School of Nursing Dean Vincent Guilamo-Ramos to Step Down

Nursing leader to head new D.C.-based health policy, research and practice institute

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos will leave the School of Nursing to direct a new Washington, D.C.,-based health policy, research and practice institute

Soon after his appointment, Dean Guilamo-Ramos led a collaborative process that refocused the school’s mission and 5-year strategic plan on developing and promoting a future-focused cadre of nurses skilled to advance health equity and social justice. His vision for nurse-led health care promotes highly skilled clinical expertise and strengthens nurses’ capacities in research, science and advocacy.

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos
Vincent Guilamo-Ramos

Dean Guilamo-Ramos spearheaded a Cluster Hire Initiative that added new faculty to the school who bring diverse expertise in addressing social determinants of health, and he strengthened DUSON’s global partnerships. His national leadership has positioned nursing as a force in health care transformation and earned DUSON a jump in the rankings from U.S. News and World Report from the #3 to #2 nursing school in the nation.

In his own work as a health equity expert, Guilamo-Ramos founded the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH), where he led the development of the CLAFH Framework for Harmful Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Mitigation, an innovative roadmap for educators, practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders designing programs to mitigate harmful SDOH. The Framework has been described in peer-reviewed articles published in Millbank Quarterly, Nature Medicine, Nursing Outlook, and The Lancet HIV, and can be interactively explored by visiting

“As a DUSON alumnus, I have always believed this school represents the best of nursing. I am incredibly honored to have been given the opportunity to lead DUSON into a new era. The faculty, staff and students I have had the joy to work with have intensified my personal commitment to promoting nursing’s endless possibilities, and I will leave knowing that DUSON will continue to revolutionize nursing,” said Dean Guilamo-Ramos.

“Progress and change are interlinked. With the school on course to carry out our strategic plan in academic and scientific arenas, I have been increasingly compelled to expand my role in our nation’s quest for health equity and social justice by more intensely focusing on developing policy and broader programmatic evidence that can achieve meaningful health care transformation. Given the urgent need to reimagine how and by whom health care is delivered, I believe a shift to policymaking in our nation’s capital is where I can have the greatest impact.”

“I am grateful to Vincent for his service and impact to the School of Nursing, to Duke University, and to the broader nursing profession. He has led initiatives to bring the School of Nursing to new prominence, on both local and national levels, and has advanced research and policy around harmful social determinants of health” remarked Alec Gallimore, provost. “I wish Vincent the best in this new opportunity for policy work that will undoubtedly further advance the field of nursing.”

Prior to his appointment at the Duke University School of Nursing, Guilamo-Ramos held numerous faculty and administrative appointments at both New York University (NYU) and Columbia University.

Michael Relf
Michael Relf

Guilamo-Ramos is a nurse practitioner dually licensed in adult health and psychiatric-mental health nursing. His research examines the role of families in promoting adolescent and young adult health with a focus on mitigating the mechanisms through which harmful SDOH shape health inequities. Guilamo-Ramos’ research has been federally funded for over two decades by the National Institutes of Health and various other extramural agencies. He has published over 100 manuscripts in leading peer-reviewed scientific and health journals including The Lancet Infectious Diseases, JAMA Pediatrics, Pediatrics, and the American Journal of Public Health.His work has been featured by national media outlets including CNN, NPR, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Guardian. Guilamo-Ramos is a fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow, and a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Michael Relf, Professor of Nursing and Global Health and Associate Dean for Global and Community Health Initiatives at DUSON, will serve as interim dean while the university conducts a national search for Guilamo-Ramos’s successor. Relf has been a faculty member at DUSON since 2008. Prior to joining DUSON, he was the Chair of the Department of Nursing at Georgetown University. 

Relf has extensive experience in nursing and higher education and maintains a program of research focused on intervention adaptation, development, and testing to mitigate the negative effects of stigma among persons with HIV. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education and the American Academy of Nursing and is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.