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    Nurse Innovator. Philly enthusiast. STEAM geek. Storyteller.

    PHL Geek of the Year 2017. Philadelphia Inquirer Health Influencer 2019. HealthTech Influencer 2021. PA City & State 2022, 2023 Pride Power 100. Named One of Five Female Nurses Who Will Go Down in Herstory, 2023. Metro Philly LGBTQ+ Power Player, 2023.


    Interests: Innovation & Design Thinking, Social Media, Science & Health Communications.

    Changing the world locally & beyond. Civic Engagement. Writer. #AmplifyNursing

  • The Critical Need to Verify Nurses as

    Social Media Influencers.

    Social Media Day PHL 2021

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  • Research


    • Innovativeness of Nurses, Nurse-led Innovation, Human-centered Design, Design Thinking, Hackathons, Accelerators
    • Founding Member & Board of Director, the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders (SONSIEL)
    • Member, American Nurses Association Innovation Committee
    • Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania
    • Co-organizer, NurseHack4Health


    • Resuscitation Science, Cardiac Arrest, CPR Quality, Targeted Temperature Management, Post-Cardiac Arrest Care, Innovation & Technology, Education & Training
    • International Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA)
    • A member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Cardiovascular Nursing subcommittee
    • A member of the AHA Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science subcommittee
    • Co-Director, Women in Resuscitation Event, AHA ReSS (2015 - 2017)
    • Participated in the 2010 and 2015 International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) Guidelines
    • Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
    • A member of the Citizen CPR Foundation program committee and outreach committee
    • Full member, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania

    Resuscitation Publications here ~ Innovation Publications here


    Marion Leary, PhD, MPH, RN is the Director of Innovation for the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. Her work focuses on using innovation and design thinking to improve health and healthcare. Previously she was the Director of Innovation Research for the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania and an Instructor in the Penn Master of Public Health program.


    Dr. Leary has also been a consultant with the Penn Medicine Social Media and Health Innovation Lab and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Health Initiatives.


    Dr. Leary completed her master's degree in nursing at Penn, in health leadership, a master's degree in public health at Penn and a doctorate focused on innovation and design at Penn.


    Dr. Leary is the founder of ImmERge Labs, LLC (2016-2018), using augmented and virtual reality platforms to reimagine how we prepare for emergencies. ImmERge Labs was the winner of the 2017 University of Pennsylvania's AppItUP competition and was accepted into the Science Center's 2017 Digital Health Accelerator.


    Dr. Leary is a contributor to the American Nurses Association's American Nurse journal, the Nursing Beat, Medium, and the Inquirer (OpEd section).


    Dr. Leary was a contributor to the Huffington Post, Geekadelphia, Generocity and was the host of STEAMrollrs, a segment of the STEM Everyday Podcast featuring women who are paving the way in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). She was also on the planning committee for Start Talking Science a free public event to increase the public awareness of — and interest in — cutting-edge, local research. She was also on the planning committee for the March for Science PHL 2017 and 2018.


    Dr. Leary and her team from ImmERge Labs placed first at the University of Pennsylvania AppItUP 2017 competition. Read more about ImmERge Labs here. Dr. Leary and her team also won the 2016 Northeastern Nurse Innovation Hackathon and was on the planning committee as well as a mentor & speaker for the 2017 event.


    Dr. Leary was the co-Director of the Hypothermia and Resuscitation (HART) Institute at Penn.


    Dr. Leary founded Sink or Swim Philadelphia (2011-2015), a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission was to assist people who were uninsured or underinsured raise funds to pay for medical expenses using social media and medical crowd-funding.


    Dr. Leary was also a co-founder of Resuscor, LLC (2012-2015) a Penn UPstart company focusing on cardiac arrest and resuscitation science medical education, innovation and technology.

  • Podcasts

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    University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing

    Amplify Nursing features nurses who are paving the way in science, policy and innovation. Our Amplify Nursing guests defy stereotypes, define practice, and disrupt convention. We highlight the breadth and depth of nursing influence on society by amplifying nurses who are pushing boundaries and breaking down barriers to build a new paradigm.

    Amplify Nursing is a Penn Nursing podcast supported by the Pinola Fund for Innovation in Nursing. Hosted by Marion Leary and Dr. Angelarosa DiDonato.


    Available on iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay, or wherever you get your podcasts!


    Featuring women who are paving the way in science, technology, engineering, art & math (STEAM)

    Season 1

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    Dr. Merchant's is the Director of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. Her research focuses on innovation diffusion, social media, and resuscitation science. Her work involves development and testing of health related mobile apps.

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    Setsu Shgematsu, Associate Professor in the Media and Cultural Studies Department at University of California, Riverside and creator of the childrens’ book series Guardian Princesses; she is joined by Pavita Singh, Director of Outreach.

