Expanding Your Horizons

About the Keynote Speaker

Jennifer Graves

Jennifer GravesJennifer has been a member of the health care community in the Pacific Northwest for several decades and is the current Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality Operations at the Washington State Hospital Association. Prior to her role at WSHA, she completed a successful tenure as the Chief Executive at both Swedish Edmonds and Swedish Ballard, where she was actively engaged in leading all aspects of hospital operations and established a deliberate focus on quality and safety and created a thriving work and care environment. Jennifer also served as one of the Swedish system’s Nurse Executives, and her contributions include participating in the design and implementation of the enterprise-wide Culture of Safety initiative, launching high-functioning campus and unit-based staffing committees at Ballard and creating a multidisciplinary shared leadership council on the campus to promote open communication and positive relationships among the health care team and engage front line staff and clinicians in creating meaningful change in the workplace. Preceding her employment at Swedish, Jennifer served on the leadership team at Virginia Mason Medical Center for nearly a decade, and after demonstrating a natural affinity for process improvement activities, she received one of the first fellowships of its kind and completed a 15-month intensive training program in the Toyota Production System as it applies to health care.

In addition to her two decades of work as a board-certified nurse practitioner, Jennifer has been a professor in the nursing programs at both Seattle Pacific University and Northwest University, teaching courses in pathophysiology, quality improvement and finance. Her focus on diversity and transcultural health care called Jennifer to provide nursing education in overseas programs in both Costa Rica and Taiwan. She has conducted clinical research in pulmonary and critical care medicine, with a special emphasis on venous thromboembolic disorders; participated on clinical teams investigating sleep patterns and nighttime hormone levels in women with irritable bowel disorders; and received grant support to implement evidence-based depression treatment delivered by nurse care managers in ambulatory care. Jennifer is passionate about serving her community in the Pacific Northwest and is on the Board of Trustees for CRISTA Ministries and the Boards of Directors for the Washington State Nurses Association, Washington State Nurses Foundation and MEDRIX. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for Seattle Pacific University School of Health Sciences, Seattle University College of Nursing, the School of Nursing at Northwest University and the University of Washington School of Nursing. 

Jennifer began her local career in health care nearly 30 years ago. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Portland, returned to Oregon once again to earn a Master of Science degree with a dual focus on clinical care and education and has also completed the Human Resources Management program at the University of Washington. Highlights of her career include receiving the Nursing Leadership and Management Award in 2013 from the Washington State Nurses Association and attaining American Nurses Credentialing Center Pathway to Excellence Designation with her Ballard team in 2015, making it the first hospital in the state to achieve this prestigious acknowledgement. Most recently, in May of 2016, Jennifer received the King County Nurses Association Shining Star Award, which was given in honor of her excellence in the practice of nursing and health care leadership.