Dr. Mary M. Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, AOCN, FAAN, is the Corporate Director of Nursing Evidence Based Practice and Research for Emory Healthcare and the former Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown. She holds an adjunct faculty position at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. Dr. Gullatte is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with a specialization in Oncology and primary care and has over 40 years of oncology nursing experience. Dr. Gullatte’s clinical nursing background spans the specialties of hematology, oncology and blood and marrow stem cell and solid organ transplant. She holds professional memberships in the Oncology Nursing Society (Past-President 2012-2014), American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau. In 2010, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing. Dr Gullatte exemplifies nursing leadership, innovation, and mentorship. She is a highly published author and sought after national and international speaker.

The current crisis has led nurse leaders on the frontlines of COVID-19 to become more innovative and challenge the status quo. By cultivating clinical inquiry, Dr. Gullatte has increased the number of nurse led, evidence-based practice (EBP) manuscripts related to COVID-19 response innovations. “Nurses are often so preoccupied with providing patient care that they often do not realize they are contributing to novel, innovative best practices.  I leverage ZOOM technology to connect, inspire, encourage, and support nurses to disseminate their extraordinary innovative work with the broader nursing community.  I engage with nurses on their innovation projects by offering suggestions, synthesizing literature, editing, and guiding preparation of their manuscripts for submission to nursing journals. For many, it is their first time submitting a manuscript for publication”, said Dr. Gullatte. “We need to share these innovations and emerging best practices to be prepared for the next crisis. Many of the infection prevention standards learned and applied to EBOLA in 2014 from the EMORY Serious Communicable Disease Unit are being applied now,” said Dr. Gullatte.

Dr. Gullatte is seeing robust innovation from nurse leaders and clinicians across all areas of patient care delivery including workflow design, nursing education and training and transitional care models. “One example of a best practice innovation is care transition of COVID-19 positive patients from inpatient to home.  Others include leveraging transdisciplinary telemedicine and technology to help patients with self-care management, connect them to supportive services and improve compliance with primary care follow up appointments. These are just a few examples of how nurses are improving patient care delivery to promote best outcomes. There is also nurse led innovations in resiliency and self-care that will be critical to reducing compassion fatigue and burnout and promoting workforce retention efforts and beneficial to all members of the health care team,” said Dr. Gullatte.

Dr. Gullatte sits on the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Nurses Foundation (GNF) and is a member of the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) who are elevating the role of nursing to the public by using local media channels. “The GNA created a very successful public service announcement that recognized the public trust of nurses to encourage an effective way to keep people home. The message was leveraging the public image of nurses as the most trusted and ethical profession-You trust us to take care of you; Trust us now:  stay  home, maintain social distancing, and wash hands, to  stay safe is the message in the brief GNA branded video message,” said  Dr. Gullatte. GNARNTRUST

Call to Action

  • Recognize the value of interprofessional team-based care and listening.  Every voice counts and every member of the health care team is valued for what they bring to the problem solving, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability table.
  • Value the voice of each team member from the environmental specialist to therapists, nurses, physicians, and administrators.
  • Find ways to demonstrate high touch while delivering high tech.
  • Caring for the staff who care for the patients is important to patient care.
  • Self-Care – remember to take care of you as you care for others.

Keep pressing ever forward. Do not think of getting back to “normal”. Instead sustain the relationships, collaborative partnerships and respect to forge and sustain a new normal were every voice counts and everyone is valued.

“As nurses we are masters at giving from the heart, showing compassion and empathy. We often forget to apply that for ourselves-especially in times of crisis like this pandemic response in healthcare. Nurse leaders can place care of the caregiver (nurses, doctors, therapists,…every health care worker) at the top of the pyramid regardless of job title first in assuring self-care tools, such as teaching mindfulness and resilience, including the value of rest, sleep and good nutrition during this time. To promote continued joy in work, mitigate compassion fatigue/burnout, and foster retention at every level” says Dr. Gullatte.