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    Dr. Laurie Morrison is an emergency physician and resuscitation scientist who conducts research in topics pertaining to acute coronary syndrome and resuscitation at St. Michael's Hospital in Canada through the Rescu program

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    Dr. Julie Fairman, Nightingale Professor of Nursing and Director Emerita, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, discusses the history of nursing science.

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    Dr. Michelle Johnson, director at the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is Marion Leary’s guest today.

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    Yasmine Mustafa is fueled by a passion to empower women in all areas of life, thus she founded the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop and her newest company ROAR for Good. Join Marion Leary as she interviews another great woman in STEAM who is choosing her own path in life.

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    Join Marion Leary as she visits with Ana Kay Yaghoubian from the American Association of University Women, as she addresses disturbing statistics of gender bias in the workplace and other interesting facts about STEM.

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    Join guest host Marion Leary, as she visits with Lindsay Mullen, an enginEAR from Walt Disney World. We are familiar with the artistic side of Disney, but most of us don’t realize how deeply rooted the STEM fields are in Disney. STEM is the hidden magic of Disney.

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    STEM Everyday’s guest host, Marion Leary, has once again produced an outstanding podcast with Juliana Reyes of Techinical.ly Philly. Juliana has been covering the Philadelphia tech scene since 2012 and is a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner.


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    In this special episode Marion Leary visits with Steph Evans a systems engineer and rocket scientist advocating for women in the STEM fields and hosting the youtube channel


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    Join Marion Leary to hear how Astronaut Abby is using the STEM field to enable her dream of going to ‘Mars’ become a reality. #MarsGeneration

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    In this episode Marion Leary interviews Wogrammer's Erin Summers & Zainab Ghadiyali, who are highlighting amazing women engineers and breaking stereotypes one story at a time.

  • Articles

    The Philadelphia Inquirer ~ Huffington Post ~ Geekadelphia ~ Medium ~ Social Innovation Journal ~ Generocity ~ SONSIEL ~ Am Journal of Nursing ~ Nurses for Biden ~ American Nurse ~ ANA Innovation ~ Mothers In Science ~ The Nursing Beat

    I have been riding a bike in Philadelphia for years and have never been injured by a vehicle or pedestrian. Yet, on a recent morning, it finally happened: I was doored. Being doored is just one of the many life-threatening obstacles people who bike for pleasure, sport, or transportation must face whenever they get on a bike.

    Let’s hear from Marion Leary of Northern Liberties, with a heartfelt perspective on Mother Nature’s impact.

    Yet, while waiting by the tent for emergency responders to arrive, I could not grasp how so many Philadelphians could pass by a person in duress. At best, the runners and walkers and cyclists were hoping someone else would stop and take care of it; at worst, they did not care enough to care.

    The COVID-19 surge has families worried, sometimes pitting kids who want to go to school against their parents. A mother and daughter make their cases for and against in-person school.

    From the time your kid is born, you fall in love with them so hard and care so deeply that all you want to do is spend every waking second trying to protect them and keep them safe. However, the complexity of this has gotten harder over the years in our current environmental, social, and political climate, significantly heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    There is no bigger fear for a parent with a kid who has food allergies than hearing the dreaded words, “I think I’m having an allergic reaction.” As someone who is both a parent and a person living with food allergies, these words send me into a complete state of panic. Never being able to protect my kid or me fully is very disconcerting. But as parents and individuals with food allergies, we can only do so much. We need restaurants and the food-service industry to begin taking responsibility for the safety of the patrons they serve.

    In normal times (pre-COVID-19), going to the hospital for an illness or injury is extremely stressful and scary for both the patient and their loved ones. During COVID-19, that stress and anxiety are amplified due to the visitor restriction policies implemented by some hospitals under the guise of preventing the spread of the virus.

    Philadelphia area schools, like those across the country, are grappling with how to safely reopen in the midst of a pandemic. The U.S. is worse off now than when schools closed in March, with record-breaking case counts reported daily. Though Philadelphia cases are tentatively stable, cases in Pennsylvania and surrounding counties are increasing.

    As a researcher myself, I believe they asked the wrong question. I don't think having a kid ruined my life, on the contrary, I am a better person because of my daughter;

    The holidays are fully upon us and we would all do well to remember the power of kindness this holiday season. That is what the holidays are about, that is what I want to build my kid’s holiday memories on, and that is what will make all hearts grow 3 sizes.

    It’s hard to write your own story, your truth, when you can’t remember it. Close to 20 years ago, I had three concussions over a very short period of time, during a period of time when treatment for concussions went a little like this: “Shake it off and get back in there!”.

    Philadelphia is home to the city’s open intake shelter, the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) — though I’d argue the care is used quite liberally in this context - and also one of ACCT’s “rescue partners”, the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA). For those who have never stepped foot into an inner city animal shelter, it’s an awful place — for the people and for the animals. Which is why it is vital to foster and adopt — not buy!

    The hope in the beginning of this experiment, when we declared our independence from another oppressor, was that if a strong enough foundation was laid, it would create a great nation. And though it has sustained us for over 240 years, we have yet to be that great nation to the many diverse populous who live here.

