Dr. Kathy Rapala, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing, has been named the new director of nursing’s Telehealth Accelerator Grant. She will begin her new role on Monday, June 13.
Patricia Schroeder, the founding director, will remain involved with the grant and its escalating work as executive chair. She will transition day–to–day leadership to Rapala.
A faculty member in the College of Nursing for the past three years, Rapala’s expertise spans leadership, risk management, quality and patient safety and contemporary healthcare practice and operations. She currently leads the Health Systems Leadership Program in the College of Nursing and serves as the quality and patient safety course leader. She works closely with Doctor of Nursing Practice students completing their capstone projects. She led the evaluation work, stemming from the College of Nursing strategic plan, to define the characteristics of The Marquette Nurse.
Rapala was formerly the vice president of clinical risk management for Advocate Aurora Health and the vice president of clinical risk management at Aurora Health Care, responsible for clinical risk, accreditation, patient safety and policy.
Rapala’s prior positions include visiting associate professor at Purdue School of Nursing, director of the Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety and director of risk management and patient safety at Clarian Health Partners (now IU Health). Rapala was in the first American Hospital Association/National Patient Safety Foundation Patient Safety Fellowship in 2001.
Rapala chairs the national IHI Patient Safety Certification Executive Oversight Committee and is an IHI faculty member. Her 2008 grant to link smart pump databases grew into the over 400 facility-strong Purdue Regenstrief REMEDI international pump collaborative, which won the 2018 IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute Medtronic Safety Culture and Technology Innovator Award.
Rapala will dedicate 50% of her role to serving as the director of the Telehealth Accelerator and will retain leadership as program director of nursing’s Health Systems Leadership program, as well.