Convention 2023
Convention 2023
Convention 2023


Opening Plenary Session

Saturday, 11 November 2023

12:15-2:15 p.m. (1215-1415)

Kenneth Dion, PhD, MSN, MBA, RN, FAAN

Kenneth Dion

2021-2023 President, Sigma

Kenneth Dion, PhD, MSN, MBA, RN, RCSI, FAAN, is a nurse entrepreneur, inventor, scholar, and 30-year veteran of the healthcare industry. He is a member of the Theta Epsilon Chapter and a founding principal at TurnPath, LLC, a healthcare technology innovation incubator.

His service in the healthcare industry began as a transporter in the radiology department at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami at the age of 16. He held various nursing assistant positions while becoming a firefighter-paramedic. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in nursing, he practiced emergency nursing. A concentration in informatics in his master’s studies led him into management consulting, in particular, healthcare information systems selection and implementation.

Dr. Dion founded Decision Critical, Inc. in 1999 while simultaneously beginning his doctoral studies. Decision Critical, Inc., a cloud-based information systems company, was dedicated to meeting the education, compliance, and competency development needs of healthcare organizations. During his tenure, he was awarded a patent for the Critical Portfolio™, an ePortfolio application. Additionally, he was awarded a patent for Critical Staffer™, a reverse staffing system. In 2012, Decision Critical, Inc., was acquired by HealthStream, Inc. (Nasdaq:HSTM) where he served as vice president and chief of nursing informatics prior to founding TurnPath, LLC.

His service to the nursing profession began as a student. He held offices in the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) at the local, state, and national levels. He served with NSNA as national secretary/treasurer from 1990 to 1991. When called upon again later in his career, Dr. Dion served NSNA as a board member, treasurer, and president of its foundation. He has been recognized by the NSNA with its highest honor, honorary member.

Dr. Dion is an ardent supporter of Sigma Theta Tau International, having served the organization at a variety of levels and in many capacities. He is both a Virginia Henderson and Billye Brown Fellow. He is the immediate past-chair of the Foundation Board and co-chair of the Corporate Committee of the Foundation.

Plenary Session 2

Sunday, 12 November 2023

8:00-9:15 a.m. (0800-0915)

Episteme Award Laureate

Lisa M. Thompson, PhD RN, FNP-BC, MS, FAAN

Lisa M. Thompson

Professor, tenured, Director of Graduate Studies
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

Dr. Thompson is a Professor, tenured, in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and jointly appointed in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health in the Rollins School of Public Health. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD program in nursing at Emory University. She is a member of Emory’s Network for Evaluation and Implementation Sciences at Emory University (NEISE). She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses. Her areas of research and education are focused on air pollution, climate change, and implementation science. She is a member of the Emory Climate Research Initiative established by Provost Ravi Bellamkonda to bring together faculty with diverse expertise to advance climate-related research and curricula across the Emory campus.

She received her BSN, MSN, and FNP degrees from San Francisco State University. She received her MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Health Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. Before coming to Emory in 2017, Dr. Thompson was on faculty in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Thompson worked for 18 years as a nurse and family nurse practitioner at La Clinica de la Raza, a community clinic that primarily serves Spanish-speaking patients in Oakland, California. In 2014, she began volunteering as a family nurse practitioner at the Street Level Health Project, a clinic in East Oakland providing free comprehensive medical care to primarily undocumented, uninsured patients.

She is a seminal researcher who has designed, implemented, and evaluated effective interventions that reduce personal exposures to household air pollution from cooking fires among populations burdened with health inequities related to poor access to healthcare. Dr. Thompson works at the intersection of environmental health and behavior/nursing science.

Closing Plenary Session

Monday, 13 November 2023

10:00-11:30 a.m. (1000-1130)

Jackie Freiberg

Jackie Freiberg

Thought Leader, International Bestselling Author, Business Owner, Entrepreneur

The Challenge: The world has changed! Work and Life are blurred and blended yet distanced and virtual. We're all in search of new ways to stay courageous, engaged, connected, and productive in a changing world. Learning how to lead and navigate in the midst of ongoing disruption and uncertainty is critical to the survival and success of your businesses.

Solution: Now is the time to double down on driving leadership and high performance, even if it has to be done virtually. For nearly 30 years, Jackie has been helping people become more courageous leaders who accelerate innovation, embrace change, and know how to pivot in uncertainty.

Jackie is recognized as one of the "Top 30 Best Minds on Leadership" and is one of the most sought-after female business speakers in the nation. She speaks, consults, and writes on Courageous Leadership, Innovation, Change, Engagement, and The SheEconomy (a $20 trillion market).

A Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, Jackie trained directly under the guidance of Brene Brown in 2019. She is a business owner and entrepreneur. Along with her husband Kevin, Jackie has co-authored 8 award-winning books.

The Freibergs' books include the international bestseller, NUTS! describing Southwest Airlines' leadership, service culture, and profitability; CAUSE! A Business Strategy for Standing Out in A Sea of Sameness (companies that define themselves as cause-oriented have better employee engagement, customer loyalty, stronger profitability, and growth); and most recently, Bochy Ball! The Chemistry of Winning and Losing in Baseball, Business and Life, a how-to for building team chemistry and leading people to perform like champions.

You can read current articles by Jackie and Kevin at where they are regular leadership contributors. Jackie also teaches graduate classes at the University of San Diego School of Leadership & Education Sciences.