Nursing Leadership

Karen Owings, MSN, RN-BC
Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
BSN - Villa Julie College
MSN - Walden University

Karen Owings, MSN, RN-BC is the vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer for MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

Karen most recently has served as assistant vice president for Nursing Operations at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, where she was responsible for integrating policies and procedures across the nursing departments. She previously served as director of Patient Care Services at MedStar Union Memorial.

Throughout her 30-year MedStar career, Karen has provided significant contributions to system initiatives and priorities, which most recently includes the MedStar Quality and Safety Steering Committee, MedStar Stroke Committee, and MedStar Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) Steering Committee. She has obtained a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and served as the project lead on the Behavioral Health Readmission Lean Project. Additionally, Karen serves as a member of the MedStar 2020 Performance Transformation Workforce Management Sub-Committee.

Karen earned a bachelor of science in Nursing from Villa Julie College and a master of science in Nursing from Walden University.

Assistant Vice Presidents (AVPs)/Directors

80x101px_carol-gambrill-5698Carol Gambril, MS, RN
Director, Patient Care Services Clinical Informatics



80x101px_perdue_lauranewLaura Perdue, BSN, MS, CNOR
Director, Peri-Operative Services



Toni Manuel-Monroe, MS, RN-BC, CMSRN
Director, Nursing Professional Development and Education


80x101px_nancy-hebert-5676Nancy Hebert, RRT
Director, Respiratory Therapy

AA - Baltimore City Community College

Nancy is a registered Respiratory Therapist and has 30 years of experience in Respiratory Therapy. Her previous experience includes serving as a critical care respiratory therapist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Nancy is a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and a Certified Sleep Educator.

Nancy came to MedStar Good Samaritan in 1987 as a clinical therapist. She was promoted into a supervisory position in 1989 and worked closely with the Rehab Medicine Department to develop procedures and write policies to co-treat patients requiring mechanical ventilation in need of rehab. Nancy has been the Director for the Respiratory Care Department since 1994. Her current job responsibilities include overseeing a Respiratory Therapy Department comprised of 50 Respiratory Therapists, Pulmonary Function Lab and a 4-bed Sleep Center accredited by the American Association of Sleep Medicine.

Platt_KevinKevin Platt, PT, MBA
Senior Director, Rehabilitation

BS in Physical Therapy - University of Scranton
MBA - Loyola University
Fellow Designate ACHE

Kevin has administrative responsibility for the 51-bed,
CARF-accredited Medical Rehabilitation Program at
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. He began his career over 20 years ago, working with patients with traumatic brain injury at REHAB Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. He went on to provide care in a variety of settings, including comprehensive outpatient, industrial rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedics & sports medicine, home care, and post-acute services, and has held licenses in CA, CT, FL, HI, MA and PA.

Kevin joins MedStar Good Samaritan with vast experience in healthcare leadership and his competencies include: identifying and implementing best practices, directing for outcomes, building strong professional relationships, developing business plans and strategy, and navigating our ever-changing market and regulatory environments. He believes in clear communication, teamwork, accountability, honesty and integrity, and is committed to delivering services with the highest level of excellence, focused on our patients.

Kevin is a Fellow Designate of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and serves as Treasurer for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) of Maryland, and a Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates.

Patient Care Managers

80x101px_carol-hiteshew-5644Carol Hiteshew, RN, MSN
Patient Care Manager

BSN - University of Maryland
MS - University of Maryland

Carol joined MedStar Good Samaritan as the patient care manager for 5 East. Carol received her BSN and her Master's degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Maryland. She brings more than 30 years of combined clinical and management experience in acute care to her position, focusing on quality patient care.

80x101px_amy-keegan-5816Amy Keegan, RN, BSN, CEN
Patient Care Manager

BSN - Nursing, RN, CEN Salisbury State University
LPN - Eastern Vocational Technical High School

Amy Keegan started with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital as part of the transitional care unit and emergency department before moving onto her management role as patient care manager. She values her time in emergency care because it served as a great learning tool and developed the quick thinking needed for patient care.

