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Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN
VA Boston Health Care System
Boston, Massachusetts


Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN, is the daughter of an Army Veteran and has been a member of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs since 2001. She has served on the national NOVA board for eleven years and assumed the role as NOVA President in January 2020. Kelly currently serves as Treasurer of NOVA Chapter 226 where she has served as President, Secretary, Membership Secretary and Director. Kelly is also a member of the American Nurses Association, Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Kelly obtained a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Boston College in 1991 and a Master's Degree from the University of Massachusetts - Boston in 1999. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree from MGH Institute of Health Professions in May 2018. Kelly is an Advanced Practice Nurse who is certified in rehabilitation, wound care, and foot care.

Kelly is in her 30th year of continuous nursing service at the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS). She started as a nursing assistant in 1989. She has been functioning as the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Specialist at the VABHS since 2001. Kelly serves as the VISN 1 Nurse Professional Standards Board (NPSB) Consultant and Chairperson of the VABHS NPSB. She is the Chairperson of the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing Committee and Co-chairperson of the Nursing Retention, Recognition, and Recruitment Committee at the VABHS. Kelly states that one of her goals for NOVA is to "promote the image and professional status of VA nursing." She enjoys working with other VA nurses at the local and national level who support the advancement of nursing and strive to provide quality care to those Veterans who have served America. 

Taryn-Janae Wilcox-Olson, MHS, RN
President Elect
VA Portland Healthcare System
Portland, Oregon


TJ Wilcox-Olson, MHS, RN, has been a NOVA member since 2010 and previously sat on the Board of Directors as Director and Membership Secretary.

She is a member of NOVA’s Annual Meeting Planning, Membership (co-chair), Social Media (chair), and Legislative Committees. Ms. Wilcox-Olson is the Patient Safety Manager for VA Portland Health Care System. She began her nursing career as a pediatric nurse with a goal throughout nursing school to work at the VA. She was offered and accepted a position at VA Black Hills in January 2008 and began her VA nursing career in mental health on an acute care inpatient unit.

In 2011, she became the Patient Safety Manager there and held that position until March 2018 when she transferred to VA Portland Health Care System. Ms. Wilcox-Olson appreciates being able to work with her peers from across the country to improve quality care for our Veterans wherever they choose to be seen. She believes NOVA is a vital part of building a large supportive, understanding, resourceful network of nurses who are skilled to care for the Veteran population. 

Ruth Holmes, MSA, BSN, RN
Office of the Medical Inspector, VA Central Office
Washington, DC


Ruth Holmes, MSA, BSN, RN, is a Clinical Program Manager and Nurse Investigator in the Office of the Medical Inspector (OMI) for the VA Central Office. In this role she ensures quality of care throughout the 153 VA Medical Centers and clinics throughout the nation, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines. She has been in the nursing profession and federal sector for over 33 years, having a diverse clinical background with over 17 years of management, mentoring and varied leadership experiences. Ms. Holmes is a US Air Force Nurse Corps Officer and Veteran who served 8 years in various supervisory roles, to include: Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and as a Flight Nurse overseas in the Philippines. She has been with the Veterans Health Administration for a total of 25 years. She worked at the Hampton VAMC (1987-2004) in several leadership positions to include: Nurse Manager of the Nursing Home Care Unit, Nurse Manager and Service Line Associated Chief SCI/D, and as the Director of Patient Care Services, SCI/D. She serves on several VACO and national workgroups and committees. Ms. Holmes received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from Seton Hall University and her Master’s of Science in Health Administration Degree from Central Michigan University. She is an Adjunct Clinical Nursing instructor at the Hampton University School of Nursing, New Horizon’s Technical Institute, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She has completed multiple VA and DOD leadership programs: 2003 Leadership, Evaluation and Assessment Program; 2003 Executive Career Field Candidacy Program; 2004 LVA; 2006 Interagency Institute of Federal Healthcare Executives, and the 2007 Federal Executive Institute for Executive Nurses. In 2008, she participated as a nurse leader in the prestigious American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) co-sponsored, People to People Nurse Executive Delegation to South Africa. In this role, she was part of a one on one dialogue with African counterparts specializing in nursing administration. Ms. Holmes is also a Carey Award Examiner, a Presidential Management Fellow mentor, and preceptor to a VISN 6 LDI selectee. In addition, she serves as an unofficial mentor to several VHA leaders including Associate Directors, Nurse Managers, Nurse Practitioners and Heath System Specialists. She is an active member of the American College of Health Care Executives. She has been certified in Gerontology and Nursing Administration. Ms. Holmes has been a member of NOVA for 4 years and serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the NOVA Board of Directors. 

