Kathleen Chavanu Gorman, MSN, RN, FAAN, is the EVP of Patient Care Services and Chief Operating Officer at Children’s National. Previously Ms. Gorman served as the SVP of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Assistant Dean of Clinical Practice at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Prior to her tenure at CHOP, Ms. Gorman was VP of Quality and Clinical Support Services at Children’ National for over a decade. Ms. Gorman has advanced the national agenda on improving child health outcomes through leadership in committees for the National Quality Forum, The Leapfrog Group, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), American Board of Pediatrics, Institute of Medicine, and others. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for The DAISY Foundation, the American Hospital Association – Maternal Child Council, the American Academy of Nursing – Finance Committee, and other advisory boards. She received her Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing and is a graduate from Wharton School of Business: Johnson & Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow program.

Children’s National Hospital celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research, and commitment to community. Children’s National has been on the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis caring for children and supporting their families. Children’s National was the first to set up a community drive-up/walk-up testing site for children. Over 2,200 children who were referred to us by their pediatrician have been tested and 29% have tested positive.  Children’s National is one of the top treatment centers for pediatric cases of COVI9-19 and Multisystem inflammatory disease (MIS-C) in the country. MIS-C is a condition where the body can become inflamed, including major organs and is similar to Kawasaki disease. While we do not yet know the cause, many children with MIS-C had the virus or had been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have improved with medical care. Children’s National also worked with public health entities to temporarily advance their license to serve individuals under 30 years old.  This required the clinical team to learn techniques to address and manage care of the young adult population.

Ms. Gorman has relied on resilience while leading her organization during the COVID-19 crisis and sustaining hospital operations, facing intense financial pressures with a decline in elective volumes and recovery efforts now underway, as our country focuses on racial injustices. “Never has it been more important for nurses to step forward and lead than during this crisis. With over four million nurses in our country, we can be impactful in leading our communities to change the trajectory and influence policy changes impacting health discrepancies at the national level.  Being the most trusted health care professional, people want to hear nursing’s voice during this crisis. Nurses have the ability to engage in open and difficult conversations. We need to acknowledge the incredible pain and sadness of our fellow black Americans and nursing colleagues and use our skills to empathize, listen and to advocate. It is our responsibility to step forward and respond to health disparities and determine how health for all people will look as we unify and move forward on this journey to equality” said Ms. Gorman.

Ms. Gorman describes taking a Board room to Bedside approach to leadership and leading down to lead up.  “It is important to be close to the operations that serve patients and families and support the frontline clinical team providing care.  Understanding the issues, resolving them quickly is crucial to success. Through advocating for staff, managing expectations and communicating to the CEO and our Board we are ensuring that we meeting the needs of our community,” said Ms. Gorman.

Call to Action

  • There has never been a better time to change the world and to promote health in our communities and in our country.
  • Take a formal stance on healthcare for all patients and against racial injustice. Nursing is not a discipline of color- there are no boundaries when it comes to health. Health disparities must be addressed.
  • Nurses are natural problem solvers and good at leading through crisis Lean in and lead from where you are standing – you will make a difference.
  • Focus on rebuilding.  Advocate for better health for our communities and reach those most vulnerable who need our nursing leadership expertise to change the outcomes.