Dr. Linda Burnes Bolton is the recipient of the 2016 Professional Achievement Award. Her exemplary career is a testament to a lifelong commitment to improve access to health care and advancing the nursing practice. Her contributions to nursing and community health have been influential in the areas of nursing and patient care outcomes, and cultural diversity within the health professions.
Burnes Bolton served as the president the National Black Nurses Association and helped to develop the community collaboration model that identified specific nursing responsibilities including health promotion and protection and preventative clinical services. This initiative, which helped to link physicians and nurses in professional societies with neighborhood businesses and organizations, is used as a model in more than 100 communities throughout the United States. Bolton was also involved in National Black Nurses Foundation effort “Minding the Gap: Improving Mental Health Access-Eliminating Stigma” that deals with depression in the black community.
Committed to a career in community health, Bolton went on to serve as the president of American Organization of Nurse Executives Board of Directors and American Academy of Nursing in which she worked on an initiative to improve the clinical practice environment. Burnes Bolton also serves as a board member for HealthImpact of California and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she was the chair of the National Advisory Committee initiative “Transforming Care at the Bedside” and was vice chair of the Institute of Medicine commission on “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”
Dr. Burnes Bolton worked with multiple state and national government and private organization to increase the diversity of the health professional workforce. Her contributions include serving as chair of the health professionals committee of the California Area Health Education Centers and multiple national committees including the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, National Advisory Committee on Nursing Education and Practice, National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute of NIH, National Quality Forum and multiple Institute of Medicine committees and review teams.
She has served on national advisory councils for Duke University School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing, UCLA School of Nursing and has held faculty positions for UCLA and UC San Francisco. She has lectured in multiple universities across the world from South Africa to Croatia to Japan.
Burnes Bolton has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 she was named one of the top 25 women in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine, and the UCLA School of Nursing established an endowed nursing leadership scholarship in her name. She was honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award from Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing in 2013 and was awarded the Doctor of Science from the State University of New York as well as elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, in 2015.
Currently she is the vice president for nursing, chief nursing officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and co-investigator for The Burns and Allen Research Institute. To date, she has served as the principal investigator on 10 research projects related to health services management, the evolution of nursing and improved modes of patient care delivery.