2023 Board Election Candidates

The candidates that have been selected for the 2023-2024 Board of Directors election are listed below, along with their position statements and election videos. This year, members are electing one President-Elect and two Directors. After reviewing the candidate statements, click the button below to cast your vote! Voting is closed. 

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Click below to view candidate statements.

President Elect Candidates



Donna Kurek, MSN, RN, MHA, ONC, CMSRN

I have been an active member of NAON since 2001. I currently serve as your NAON Director and am the Board Liaison to the Acquiring Interested Members committee (AIM) & to Movement Is Life (MIL), a NAON partner working to reduce musculoskeletal disparities in women, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino. I am a contributor to NAON News for the MIL Blog.

I became board-certified in orthopaedic nursing in 2006 and in medical surgical nursing in 2015. I have over 13 years of national board experience. I served on the Orthopaedic Nurse’s Certification Board (ONCB) from 2009 to 2018 and then elected as Director of NAON Board in 2020. In addition to serving, I held a leadership position on the ONCB as President. At the local NAON chapter level, I am an active member of the Central Virginia chapter and a past president.  

Orthopaedics is my passion.  I wish to continue to serve and grow NAON’s mission to advance the specialty of orthopaedic nursing, in education, research, application of best practices, and provide professional development and collaborative opportunities to its members. While maintaining NAONs mission, it is important to understand the practice of orthopaedic nursing is dynamic and is changing with the ongoing advances in orthopaedic surgery, technologies, and the shift to outpatient settings.  To keep up with the changes, NAON will need to broaden the scope of education and practice to ensure ALL members, including advanced practice and allied health, to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients. NAON members touch patients with musculoskeletal problems everywhere we go. So, no matter if we are the bedside nurse, advance practice provider, therapist, office manager, surgical nurse, nurse navigator/case manager, or the soccer parent helping on the field, we have the orthopaedic knowledge we need to provide care because of NAON.

In my 27 years of orthopaedic nursing practice, I have worked in a variety of roles that have provided me additional skills to serve the NAON board:

  • Joint replacement and spine nurse coordinator (navigator)- Henrico Doctors’ Hospital [Developed patient and staff education and program coordination; EBP clinical pathway development]
  • Director of Physician Quality- Henrico Doctors’ Hospital [Physician quality outcomes; physician peer development and peer case review]
  • Director of Clinical Programs for OrthoVirginia [Focused on value-based care bundles with Medicare and commercial insurance]
  • Executive Director of Quality and Patient Safety for OrthoVirginia [34 offices with over 1500 orthopaedic employees including orthopaedic providers; Quality and safety excellence and performance]

As your NAON President-elect I will work to:

  • Increase membership and opportunities for education and networkin
  • Build and align partnerships with other organizations caring for orthopaedic patients to improve quality of care, education, and safety
  • Broaden member and patient education to incorporate the transition of orthopedics to the outpatient and ambulatory care settings.
  • Support the executive board and committees in strategic initiatives
  • Foster stewardship of NAONs financials

Watch Donna's election video below!


Matt Lowe, MDiv, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, ONC

In submitting my application for NAON President Elect, my responsibility will be to serve our members and empower them to engage in NAON’s mission and vision and to experience significant value in their membership. I feel that my experience in leadership for over 20 years in religious ministry and over 12 years in nursing give me the expertise and ability to lead NAON as their next President-Elect.

Servant leadership is the best description of how I lead. It has been the keystone of my understanding of leadership. It is the reason I volunteered to serve on CAT and then to run for the Director position on the board. That idea has been significantly expanded in my role as a Director for the NAON Executive Board. Through my participation on the Board and on the finance Committee I have gained valuable experience in knowing how NAON functions both as a member organization and as a business.

My experience as a business owner helps me care intensely about the financial side of our organization as well as the level of service and value we are providing to our members. This was one of the factors that moved me to chair the Membership Taskforce so that we, as a member driven professional nursing organization, can know how to better serve our members and provide them increasing value. If NAON is to continue to be the voice of orthopaedic nursing, we must be able to transition with the changes faced by every member organization in today’s everchanging nursing environment. That includes engaging new members, retaining current members, and expanding the opportunities for our members to be involved in the work of the organization. It also means leveraging our organization to meet the demands of growing technology and diversity in our profession.

The organizations that make significant impact in our world consistently ask how well they are serving their customers, employees, and leaders and what value they are providing. All other aspects of leadership flow from that primary purpose of “others first”. I have experienced many leaders who modeled that for me in my journey through nursing as a nursing student, an orthopaedic unit patient care tech/secretary, a staff and charge nurse, a nurse educator for a multi-facility hospital system and as an APRN in primary care practice. Most of those were NAON members and past NAON leadership. My responsibility and challenge will be to lead NAON in that same way as President Elect.

Watch Matt's election video below!




Ashley Streett, MSN, RN, ONC, CCRN

Throughout my career I have strived to share my passion of Orthopaedic care to others. From starting one of the first Ambulatory surgery centers with Outpatient Total Joints in 2007, to creating the Navigator/Outcomes role for Total Joints at my institution to gain a Center of Excellence.          I enjoy new tasks to lead people to their resources and continuing to further this mission with NAON. I started our SC affiliate several years ago to gain this on a small level in our state and now would like to bring my expertise of promoting NAON's mission to a national level. I am currently assisting as a NAON mentor for Navigators and mentor for certifications for DNV hospitals. I have had many opportunities to help several institutions and this has furthered my passion to help on a national level. I am also serving as the Chair of the NAON CAT team. This team shows the passion that I feel to spread the focus, passion and work of NAON and I was very happy to be asked to be a part of it. I feel that through these and many other opportunities I have been offered, it aligns with the strategic plan of NAON for which I would be honored to be a part of. With the objectives from the strategic plan in mind, I would like to further look in aligning with those involved in the care of the musculoskeletal patient who aren't nurses. Some navigators are actually therapists by education and we have successfully incorporated them in to our SC affiliate chapter and I would like to assist NAON in any way possible with this objective as well. One of the key things through NAON, supported by the mission, refers to the advancement of the specialty in research and education. This is key as many centers move towards a center of excellence. This is pushed from a desire of this institutions as well as upcoming payer demands. NAON is revered as the evidenced based center for Orthopaedic nursing practice to assist with the research and education. In this position, I will be excited to explore how to reach centers that don't know that we exist and how we can provide the education and guidelines needed to attain their goals. If you just had one person, at every institution who provided Orthopaedic care, that knew of what NAON had to offer, the possibilities of this organization would be endless. Thank you for your consideration for this opportunity.

Watch Ashley's election video below!


Heather Barnes, DNP, RN, APRN, CPNP, ONC

As a member of the NAON Executive Board I would strive to work collaboratively with fellow board members as well as chapter and affiliate leaders to continue to work to engage members through meaningful interactions and education.  We need to continue to meet the needs of our current membership but also work to engage our orthopedic professionals who not members and query what we can do as an organization to encourage their membership and participation.  As an organization we need to be mindful of our resources and maximize those resources as well as be creative in looking for opportunities to continue financially support our NAON. 

Watch Heather's election video below!