We are facilitators, faculty, clinicians and practitioners collectively focused on helping our learners and colleagues be their best selves.

Elizabeth (Lili) Powell, PhD, MA

Julie Logan Sands Associate Professor, Darden School of Business
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Director, Compassionate Care Initiative

In healthcare, where the ideal is to provide compassionate and effective care for every patient, how can a leader most effectively influence and inspire a team to achieve this worthy goal? Exploring the answer to this question is at the heart of Dr. Powell’s work with the Compassionate Care Initiative.

Lili has dedicated her academic and consulting career to learning and teaching the practical wisdom required to lead people and organizations. Beginning as a graduate student and continuing since 1994 as a professor at UVA Darden School of Business, she has been fascinated by the intersections of leadership, communication, performance and self-inquiry.

Out of a personal interest, Lili became a certified yoga teacher in 2006. She was surprised to discover that practices and insights from this somatic, contemplative and ethical discipline would inform her academic interests. Since that time, she has developed innovative courses in mindful leadership and leadership presence. She has come to believe that by teaching leaders to train their attention and cultivate goodwill, they can more skillfully exercise a positive influence in their own lives and in their workplaces.

In recognition of this novel work, she was awarded a joint appointment with UVA School of Nursing in 2017 to further her contributions in the context of healthcare. Her new course, Leading with Presence in Healthcare, has attracted a diverse and interprofessional student audience.

Hannah Crosby, BA, RYT

Assistant Director, Compassionate Care Initiative

Ms. Crosby's passion for promoting holistic well-being was first sparked in 2011, as an original member of UVA School of Nursing's award-winning Healthy Work Environment (HWE) team. It was through this work and dialogue with her colleagues that she recognized self-care as an important avenue to nurturing personal and professional resilience.

So when joining the Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI) staff in 2013, there was an immediate synergy with Hannah's passion and CCI's mission. While pursuing her own self-care, Hannah developed a deep yoga practice over the years, which inspired her to complete the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 at Opal Yoga (Charlottesville, VA).

During her tenure with CCI, while supporting the rest of the leadership team and ambassadors, programming has tripled, outside funding for programming has increased, and outreach has grown beyond UVA, both nationally and internationally.


Virginia LeBaron, PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN

Associate Professor of Nursing
Kluge-Schakat Associate Professor of Compassionate Care

Biography coming soon. Learn more about Virginia and her work, here.

Julie Haizlip, MD, MAPP, FNAP

Director, Center for Appreciative Practice
Director, Center for Interprofessional Collaborations

Julie Haizlip’s career journey is best described by a line from a Yung Pueblo poem, "a clear mission does not always have a clear path".  For years, Julie has been driven to create healthcare environments that allow those who work there to leave with more energy and motivation than they had when they showed up.  This desire comes from the inspiration she found working with critically ill children and their families as a physician, from the insight she gained pursuing a degree in applied positive psychology, and from having a lived experience of burnout.

Julie joined the Pediatric Critical Care faculty of the UVA School of Medicine in 2003.  Since that time, in addition to her clinical duties, she has been involved in a variety of formative activities.  As a founding member of the UVA Center for Appreciative Practice, she became an experienced practitioner of appreciative inquiry methodology and, ultimately, an active member of the Positive Psychology community.   Her involvement with UVA’s Center for Interprofessional Collaborations re-ignited her interest in interprofessional education, research, and practice, and led to her move to the UVA School of Nursing in 2014.   Currently, based on these experiences and her mission to create healthcare environments that allow clinicians to thrive, Julie’s research focuses on mattering in healthcare providers and how to create cultures of mattering for clinicians and students.

After serving as a clinical and faculty ambassador for the CCI and being involved in CCI research efforts, Julie joined the leadership team in 2021. 

Natalie May, PhD

Associate Professor of Research

Natalie May, PhD—who joined the School of Nursing faculty after more than 30 years as associate professor of research in the UVA School of Medicine—is a founding member of the UVA Center for Appreciative Practice. Certified as an appreciative inquiry facilitator and lead author of the book Appreciative Inquiry in Healthcare, she enjoys developing appreciative inquiry projects and teaching appreciative practice workshops at her home institution and beyond. 

She is an experienced qualitative researcher with extensive experience in grant writing, program and curriculum development, and program evaluation. Her current research projects include the Mattering in Medicine study and the Cultures of Mattering in Healthcare Education study, with colleague Julie Haizlip, MD, MAAP, and faculty from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Currently, she is interviewing UVA nurse managers as part of the Wisdom from Within study to examine how vital nurse managers cope and thrive in adversity and a part of the Medical Subspecialties HOME Team Program study for high-utilizer patients with hospitalist Amber Inofuentes, MD.

May was an investigator for the Wisdom in Medicine Project: Mapping the Path Through Adversity to Wisdom, a study funded by the John Templeton Foundation, co-author of Choosing Wisdom: The Path Through Adversity, and co-producer of the PBS film Choosing Wisdom. She co-developed and implemented an innovative curriculum for medical students, The Phronesis Project, designed to foster wisdom in young physicians. She implemented a similar Wisdom in Nursing program within the School of Nursing. 

With co-authors Dorrie K. Fontaine and Tim Cunningham, Natalie recently published the AACN award-winning book Self-Care for New and Student Nurses and is currently writing a new (shorter and less expensive!) version of the book, Self-Care for Nurses: Small Doses of Wellness, which will be available in spring 2023. May is the project manager for an HRSA-funded grant, Wisdom and Wellbeing Peer Support Training, designed for healthcare providers and first responders at UVA and across Central Virginia.

Jonathan Bartels, RN

Liaison to UVA Medical Center, Compassionate Care Initiative
Retreat Facilitator

An old Chinese proverb admonishes: “Do not push the river, it flows by itself.” Jonathan Bartels has attempted to live that philosophy throughout his life. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1990 from Canisius College in Buffalo NY, he joined the Comparative Religion Graduate program at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo MI. The focus of his academic pursuits include Eastern/Western Mysticism. While a graduate student, he experienced a moment in time that would redefine his career path. He assisted his then 36 year-old brother as he died of a brain tumor. This experience catapulted him toward a career in nursing. He discovered his guiding principle: ‘If I could offer such care to my brother, I can offer the same care and compassion to anyone’s brother, sister, mother, or family member’.  Over the years he has had the distinct pleasure of working in a variety of settings, including trauma and palliative care. In 2009, Jonathan joined the School of Nursing’s Compassionate Care Initiative.  He has served as a facilitator for resilience retreats and as an ambassador regionally and internationally. In 2010, Jonathan initiated a practice called “The Pause.” This practice has assisted in making a paradigm shift surrounding death and self-care across healthcare with an international reach.  He has received accolades from the American Academy of Critical Care Nurses and the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare.  Jonathan is dedicated to demonstrating compassion not only for patients, but with his fellow colleagues in the health professions.


CCI team members that work with us to lead our current drop-in programs and retreats. 

Retreat Facilitator

Retreat Facilitator

Retreat Facilitator

T'ai Chi Facilitator

Therapy Dog

Retreat, Meditation and Mindful Movement Facilitator


Retreat Facilitator