    “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, that has been my motto my entire adult life, ever since I began having allergic reactions and anxiety attacks. I have a superhero complex and like to think myself invincible, but my immune system states otherwise. My kryptonite comes in the form of shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab etc).

    Last month the website Professor Watchlist, created by Turning Point USA, began capturing the identities of professors who teach at academic institutions, allowing students to report professors who “advance a radical agenda". To better understand the demographics of those being reported, we performed a descriptive analysis of the publicly available data.


    Our country over its 240 year history has moved at glacier speeds toward justice, with an irreconcilably slow march toward greatness, mixed with more hate than great. Slowly, steadily, though, greatness has tried to prevail over the centuries, with the freeing of slaves after the civil war, women gaining the right to vote, marriage equality etc…greatness has marched on.

    While I was in the planning stages of Sink or Swim I met with an acquaintance who had been running a fairly successful non-profit for many years. Her first words to me were, and I quote, “Don’t do it, it will ruin your life!...boy was she ever right!”

    The death of a family pet is difficult, especially when you have to make the awful decision to put your pet down. When the time came for my family to make that decision last month, I was not expecting it to be as difficult for me as it was

    Ahh summer! A magical time when parents get a well-needed break from their children, and children from their parents. Or so I have heard.

    Like many other research groups, my colleagues and I spend an enormous amount of our time writing grants that will more than likely never get funded. Not because they are poorly written, or poorly conceived, or unnecessary, but because the federal government only funds approximately 16% of grants submitted each cycle.

    Communicating science is of the utmost importance on a basic, fundamental level. A recent study...found that most Americans can answer basic science questions, but go beyond the basic, and most are stumped.

    Death will not escape us, any of us. Though it seems that death has a fond proclivity for me, it has followed me throughout my life thus far. Case-in-point, I started writing this from a room in a hospice center watching as my father-in-law took some of what were his last breaths.

    Somewhat recently a cardiac arrest survivor I helped to resuscitate was diagnosed with a terminal disease. This brought about the question, is it better to go quickly, not knowing the end is near, or is it better to have extra time on this earth...

    I told her these things, and many others, so that she would learn them from me and not from her friends or other unreliable, seedy sources. I continue to tell her things like these because if I want her to talk to me, I also have to be willing to talk to her — it is a reciprocal relationship.

    In a country where anything is possible, a veritable land of milk and honey, the election of a ruler is an important process, not just because that person will end up as the President of the United States, but because it clearly shows us the thought process and beliefs of our fellow citizens.

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24, and those who are bullied are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than those who are not. That's why it's so important for them to hear that it gets better. It is hard to believe that through the haze of depression, sadness and loneliness, but it does.

    Science supports the fact that it is up to you, the community bystander, to be the difference between life and death, and here is how we know this...data!

    Philly is the underdog city, we are scrappy, we never give up, and we have heart.

    This was not a vacation for the faint of heart, this was a vacation of extremes ...

    I am an agnostic scientist who happens to also be fascinated with the world's religions, especially the Abrahamic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

    Education is a right, but it can also be a privilege for some, because unfortunately not everyone has equal access to it. Therefore, if you are lucky enough to have it, you should embrace it, appreciate it, and take it all in, for all it's worth. 

    I also talk to a lot of cardiac arrest survivors, and the one thing they all have in common -- other than being alive -- is that someone stepped up and performed CPR.

    My advice to those kids, and to all kids, is to keep thinking outside the box, think up, and work on, solutions that seem unconventional.

    With CPR so visible in everyday life, surely everyone must know how important it is to be trained in this lifesaving skill, right?

    The intersection of science and religion can sometimes be a controversial topic, rife with tension, but a new book, “The Truth about Science and Religion: From the Big Bang to Neuroscience” seeks to find a balance between the two. Written by Fraser Fleming, Phd, Head of the Chemistry Department at Drexel’s College of Arts and Science.

    STEMcityPHL, a civic initiative through US2020 PHL, which is a program developed from the US2020 White House call for action to develop 1 million STEM mentors by the year 2020, is holding a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) STEM pilot program in June. The program will connect LGBTQ STEM mentors with LGBTQ youth.

    Once again, in a the city that boasts a long list of firsts, Philadelphia will host the 6th annual Philadelphia Science Festival on April 22nd through April 30th.

    Comic Book Junto is a podcast where Newman and Teterus hold conversations about, and share their love of, geek culture. Comic Book Junto is a passionate podcast about everything because [they] are passionate about everything.

    If you have a story to tell, PhillyCAM can help you make it a reality. PhillyCAM is the organization that runs Philadelphia’s public access television station (Comcast 66/966 and Verizon 29/30), and soon they will be venturing into radio, on FM 106.5.

    The Social Innovation Lab understands that nursing will play a crucial role in addressing and creating these simple solutions to key healthcare gaps in our City. The goal of the Social Innovation Lab is not to teach people what to think...“but it teaches people how to think."

