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Our Leadership

Dr. Sandra Larson
Vice President of Partnerships

In January 2019, Dr. Sandra Larson was appointed Vice President of Partnerships at Rosalind Franklin University (RFU). In this role, Dr. Larson provides leadership and oversight of partnership strategies in alignment with the university’s strategic plan, and works collaboratively with key stakeholders to create more capabilities and better supported ecosystems between academia and healthcare.

Dr. Larson joined RFU in 2011 as chair and program director for the Department of Nurse Anesthesia. Under her leadership, the department expanded innovation and operational efficiency in clinical training and developed a dynamic culture of teamwork, assessment and curriculum redesign. Dr. Larson's vision was the catalyst behind creating a Doctorate-level program for entry-level nurse anesthetists, and adding a completion program for practicing nurse anesthetists wanting to expand their credentials from master's to doctoral level.

Dr. Larson is a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and policy analyst. She earned a BSN from the University of Illinois, an MS in Nurse Anesthesia from Rush University, and returned to University of Illinois for her PhD in public policy analysis. An expert in cardiovascular and thoracic anesthesia, she is the former director of cardiovascular nurse anesthesia services at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, IL. During 28 years of clinical practice, Dr. Larson anesthetized more than 10,000 surgical patients. She is the first CRNA listed as lead author on research published in the Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesia.

Dr. Larson’s policy background led her to scientifically investigate the nearly $23 million, high-politics lobbying process implemented by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists to influence the opt-out federal regulation concerning CRNA scope-of-practice. Her work documents important aspects of each profession’s history and contributes new knowledge to the social science literature on how professions develop.

Anthony Cunningham
Administrative Director, Office of Partnerships

Anthony joined RFUMS in October 2016 as the Administrative Director of the Office of the Associate Provost for Clinical Partnerships. He previously served as the director of the GEAR UP program at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, where he also taught computer and information technology.

GEAR UP is a program from the U.S. Department of Education focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program serves underrepresented and low socioeconomic populations in Eastern Arkansas. As Director, Anthony designed and implemented academic interventions that contributed to significant gains in high school graduation rates, college entry and retention rates, and reductions in college remediation rates.

Currently, Anthony is earning a PhD in Higher Education Leadership. His experience in marketing and publications, community and continuing education, grant writing, partnership management, and program coordination make him an ideal collaborator for our clinical partners.