Student and Faculty Spotlight

School of Nursing faculty member recognized for fibromyalgia research, education

Kim D. Jones, R.N.C., Ph.D., F.N.P., F.A.A.N., Professor, Kim JonesSchool of Nursing, was recently named the 2018 recipient of the Janet G. Travell Award from the International Myopain Society and the National Association of Myofascial Therapists. Jones was chosen for the award for her dedication to research and education regarding fibromyalgia, a chronic widespread pain disorder that disproportionately affects women.

Stroke Research with Impact

Dr. Karen Lyons and Dr. Christopher Lee, along with their international colleagues, had the paper, Roles of Changing Physical Function and Caregiver Burden on Quality of Life in Stroke: A Longitudinal Dyadic Analysis, published in the March issue of the journal Stroke. This peer-reviewed journal is affiliated with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association with an impact factor of 5.79 and a circulation of over 18,000 not including the large volume of website visits (estimated over 300,000 monthly).

This ground-breaking publication is important for several reasons:

  • It highlights one of the first longitudinal studies of how quality of life changes in stroke patients and their caregivers simultaneously over the first 12 months of stroke recovery.
  • It is also the first study to demonstrate that short-term changes (both improvements and declines) in patient functioning and caregiver burden have a significant impact on changes in quality of life for both patients and their caregivers.
  • It also highlights the important roles of patient and caregiver depression and caregiver preparedness in the rehabilitation phase and the need for interventions that target the patient-caregiver stroke dyad as a unit.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to these two and their international team on this accomplishment.

OHSU Faculty and PhD student win coveted 2017 Hartford Award for Research and Practice Excellence

Congratulations to Wafaa BinAli and Margaret “Maggie” Rising, 2017 recipients of our Hartford Center’s PhD Candidate – Hartford Award for Research and Practice (HARP). They will both receive $1,000 to use toward the completion of their dissertations.

The focus of Wafaa’s research has great potential for enhancing how nurses care for persons with acute kidney injury by addressing nurses’ perceptions of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) practice in the ICU.

Maggie’s dissertation, “Hospice Decision Making in Mexican Americans with Terminal Cancer”, takes an approach that is critical to understanding the unique needs of individuals at the end of life.Join us in offering them both continued progress on their dissertation research.Martha Driessnack, Ph.D., P.P.C.N.P.-B.C. and Richie Kohli, B.D.S., M.S. are the 2017 recipients of our Faculty – Hartford Award for Research and Practice.

Dr. Driessnack’s practice-change project, “Intergenerational relationships and family lore: Moving from knowledge creation to knowledge use”, will include clinical sites in Portland and La Grande. Using the “Aware-Adopt-Adapt Knowledge Transfer Model” as a guiding framework for implementation, the short-term focus is on identifying provider-related factors that affect reach (conceptual use) and uptake (instrumental use).

Dr. Kohli is the first recipient of the Interprofessional Faculty HARP. This pilot study will create an interprofessional training program for nurses at OHSU to screen the oral health of their patients and improve nursing personnel’s ability to appropriately make a referral to a dentist. An interprofessional research team is a requirement of this award and there must be a Co-Investigator (Co-I) from the School of Nursing. Paula Gubrud-Howe, Ed.D., R.N., will serve as Co-I.

Congratulations to them all!

Drs. Dena Hassouneh, Lissi Hanson and Christopher Lee are recognized for their distinguished research portfolios 

Group ShotDr. Christopher Lee, a Carol A. Lindeman Distinguished Professor in the School of Nursing, was the winner of the 2017 OHSU Faculty Senate Award for his excellence in research productivity and quality.

Dr. Rana Najjar, assistant professor at the Monmouth campus, oversaw the selection process.

The Faculty Senate Award selects a winner based the nominee’s publication record, research awards and grants, research impact, and other relevant criteria.

“I am particularly honored to receive the faculty senate award for research because the nominations came from my student and faculty colleagues from the School of Nursing and the Knight Cardiovascular Institute,” Lee said.

Lee’s research focuses on the correlation between effective heart failure self-care behaviors and positive patient-oriented and clinical outcomes. One of the ways he has contributed to revolutionizing this field of research includes advancing the understanding of the pathophysiological basis of heart failure symptoms and the role of physical and psychological symptoms in clinical prognostication.

Some of Lee’s other research awards include the American Heart Association Marie Cowan Promising Young Investigator Award and the Heart Failure Society of America Nursing Leadership Award.

Dr. Lissi Hansen was selected as a finalist for her research on improving care for critically ill and dying adults and older adults. She is the principal investigator on a five-year NIH/NINR funded research project on identifying patient and caregiver subgroups that have distinct trajectories of change in symptom burden.