Amy's Certified Emergency Nursing (CEN) certification displays her ongoing commitment to the profession and her patients. She also holds membership in the Emergency Nursing Association (ENA).

Pukacz_CeCiCeCi Pukacz, RN, BSN
Patient Care Manager

AA - Science Concentration Villa Julie
BSN, RN - Villa Julie

CeCi Pukacz has over 18 years of experience in nursing including five years in critical care and ten years in patient care management. Her role at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital started with her work in the transitional care unit and continued as an emergency department nurse and then manager, before taking a management position in the short stay unit. Her greatest satisfaction is seeing her critical thinking skills result in an improvement in a patient's condition right before her eyes.

In addition to her intensive patient care experience, she was recognized by Advance for Nurses magazine as the Nurse Leader of the Year in 2004.

Castro_RosineRosine Castro, RN, BSN
Heart Care Unit

BSN - University of St. La Salle, Philippines

Rosine is an experienced nurse with a background in renal and oncology nursing. Throughout her career, Rosine’s leadership skills and commitment to her healthcare team have led her to be highly recognized by her peers. Being well prepared as she stepped into the manager role on the Heart Care Unit, Rosine possesses years of valuable management experience as a charge nurse and patient care coordinator.

80x101px_carol-zeller-5639Carol Zeller, RN, MSN, CRRN
Patient Care Manager

BS - University of Maryland at Baltimore
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Carol Zeller brings to her patient care role a broad nursing background including extensive experience in rehabilitation as a patient care manager, program coordinator and assistant head nurse for various rehab units.

Carol continues her commitment to the profession with certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) through the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.

fodel_raeRae Fodel, RN, BSN
Patient Care Manager

BSN, RN - Villa Julie

Working in an Emergency Room that hosts over 60,000 visits annually from residents of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Rae Fodel has many years of experience in emergency nursing. Rae is a certified emergency nurse and is an active member of the hospital Stroke, Medication Safety and Patient Experience committees.

Nursing Educators

80x101px_alexis-braxton-5721Alexis Braxton RN, MSN, CEN
Education Specialist

BSN – University of Maryland
MSN– Notre Dame of Maryland University

Energetic and outgoing, Alexis is excited to work as a nurse educator in the emergency department. Working as a staff and agency nurse for years, Alexis has had a wide range of experience in several emergency departments in the Baltimore and Anne Arundel areas. Her skills as charge nurse and preceptor in the emergency department prepared her for her role as a nurse educator. In addition, to planning educational activities for existing emergency department staff, Alexis coordinates the Emergency Department Nurse Fellowship Program and serves as a facilitator for the UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program for new graduate nurses. She also serves on the MedStar Nursing Product Evaluation and Standardization Council. In coordination with Dr. Anitra Johnson, DHSc, RN, Alexis recently presented a poster presentation at the Maryland Nurses' Association Annual Conference entitled "Bridging the Gap: The Emergency Nurse Residency Program."

Alexis is a Certified Emergency Nurse and a member of the Emergency Nurses Association. She is an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and serves as Associate Faculty at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has also worked as a State of Maryland Certified Delegating Nurse and Case Manager, providing education and training for assisted living staff.

Joy Burke, RN, MSN, CCRN
Education Specialist

BSN - Towson University
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Joy Burke has over 30 years of experience in nursing including 26 years of critical care experience. Her role at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital as clinical placement coordinator involves working directly with all of the nursing education pipeline programs in the staff development office. Joy also serves as one of the education specialists for the Short Stay Unit (SSU).

In addition to her nursing and education program experience, she is active as a member of AACN as well as a board member of the AACN Chesapeake Bay Chapter. She and Johanna Romero DeSlavy recently presented a poster titled "Mentoring is the Right Choice" at a national nursing conference for the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO).