    Podcasting offers some of the most enjoyable listening experiences around and it is becoming a booming industry nationwide. And Philly is no exception, home to a number of fantastic podcasts.

    TEDx is a speakers event whose mission is to share ideas worth spreading to communities around the globe. On April 10th, TEDxPenn comes to the University of Pennsylvania and will feature 12 speakers ranging from researchers to artists.

    Do you listen to locally grown podcasts? Are you a local Philly podcaster? If so, then you will want to check out The Philadelphia Podcasting Society's next meetup event.

    The nurture part of the “nature vs. nurture” debate postulates that one’s environment and experiences can contribute to a person’s identity as much as one's genes. My environment certainly has. Growing up in the gritty city of Philadelphia has definitely defined who I am — to an extent. Yet, almost 30 years later, it is the experiences with nature that nurture me most. I can’t remember the last time I went on a vacation or a weekend outing that wasn’t designed around connecting with nature, and I am so grateful for that.

    Philadelphia — and, in turn, Philadelphians, have been going through it the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic, opioid epidemic, and gun violence crisis notwithstanding, the city has been plagued with one disaster after another — and we are not talking about Super Bowl, World Series and championship losses. It’s a lot for any city, let alone one already considered underdogs, overlooked, under-resourced, and hyper-criticized.

    When our bodies experience what it perceives as a danger, a relatively well-known stress response kicks in — most of us will either fight, flight, or freeze. Just recently, I learned that there is a fourth response: fawn. Fawn is basically the equivalent of the dog sitting in the house on fire, saying everything is fine. I am very good at fawning, much to the detriment of my marriage as well as my physical and mental health.
    I have a severe inhalation allergy to shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.), preventing me from regularly flying. I try to mitigate the risk of exposure by not flying on airlines serving food, taking very early morning flights, and watching every food bag that other passengers bring onto the plane. Plus, my thinking has always been, who is going to order shrimp and then bring it on an airplane to eat early in the morning? Well, a lot of people, actually. And on this particular early morning flight, the gentleman seated directly behind me.
    Christmas is supposed to be the season of giving but it feels more like the season of material giving. Im not trying to be the Grinch, but the wasteful spending of money on material things makes my heart shrink 3 sizes. So this holiday season, let's emphasize the true meaning of giving.
    Six weeks ago, I was in the best shape I’ve been in for some time physically and mentally; I felt great! I was working out 5 days a week doing peloton cycling and boxing, yoga, and mixing in the treadmill, seriously I felt terrific. I love working out — it makes me happier and more productive. Then like someone threw a switch, it all changed.
    I am one of those writers who needs time for inspiration to spring forth — and when it does, the words flow onto the page like magic. Unfortunately, that is not how academia works; I can’t just wait for the words to flow like a firehose onto the page. I have deadlines to meet and a dissertation to finish. That type of pressured writing is hard. So here are the five things I discovered that inspire me to write.
    For this Nurses Week — and all those to come — let us forgo the platitudes, and instead, get out and make a real difference by registering voters, knocking on doors, writing letters, making phone calls, and sending text messages. Let’s show up en mass and get involved — and importantly, vote! It will affect the patients we care for, the students we educate, the science and research we produce, the innovations we create, the policies we write, and the communities we serve far better than any one week ever could.
    Nursing Mutual Aid (NMA, 2020) was borne of the impulse to construct a home for nurses and midwives who had their previously accepted scholarly presentations canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    As a nurse and public health practitioner, I understand the devastation the pandemic has caused on my colleagues, their patients and families, and the world at large. I believe wholeheartedly in science, and I am very much pro-vaccine. Still, I am also a person who suffers from several severe allergies, as was therefore hesitant to get the covid vaccine.

    I am grateful for the confidence I’ve found in the kitchen this year, for the recipes from around the globe that have sustained us, and for the privilege of being able to make them. I can’t wait until I can share these meals with all of our family and friends again and eat well together!

    So here is a list of recipes I’ve attempted, some of which I’ve mastered, some not so much, but I’ll keep trying. I am aware of, and grateful for, the privilege afforded me to have the time and resources to cook these meals. I am happy I can share them all with you virtually, but I can’t wait to resume sharing communal meals together again! Until then, bon appetit!

    So, it was only fitting that yesterday as the fate of the country was being played out on the news channels around the world, it was Philadelphia whose votes put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the top. The city where this country was founded, that has been making bad things happen to tyrants since 1776, did it again in 2020; proving that, amongst all the bad, good things do happen in Philadelphia!

    For the LGBTQ community it has been a little over 5 years since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal, and in that time all were happy and gay — feeling the faintest bit like equal citizens of the country we call home. But alas, with the election of Donald Trump as President, that was not to last, and so here we are once again on the verge of losing that right, and many more. Rights we should not have to fight for, but be sure, we will!