Dr. Dena Hassouneh, another finalist and professor at the SON, researches mental health of people from marginalized populations as well as the role of and need for diversity in health professional education. Hassouneh is the principal investigator on a two-year NIH/NINR funded research project.

In addition to Lee’s distinguished research career, he has also been a co-investigator and consultant on numerous submitted and funded research applications by his colleagues.

Nationally Recognized Researcher Joins OHSU as Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor

Michelle van RynWelcome to Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D., who was appointed Professor and Grace Phelps Distinguished Professor at the OHSU School of Nursing.  She comes to us from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester where she was Director of the Research Program on Equity & Inclusion in Healthcare there. There she held the academic rank of Professor of Health Services Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. 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 the best current evidence into practical and effective approaches for achieving true 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 threat 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 over 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 had been instrumental in establishing the Oregon State Graduate Nurse Association (1904), had worked to pass the Nurse Registration Act (1911), and had been awarded 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, which eventually because the OHSU School of Nursing.

OHSU Funds innovative researcher

Most of us know that the Dean generously supports a small grants program called InnovationsInnovations stimulates clinical and educational projects with seed funding. Naturally we tend to view the faculty awarded these competitive and coveted grants as the winners.

But that’s only part of the story. If we think bigger, we all win because small studies have substantial impact not only in and of themselves but also for the School. For example, they often lead to larger funding and have a multiplier effect by involving more faculty and touching more patients and students. Innovations projects thus accelerate the School’s reputation as a place where inquiry and discovery are prized.

So let’s take a look at the impact of six studies – four clinical and two educational – funded in 2015 and now complete. Here are the faculty investigators and study titles, and then let’s look at their products.

Lissi Hansen“Health Care Professionals’ Perspectives of Caring for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and their Family Members”

Chris Lee and Karen Lyons and co-investigators, “Biobehavioral Risk and Vulnerability Evaluation in Heart Failure Couples (Braveheart) – Pilot”

Deborah Messecar and Joanne Noone, “Development of an Interprofessional Foundations Course for Distant Rural Campus Nursing Students”

Rana NajjarAngela Docherty, and Nick Miehl“Perceptions and Experiences of Nursing Students with Objective Structured Clinical Examinations”

Doria Thiele and co-investigators, “Variability of Breast Milk Storage Technique and Impact on Infant Growth.”

Kerri Winters-StoneLillian Nail, Jill Bennett, Nathan Dieckmann and co-investigators, “Mobile Monitoring of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy”

Impact on Students – Findings from the two education studies directly impacted students. IPE students in Klamath Falls benefited from OHSU’s Foundations course. Students in Monmouth benefited from new OSCEs. These projects will roll forward to larger groups of students. Other studies included students as research assistants who benefited from skill building and acceleration of their own scholarship. For example, one Ph.D. student included on a study team subsequently was awarded a prized F31 grant from NIH.

Impact on Patients/Providers – Findings from the four clinical studies directly impacted patients and providers. Symptom appraisal patterns of heart failure patients have implications for self-care management; care providers of liver cancer patients identified challenges in making referrals to palliative care; a mobile monitoring device shows promise for preventing falls in post-chemotherapy patients; and breast milk storage practices of lactating mothers vary in a national sample.

Team science and new collaborations – Some studies included co-investigators from other disciplines and professions including medicine, public health, engineering, allied health, and nutritional biology, thus bringing multiple perspectives to the work and enhancing our reputation in team science. The IPE study collaborated with faculty at OIT in K-Falls to bring together students from nursing, radiology, respiratory therapy, and vascular science.

Dissemination – Dissemination occurred regionally and nationally with eight completed podium presentations and five more abstracts submitted for future conferences. Three manuscripts for publication are submitted and in review, with four more in development.

New funding – Seven grant applications have been submitted to date (with two funded so far) based wholly or in part from study findings.

Congratulations to these faculty for their exciting and productive outcomes of Innovationsseed funding. In a garden full of innovative idea, seed funding accelerates research and scholarship. The multiplier effect is obvious.

In other words, we all win.

OHSU Researcher Receives Yale University Distinguished alumna Award

Cindy PerryYale School of Nursing (YSN) Alumni Association Nominating Committee selected Cynthia Perry to receive the Yale University School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumna Award for 2017. This award recognizes YSN alumnae/i for their outstanding contributions to nursing.

Since 1973 YSN has presented the Distinguished Alumnae/i Award to alumnae/i in a broad range of fields such as nursing practice, teaching, and research. Through their work or service to the community, these individuals have uniquely influenced the field of nursing.