Teresa Acosta, DNP, MSN, RN
Membership Secretary
El Paso VA Health Care System
El Paso, Texas


Teresa Acosta, DNP, MSN, RN, is currently the Occupational Health Nurse for the El Paso VA Health Care System, overseeing the management of the health and wellness for all employees, staff and volunteers . She has been a nurse for 25 years. She joined the VA system in 2010, and brings diverse nursing experiences comprising of public health, community, psychiatric, quality, infection control and ambulatory care nursing. Teresa is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, where she obtained a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Nursing Administration. She has a Masters Degree in Community Health Nursing and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and Spanish from the University of Texas, El Paso, Texas. Teresa Acosta is passionate about nursing and understands the significance of the nurse’s role in advocating for nurses, the nursing profession, and quality health care for all in today’s complex health care system. Teresa Acosta has been an active NOVA member since 2012. Teresa was appointed to the NOVA Legislative Committee in 2012. She joined NOVA’s Board of Directors in 2015. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association, for which NOVA is a proud Organizational Affiliate, as well as a member of the Texas Nurses Association District 1 and Sigma Theta Tau. She is also the current Secretary of the Texas Nurses Association District 1 and a member of the Texas Nurses Association Governmental Affairs Committee for District 1. Ms. Acosta is also an instructor in Nursing at the University of Texas, El Paso, for the undergraduate nursing program. 



Thelma Roach-Serry, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Immediate Past President
Central Virginia VA Healthcare System
Richmond, Virginia


Thelma Roach-Serry, BSN, RN, NE-BC,is the Nurse Manager for Surgical Specialty Clinics at Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC - Richmond, Virginia. She provides oversight for a number of surgical specialty outpatient programs. She has been a nurse for 35 years and joined the VA system in 1985. She has held various nursing positions both clinical and administrative encompassing medical-surgical, critical care, poly-trauma, transitional care, and ambulatory care settings. Thelma is a graduate of Howard University, Washington, D.C. She holds ANCC certification in Nursing Administration and a graduate certificate in Health Administration from Central Michigan University. She is a graduate of the VISN 6 Leadership Development Institute, Fellow of the ANA American Nurses Advocacy Institute and Nurse in Washington Internship. She is a certified VHA Fellow Mentor/Coach mentoring and has coached and mentored numerous nursing staff and other professionals. Thelma has received numerous awards and recognitions for achievements throughout her career.

Thelma Roach-Serry appreciates the value of nurse advocacy and strong involvement in nursing organizations. She has been an active NOVA member since 1995. At the local level, she served NOVA Richmond Chapter 420 as a Board Member, Vice President, Program Chair, and President. In 2000, she was appointed to the national NOVA Membership Committee then appointed to the Board of Directors where she was later elected to the board. Thelma completed terms as Secretary which was re-titled Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, President-Elect and President. She is a member of the American Nurses Association for which NOVA is an Organizational Affiliate, the Virginia Nurses Association, the National Black Nurses Association and the Central Virginia Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is actively involved in community service and serves as holds leadership roles in her church including serving as Health Ministry Leader.

Dedication, commitment and service with integrity and excellence are characteristics that are extremely important to Thelma. She values the importance of being actively involved in NOVA. As Immediate Past-President, Thelma continues “to inspire VA nurses – RNs, APRNs, and LPNs to join and become actively engaged in the work of the organization – “action through service”. 