    Twenty-six years ago this month, as a junior in high school in northeast Philadelphia, I saw a sign — not otherworldly or from God, but a billboard, advertising the Philadelphia AIDS Walk...All I knew was that sign, which I saw almost everyday walking to work, was like a beacon that was drawing me to a community I didn’t even know existed, with no explanation as to why.

    I firmly believe showing up and being counted is vitally important to our democracy, but I also believe it is important to visually represent the message you are there to draw attention to. So here are signs from some of the numerous protests my family and I have attended since Trump took office. I hope they inspire you to show up and help create something meaningful that lives on!

    Churches are more than the structures where believers congregate, they are the community that they build, and the values they share. Ultimately not all churches and religions are created equal — yes they all are built around community, but what type of community they build is an important consideration.

    I love my dad and do not want to not have him in my life because of the person he fell in love with — in all fairness, he did the same for me — but the struggle is real, and hate will never have a home in my family!

    I am constantly being asked about Twitter — who to follow, how it works, if it is really worth it - to which I say absolutely! For those unsure how to proceed, here are some golden rules that I personally use when on Twitter that I find keep me grounded, honest, and engaging.

    As the COVID19 pandemic began, like many other non-clinical nurses, I felt great moral distress not being on the frontlines, feeling like I wasn’t contributing in a truly meaningful way. But also like so many other non-clinical providers, I was (and still am) contributing, just in different ways. I truly feel it is important to show the world the variety of ways in which nurses — and other practitioners — are contributing to the work of flattening the curve, spreading responsible public health information, and helping to protect our frontline providers and workers during this pandemic.

    Last year, I traveled around the country to meet, document, and be in awe of nurses who are designing innovative solutions to some of the countries biggest health and health care issues. In true human-centered approach, I immersed myself in the environments where these nurses live, work, and play — sharing in their worlds, understanding why they do the work they do, who influences and affects the way they see the world, and interacting with some of the people and patients’ for whom they are designing.

    In the 3.5 months of summer break from my #PhD program I have felt more human than I had in the 8 months of the Fall & Spring semesters combined. I am reinvigorated knowing I have taken full advantage of everything my summer of 2019 had to offer. So, here's a recap of my wonderful summer phun.

    Widespread and consistent exclusion of nursing expertise is a prime example of the media’s misunderstanding of the profession.

    My interest in space — and adulation of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — began 30 years ago when I visited Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex for the first time as an 8 year old with my family.

    What I would like people to understand, what I need people to understand, what I implore people to understand is this, for people with food allergies, every…single…minute of every…single…day is like a ticking time bomb.

    I usually write about my big life experiences and transitions, but I don’t feel like any words can capture my last 11.5 years with the Center. So instead, I will let these photos speak for themselves.

    I did it. After years of talking about it, debating it, and pondering its need, I finally bit the bullet and began a doctoral program this fall. To be honest, I was not really sure I wanted to do it— I had done my research and I had been told, nay warned, and even more so encouraged by some to reconsider my decision.

    Its #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, and it was my first time getting a mammogram! I wasn't really worried about the potential for breast cancer, as the odds were in my favor. It didn't go exactly as I had planned though, but it is "probably nothing".

    Lets face it, marriage years, like dog years, do not equate to just one. Being in love is what brought us together all of those years ago, but it is not what keeps us together today. What keeps us together is love, just love. Love of and for each other, and love of the life we have created together, and love of what is to come.

    So this week, and every week of football season and beyond, please take the time to learn these life-saving skills. Because, when a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, you all the victim’s got and you all they need!

    Innovation, a buzz word in health and healthcare today, is central to both academic research and design thinking. As someone who is now working in both areas, I can’t help but think that they can at times be quite similar, and yet can also be diametrically opposed fields.

    I have what I like to call a superhero complex! I believe that I have certain superpowers that most other people do not and even if you don’t have superpowers, if you have science you can still save the world.

    I have written once before about being a foster home for rescue dogs. It is incredibly rewarding but so very emotionally draining. So please, when you see me posting cute pictures of our foster dog snuggling with my family on social media don’t respond with “you’re keeping her right?”

    Tomorrow is my 40th birthday! As I reflect on those 40 years — 14,600 days — I have done so many things I could have never imagined when I was little. Here are the top 40 things that I remember fondly and am grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of and contribute to.

    At a conf last wk I was charged w/ managing all of the tweeting & blogging, I presented my work on #virtualreality, & moderated the #innovation session. Taken together, one would think I had the heir of young & hip to those around me — one would be wrong!

    In Philadelphia, a city I love an inordinate amount at times, we have an event unlike any other — the Philly Geek Awards!

    As an academic researcher submitting federal grants you know the timeline is long, really long; from submission…to review…to funding… can be close to 10 months. The worst part though, if the grant is not ultimately funded, which most grants will not be, you have to wait until the next cycle, which could be an additional 2–3 months away, and then start that 10 month process of waiting all over again.