Dr. Perry’s contributions to nursing education, practice and research are worthy of this distinguished recognition. The Award was presented on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the YSN Annual Alumnae/i Banquet.

Congratulations on this honor!


Dr. Cindy Perry's scientific statement receives support

Dr. Cynthia Perry’s research focuses on physical activity promotion as an avenue to reducing health disparities. Her research also examines the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based public health and clinical interventions/programs. In a recent American Heart Association science advisory, a team of physical activity researchers examined the latest evidence on the health impacts of sedentary behavior. The time adults spend in sedentary behavior is rising. It is estimated that U.S. adults now spend six to eight hours a day engaged in sedentary behavior, including sitting, driving, reading, TV viewing, screen time, and computer use. Prospective evidence is accumulating that sedentary behavior may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes morbidity and mortality as well as for all-cause mortality. A key finding was that moderate to vigorous physical activity does not cancel out the impact of sedentary time. Even people who meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week spend a lot of their time being sedentary and appear to have increased risk. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms as well as the relative impact of various types of sedentary activity. The findings suggest that in addition to being physically active, adults need to move more and sit less.

Highlights of this study include:

  • U.S. adults spend an average of 6 to 8 hours per day sitting.
  • Epidemiologic evidence is accumulating that indicates greater time spent in sedentary behaviors is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults.
  • While the evidence base that will be the foundation for guidelines on sedentary behavior continues to grow, it is appropriate to recommend that adults “sit less, move more.”

In addition, Dr. David Buchner, the Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor in Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wrote a commentary to support the article titled: Waiting for Detailed Guidelines on Sedentary Behavior?

Science Advisory Citation
Deborah Rohm Young, Marie-France Hivert, Sofiya Alhassan, Sarah M. Camhi, Jane F. Ferguson, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Cora E. Lewis, Neville Owen, Cynthia K. Perry, Juned Siddique, and Celina M. Yong, Sedentary Behavior and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality. A Science Advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation.

Kim Jones' students travel with her to national meeting. 16,000 Rheumatologists convene: American College of Rheumatology 

Kim JonesOHSU School of Nursing was well represented this week in Washington DC. The city hosted the annual American College of Rheumatology (ACR), an international meeting of over 16,000 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. Dr. Amanda St. John (FNP, 2015, DNP 2016) was selected to present a podium paper: Three Simple Tests to Raise the Index of Suspicion for Fibromyalgia in Primary Care. She completed this study with OHSU alumni and DNP student colleague Dr. Jonathan Aebischer, now at OHSU Richmond clinic. She was also interviewed via live Facebook feed, receiving more than 700 reads in the first 10 minutes. Dr. St John currently works in the School of Medicine (Anesthesiology, Pain Clinic ) and has been tasked with developing a treatment algorithm for OHSU patients with fibromyalgia.

OHSU School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice student, Neema Mohammed Nader (FNP 2016, DNP anticipated 2017), was also in attendance. Neema is the first SON student to receive a competitive travel stipend to attend ACR. Her doctoral work focuses on diagnosing and treating chronic pain in US asylum seekers displaced by wars in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Neema met several influential thought leaders whose critique shaped her project.

OHSU SON faculty including Drs. Robert Bennett and Kim Jones presented original data in fibromyalgia, questioning the necessity of widespread pain locations in diagnosing fibromyalgia- a sacred cow since the 1990 fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria were published. Dr. Jones was tapped to moderate the major fibromyalgia scientific session and interviewed on Facebook about her role in a current OHSU National Institutes of Health funded study of mothers and children with chronic pain.


Watch Dr. St. Johns Presentation (you will need to have a Facebook account to view)

Kerri Winters is committed to improving the lives of cancer survivors

A study by Dr. Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D. Research Professor at SON and co-leader of the Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program found that more than 500 female cancer survivors experience chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), long after their cancer treatment is over. Peripheral neuropathy results from damage to the nerves that relay signals between the spinal cord and the rest of the body. The damage can also take away the sense of spatial positioning of arms and legs.

This study compared objective and self-report measures of physical function, gait patterns, and falls between women cancer survivors with and without symptoms of CIPN to identify targets for functional rehabilitation. “The study is one of the first to examine the relationship between CIPN and physical functioning using both laboratory-based and patient-reported outcomes,” Winters-Stone said.

Kerri Winters PhotoWinters-Stone says, “Neuropathy can have a significant impact on a cancer survivor’s quality of life, but most patients are told that if they get this symptom during treatment, it will go away.” Strikingly, their study found that 45% of women still reported CIPN an average of 6 years after their treatment ended. Disability and falls were significantly greater among women who continued to experience CIPN and those who never had the symptoms or whose symptoms went away.

