions of the nursing workforce.

Burnes Bolton is the current president of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and is past president of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Black Nurses Association. She serves as a trustee at Case Western Reserve University and to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Organization of Nurse Executives. In 2011 she was named one of the top 25 women in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and one of the top 10 health care executives by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In that same year, an endowed nursing leadership scholarship was established in her name at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing. Burnes Bolton also holds positions as an associate clinical professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and University of California, Los Angeles.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in nursing from Arizona State University, Burnes Bolton received two master’s degrees, one in maternal child health, the other in population health. She also earned a doctorate in population health and behavioral science. All her advanced degrees were awarded by the University of California, Los Angeles.

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