    It has been a mere 2-months since the inauguration of the 45th President of these United States…where to begin. A lot of people in this country are afraid. If you don’t know that yet, then you are one of the few privileged folks who probably have nothing to worry about. I pledge to do the following 10 actions and I urge you to do the same.

    I have been a resuscitation science researcher for close to 10 years. In that time I have been asked that eternal academy question: “when are you getting your Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)?”, more times than I can count.

    No one really knows what a new year will hold for them, and 2016 was a hard year for almost everyone! But 2016 was the year I found my love of science communication! For a science geek who loves nothing more than talking about science, #scicomm allowed me to take my passion for all things science and combine it with my obsession with social media, to spread the good word to all of you! You are welcome!

    People ask me all the time, “what do you do?”, and for reasons unknown, I never really know what to say to them. My job sounds interesting to me. Just like many people I know and respect, working jobs that sound important and fascinating. So as an experiment, I decided to list out for one week, what I do on the daily, and in some cases, why.

    I would encourage people to take a moment to consider the intentions of what others say, do, and post, and not take personally what they do not say, do not do, or do not post. There are so many people throughout the world, in every corner, intentionally hurting others in a plethora of ways, we need to support the people taking a stand for anyone, whether or not it be everyone.

    Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovation, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders

    What happens when a group of motivated, innovative, highly intelligent, and strongly convicted nurses get together? They change the world!

    Social Innovation Journal

    Improving survival from SCA is a significant public health concern; It will take innovative thinking and disruption of the status quo to foster new ideas that will not only improve SCA outcomes overall, but also decrease disparities in the care received.


    We have a responsibility as nurses to speak up when we see violence, harm, and injustice being performed against other.

    Unlike Amazon and Instacart workers, our #frontline providers cant strike en mass over the lack of #PPE they're being provided by their employers during this #coronavirus pandemic. So here's what you can do to help them shut down #COVID19.


    We cannot let the science deniers dictate the messaging. We cannot stay silent, because if we do everyone loses — not just the scientific community.

    Responsible science communication can literally be the difference between life and death. Mass media, especially the news, as well as social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, have a significant influence on people’s health beliefs and actions. As nurses we have a critical role to play in how the media reports on health issues and public health policy and on what messages the public and policy makers receive.

    As I watched the Democratic National Convention (DNC)in August it felt like a darkness had been lifted, a darkness that began Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and has persisted since. A darkness that shrouded this country and its citizens for the past 3.5 years in fear and hate.

    Conferences are a great place to learn new things, meet other people in your field, network, and amplify your work. They also can be a great place to meet people in other fields, depending on the conferences you attend. I frequently talk with colleagues about the need for nurses to attend more “non-nursing conferences,” especially those geared to innovation. If we want the world to understand better what it is that we do and the value we bring to all settings, not just the bedside, we need to show up and be seen and heard outside of our own circle.

    For nurses to connect with patients, communities, administrators, or policy makers, we need to emphasize storytelling’s importance in healthcare—and innovation—and teach nurses the fundamentals of the art of telling stories earlier in their careers. Our guest contributor this month is Nicole Sunderland. Dr. Sunderland argues that storytelling is an integral component of education, especially for undergraduate nursing students.

    So, you want to start a startup—great! We need more nurse entrepreneurs, but there are some things you’ll want to do to make sure you’re successful.
    Understanding the business side of innovation is crucial to successfully implementing, maintaining, and sustaining a new system, process, product, or technology. Whether you’re looking to turn your idea into a business endeavor (entrepreneur) or scale up your idea at your institution (intrapreneur), success requires being familiar with business terms, concepts, and processes. Combining a nursing degree with a business degree provides that underlying magic for some nurse innovators.
    Here Iswarya Srinivasan explains how clinicians can use human-centered design and design thinking to improve healthcare delivery using the value-based care model. Using a human-centered approach in collaboration with care models such as value-based care enhances the goal of improving the quality of care our patients receive.
    Nurses and engineers serve vital roles in health and healthcare, creating, designing, and implementing solutions to problems big and small. Partnering nursing students with engineering students provides an immense opportunity to combine these two disciplines and allows each respective student group to learn from the other early in their academic careers and expand their way of thinking.
    Science and health communication is a big part of research, education, and innovation — being able to clearly communicate the problem and solution is key to many things, including getting funding. But more importantly, it’s a great way to get information out to those who need it and would benefit from it the most.
    I am a firm believer that exposure to innovation methods and processes leads to innovation itself. Over years I've seen students, faculty, and clinicians take the knowledge and resources gained in class and use them in other ways – whether in hackathons, accelerators, or in-practice.
    One such student shares her thoughts on why she believes design thinking should be a required part of the undergraduate nursing curriculum.
    Nurses often reach out to me for advice — they have an innovation idea and don’t know what to do next. This article is my starter guide to beginning to bring an idea from conception to fruition. Note though, creating a new innovation is multilayered, there are many steps and levels of complexity along the way, this is just the basics, a starting place.
    Storytelling is a critical part of healthcare, as well as innovation and design. Stories can be used to communicate a problem, provide context, and present a solution. Storytelling is a science into itself.
    When nursing students are exposed to active learning, innovation events such as hackathons, they begin to understand how they can solve problems in health and healthcare in a very different way.
    When nursing students are exposed to the innovation process and the methodologies to create human-centered solutions to health and healthcare problems, they flourish. The guest article below written by one of my nursing students, Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, is a prime example of this.
    The nursing process is tried and true; it is a systematic approach that has served the profession, our patients, and communities well for decades — and little known fact, it mirrors the innovation process perfectly!
    The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAM) released their Future of Nursing 2020–2030 report recently with a sizable nod toward nurse-led innovation in the context of health equity and the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).
    Social media sites create a space for nurses to share their stories, have action-based conversations, engage and educate others, and meet people that can help them reach their personal and professional goals. All of these social media platforms allow nurses’ voices to be heard, just make sure that you use them responsibly.
    Storytelling is essential to increasing health literacy, empathy, curiosity, and engagement — and who has better stories than nurses?
    I firmly believe we need more nurses creating new & original #podcast content. In my latest article, I share some of the tips and things I think are important to consider.
    What skills do you need to be a nurse innovator? A great many things, though this question is a bit misleading as I firmly believe nurses already possess many of the skills necessary. In fact, I would argue that most nurses are already innovating, having an innovative prowess that is innate to the profession.
    My path into STEMM was far from straightforward — which fits well with my entire life’s journey. I am a first-generation college student, the first to be working toward a doctoral degree, and the first to come out as a member of the #LGBTQ community (though not the only one, my twin sister is also gay). It took me a long time to figure out myself personally and also professionally.

