Aerial view of the CHLA Anderson Pavilion Building.
Work That Matters

Why I Walk and Play L.A.: Jessica Ward, CHLA Nurse Researcher

Walk and Play L.A. is right around the corner! So many people have already signed up to join us on June 22, 2019 at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park. 

Walking again this year is Jessica Ward, PhD, MPH, CPNP, RN, a research nurse scientist in the Institute for Nursing and Interprofessional Research (INIR) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The INIR is a one-of-a-kind resource for nurses and their interprofessional colleagues at CHLA, performing clinical research that will shape how the hospital delivers family-centered, compassionate and evidence-based care to children and families.

Dr. Ward was her team captain last year, and she is walking again in support of the INIR. The “INIR Journey to Research 2019” team is made up INIR employees, nurses, CHLA Foundation staff, family members, and even a former patient and her mom.


What inspired you to get involved in Walk and Play L.A.? 

“Our Institute operates, in part, through philanthropic donations. I wholeheartedly believe in the work that we do and I am proud to participate in fundraising efforts through Walk and Play L.A.”

What was the event like last year? 

“It was a wonderful event filled with lots of energy and enthusiasm. My kids had a blast dancing to the live music and participating in the sports clinics. We met up with other CHLA staff and even received an award on stage—given by CHLA President and CEO Paul Viviano—for being the highest fundraising team. I loved that everyone had a common goal: supporting the patients and families we serve at CHLA.”

What would you tell people who are thinking about participating? 

“I would emphatically encourage people to participate. It’s a fabulous event for a very special cause. The energy and compassion that drives CHLA every day is palpable and it’s a special thing to witness.”

What are you looking forward to about Walk and Play L.A. this year? 

“I’m most looking forward to being a part of this incredible community event with my family and colleagues.”

INIR Journey to Research is currently the third highest fundraising team at Walk and Play L.A. Join them and many others participating to raise vital funds for the hospital while celebrating all that makes Children’s Hospital Los Angeles a beacon of hope for hundreds of thousands of families.

Visit to register or contact us at with any questions.