Meet the Ambassadors

GRNEN Ambassadors

GRNEN Ambassadors help shape the direction of the Global Rural Nursing Exchange Network to best serve members of our global community. Ambassadors bring the GRNEN mission to individuals in their respective networks to share events and resources we provide in order to enhance participation and activism in the overall GRNEN community. To connect with a GRNEN Ambassador, click their name to be taken to their profile in our Member Directory.

It is our goal to have Ambassador participation from all corners of the world to better serve all territories worldwide. If you are interested in learning more about you may become a GRNEN Ambassador, please click here.


Gladness N. Mkawe



Gladness is a Registered Nurse with over 10 years of experience. She graduated from the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College in 2019 and received her diploma in nursing from the Huruma School of Nursing in 2011. She has been employed by the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) since December 2011. Gladness focuses on medical and gynecology patients and participates in prevention awareness against cervical cancer in rural areas near Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. 

Phelgona Odeny



Phelgona earned her diploma in nursing from the Kenya Medical Training College in Kisumu and her bachelor of science in nursing from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology. She has over 15 years of nursing experience and has worked as a community health nurse for over 10 years. Phelgona coordinated nursing services and the reproductive health programme in the sub-county, which had a coverage of slightly above 300,000 people for 7 years. She currently works in a rural health center as a liaison with community health volunteers to offer nursing services directly to the community, and trains medical students in the rural health experience.

David Oluoch



David has a bachelor or science in nursing and has been practicing as a community health nurse for 22 years. In addition to being a community health nurse specialist, David is currently pursuing a masters in midwifery and reproductive health at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kenya.
David works with the Government of Kenya and has coordinated home and community-based care, reproductive health, and community health services in Rarieda sub-country in Kenya.
David is a part-time lecturer at Matibabu and Bondo Medical Training College in Kenya.


Midori Kamizato, PhD, PhN, RN



Midori is both the president and a professor at the Okinawa Prefectural College of Nursing in Naha City, Japan. Her education includes a Bachelor of Health Science from Ryuku University, a Master of Nursing Science, and a PhD of Nursing Science from Tokyo Medical and Dental University. 

Midori focuses on cancer nursing and topics specifically related to island nursing, research, and graduate student education. She is a prolific author who has written with several books and publications. She also helped develop the first island nursing nurse practitioner program in Japan and has worked with the Ministry of Education of Japan to research and develop and educational program for Island Nursing with Pacific Islands.

North America

Kim English


Kim is a Nursing Professor at Trent University where she has been teaching nurses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level since 2002, and is a current Doctoral student at the William Howard Taft University. Prior to that, her background was in acute care and professional practice. Kim's research focus is working in rural and remote settings, looking at nursing practice in those settings, as well as addressing issues in the provision of nursing education through the use of virtual simulations, the impact of inclusive, anti-racist and anti-oppressive approaches to education.

Mark Siemon, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, CPH



Mark completed a B.S. in Nursing from Boise State University in 1993, received a dual masters degree in Public Health and Community Health Nursing from the University of New Mexico in 2006, and graduated with a PhD in Nursing in 2014. His extensive background includes two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, working as a Public Health Nurse, a Community/Public Health Nurse educator, a PHN/Nurse epidemiologist, a PHN on the Navajo Nation, and as the Health Department Director with the Pueblo of San Felipe. Mark works with undergraduate nursing students to improve their understanding of population and community-based healthcare and the need to address social determinants of health to improve health equality in rural and remote communities.

Sharleen Jahner



Sharleen works for the Saskatchewan Health Authority managing the Nursing Practice and Education department, which oversees the Clinic Nurse Educators. She has extensive clinical experience working with rural populations across three western provinces in Canada in a variety of roles including emergency, utilization, coordination, supervision, education community, evaluation, Public Health, and management roles. Her research focuses on the occupational impact of exposure to traumatic events on the psychological and physical well-being of nurses in rural and remote areas, specifically, those who live and work in the same rural agricultural community. She is a current member of the Canadian Rural and Remote Nurses Organization, as well as the GRNEN leadership, where she is an advocate for rural and remote nurses on a broader scale.

Patricia Gilley, RN



For over ten years, Patricia “Trish”, has served her hometown of Rockingham County, North Carolina where she facilitates access to medical and mental health services for residents who are struggling financially. She helps residents access services for food insecurities, transportation needs to appointments, medication assistance, housing, and health education. Trish attended nursing school in Virginia and has been a Registered Nurse for over 36 years. Her experience includes working in oncology, cardiac rehabilitation, and in a cardiac intensive care step down unit.

Dieucile Adonis



Dieucile lives in Haiti where she graduated from the University Notre Dame of Haiti in 2016. She is currently a Pediatric Nurse at Saint Michel where she began working in 2020. Dieucile also works at the Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH) Nursing Health Rural School in May 2021.

Tatiana Smith, RN


Tatiana joined the Metropolitano Hospital, Costa Rica in June 2010 as a registered nurse in the operating room. For the past 8 years, she has been working as the nursing supervisors and staff coordinator for Emergency and In-patients care departments at Metropolitano Hospital. Prior this, she was an OB nurse at Clinica Unibe, where she helped the company obtain their operation habilitation. Tatiana earned her License Nursing degree with an emphasis in gynecology, obstetric and perinatal at Costa Rica University. She has over 22 years experience in the practice of nursing.


Kate Stark


Kate graduated as a New Zealand Registered Nurse in 1988 and has worked in a variety of areas in primary and secondary care. She has worked in rural primary care since 2006 and became a Nurse Practitioner in 2016. Kate has a passion for primary care and has worked in a small rural practice in an autonomous role. She is passionate about rural nursing and is an advocate and mentor to other nurse practitioners and rural nurses. Kate has been involved in numerous committees, serving as a rural nursing representative to make a difference for rural nurses across a variety of rural settings.

Ron Picard, BN, Grad DIP, CCN, MHSC



Ron has been employed as a Nursing Lecturer with Latrobe University since 2007 where he develops and delivers undergraduate and graduate curriculum content, teaches at La Trobe’s post registration Singapore nursing program, supervised undergraduate students on community placement in Kathmandu (2016-2019), and serves as the academic director Re-Entry to Practice (RN) Program. Ron entered the nursing profession in 1992 and spent most of his clinical practice in the ICU. While he is currently employed full-time at the university, Ron still manages a weekend shift or two each month in the HDU of a private local hospital.

Majella Blackwood



Majella has worked as a nurse for over 30 years, initially in acute medicine, ICU, and emergency nursing before moving to General Practice in 2007. She is currently the Nurse Manager at Tuakau Health Centre, a rural practice south of Auckland. Majella has a strong interest in quality and was a Quality Manager at a large private surgical hospital for 2 years prior to joining Tuakau health Centre.

She has been a nurse for over 30 years and loves her work. Her initial experience was in acute medicine, ICU and emergency nursing, before she moved to General Practice nursing in 2007. Majella also has a strong interest in Quality and was a Quality Manager at a large private surgical hospital for 2 years prior to coming to Tuakau Health Centre.