    Having more nurses engaged in civic activities is not only better for our patients and our communities — it is better for our profession.

  • Interviews

    Interviews with, and performances by, Marion Leary

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    Marion Leary PhD, MPH, RN, is the Director of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.rsing.

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    Metro Philly’s 2023 LGBTQ+ Power Players list honors those LGBTQ+ trail blazers leading the way forward for a more inclusive, celebratory Philadelphia.

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    These five nurses will go down in herstory as some of the leaders that have spearheaded equality and empowerment in the field of nursing.

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    Marion Leary wants her nursing colleagues to know they, too, can have a career in tech. Over the span of 16 years, Marion Leary has built an innovation-focused nursing career. Her mission now is to help other healthcare pros pursue that path themselves.

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    Marion Leary is just...so cool. She took a winding path to nursing but found her passion in nursing research, leadership, and innovation.

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    Penn LDI Associate Fellow Marion Leary of Penn Nursing Pulls Together a Colloquium to Discuss the New Academic Trend

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    What do Philadelphians have to say about B. PHL?

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    In this episode of the SONSIEL series, we are privileged to feature two amazing nurse leaders, Hiyam Nadel and Marion Leary. Hiyam is the Director of the Center for Innovations and Care Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marion is the Director of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.

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    In this episode of The Handoff, Dr. Nurse Dan gets to talk about his favorite topic -- innovation in nursing -- with innovation and design thinking expert Marion Leary.

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    You don’t have to be tech-savvy to join a hackathon–you just have to be passionate about problem-solving.

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    On episode 288 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing career and healthcare podcast, Keith interviews Marion Leary, MSN, MPH, PhD, the Director of Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, regarding innovative design thinking, science communication, STEM, and much more.

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    On this episode of Law 2030, we hear from Marion Leary, Director of Innovation at Penn Nursing. Listen to learn about the natural innovative inclinations of nurses, Marion's predictions for the future of nursing, what all professions can learn about user-centered design and how to develop a creative mindset.

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    Let's catch up with the multi-faceted Marion Leary, who is the Director of Innovation at University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. She was Philly's Geek of the Year in 2017, Philadelphia Inquirer's Health Influencer in 2019 and has been a resuscitation science researcher for many years now. We talk about innovation, design thinking, how Philadelphia is more than just the Rocky Memorial and her attempts to reduce the social and economic disparity in healthcare in the US.

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    How have nurses made a difference in your life? Dr. Jayatri Das talks with Marion Leary from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing about global collaborations for innovative healthcare during the pandemic.

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    Marion Leary is the Director of Innovation at the Pennsylvania School of Nursing. We discuss innovation and nursing education, University of Pennsylvania’s free online Design Thinking for Health platform, nurses as innovation leaders, and why storytelling matters. Show host: Dawan Stanford.

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    Notable Nurses

    A Proudly Geeky Nurse!

    These nurses are shattering nursing stereotypes in their spheres of practice. We recognize them as Nurses On Purpose!

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    Virtual reality might help solve the problem.

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    On September 29th a medical researcher in Philadelphia fired off a simple, well-meaning tweet, and then barely thought twice about it. Little did she know that by doing that, she was perpetrating covert propaganda on behalf of the U.S. government. Ira explains.

