Suzanne Willard, PhD, RN, APN-c, FAAN
Associate Dean for Global Health, Clinical Professor and Specialty Director - HIV Care Specialization
Division of Advanced Nursing Practice
Dr. Willard has been involved in the field of HIV for over 25 years. Prior to her HIV work, she was a trauma nurse at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. After graduation from University of Pennsylvania as an advanced practice nurse in her first position she initiated clinic services for parents of children who were receiving care at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
Acknowledging the importance of early identification of pregnant women who were HIV positive, she initiated a clinical program in an academic OB/GYN practice at Temple University Hospital providing HIV testing and consultative services at the same time that the women received their OB care. This program has been replicated throughout the City of Philadelphia and has resulted in a dramatic decrease in perinatal transmission of HIV disease to children in that area. She replicated these efforts in many settings nationally and internationally.
Prior to joining Rutgers she was Senior Technical Officer at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the largest international organization providing services to pregnant women with HIV. Dr. Willard designed and established programming in Sub-Saharan Africa to insure the quality of care utilizing a framework of continuous quality improvement.
Dr. Willard has been a consultant for variety of programs including the Pennsylvania Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, ITECH and FXB. Most of the consultative work included reviewing systems of care and making recommendations that would insure that HIV positive individualsreceive the services that they needed. She led the City of Philadelphia’s efforts to establish a robust quality improvement program for all Ryan White Funded HIV services. In 1994, she initiated and chaired the Perinatal Review Program which utilized data to make recommendations to improve services for pregnant women with HIV in the Philadelphia region.
She has provided consultative services and has been on many local, national and international governmental commissions including the Mayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS and advisory panels to government officials such as the CDC, HRSA, NIH and WHO. Dr. Willard was the first nurse to be selected to be a panel member of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adult and Adolescents. In this role, she was a key advocate for guidelines that are illustrative of care of women and adherence and inclusive for the variety of care providers, including advance practice nurses, who provide care to individuals living with HIV. These Guidelines are the gold standard for treatment both in the US as well as globally. Her research has looked at adherence, issues of abuse and exercise and their impact on HIV positive women. She has been a site director of the International HIV/AIDS Nursing Research team. As an educator, she designed academic HIV/AIDS courses for graduate and undergraduate students, and she has presented nationally and internationally.
She is a mentor to many to insure that individuals living with HIV get services that are of the highest quality. She has published book chapters and in peer-reviewed journals and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. As an advocate for nurses globally, she is the current chair of the Global committee and immediate past President of the Nurses in AIDS Care. In this role, she will continue to focus on insuring that nurses, who are the primary care providers internationally, have the resources and knowledge in the fight to eradicate AIDS. She has received many honors for her work and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.