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Kenneth R. White Papers

Identifier: 2022-024

Scope and Contents

The Kenneth R. White Papers trace Dr. White's professional activities and interests up to 2020, when he resigned his appointment as professor and Associate Dean for Strategic Partnerships and Innovation at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, subsequently accepting the deanship of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing. A range of materials, including correspondence, interviews, publications, speeches, media coverage, and photographs touch on his varied positions in hospital administration, nursing, and academia. Of particular importance are three scrapbooks, retained in page form as Dr. White assembled them. These concern his early career in management with the Mercy Hospital and Health Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; his continued work for Mercy International at the Guam Memorial Hospital; and his work as a high school student and undergraduate with the St. Francis Hospital Emergency Department, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This last takes the form of a staff reunion project, assembled for a 25-year anniversary.

Fully one-third of the papers concern Dr. White's work for Mercy International, specifically a three-month consultation project at McDonald Hospital in Koror, Palau, an archipelago nation in the western Pacific; and a multi-year management contract with the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, on the island of Guam, U.S. territory in Micronesia – these projects occurring in the 1980s to the early-1990s. The Guam project, in particular, yielded correspondence and reports describing the management initiatives undertaken and the difficulties confronted in bringing the hospital to international standards of care and management.

Another cache of materials concern Dr. White's professorship at Virginia Commonwealth University, which he held for over a decade before joining the University of Virginia faculty. Of special significance here are twelve folders containing graduate-student examination/evaluations of courses taught by Dr. White, offering insights on White's teaching methodology and the competencies expected of health administration graduate students.

Also present are five folders of materials relating Dr. White's involvement with the American College of Healthcare Executives, including a small but highly significant collection of items on the establishment and initial steps of the LGBT Forum within that organization. The nearly concurrent foundation of the Rainbow Healthcare Leaders Association is charted in articles of incorporation and in records of U.S. patent and trademark registration, rare examples of the mainstreaming of LGBTQ issues in professional healthcare circles.


  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1973-2020

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Kenneth R. White, Ph.D., APRN, FACHE, FAAN, is a widely recognized and awarded leader in healthcare, healthcare administration, and in the academic world. After having served on the faculties of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, altogether for over twenty years, he accepted the Deanship of the School of Nursing at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, an appointment he holds as of this writing. He began a two-year term as president of the American Academy of Nursing in October 2021, the first male to hold that office.

A native of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Dr. White holds numerous academic degrees, beginning the journey in rapid succession in 1979 and 1980 with a Bachelor of Science from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma. In 1995 he earned both the B.A. and M.A. in Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed on rapidly in 1996 with a Ph.D. in Health Services Organization and Research from the same school. Between these two blocks of degrees, White spent his career largely within the Mercy Health System, in executive posts at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City and in consulting positions with the Mercy International hospital management programs in Palau and Guam, where he served as senior administrator for four years at the Guam Memorial Hospital. From this managerial career he initiated his academic pathway at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. White has also served as a visiting professor at the LUISS Business School Guido Carli, in Rome, and the Swiss School of Public Health at Lugano. While at the University of Virginia, he earned a post-Master's certificate as a nurse practitioner, specializing in hospice and palliative care.

Dr. White has made a significant impact in the world of academic publishing, manifest in numerous journal articles and book chapters ranging from nursing practice to healthcare management and access, as well as in monographs. Two of note here are, with John W. Griffith, Reaching Excellence in Healthcare Management, which won the American College of Healthcare Executives James A. Hamilton Book-of-the-Year award in 2012, and The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization, this last now appearing in a revised ninth edition. Equally numerous throughout his career are the tokens of professional recognition.


2.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Noted professional, academic leader, and author in hospital administration. Nurse practitioner with hospice specialty. Present Dean of Nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute; first male president of the American Academy of Nursing; LGBT leader. Bulk of collection includes scrapbooks and other materials detailing executive consultation positions with Mercy International Health Services in Palau and Guam in the late-80s to early-90s.


The White Papers are organized by subject categories into two overarching sections. The first section, comprising items in boxes one through four, is an accumulation of materials generated over the entirety of White's career, alphabetized by general subject heading. The second section, comprising items in boxes five and six, along with the oversize item, pertains exclusively to the Mercy Health materials, also alphabetized by general subject heading. Individual items throughout the papers are arranged chronologically.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States