Catherine R. Giasson, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC
VA Central Western Massachusetts Health Care System
Leeds, Massachusetts


Catherine Giasson DNP, MHA, RN NE-BC was selected as the Associate Nurse Executive at VA Central Western Massachusetts on May 13, 2019. She began her career at the VA Boston Healthcare system where she has worked for the past 31 years before transferring to VA Central Western Ma. During this time, Dr. Giasson has experience working in long term care, sub-acute medicine, long term and acute Mental Health. She has held leadership roles as a Nurse Manager for Mental Health and as the Service Chief for Employee Education. Ms. Giasson has served as Nursing Clinical instructor for Simmons School of Nursing and the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Dr. Giasson holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Dual Masters of Science in Nursing and Health Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is board certified as a Nurse Executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Her professional affiliations include: Member of American Organization of Nurse Executives; Member of American Nurse Association; Member of Sigma Theta Tau International ( STTI ) Honor Society of Nursing. Dr. Giasson serves on the Board of Directors for Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs.

Ernestine L. Goode, MSA, BSN, RN, CRRN, CBIS
Central Virginia VA Healthcare System 
Richmond, Virginia


Ernestine L. Goode, MSA, BSN, RN, CRRN, CBIS, is currently the Chief Nurse for Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders/Polytrauma at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. She received her Master’s Degree of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant Michigan in December 2002. She received her BSN Degree from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia in December 2000. She received her Nursing Diploma in December 1993, from Southside Regional Medical Center, Petersburg, Virginia. Prior to her professional career as a RN, Ernestine was a LPN for many years. Ernestine began her career at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in December, 1987 where she has 30 years of continued service. She has held many roles since her tenure which encompasses outpatient and inpatient services, LPN, Staff Nurse, Critical Care Nurse, Case Manager, Nurse Manager. She holds an ANCC Certification in Rehabilitation (CRRN) Nursing and a VA recognized Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS). She is a graduate of the 2011 VISN 6 Leadership Development Institute. Ernestine has been a member of NOVA Chapter 420 for many years and she currently serves on the Chapter’s local Board. She is a member of ANA, ARN and Sigma Theta Tau. She is looking forward to working with the NOVA Board Directors to support the image and advancement of nursing, as well as advocate for the best quality of care for our Veterans.

Betty M. Ogren, LPN
VA Northern Indiana Health Care Systems
Fort Wayne, Indiana


Betty M. Ogren, LPN, functions as a Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) LPN at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care Systems (VANIHCS), in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prior to transferring to Fort Wayne, she worked as a PACT Nurse at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in the Traverse City, Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) and before that, Betty managed the lab and telehealth program as part of the Fargo VA Health Care System in the Bemidji, Minnesota VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. She has proudly served the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs since 2012. Betty was born at the Stuttgart (Germany) Army Health Clinic while her father was stationed abroad and has many additional family members who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. She holds an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan and an Associate of Science Degree in Practical Nursing from Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, Minnesota. Honesty, Integrity, Hard-working, Dedication and Advocacy are key characteristics that are extremely important to Betty. She states that she “is committed to influencing change in the VA and her goal is to advance the professional status of LPNs”. Betty truly believes that LPNs play a vital role in the care of our Veterans and should be allowed to practice to the full extent of their license.


Theresa Presley, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN
VA Boston Health Care System
Boston, Massachusetts


Theresa Presley MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN is currently the Associate Chief Nurse Specialty and Outpatient Clinics at the VA Boston Health Care System. In this role Ms. Presley is responsible for administrative functions of the acute outpatient division of the VA Boston Healthcare System. She functions as a leader, educator, and consultant utilizing systems management theory in collaboration with numerous clinical and administrative services. Theresa started her VA nursing career 29 years ago as an LPN at VA Boston Healthcare system. In 1992 she received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Quincy College. She returned for her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Curry College in 2008, A Master’s Degree in Nursing with a Clinical Nurse Leader Certification in 2012. Theresa is a certified Clinical Nurse Leader in the state of Massachusetts; she also holds certification in Adult Critical Care. Ms. Presley has served on the local NOVA board chapter 226. She currently serves as the secretary. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Clinical Nurse Leader Association. During the past 27 years Ms. Presley has provided a full range of nursing care to acute and critically-ill medical and cardiac patients. She began a management career in Cardiac Critical care 2009. In 2015 she was appointed as the Associate Chief Nurse of specialty and outpatient clinics. She has completed has the VA Management Leadership Development Program as well as the Advanced Leadership Academy. She is a certified mentor, serves on the board of directors for Massasoit Community College.

