I am a nurse, entrepreneur, author, keynote speaker, consultant, and kindness enthusiast.
As a nurse for 27 years, I’ve seen my share of bad behavior in healthcare and one day decided that I couldn’t just sit back and say, “Well, that’s just the way it is.” I had to DO something about it. So, 8 years ago, I took a leap of faith, quit a really great job that I loved, to start my own company with the goal to eradicate bullying and incivility in healthcare.
My company started with just me giving 60-90 minute keynote presentations. People wanted more. So I extended those presentations to half-day workshops. People wanted more. I extended to full day seminars – more. Two-day seminars – more. And now I offer everything from 60 minutes to full year onsite consulting. Why? Because I KNOW what it takes to change a culture from bullying and incivility to professional, supportive, and nurturing. However, in order for me to help the thousands of healthcare organizations transform their work culture, I can’t do it alone. In January of 2018, I transitioned my company from “Renee Thompson” to the Healthy Workforce Institute that offers a cadre of services provided by an amazing team of experts.
I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the oldest of 5 kids. There was never a dull moment in the Rossi home as my parents provided anyone in need a seat at the dinner table and sometimes a place to stay. My father had a strong work ethic (still does) and worked hard to provide for his family. My mom kept us all fed, watered, clothed, and is the kindest person I know. I probably acquired my drive to accomplish everything I can in this one precious life and my passion for helping others from my parents.
Adulting didn’t come easy for me at first. I married young and had two kids right away, without the means to provide for them. One day I took a look around and decided I wanted a better life for my girls and for myself. So I got my associate’s degree in nursing at a local community college, then got my bachelors, masters, and finally, in 2015, received my doctoral degree in nursing. Along the way, I divorced my first husband and married the man of my dreams. Together, Ashley and I have built a life and a company that we love.
The Healthy Workforce Institute Core Team
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Certification Course Coordinator
Ashley was born in Alexandria Virginia, the son of military parents, but raised mostly in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania by his mother and grandmother. After more than 30 years in law enforcement and the United States Army, Ashley retired in 2017 to work full time with Renee on their business.
Ashley serves as the Chief Financial Officer, working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly. From finances to travel planning, Ashley provides support to Renee and the team in a variety of ways.
His passions include traveling and taking care of Renee, Pittsburgh Penguin Hockey, and watching programs such as Outlander, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.
Chief of Operations (COO)
Brenda serves as our COO and brings over 30 years of administrative business and operations management experience, skills and gifts to the Healthy Workforce Institute.
Brenda is behind the scenes every day managing daily operations, team, projects, and marketing implementation. She ensures that our organization is running smoothly, the trains are running on time, and no balls are dropped.
Brenda is originally from Oklahoma. She moved her family to Connecticut in 1989 to accept a management position with a manufacturing company in Hartford and has lived in beautiful Connecticut since.
Brenda’s passions are her family, church and helping women business owners grow their organizations.
Bobbie Fox Fratangelo
Senior Graphic Design Specialist and Brand Ambassador
Bobbie brings years of creativity through design to her role as Graphic Artist and Brand Ambassador. She is the creative genius behind the Reconnection’s and Healthy Workforce Institute brand and has been a part of the team since day 1 (well, actually before day 1). Since the first day they met, Renee knew they were destined to become business colleagues and great friends.
Bobbie LOVES Thai food, good wine, and amazing simple design. She, her husband, and young son, Simon, live in the fun little suburban Green Tree area near downtown Pittsburgh.
Virtual Assistant “Techy VA”
Laura is a virtual online programmer who runs various components of Healthy Workforce Institute behind the scenes in supporting the operations department.
She previously was in the corporate finance and technology world in Boston for over 12 years before switching gears to raise her family. She currently works a suite of tools to help deliver the Healthy Workforce Institute offerings.
Laura enjoys watching her kids play sports, reading and relaxing at the beach. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and 2 children.
The Healthy Workforce Institute Faculty Team
Bonnie Artman Fox
Professional Speaker/Trainer and Leadership Coach
Bonnie Artman Fox works with committed leaders who want to create work cultures that bring out the best in their employees. With over 25 years in the healthcare and psychology fields, she specializes in behavior change that drives organizational performance and health.
Bonnie has a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing and is licensed family therapist as well as accredited executive leadership coach with the Boss Whisper Institute. As a speaker, trainer and coach for the Healthy Workforce Institute, Bonnie is a content expert in conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and coaching leaders to bring their best selves to the workplace.
Bullying & Incivility Trainer
Diane Salter is the Director of Surgical Services at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, PA. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing Administration from Chamberlain College of Nursing. Her Capstone entitled, Addressing Lateral and Vertical Violence among Nurses: The Use of Education and Cognitive Rehearsal, has enabled her to be a strong voice in promoting and providing education on nurse bullying. Diane currently serves on the American Nurses Association #EndNurseAbuse Professional Issues Panel Advisory Committee. She is a consultant to the hospital system in assisting units educate staff on reducing bullying and lateral/vertical violence. As a trainer for the Healthy Workforce Institute, Diane is a content expert in the area of eliminating workplace bullying and incivility.
Dr. Mitchell Kusy
Content Expert in Bullying & Incivility
Renowned internationally and a Fulbright Scholar in organization development, Dr. Mitchell Kusy is an organizational psychologist and a healthcare culture change consultant. His work with professional associations has included the American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Radiology, Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, to name a few.
Dr. Kusy served as director of organization development and employee relations at HealthPartners and American Express and in 1998 he received the prestigious award as Minnesota Organization Development Practitioner of the Year. In 2018, Dr. Kusy joined the Healthy Workforce Institute as a content expert in bullying and incivility.
Mitch resides in Minneapolis, MN in the summer; Palm Springs, California in the winter–”the best of both worlds,”
Cynthia (Cindy) DeVore
Content writer and Curriculum Specialist
Cynthia DeVore is a MSN, RN, DNP Candidate who has spent the majority of her career helping nurses and healthcare organizations build cohesive teams. Cindy’s passion for promoting civility in the workplace stems from lived experiences throughout her career. She shares those experiences through humorous storytelling, emphasizing that even less than optimal experiences can be learning and growth opportunities. Cindy’s diverse experience has helped her hone skills necessary for effective communication, multigenerational team building, project leadership, nurse empowerment, strategic planning, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and a unique ability to be a facilitator of change through the use of appreciative inquiry.