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Kathleen DeMarco, MSN, NE_BC, CPHQ, RNC



Kathleen DeMarco, MSN, NE_BC, CPHQ, RN
New York, Region V

  • Video Introduction
  • Bio
  • Q & A

Video Introduction



Kathleen DeMarco is a Senior Director of Nursing responsible for Obstetrics, Pain Management, Transfusion Safety, ED Follow Up and the Nursing Professional Advancement Program in New York. A nurse for 30 years, Kathleen has spent the majority of that time in the care of Mothers and their newborns. As an AWHONN member, Kathleen has held positions including chapter coordinator, Colorado Section Chair along with the Convention planning committee member and Host committee chair in Denver. Kathleen currently serves as the Section Chair for New York.

In the last three years, the New York AWHONN team has been able to recruit three new chapters, create a social media platform, engage 44 volunteers in the NY Hospital Representative program, and established an annual State conference. Kathleen is recognized as a strong leader and mentor. She has given several poster and oral presentations at national conferences and is currently pursuing her Ph.D.


Q & A

Question #1
Please describe significant contributions you have made to AWHONN and/ or in another professional leadership role. Include any examples where you have advanced the strategic agenda of AWHONN and/or other professional organizations.

During my time as an AWHONN volunteer I have spent time working in both Colorado and New York. In Colorado, I was a member who was encouraged by a mentor to take a more active role in AWHONN. I started as a conference-planning member, Chapter Coordinator, State Section Chair and enjoyed the opportunity to be a member of the Program Committee Member and Host Committee Chair at the Denver Convention in 2011. These opportunities provided me with personal professional growth but also the opportunity to provide education and training for nurses across the professional continuum. Since 2017, we have developed an annual New York State Conference, a vibrant hospital representative program with 52 members, and a social media platform. Our monthly webinars highlight successful programs on Breastfeeding, Hypertension Management, Obstetric Hemorrhage, and post discharge warning signs all using AWHONN resources while maximizing the member experience.

Question #2
Please describe your expertise or contributions related to promoting improved care for women and babies. Discuss this in terms of your position on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, Workforce Diversity and other racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive healthcare.

A significant portion of my professional life is dedicated to quality and safety for women and their infants as well as their family. I lead the Obstetric Quality and Safety program that focuses on reviewing all maternal morbidity and mortality, driving outcomes while using data, and engaging staff in quality improvement and safety. Organizations should be concerned about how they are caring for their diverse populations with varying gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, religion, languages, education, and abilities and have their operations be sensitive to the needs of their patients and community as well as their staff.

Question #3
Please describe a significant leadership challenge that you have experienced; how you addressed it and relevant outcomes.

My organization recently experienced a hiring freeze that lasted for 6 months. During this time, it was challenging to communicate to staff the reasons behind the decisions and how the decision would affect their practice. Initially, no significant changes occurred at the point of service but as the hiring restrictions continued, we slowly took on more patients per nurse. After working two years to achieve AWHONN staffing guidelines on the Mother Baby Unit it was a disappointing time for the staff as well as myself. I always listen with the goal of learning. Clear open communication was required. Listening and assessing for feedback during a challenging situation can play a part when a problem is without an immediate solution. The nurses focused on providing a high level of care and when restrictions were lifted, they became active participants in welcoming new staff and getting us back on track.

Question #4
Provide your reason(s) as to why you want to serve on AWHONN’s Board of Directors.

1. Work on behalf of and advocate for safe care for mothers through board participation
2. Continue to evolve and expand my professional network supporting initiatives that resonate with me.




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Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AWHONN is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP580. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by AWHONN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with educational activities.

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