PHILADELPHIA — Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA-BC, director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been named one of only 20 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows from across the country for 2012. Adeniran joins a select group of nurse leaders chosen to participate in the three-year, world-class leadership development program that will enhance nurse leaders' effectiveness in improving the nation's health care system.

"I am honored and privileged to be given this opportunity to strengthen my leadership abilities and competencies," Adeniran said. "I'm grateful to Penn Medicine's leadership team for their commitment to diversity and inclusion, which has been instrumental to my professional development and preparing for the fellowship. More than ever before, we need to have diverse representation in our profession, and I look forward to the Executive Nurse Fellows program providing me with a platform to help the most vulnerable populations. I hope other minorities will see my selection as inspiration for them to make a difference, too."

Begun by RWJF in 1998, the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF) program strengthens the leadership capacity of nurses who aspire to shape health care locally and nationally. Chosen from more than 150 applicants, the program will provide Adeniran and her colleagues with coaching, education and other support to strengthen their abilities to lead teams and organizations in improving health and health care.

Before assuming her role as director of Diversity and Inclusion, Adeniran served as the Global Nurse Ambassador for HUP. In that position, Adeniran designed, developed and implemented the hospital's cultural competence program, and initiative that has made a difference for patients as well as faculty and staff.

"Nurses cannot make a difference for our increasingly diverse patients by thinking and acting locally. We must think globally, and Rita's cultural competence program reinforces and supports that need," said Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief nurse executive at HUP. "We are so proud of the work she has done. She exemplifies what Penn Medicine is all about — community, leaderships, and high-quality patient care — and we are proud to support her in the Executive Nurse Fellows program."

Executive Nurse Fellows hold senior leadership positions in health services, scientific and academic organizations, public health and community-based organizations or systems, and national professional, governmental and policy organizations. They continue in their current positions during their fellowships, and during the fellowship each develops, plans and implements a new initiative to improve health care delivery in her or his community.

Adeniran is a member of the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery. In 2005, Adeniran completed the Cultural Competency Leadership Fellowship with the Health Research and Educational Trust.

For more information about the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program visit:

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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