Tommy Flynn

Tommy Flynn, awarded the 2019 Henry B. Spencer Scholarship for leadership in nursing and health care, is a candidate for the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia. With a background in youth ministry and dedication to service, Tommy completed his undergraduate nursing education at Emory in 2010 with support from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Nursing Commitment to Excellence scholarship. Tommy started as a staff nurse at CHOA the same year and has considered it an honor to care for Atlanta’s children and families since. As a staff nurse, he chaired the Evidence-Based Practice committee and became a resource and mentor to nursing students and new-graduates. Tommy was awarded the March of Dimes’ Georgia (GA) Nurse of the Year Award (2011) for a nurse in their first 5 years of practice who demonstrated leadership and potential to influence the future of nursing and health care. Recognizing his need for further education, he began the PhD/MSN program for the purpose of gaining the knowledge and skills he would need to become an influential leader capable of helping to reshape the future of healthcare in the U.S.

Tommy is currently researching racial disparities in the way physicians, nurses, and staff interact with patients in the Emergency Room. By analyzing the network of all the face-to-face interactions between physicians, nurses, staff, and patients (measured with passive sensors), he is building a virtual map that will measure how patients are prioritized by the healthcare team as a whole and what that means for individual emergency care. He hopes to develop a practical way to monitor patient care disparities so clinicians can identify opportunities for more equitable healthcare.

His future research interests include the practical application of patient data, quality of healthcare services, health and healthcare disparities, complex networks in care coordination, and healthcare delivery models. After graduation, Tommy plans to create his own career trajectory focused on the priorities of clinical practice, education, and research. To facilitate the transition from school to career and maximize his potential through mentored practical and professional skill development, Tommy hopes to receive a post-doctoral fellowship in data science and healthcare services research with an innovative team. His ideal fellowship will facilitate an advanced practice hospital residency program. Beyond targeted post-doctoral training, Tommy’s professional goals center on discovery and implementation of creative solutions to complex problems in healthcare, education, and research.