Donna Lake is the clinical associate professor with East Carolina University’s College of Nursing and Brody School of Medicine in North Carolina. She teaches the Graduate Nursing Science Leadership Concentration, in areas of Quality Improvement, Healthcare Economics, Health Policy, and Clinical Practicums. In addition, Lake teaches patient safety, population health, and team collaboration skills to BSOM faculty and students. Prior to her appointment at ECU, Lake retired as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force with 25 years of service in various roles as a medical CEO, clinical operations officer, chief nurse executive, and nurse. Other roles include a population health executive for 64 worldwide medical facilities.
Lake has expertise and supervision experience in interprofessional leadership and teamwork quality improvement policy, curriculum development, and instruction with Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and non-military healthcare and international partners. Lake’s passion and teaching philosophy is student-focused and infuses direct experiences within interprofessional teams, and quality improvement activities in health care systems.
Other areas of expertise include trauma, surgery, family practice/community health, interprofessional practice, leadership, leading quality improvement design teams, curriculum development, and developing new teaching modalities for interprofessional education. Lake has extensive international experience leading healthcare and academic teams within the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Most recently, she co-authored the 2015-NC State Wide, 9 regional area interprofessional program for continuing education faculty, which covers interprofessional principles in the design of new educational activities to improve patient and community health.
Lake is the only nurse representative for the national and ECU Brody School of Medicine’s $1 million grant from the American Medical Association for reforming medical education in the areas of quality improvement, leadership, population health, and interprofessional practice. Her research experience includes military to civilian nurse transition in the workplace, patient safety leadership, adolescent health behaviors, quality improvement, curriculum design, and local and international nursing leadership.
Lake has also been awarded two military Bronze Star Medals for combat recognition supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and in Kosovo for establishing an air evacuation hub for U.S. casualty care. Most recently, she is the recipient of the ECU 2017 Teacher-Scholar Award.