Michelle Salazar, BSN, RN
Black Hills VA Health Care System
Ft. Meade, South Dakota


Michelle Salazar, RN has been with Black Hills Health Care Veterans Affairs since 2012. She began as an emergency department nurse and is now a case manager for Care in the Community, formerly known as Non VA Care. She was a “late in life” nurse and prior to working for the VA, she worked for Regional Health in the local hospital as well as the main campus in the emergency department. She had the opportunity to be a travel nurse in the Denver, Colorado area as well. Michelle has been a very active member of her local NOVA chapter and has been awarded NOVA’s Professional Nurse Award for Clinical Excellence in 2016 due to her efforts and passion advocating for our veterans navigating through the Choice Act. She is a very active member of the NOVA Legislative Committee, social media committee and the chapter contact for her local chapter. “I am so honored to be a member of such a great organization. I have been received with open arms and allowed to step out of my shell and for my voice to be heard in honor of all Veterans I care for."

Yvette Twum-Danso, PhDc, RN, MSN, CCRN

W. J. Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center
Columbia, South Carolina


Yvette M. Twum-Danso, MSN, RN, CCRN, PhDc is currently an Assistant Nurse Manager for the: Acute Medicine Clinics II- Outpatient Specialty Clinics. She has been a registered nurse since 1996. She joined the Columbia VA Health Care System in 2003 and brings diverse nursing experience comprising of critical care, cardiology: cardiac rehabilitation, research, and case management. She has a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in education. She is a nurse doctoral candidate. Yvette is a recipient of the South Carolina Palmetto Gold Nursing Award (2015). Yvette is a 2016 graduate of the Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, and Development VA (LEAD). In addition to her nursing role, she served in the United States Army Reserves for eight (8) years as a nurse. Yvette has been an active NOVA member since 2012. Yvette is a recipient of three (3) NOVA prestigious awards: Professional Nurse Excellent Award (2015), Chapter President Award (2019), and the Distinguished Chapter Award for 362. In addition to the professional awards, Yvette received an education scholarship (2015). She joined NOVA’s Board of Directors in January 2020 and currently serves as the President for Chapter 362 at the Columbia VA Health Care System, in Columbia, South Carolina. Yvette serves on the legislative committee since 2015. She is a member of American Association of Critical Care. She serves on the Office of Nursing Cardiovascular Field Advisory Committee. She serves as a chairwoman for New Direction Church. She is passionate about nursing research to enhance professional growth and upward mobility within the VA Health Care System among nurses. She is an advocate for NOVA and proudly engage VA nurses to join NOVA to improve Veterans’ access and outcomes.

Deb Dupnik, CAE, CCSM-A
Executive Director
NOVA National Office
Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone: 703-444-5587


A New Hampshire native, Deb currently resides in Shamong, New Jersey with her husband, Tom.  Deb holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire. Their two adult daughters, one an architect and the other a biomedical engineer, both reside in Boston.  Deb brings over ten (10) years of experience to her position, having previously provided management services for various organizations including the Society for Biomaterials, the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, The Commission for Case Manager Certification, and The American Society of Hand Therapists. She worked closely with the Board of Directors of these organizations to translate the strategic vision for the association into action. She has experience managing membership, fundraising, and certification initiatives, and publications. She enjoys developing and maintaining partnerships and relationships with other organizations, agencies, corporations, and individuals.

Deb has a very personal level of experience with the VA health care system.  Her father, a WWII veteran and purple heart recipient was admitted as a patient to the West Roxbury VA in 1990.  He had a service-connected injury that resulted in a C4 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down.  For the next 11 years, Deb and her family spent many hours in and out of this hospital and saw firsthand the remarkable work the nurses do every day to provide care for our nation’s veterans. She is honored and excited to begin her work with NOVA.

Deb earned the certified association executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives and the Advanced Certified Customer Service Manager certification (CCSM-A) from the Customer Service Institute of America. She is an active volunteer, currently serving as the chair of the Shamong Foundation for Educational Excellence, an organization in her home town dedicated to enhancing excellence in education through the development and distribution of private resources for the benefit and enrichment of the Shamong School District where her children attended school.