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Sandy N. Cayo, DNP, FNP-BC

Sandy Cayo is the Vice President of Clinical Performance and Transformation at New Jersey Hospital Association where she assumes leadership over the Health Research Education Trust of NJ. The trust includes initiatives related to perinatal quality, hospital quality improvement, opioid prevention, HIV prevention, and implicit bias training. 

Dr. Cayo strives to bridge the gap in social determinants of health and global health education in nursing. Her research interests focus on social determinants of health and improving access and overall health outcomes for African American patients. She serves as a mentor and advisor for various student groups, including Student Nurses for Advocacy & Policy, Black Student Nurses Association, and Nursing Students for Global Health. She has worked with first-generation and minority nursing studies to help improve retention in academic nursing programs and continues to work with disadvantaged populations through education of wellness as a whole. 

Cayo has tremendous global influence, traveling once a year to both Ghana and Haiti on medical missions. She currently serves as the director of education for HEAL (Health Education Action League) Haiti. Her current project includes the implementation of a pre-licensure nurse residency program to help bridge the current knowledge and practice gap for nurses in St. Marc, Haiti. In her work in Ghana, Cayo serves as the director of quality improvement and partnerships for Amazing Grace Children’s Foundation. She has worked with NYU Dentistry leadership and NYU nursing students on four quality improvement projects focused on child and maternal health in Ghana. 

Cayo holds a DNP from Fairfield University and BS in nursing from The College of New Rochelle. She is currently completing her PhD in nursing research at Duquesne University. Her dissertation project focuses on secondary data analysis from the Jackson Heart study to better understand the relationship between stress and perceived discrimination and blood pressure management in African American women. The project was selected by Sigma Theta Tau Upsilon Chapter as a 2019 grant and scholarship awardee. Her DNP research focused on improving minority bone marrow transplant donor attitudes toward donation. As a lifelong learner Sandy is in the process of completing her DNP-PhD program where her research focuses on the impact of discrimination on cardiovascular health in African American women. For her PhD studies she was awarded an endowed scholarship from NBNA and Grant from the Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.