Welcome: Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor

michelle-van-rynWelcome to Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D., who has been appointed professor and Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor at the OHSU School of Nursing. She comes to OHSU from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where she was professor of health services research and director of the Research Program on Equity & Inclusion in Healthcare. She is also the founder and lead scientific advisor of the Institute for Equity & Inclusion Sciences, a public benefit corporation whose mission is to translate current evidence into practical and effective approaches for achieving equity, and deep diversity and inclusion.

Dr. van Ryn’s research focuses primarily on the way “invisible actors,” such as informal organization norms/diversity climate, implicit (unconscious) biases, inter-group anxiety, and stereotype affect social interaction processes and decision-making. The ultimate goal of her work is to ensure all patients, clients, and students receive equally high-quality care, services, and education in fully inclusive organizations. Her research has improved the national awareness of how providers contribute to disparities in patient care and has led to greater understanding of how improved health care encounters positively impact patient outcomes. She has given more than 75 invited presentations on her research, both nationally and abroad, and she has authored over 107 journal articles, abstracts, and other written publications.

The Grace Phelps Distinguished Professorship
In 1915, after completing a graduate course in hospital management in San Francisco, Grace Phelps assumed the directorship of the Multnomah School for Nurses. Grace came to Portland in 1909 from the Cincinnati City Training School for Nurses and worked at Multnomah County Hospital where she was active in civic affairs. Her civic network included nurses and non-nurses. Prior to accepting the director’s position, she was instrumental in establishing the Oregon State Graduate Nurse Association (1904), worked to pass the Nurse Registration Act (1911), and was a recipient of the Oregonian’s “Citation of the Week” for her many contributions. Grace Phelps was an early advocate of collegiate education for nurses and the establishment of the department of nursing education at the University of Oregon, now the OHSU School of Nursing.

Originally published on the OHSU School of Nursing blog (password required).

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Casey Williamson writes about research at OHSU.

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