cat·​a·​lysts | \ ˈka-tə-ləsts
agents that provoke or speed significant change or action.

Nurses are changing the landscape of health and healthcare throughout our local and global communities.
“The Catalysts” includes a new documentary film and educational campaign titled American Delivery [working title]
that begins with the story of nurse-led solutions to the maternal mortality crisis.

How do we solve the maternal health crisis?

The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality and morbidity among its peers, and over 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable. These statistics are shocking. And yet, there are concrete, scalable solutions that are within our reach. American Delivery [working title] is a new documentary film, produced by the same team that created The American Nurse Project, that tells the story of nurse-led solutions to protect women and babies during the critical 1000 day period from pregnancy to a child’s 2nd birthday. The film will shine a light on the work of Certified Nurse Midwives; programs like the Nurse Family Partnership; nurses supporting breastfeeding, and nurses in leadership who are
changing the national landscape of maternal health. 

Our filmmaking team has spent the last 12 years uncovering stories of nurses dramatically impacting our health and healthcare in the United States, using personal storytelling to help the public understand the impact of nurses as a collective professional body. We have an opportunity right now to shine a light on THE CATALYSTS who are changing the global landscape of maternal and infant health.

Our Research and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The power of the human story is what changes hearts and minds. But when it comes to telling the story of nurses and their impact on our health and well-being, it helps to frame it within the context of actionable goals and measurable achievements, taking their work out of the realm of abstract “caring” that can’t be measured, is hard to define, and is often overlooked.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals, quite simply, cannot be achieved without nurses. In addition to SDG #3 which focuses on good health and well-being, there are many other SDGs related to the social determinants of health (education, poverty, hunger) on which nursing has a major impact. “The Catalysts” project will use the SDGs as an important part of our research; a framework within which to structure the storytelling, with each of the featured nurses working toward achieving a specific sustainable development goal in their local community. Our first film will focus on solutions to address SDG Target 3.1: to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

Project Elements

  • AMERICAN DELIVERY feature documentary film: capturing the stories of change agents in maternal health from distinct parts of the United States and their measurable contributions to mothers, babies and society.
  • Short films: Video interview with Joyce Fitzpatrick, as well as a series of short films that feature nurse experts on the “path to change” behind each Catalyst story.
  • Website: including film segments, additional interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and educational materials.
  • Social Media: to document the journey and build audience.
  • Photographs: color photographs from the journey, for possible gallery and touring exhibition.
  • Eventual documentary series that will tackle additional global health targets.


Sometimes all it takes is one mentor to steer the course of one’s life and career. The world of global health—and many individual nurse leaders— are lucky to have such a mentor in Joyce Fitzpatrick, Inaugural director of the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, whose research, scholarship and leadership have advanced not only the profession of nursing, but also moved the needle on many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their targets. “THE CATALYSTS” project takes its inspiration from Joyce’s work and influence.

About Our Team

We believe in the power of storytelling to change hearts and minds. For the past decade, Carolyn Jones has collaborated with producer Lisa C. Frank and Cinematographer Jaka Vinsek to produce award-winning film and photography projects that illuminate the depth of humanity among us. The team successfully raised the volume of nurses’ collective voice through their multiple award-winning American Nurse Project, and had an opportunity to influence U.S. healthcare policy with a congressional screening of Defining Hope. Their most recent collaboration In Case of Emergency centers on the nurse’s role in the Emergency Department, and was the recipient of multiple prestigious film festival awards, including Best Documentary at the United Nations Association Film Festival. All three projects are featured in the American Film Showcase, a cultural diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State.


Linda Q. Everett, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL
Professor – Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy
Dr. Everett is a Visiting Professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). She has over forty-five years of nursing experience, twenty-five at an executive level. Dr. Everett is past president of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL); the 2011 inaugural president of the Indiana Center for Nursing; past treasurer of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the Honor Society of Nursing. She is a Lifetime Achievement Awardee from AONL. Dr. Everett was recognized by the Philippine Nurses Association of Indiana (IPNA) and the governor of Indiana for her influence and contributions to Filipino nurses.

Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP(H)
Co-Chair, Advisory Board and Director – Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, is Director of the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, Elizabeth Brooks Ford Professor of Nursing, and Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio. She began her nursing career as a public health nurse in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Fitzpatrick is widely published in nursing and health care literature with over 450 publications, including more than 85 books. In 2014, Dr. Fitzpatrick was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame and in 2016 was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing. In 2019 Dr. Fitzpatrick received the International Council of Nurses Florence Nightingale award for global contributions to the profession.

Greer Glazer, PhD, CNP, RN, FAAN
Professor and Dean Emeritus – University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Dr. Greer Glazer has worked actively throughout her career to realize the potential of nursing in providing quality care to all, creating and leading innovative initiatives to diversify the nursing workforce and to transform nursing education. Holding an established history of commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, Dr. Glazer has passionately supported affordable, accessible, coordinated, quality health care for all as a path to closing the health care gap, striving to focus on this end-goal when teaching, conducting research, acting as a dean of two colleges of nursing or providing direct care as a registered nurse or women’s health nurse practitioner.

Judith Shamian, PhD, RN, LLD (Hon), D.Sci. (Hon), FAAN, FCAN
27th President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN); Past president and CEO of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON); Past president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
Dr. Shamian is a Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto and Advisory Board member at the Marian K. Shaughnessy nurse leadership academy at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland Ohio, the founding executive director of the Office of Nursing Policy at Health Canada and recipient of four Honorary Doctorates among numerous other awards. Dr. Shamian is known for her mentoring many nurse leaders globally. Dr. Shamian served as a Commissioner on the UN High level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, and is a strong voice for the role and impact nurses and nursing can make on global health. Global Health will only be attained by including governments, civil society, private and public sectors and professional voices in the planning and implementing of global agendas like UHC, NCDs, SDGs and others.


Carolyn Jones, Director

Lisa Frank, Producer