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    No one makes it out of this world alive. From tales of reckless funerals to spreading cremains in unusual places, these storytellers face mortality in heartfelt and surprising ways.

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    It took me a really long time to come into my own and find my geek-ness, and being Geek of the Year in a city I love, chosen by a group of people I admire, makes it all so much better.

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    The only thing you can be certain about in life is death. Or is it? Merriam-Webster defines death as "a permanent cessation of all vital functions."

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    Melissa Harris-Perry MSNBC

    Melissa began today’s “Foot Soldiers” segment with a fable about a starfish, meant to illustrate the power of doing even a little bit to make a difference – even when the difference you’re making appears to some as too small to bother. Marion Leary has known that power well, since she launched the website for her non-profit organization, Sink or Swim Philadelphia.

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    Talking resuscitation research and virtual reality CPR training in this episode of Nursing Notes Live with nurse innovator Marion Leary, RN, MSN, MPH, FAHA.

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    I have what I like to call a superhero complex! I believe that I have certain superpowers that most other people do not and even if you don’t have superpowers, if you have science you can still save the world.

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    In SciComm episode 43, I am joined by Marion Leary. Marion is the Director of Innovation Research for the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the Innovation Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

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    Russell’s second set of guests are twins Marion and Jennifer Leary. Marion is the Director of Innovation Research for the Center for Resuscitation Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and Jennifer is a former firefighter and Founder of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team.

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    Long Story Short: Improve inspired by true life. Watch as Marion Leary performs stories written for the Huffington Post.

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    One startup founder faced the very problem her company is trying to solve.

    ImmERge Labs cofounder Marion Leary was walking home from the Philadelphia Eagles parade last Thursday, amid a city overcome with joy when, suddenly, she bumped into the very problem her startup is trying to fix.

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    Today Chris welcomes the 2017 Philly Geek of the Year Marion Leary to the show. Think the name Marion Leary sounds familiar? Marion has also guest hosted some special segments right here on the STEM Everyday podcast entitled StEAMrollrs. Marion is also the founder of ImmERge Labs, using augmented and virtual reality platforms to reimagine how we prepare for emergencies.

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    Meet Marion Leary, a resuscitation scientist passionate about saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest by integrating technology and digital strategies!

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    Marion Leary is interviewed by her daughter for Huffington Post's #TalkToMe Campaign. Authentic conversations between parents and children.

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    Roll Through This Philly Produced STEAM Podcast

    Marion Leary is an active, vocal champion of initiatives for science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). She’s a Philly resident and is very busy around town, with efforts including startups, nonprofits, and the Start Talking Science event series.

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    Chris Woods leads a great conversation with two special individuals working in STEM fields. Marion Leary and Christina Love, share their passion of making STEM available to all individuals.

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    TeleCode Pitch (Placed 1st)

    TeleCode is a solution to improve in-hospital cardiac arrest by connecting worldclass resuscitation experts with healthcare providers at the point of care, at the moment of need via a telemedical device.

  • Volunteer

    "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something."

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    Pen Pal: 2023-Present

    Letters to a Pre-Scientist connects students to STEM professionals through snail mail to broaden students ’ awareness of what STEM professionals look like and do at work and inspire all students to explore a future in STEM.

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    Program Committee: 2014-2018; 2022-Present

    Start Talking Science (STS) is a free public event where STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) researchers present non-technical posters to the community. We hope to increase public awareness of - and interest in - cutting-edge research taking place in Philadelphia in order to make STEM more accessible. #STEAM



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    Co-organizer; Board Member; Social Media & Outreach: 2016-2018

    The March for Science is a celebration of science. It's not about scientists or politicians, it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.

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    Innovation Advisory Board: 2023-Present

    Supporting current and future innovators the support needed to enable new ideas to blossom and new businesses to thrive.

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    Advisory Member: 2023-Present

    Creating the industry's largest network of nurses and allied healthcare professionals that drives sustainability in healthcare. 

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    Volunteer: 2022-

    A volunteer letter-writing group to encourage people to vote.

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    Founding Member: 2019-Present; Board Member: 2020-2022

    Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovator, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders.

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    Innovation Committee Member: 2019-Present

    ANA is dedicated to building a culture of innovation across the nursing profession. Our innovation work exists to support and nurture the innovative, curious, and pioneering nature of nurses.  

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    Emergency Cardiovascular Care Innovation Sub-Committee (2019-2020); Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science Subcommittee (2014-2018)

    Working on a national level to advance the science around cardiac arrest and resuscitation science. #learnCPR

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    Disaster Health Nurse: 2008-2016

    Providing first aid treatment for injuries, monitor the well-being of people staying in Red Cross shelters, and replace prescription medications during emergencies and natural disasters. #emergencyprepardness

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    Board Member; Communications Committee Chair: 2015-2017

    An advocacy organization which builds political power for the Philadelphia area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community through involvement within the Democratic Party. 

  • Connect

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  • Social Media