80x101px_melanie-karner-5802Melanie Karner, BA, BSN, DNC, CWOCN
Wound Care Specialist

BA - Psychology/Anthropology University of Maryland
AS Nursing - Essex Community College
BSN Nursing - Notre Dame of Maryland University

With over 15 years of nursing experience as a medical/surgical, staff and charge nurse, Melanie has easily transitioned to the department of nursing education. For over five years, Melanie has worked as one of the wound and ostomy nurses at the hospital. Melanie graduated from the WOC program through Metropolitan University 2012, and is now a CWOCN and a member of the Safety & Quality Council and the Professional Practice Council. She is a member of the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurses’ Society (WOCN) and in 2013 was awarded a travel scholarship to attend the national consortium. Melanie is also certified in dermatology and is a licensed esthetician, a member of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Melanie provides skin cancer screenings and education to the community for the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Daisy Fischer, RN, MSN, CPAN
Education Specialist

Nursing - St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing
BSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Daisy is the education specialist for ICU/CCU, HCU and IMC. She has over 35 years of experience in nursing, including positions in Med/Surg, Critical Care, PACU and Nursing Education.

Her path to becoming a nurse educator was set in motion by her work as a member and chair of the Nursing Education Council.

Daisy is a member of AACN, STTI and ASPAN, and is certified in PeriAnesthesia Nursing (CPAN). She was also given the distinction of "Nurse of the Year" at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in 2005.

Kathy Gnardellis, MSN, RN, CCRN
Education Specialist

BS Nursing - University of Maryland
MS Nursing - University of Maryland

Kathy has been a part of the MedStar Good Samaritan family for the past 15 years and is the education specialist for Rehabilitation Nursing Services. A University of Maryland graduate for both her bachelors and Master of Science Degrees in Nursing, Kathy has over 35 years of nursing experience in the fields of neurology and rehabilitation, both inpatient and sub acute.

She is the advisor for unit-based councils and past chair and member of the hospital-wide Nursing Research Council. Certified in Rehabilitation Nursing since 1992, she promotes specialty nursing certification and over 50% of the rehab nursing staff is certified as a result. In addition, her special interests are spinal cord injury, nursing research and evidence-based practice.

Katherine Gundzik, RN, MSN, CCRN
Clinical Nurse Specialist

MSN - Clinical Nurse Specialist, Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing

Kathy is a clinical nurse specialist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, overseeing unit education for 2 Med/Surg units, O'Neill 3 and O’Neill 4, with a specialty focus on the orthopaedic, stroke and renal patient populations. She has over three decades of nursing experience including critical care, post anesthesia care and nursing education.

Kathy maintains certifications in CCRN and served as past president of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. 

Ivy Simmons, RN, BSN
Education/Education Specialist
Nursing Renal Services

BSN – Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Ivy has served as a registered nurse for the past 14 years in the Renal Department at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Her roles have included staff nurse, charge nurse, preceptor/mentor and patient care manager. For the last four years, Ivy has served as the Renal Department’s Education Specialist.

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital not only has one of the largest dialysis centers in the state, but also is an approved training facility by the Maryland Board of Nursing for the Certified Nursing Assistant Dialysis Technician Program. Ivy has been the acting Program Director and instructor at MedStar Good Samaritan for the last 4 years. Ivy is passionate about teaching and educating both staff and patients in regards to best patient care outcomes as they relate to End Stage Kidney Disease.

Ivy is also a member of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Nephrology Nurses Association.

80x101px_michele-pitt-5689Michele Pitt, BA, BSN, RN, CWOCN
Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse

BA Psychology - Notre Dame of Maryland University
BS Nursing - Coppin State University

Michele serves as a wound and ostomy continence nurse at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and has been a valuable part of the nursing staff for 11 years. Her past experience involves work in inpatient rehabilitation, specializing in spinal cord injuries. More recently, Michele has been working with patients with wounds, and providing education to patients with a new ostomy.

Michele's long-term goals are to start a support group for new ostomates and ultimately help to open an outpatient ostomy clinic to provide continuing support for those living with an ostomy.

