Kelli J. Saucerman-Howard, DNP, RN, is chief nursing officer (CNO) at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. In her role, she organizes and leads all facets of nursing at Akron General, setting strategic direction and establishing practice standards that ensure care is provided according to quality, licensing and accreditation guidelines. Dr. Saucerman-Howard joined Cleveland Clinic in 2023 after serving four years as vice president of patient care services and CNO at Creighton University Medical Center – Bergan Mercy. With more than 10 years of executive experience in large academic, highly matrixed health systems, Dr. Saucerman-Howard is well-versed in healthcare operations, high-reliability initiatives, financial planning, value-based purchasing, regulatory requirements and patient care services. She excels at nursing strategic planning, care model development and process improvement.
She began her nursing career in 1989 at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services where she worked for more than two decades as a staff nurse, charge nurse, nurse manager, wellness and prevention coordinator, clinical auditor and clinical analyst. She was director of clinical effectiveness, patient safety and infection control for 10 years before joining Loma Linda University Medical Center as executive director of patient safety and reliability. In 2015, she became vice president of quality at Regional One Health and later served as vice president and associate chief nursing officer. Dr. Saucerman-Howard is a clinical assistant professor of nursing at Creighton University. She belongs to many professional nursing associations, is a board member of the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research and participates on the Gallup CNO roundtable and Beryl Institute nurse executive council. She is certified in quality and patient safety and just culture and holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in nursing administration and leadership, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing.
- DNP in Nursing Administration and Leadership, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, 2021
- MSN, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2002
- BSN, Beth-El College of Nursing, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1989
- Quality and Patient Safety, Regis University
- Just Culture, David Marx Consulting
Cleveland Clinic Akron General
1 Akron General Ave.
Akron, OH 44307
A trusted leader with a reputation of clinical excellence, Dr. Saucerman-Howard has a history of fortifying hospital operations, creating accountable work environments and using evidence-based practice to redesign standard work and the delivery of nursing care through process improvement. She excels at facilitating interdisciplinary relationships and collaboration and is highly experienced in hospital staffing. Among her many notable career highlights, Dr. Saucerman-Howard has implemented multidisciplinary rounding best practices that reduced length of stay and increased patient experience percentiles and redesigned nurse leader work and daily huddles to ensure real-time patient data and concerns are escalated to senior leaders.
Clinical Practice & Teaching
Dr. Saucerman-Howard’s clinical expertise lies within the area of critical-care and emergency nursing, as well as nursing leadership.
Dr. Saucerman-Howard is a clinical assistant professor of nursing at Creighton University College of Nursing. Throughout her career, she has often served as a preceptor for nurse leaders. During her time at Loma Linda University Medical Center, she precepted a nurse leader from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in China. Dr. Saucerman-Howard has also traveled to educate international healthcare leaders on patient safety, including to the Dominican Republic.
- Member, Beryl Institute Nurse Executive Council
- Member, Gallup Chief Nursing Officer Roundtable
- Board Member, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research
- Member, American Organization for Nursing Leadership
- Past Member, Nebraska Organization for Nursing Leadership
- Member, American Nurses Association
- Past Member, Nebraska Nurses Association
Honors & Awards
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, 2002, Iota Tau, 2021