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Inside the Classroom

Excela nursing officer tapped as key speaker for St. Vincent commencement

Jeff Himler
| Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, 5:03 p.m.
From left, Jim and Dr. Carol Fox, Excela chief medical officer, join Helen Burns, Excela chief nursing officer, for a photo during the Old-Fashioned Italian Christmas for Excela Health Hospice, held at Rizzo’s Banquet Hall in Crabtree on November 29, 2018.
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
From left, Jim and Dr. Carol Fox, Excela chief medical officer, join Helen Burns, Excela chief nursing officer, for a photo during the Old-Fashioned Italian Christmas for Excela Health Hospice, held at Rizzo’s Banquet Hall in Crabtree on November 29, 2018.

Helen K. Burns, Excela Health’s senior vice president and chief nursing officer, will provide the keynote address at Saint Vincent College’s Dec. 15 commencement.

The college will confer 139 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees beginning at 11 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center of the Robert S. Carey Student Center.

In her role at Excela, which she’s held since January 2011, Burns oversees all nursing at three licensed hospitals and two outpatient surgery centers, and for home care and hospice services.

A registered nurse, Burns has served as deputy secretary of health planning and assessment for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Her research has been published in numerous professional journals.

A graduate of the Latrobe Area Hospital School of Nursing, she completed her nursing degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania before earning master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

Burns was a staff clinician in the intensive coronary care unit and head nurse in the emergency department at Excela Latrobe Hospital before serving as director of critical care services and manager of clinical service lines at Excela Westmoreland Hospital.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, she was associate dean for clinical education in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing, where she is an adjunct professor. She served as a consultant during the planning stages of the new bachelor of science in nursing collaboration between Saint Vincent and Carlow University.

Burns sits on the board of directors for Excela Health and serves as a member of its quality and governance committees. She has been active in various professional nursing organizations.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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