Johanna Romero-DeSlavy, RN, MSN, CRRN-BC
Education Specialist

BS - University of Maryland, Baltimore County
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Johanna Romero de Slavy brings 17 years of experience to MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, including 11 years in an acute rehabilitation/medical-surgical unit. Her roles have included charge nurse, preceptor and mentor. In recent years, Johanna has become an education specialist and is now working with the Short Stay Unit (SSU). She also serves as a nurse coach to all novice nurses. Her passion is teaching and educating others on how to best use the tools available to them.

Johanna holds certification in Certification in Rehabilitation Registered Nurses (CRRN) and Certification in Gerontology (BC). She also holds membership in Association Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN).

80x101px_yolanda-thornton-5781Yolanda Thornton, MSN, RN

Education Specialist

AAS - Monroe County Community College
BS - University of Rochester School of Nursing
MS - University of Rochester School of Nursing

Yolanda brings 21 years of healthcare experience to her role as an educator with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Her nursing experience consist of a variety of roles including medical office assistant, surgical technician, medical/surgical staff nurse, operating room staff and travel nursing and family nurse practitioner.

Her role as clinical nurse specialist for perioperative services involves coordinating unit-based orientation and competencies for staff in the ASU, PACU and operating room. Educational duties include coordinating the nursing fellowship program for novice nurses in the operating room. She also coordinates clinical rotations for surgical technician students and nursing students in perioperative areas.

Yolanda is an American Heart Association CPR instructor and is also an active member of the Chesapeake Bay Perioperative Consortium.

Debbie Wagner, RN, BC, MSN, OCN
Education Specialist

BSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University
MA - Notre Dame of Maryland University
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Debbie Wagner has a variety of nursing experience that she brings to her role as an education specialist with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Her experience includes a number of nursing positions including staff nurse and assistant head nurse as well as manager of medical/surgical oncology units. Her role as a nursing nursing educator involves coordinating monthly orientation for nursing staff and functioning as a nurse planner for MNA-approved activities at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. In addition to her education program responsibilities, she is co-chair of medication safety committee and coordinator for the glycemic task force and diabetes resource nurses.

Debbie is a certified oncology nurse and board certified in nursing staff development. She has also lectured on various topics including medical/surgical, medication safety and oncology.

80x101px_karen-droter5791Karen Droter, RN, MSN, CCRN, CPAN
Personification Manager

AA - Essex Community College
BSN - College of Notre Dame
MSN - Notre Dame of Maryland University

Karen Droter is directing the Magnet initiative at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. Karen brings to the position over 28 years of experience in med-surg, critical care and perianesthesia nursing. She has been a member of the Professional Practice Council and has served as a Diabetes Resource Nurse. Karen is certified in both critical care and perianesthesia nursing. She is active on the Chesapeake Bay Chapter-AACN Board of Directors and is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Society of Perianesthesia Nurses. Karen is passionate about the nursing profession and is excited to support a culture of nursing excellence throughout MGSH.

80x101px_kathryn-abby-brzezenski-ross-5764Abby Brzezenski, BSN, RN, CEN



JoAnn Kennedy-Hoyte, BSN, RN

80x101px_mary-humeniuk-smith5751Mary Humeniuk-Smith, RN

BSN – Enrolled
AA- Essex Community College

Mary has been the night shift charge nurse for 20 years and the Patient Care Coordinator PCC on orthopedic /joint experience unit for 8 years.  She worked as the Interim Patient Care Manager for 1 year and has stepped into the permanent role of Patient care manager on the orthopedic /joint experience unit in 2015.  Mary actively works as an integral member the collaborative team that conducts the Geri-Ortho program on O’Neil 3 (ONL3). 

Certifications include Med-Surg Nursing (CMSRN) and Orthopedic Nursing(ONC) and Mary has completed the 20-hour Niche program. 

As a member of the Operation Walk team, Mary traveled to Peru and Ecuador Mary worked with a medical team to provide free joint replacements to under privileged citizens of those countries (45+ replacements in one week). Hobbies include cooking (has been published in cooking magazines), gardening, reading and spending time with my family.

80x101px_rashida-mcdonald-5620Rashida McDonald, RN, MHA