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Simms/Mann Family Foundation Establishes Chair at Cedars-Sinai

Margo B. Minissian, PhD, named Simms/Mann Endowed Chair in Nurse Education, Innovation and Research

Cedars-Sinai's Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, announced the appointment of faculty member Margo B. Minissian, PhD, as the inaugural holder of the Simms/Mann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Nurse Education, Innovation and Research.

The gift from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, led by Victoria Simms, PhD, and Ronald Simms, will support the development of critical nursing leadership programs and initiatives. The goal is to develop a pipeline of nurse leaders to face today's greatest healthcare challenges, lead change and improve the health of our community around the globe.

"Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, we have the opportunity to place nurse leaders at the forefront -- harnessing their collective compassion and problem-solving skills to address the ever-growing challenges in healthcare," said Marshall. "Dr. Minissian is an ideal role model to lead this initiative."

Minissian is the executive director of the Geri and Richard Brawerman Nursing Institute and oversees education, research and performance improvement. She is assistant professor of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. She completed a biological research doctorate at the UCLA School of Nursing and was the UCLA Dean's Scholar Fellow and Regents Scholar. Her research focuses on cardiovascular prevention with an emphasis on young women who experience severe preterm delivery and preeclampsia. Her work has earned numerous awards and funding from the National Institutes of Health.

As a researcher who examines ways to prevent disease, Minissian has a strong interest in protecting healthcare workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Her team of co-investigators enrolled registered nurses in a study that seeks to measure and quantify inflammatory proteins that can be seen prior to a healthy person becoming sick.

"By evaluating these proteins immediately before shift work, we might be able to reduce the risk nurses face when caring for COVID-19 patients," said Minissian. "The ultimate goal is to develop a point-of-care screening test to help healthcare workers stay healthy while caring for our critically ill on the front lines." 

"I am humbled and grateful to be the inaugural Simms/Mann Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Nurse Education, Innovation and Research at Cedars-Sinai," said Minissian. "The Simms/Mann Family Foundation supports and encourages the exploration, cross-fertilization and dissemination of cutting-edge research and best practices in the fields of education and scientific discovery. It's a mission that aligns perfectly with Cedars-Sinai's nursing goals."

As the endowed chair, Minissian will drive the profession of nursing to new heights by advancing the discovery, organization and transmission of knowledge to focus on leadership development for all nurses. As a thought leader, Minissian will facilitate intellectual curiosity, foster ingenuity and increase visibility of nurses' achievements.

The Simms/Mann Family Foundation has been at the forefront of innovative funding in the areas of medicine and education since its founding in 1984. Victoria Simms, PhD, is a nationally recognized child development specialist, and Ronald Simms is involved in all aspects of real estate development, acquisition and ownership of commercial properties. Both are longtime supporters of Cedars-Sinai and are members of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors. Their children also are officers and directors of the foundation.

"We believe that nurses are uniquely situated to transform patient care by bringing cutting-edge research and best practices to the bedside," said Victoria Simms. "By supporting Dr. Minissian in her role to develop nurse leaders and facilitate their innovative work, we hope to amplify the impact and visibility of nurses at Cedars-Sinai in a way that can be replicated by other healthcare systems."

"Dr. Minissian's creativity and motivation will continue to serve as a catalyst for transformation and help us push the frontiers of our scientific knowledge and nursing practice, while benefiting some of our most vulnerable populations," Marshall said. 

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Cedars-Sinai Nurses Find a Way to Share Their Smiles