Meet Our Leaders

NAPNAP Partners Board of Directors

 

  Raji Koppolu, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC/AC, MSL - President

Raji Koppolu is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner practicing in Palo Alto, CA. She has practiced in pediatric cardiology and general surgery for 15 years. She is volunteer faculty at the University of California, San Francisco. She is certified in both acute and primary care. She is currently Manager of Advanced Practice at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Her clinical interests include injury prevention, transition from hospital to home, and child health advocacy. She is president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

  Cate Brennan, MBA, CAE – Vice-president

Cate Brennan happily joined NAPNAP as its executive director and chief advocate of pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and child health in 2013. She has more than 25 years of professional experience in not-for-profit organizational management, both in professional societies and trade associations. Ms. Brennan enjoys wrangling with federal, state and regulatory professionals on health policy and advocacy issues. Leading, guiding and fostering folks of all kinds is her theme.

  Mary Dirks, DNP, RN, ARNP, CPNP-PC, FAANP – Secretary/Treasurer

Dr. Mary Dirks has been a faculty member at the University of Iowa, College of Nursing since 2000 and is a Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for nine Graduate Practice Programs many of which are nationally top ranked. She has been a primary care PNP since 1997 and maintains a primary care practice for teen moms and their infants and children. Dr. Dirks has served in leadership positions on many state, regional and national boards, committees and professional organizations. She is an associate editor for the Burn’s Pediatric Primary Care textbook. Her research and clinical interests include pediatric primary care, toxic stress in children, interprofessional education and dual NP education. She has published several manuscripts and has presented regionally, nationally and internationally related to these topics.

  Beth Bolick, DNP, PPCNP-BC, CPNP-AC, FAAN – Director

A nurse practitioner for more than 20 years, Dr. Beth Bolick developed one of the first acute care nurse practitioner programs in the country, now in its 23rd year at Rush University in Chicago. She is a founding member of the Illinois Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program, which designed an ongoing process for emergency facilities designation in the care of children now used across the country. Dr. Bolick’s current work is as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow providing tools for nurses to identify, intervene and prevent incivility and bullying in the workplace.

   Dawn Lee Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP – Director

Dr. Dawn Garzon Maaks is a clinical professor and associate director at the Washington State University Vancouver College of Nursing. She has over two decades’ experience as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, and she holds a certification as a pediatric primary care mental health specialist. Her current clinical practice is in a community-based clinic for the underserved where she splits her time between primary care and behavioral health. Dr. Garzon Maaks holds bachelors through doctoral degrees in nursing and completed a NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship that culminated in her earning a Master of Psychiatric Epidemiology. She has extensive publication and speaking experience with foci in the areas of pediatric mental health and pediatric primary care.

  Jessica Peck, DNP, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL - Director

Dr. Jessica Peck is an expert pediatric clinician from Houston who has practiced in the general pediatric and newborn population for 15 years. She is currently an associate professor of nursing at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas She has extensive experience teaching newborn assessment to advanced practice nursing and medical clinicians. Dr. Peck is currently the president-elect of NAPNAP. 

 Jennifer Sonney, PhD, APRN, PPCNP-BC - Director

Dr. Jennifer Sonney is an assistant professor and the director of the pediatric nurse practitioner tracks within the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Washington.  She has been a pediatric nurse practitioner since 2006, with particular expertise in caring for children with asthma. Dr. Sonney’s research focuses on development and testing of health interventions to improve parent-child shared management of chronic conditions, such as asthma and sleep deficiency. Dr. Sonney is currently the secretary of NAPNAP.

Alliance for Children in Trafficking (ACT) 
 

  Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC - ACT Chair

Dr. Tresa Zielinski has been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 20 years. She is trained in both pediatric acute and primary care. Dr. Zielinski contributed to more than a dozen medical missions to Guatemala and on the board of directors of the former not-for-profit, Latin American Medical Providers. Her clinical focus is in pediatric emergency medicine, and she is a member of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Child Protective Services Team that cares for pediatric abuse, neglect and sexual assault victims. She has received multiple recognitions and awards, including a scholarship for Nursing Leadership from Scholarship Management Services in 2011, the APN Nurse Exemplar Award from Children’s Memorial Hospital in 2006 and the Young Villanova Alumni Medal from Villanova University in 2004. Dr. Zielinski is a former president of NAPNAP.

 Brenda Cassidy, DNP, MSN, CPNP-PC - ACT Co-chair

Dr. Brenda Cassidy has worked with pediatric patients for over 40 years. She practices and precepts students in a private community practice setting and Adolescent Clinic associated with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.  She is an assistant professor and vice chair of health promotion and development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and coordinates primary and acute care pediatric and neonatal nurse practitioner programs. Brenda has received the Distinguished Clinical Scholar and Distinguished Teaching  Awards, the State Advocacy award from AANP and is currently a finalist in the DNP catagory for Pennsylvania's Nightingale Award.  Her current research area focuses on improving nursing education in the care of LGBTQIA+ health. Dr. Cassidy has served in multiple capacities on the Three Rivers NAPNAP board and nationally served on the Health Policy Committee and Executive Board of NAPNAP.