Thomas brings extensive experience, familiarity with GVSU to role as nursing dean

Provost Fatma Mili announced the appointment of Patricia Thomas as dean of Grand Valley's Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Thomas is currently the associate dean for faculty affairs at Wayne State University's College of Nursing. She will begin her new role on January 6. 

"Dr. Thomas has a strong understanding of the current and future state of health care and nursing education because of her broad background in both academia and practice settings," Mili said. "We look forward to her leadership in the college."

At Wayne State, Thomas led the university's partnership with the City of Detroit and Henry Ford Health System to establish COVID-19 vaccination clinics where Detroit residents did not have access to primary care providers. Before joining Wayne State's faculty, Thomas served as assistant dean and associate professor, and later associate dean at KCON from 2016-2019. 

headshot of Patricia Thomas in white shirt and dark blazer
Patricia Thomas will lead the Kirkhof College of Nursing as dean beginning January 6.
Image credit - courtesy photo

Thomas earned an associate degree in nursing from Lake Superior State University, bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in philosophy from Walden University in Minnesota.

Thomas said she looks forward to returning to KCON and Grand Valley in January. 

"The faculty and staff are deeply committed to educating nursing students and graduating excellent practitioners to meet the needs of the community and state. KCON has a history and strong reputation for building partnerships and leveraging innovation," she said. "The mission, vision and values of GVSU are inspiring and align with my personal and professional values and experiences."  

Thomas held other nursing faculty positions at the University of Detroit Mercy, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Madonna University and Drexel University. She held nursing leadership positions at Beaumont Hospital and Trinity Health, including as Trinity Health's national vice president for clinical quality and transformation and chief nursing officer.

Mili thanked acting KCON dean Katherine Moran for her service and leadership in that role. Moran will return to her position as associate dean in January. Mili also thanked the search committee, led by search chair Ed Aboufadel, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.