This study was published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). JCO has an impact factor of 24 and is the top clinical journal for medical oncology, so these findings should have an impact on clinical practice and inform providers to monitor patients for CIPN even after their cancer has been treated.

This study has been picked up by MedPage Today among others.

Other OHSU authors on this study include:

Peter Jacobs, Ph.D. – Biomedical Engineering
Fay Horak Ph.D. – Neurology
Phoebe Trubowitz, M.D. – Knight Cancer Institute
Nate Dieckman and Sydnee Stoyles, SON

Seiko Izumi named Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing

Seiko IzumiSeiko Izumi, Ph.D., R.N. and assistant professor for the OHSU School of Nursing was named a Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing by Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association (HPNA). The convocation of fellows will be held in Phoenix, Ariz. at Annual Assembly for American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association in February.

From the HPNA website:

Invitation to this Fellows program is more than recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession. Fellows are recognized as leaders who transform palliative nursing through research, education, and practice.

Recommendations from Dr. Pat Berry and Dr. Betty Farrell called out the many attributes that Izumi brings to this designation and her research.

“Dr. Izumi has a career-long commitment to palliative care, and extended her commitment to an active research program engaging staff nurses in the advance care planning process and demonstrating the effectiveness of nurse-led palliative care for patients with chronic illness after hospitalization; i.e., “upstreaming” palliative care (Dr. Pat Berry).”

“I am honored to recommend Dr. Izumi for Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing. She is a strong researcher who have dedicated palliative care nurse contributing significantly to the field that is of great relevance to practicing nurses as they address complex aspects of palliative care (Dr. Betty Farrell).”

Izumi’s current project uses an implementation science approach to examine implementation of advance care planning practice in healthcare systems. The goal of her program of research is to improve quality of care for older adults with chronic illness and their families across health care settings.

Drs. Karen Lyons and Amy Ross do stellar work with OHSU Summer equity interns

Brandon PhotoBrandon Larkin was an OHSU summer equity intern, who is currently a nursing student in Los Angeles, CA. Brandon spent his internship working with Karen Lyons and her research team on the Together Study (SON Innovations/Betty Gray grant). The goal of the pilot study is to explore the impact of cancer on young and middle-aged couples in both rural and urban areas across Oregon. In addition to being a valued member of the research team and analyzing and presenting data in a poster at the summer intern showcase, Brandon met with many of our SON faculty engaged in research across OHSU and worked with some of our PhD students.


Katie PhotoKatie Pope was also an OHSU summer equity intern who worked with Amy Ross on her poster that will be turned into a paper.”The influence of endovascular interventions on leukocytes.” Katie, used her undergraduate statistics as she learned about STATA, Student’s t-tests, Chi-square, analysis as variance (ANOVA), correlation, and linear and logistic regression. She learned how to interpret the data produced by analyses and the value of various significance measures and effect sizes. She also learned how to do an NIH Stroke Scale assessment, how the site of the stroke can affect different types of functioning and how different types of thrombolysis and thrombectomy are used in the clinical setting of stroke. She was able to watch a thrombectomy and also take an ethics course offered by the SOM while she was here. She learned how to do a thorough literature review and interrogate the references in articles that she liked for her topic. She learned Endnote and how to write the basics of the framework for an article, including the background, aims, methods, results, create tables and draft a discussion/conclusion section.

OHSU well represented at international NP conference

Mashael PhotoMashael Dewan, Ph.D. student, was well received for her peer reviewed podium presentation: The Role of Gender and Dyadic Coping on Quality of Life among Cancer Patients and their Spouses. She spoke at the 23rd World Nurse Practitioner Conference in Dubai, UAE Sept 28-29. The purpose of the conference is to promote international collaboration of scientists whose program of research directly impact clinical practice of NPs.

I am proud to have scientist like Mashael and her chair, Dr. Karen Lyons represent us on the international stage.

Marti Driessnack delivers timely “omic” keynote lecture in Spain

MartiMartha Driessnack Ph.D., P.P.C.N.P.-B.C., R.N. was recently tapped to deliver the keynote lecture at the 13th Annual International Family Nursing Conference in Pamplona, Spain. The International Family Nursing Association (IFNA) is an organization whose mission is to transform family health globally.

In Marti’s opening session she wove children’s art and stories with emerging research on the importance of intergenerational relationships and family lore. She proposed shifting the common question of “Where are you from?” to the more revealing “Who are you from?”

Marti- how about a repeat performance for us?


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