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Welcoming Dr. Brooke Baldwin, OHSU’s new chief nursing executive

Dr. Baldwin will join OHSU in early February from UC, Irvine
Brooke Baldwin stands outside near a blossom tree.
Brooke Baldwin, D.N.P., M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, will join OHSU as the organization’s next vice president and chief nursing executive, effective Feb. 5. (Courtesy)

Following a national search, OHSU Health Chief Executive Officer John Hunter, M.D., FACS, is pleased to announce that Brooke Baldwin, D.N.P., M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, will join OHSU as the organization’s next vice president and chief nursing executive, effective Feb. 5. Dr. Baldwin will also serve as associate dean of clinical affairs in the OHSU School of Nursing. She currently serves as chief nursing executive for UCI Health, the clinical enterprise of University of California, Irvine.

Lori Ellingson, M.S.N., RN, CNS, NEA-BC, is serving as interim CNE until Dr. Baldwin joins OHSU. Dana Bjarnason, Ph.D., RN, NE-BC, served as CNE for nearly nine years and has retired. Once on board, Dr. Baldwin will report to Dr. Hunter as the health system CEO. This is a change for OHSU – although common for CNE roles – and one that helps integrate nursing as an indispensable part of OHSU Health. Dr. Baldwin and Joe Ness, M.H.A., B.S.Pharm., chief operating officer, OHSU Healthcare, will work together to ensure reporting structures within nursing are appropriately aligned and functioning well for the future.

“We are excited to welcome a leader such as Brooke Baldwin into the CNE role, to oversee all nursing services, which are so vital to fulfilling our health care mission and serving Oregonians,” said Dr. Hunter. “I would also like to thank the search committee, who devoted time to ensuring we found a CNE who would join OHSU with the breadth and depth of experience we need to continue our missions and our growth. In particular, I’d like to recognize Joe Ness for leading the search, along with Lori Ellingson and Patrick McCormick,* for co-chairing the effort which resulted in a competitive and talented candidate pool.”

Dr. Baldwin’s experience in Southern California translates well to OHSU and OHSU Health. As CNE for UCI Health, she has led nursing services, clinical service lines, and preoperative services within UCI Health, a 459-bed acute care hospital and 72 outpatient clinics in the community, which provides comprehensive services as the only academic health system in the Orange County market.

“I am thrilled to the join OHSU Healthcare, OHSU Health, and the OHSU School of Nursing. My vision is to bring the art and science of nursing to life through both nursing practice and the work of interprofessional teams, said Dr. Baldwin. “As OHSU is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the people of Oregon and beyond, I am committed to ensuring that respect for human dignity is at the center of all efforts to address patients’ needs and achieving the OHSU missions of healing, teaching and discovery.”

Dr. Baldwin’s experience leading organizations toward nursing and clinical excellence stands out. Among numerous accomplishments from UCI Health, she led an update to the nursing strategic plan with four priorities: human-centered leadership, health work environments, relationship-based care and integrative nursing.

Further, she helped position the organization for improved patient satisfaction scores in the Vizient quality and accountability scorecard. She is also a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion, having overseen the completion of Courageous Civility® training and anti-racist action plans in departments reporting to her.

Like OHSU, UCI Health is a Magnet-designated organization and is in the process of their fifth re-designation. The Magnet Recognition Program, administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), identifies health care organizations that provide the very best in nursing care and professionalism in nursing practice. As an appraiser for the ANCC Pathways to Excellence Program from 2010 to 2021, Dr. Baldwin regularly reviewed organizations’ performance to evaluate its potential for creating positive work environments where nurses can flourish.

Prior to her CNE role, Dr. Baldwin was inpatient nursing director and then associate chief nursing officer at Keck Hospital of USC in Los Angeles. She has also served in prior roles as a staff RN, clinical nurse educator and nurse manager for UCI Health.

Dr. Baldwin earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Science in nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills, an associate degree from Saddleback College and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark College here in Portland. In addition to being an ANCC board-certified nurse executive, Dr. Baldwin is an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation, and a Certified Green Belt from the Johns Hopkins Lean Six Sigma Healthcare program.


  • Lori Ellingson, M.S.N., RN, CNS, NEA-BC, is interim chief nursing executive and associate chief nursing officer, acute care nursing services, OHSU Healthcare
  • Patrick McCormick, M.B.A., is vice president for oncology services, OHSU Healthcare
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