“Susan is an amazing nurse leader and mentor,” wrote colleague Erica Aiken, MSN, RN, CWON, CCCN, a wound-ostomy clinical leader, in her nomination. “She truly exemplifies our ChristianaCare values of love and excellence.”
In her role as vice president of Nursing Quality and Safety, Mascioli provides leadership and strategic direction for quality and patient safety in Nursing and systemwide to support a culture of safety and improved outcomes. Among the areas in her purview are Nursing Quality and Safety, Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice, Wound-Ostomy-Continence Nursing and the We Improve Senior Health (WISH) program.
“Susan provides tremendous support to our colleagues,” Aiken wrote. “She always has a positive attitude, and she exudes this positivity when she interacts with colleagues at all times, but especially during moments of chaos or in times of increased anxiety.”
Mascioli’s 37-year career at ChristianaCare includes over 30 years in health care quality and patient safety and 20 years in leadership roles. Earlier in her career she worked as a clinical nurse in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care and Postanesthesia Care units.
“My primary job as a leader is to help the people who report to me be successful — to mentor them, provide opportunity, remove barriers and help in any way I can to help them thrive,” Mascioli said.
Improved safety, improved outcomes
In addition to leadership at ChristianaCare, Mascioli has contributed to the literature on health care quality and safety with journal articles and national presentations.
“Susan’s contributions to nursing policy and procedures have provided the framework for clinical nursing practice,” wrote Kristin Papiro, MSN, RN, senior performance improvement manager, Nursing Quality and Safety, in her nomination.
“She encourages implementation of evidence-based practices and continually empowers nurses in their efforts to improve practice.”
One of the systemwide initiatives Mascioli co-leads is the Zero Harm Council. She also co-led a systemwide effort that reduced harm related hospital-acquired pressure injuries by 88% from 2019. Improvements were made in practice and process including the implementation of a virtual process for wound care nurses to validate pressure injuries.
Her commitment to quality improvement led to one of the first ChristianaCare Way Awards, in 2003, for the project “Improving Clinical Outcomes in Patients With a Traumatic Brain Injury.” The annual Way Awards recognize highly impactful initiatives that yield positive outcomes in safety and efficiency.
Mascioli’s innovation continues today with special dedication to ensuring a safe, respectful workplace for nurses and all health care providers.
As co-lead on ChristianaCare’s Workplace Civility Steer Committee, Mascioli has evaluated gaps and developed strategies to mitigate risk of violence against health care workers, a growing national issue.
The committee has launched initiatives including a pilot program to assess patient aggression, a safety button health providers can use to call for help and signage promoting respectfulness. The committee also maintains a comprehensive website with tools and resources on workplace violence.
Mascioli co-leads the committee with Michael Knorr, MSN, RN, PCCN, vice president of Patient Care Services for Acute Medicine.
“I have seen up front the passion Susan has for the safety and well-being of all our caregivers,” Knorr wrote in his nomination.
“She has advocated from day one to make improvements throughout the system that will make ChristianaCare a safer place for the staff, patients, families and the community.”
Leading by example
Mascioli earned her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Wilmington University and her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Widener University. She is certified as a nurse executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, in health care quality through the National Association for Healthcare Quality and in patient safety through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt through the Juran Institute.
Mascioli exemplifies ChristianaCare’s values of serving together with love and excellence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to the bedside after a 30-year hiatus to help her nurse colleagues handle the surge in patients.
“I remember walking through the 6D Overflow Area and seeing a blonde blur as Susan was moving in and out of rooms answering call bells and getting patients settled, all with a smile on her face,” wrote Michael Szeliga, MSN, APRN, in his DAISY nomination.
Even as she leads by example, Mascioli said: “At the end of the day, I love nursing and I love being a nurse. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with nurses and other caregivers committed to being exceptional today and even better tomorrow.”