After experiencing a loss in her family at a formative age, Dr. Yolee Casagrande was inspired to enter the field of nursing. She says that the nurses who tended to her loved one played a crucial role in her treatment, which motivated Dr. Casagrande to pursue the same path. She first received an associate degree in nursing from Cerritos College in 1989 and began her career as a staff nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Bellflower, California, where she remained until 1991. Subsequently, Dr. Casagrande served as a staff nurse and a research nurse at the Kenneth Norris Cancer Center at the University of Southern California between 1991 and 1995. For the following 14 years, she was a clinical practice manager at the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Southern California.
In the latter stages of her career, Dr. Casagrande was a director of patient experience at the University Hospital of the University of Southern California from 2009 to 2010. Since 2009, she has excelled as an associate administrator of nursing at the Keck Medical Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. During this time, she also served as a clinical instructor for population health at California State University, Fullerton from 2018 to 2021. Likewise, she continued her higher education, receiving a Master of Science in Nursing in leadership and management from Walden University in 2012 and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from California State University, Fullerton in 2018.
Accruing many certifications throughout her career, Dr. Casagrande attended the USC/CHLA Healthcare Leadership Academy and the USC Leadership and Management Boot Camp. She is a registered nurse (RN) and earned a certification for public health nursing (PHN) and a nurse executive board certification (NE-BC). Furthermore, she has completed several research projects on colorectal cancer, as well as on COVID-19 and the impact of the longstanding pandemic. To remain abreast of changes in her field, she has also been the vice president of the Orange County National Association of Hispanic Nurses, among other appointments.
In light of her outstanding achievements, Dr. Casagrande was most recently named Nurse Mentor of the Year by Nurses of USC and named among Women of Influence in Health Care by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2022. Previously, she was recognized as a Champion of Humanistic Care by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 2021, a COVID All Star by the Keck Medical Center at USC in 2020, and a Nurse Humanitarian of the Year in 2013.
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