VA Nurse Investigator Information
The investigators are listed alphabetically by last name. Click on a letter below to access that section of the page.A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Anna C. Alt-White, PhD, RN, is the Director for Research and Academic Programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Nursing Services. In this role she is responsible for increasing nursing research to discover new knowledge and provide an evidence-base for nursing practice; implementing an evidence based practice infrastructure; and advancing practice-academic opportunities. She consults and collaborates with other VA program offices, in particular, the Office of Research and development and the Office of Academic Affiliations.
Jane Anderson, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, is the Associate Director of the Stroke Center at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine and at Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing. Central to her role at the MEDVAMC Stroke Center is directing stroke quality outcomes and implementation research. She is principal investigator and co-investigator on multiple research projects to improve stroke care delivery in the VHA. Her program of research is focused on identifying effective information systems and telemedicine modalities to improve stroke care delivery and prevention. Dr. Anderson is a member of the VHA Stroke Care Task Force that is developing recommendations to the Under Secretary for Health pertaining to the management of acute stroke in VHA medical facilities. She is an active member on multiple Stroke QUERI workgroups, and co-leads the Stroke QUERI In-hospital Management Workgroup and the Stroke QUERI Quality Improvement Network (SQUINT). She also serves as the Chairperson for the Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice Council at the MEDVAMC. In this role, she provides ongoing mentorship to nursing staff on the development of research and evidence based practice skills.
Mona Baharestani, PhD, APN, CWON, CWS, FACCWS, FAPWCA, is a Wound Care Specialist at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee where she provides interprofessional wound healing education, second opinion consultation and clinical research. Dr. Baharestani holds a Clinical Associate Professor appointment at the East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine in the Department of Surgery. In the past two years Dr. Baharestani has served as Principal Investigator on five clinical wound healing research studies. Prior to returning to her native home of Tennessee, Dr. Baharestani served as the Director of Wound Healing in the Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park, New York.
Lee Barks, PhD, ARNP, is a nurse investigator at the HSR&D/RR&D Center of Excellence: Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes at the James A. Haley VAMC Tampa; and Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College of Nursing. She has had a 25 year career as a clinical expert in federal class action lawsuits on long term care of persons with disabilities. In that career, Dr. Barks became committed to contributing to the evidence base for prevention of adverse outcomes in persons who cannot reposition themselves. Her doctoral cognate area is biomedical engineering, and she prefers research with vulnerable human participants. She has been at her current station as a doctoral student and has held an inaugural Interprofessional Patient Safety fellowship and a Nursing Research Postdoctoral Fellowship. The purpose of her proposed Career Development study is to validate a new instrument to measure wheelchair seated posture in older Veterans, to describe their posture in the Community Living Center environment, develop an intervention for wheelchair seating using mixed methods, and to pilot the intervention in the CLC. The pilot will also focus on health outcomes associated with wheelchair seated posture. Dr. Barks' research career to date has focused on rehabilitation outcomes research, relative to patient safety in the VA.
Jill Bormann, PhD, RN, is a Research Scientist and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at San Diego State University School of Nursing and a Voluntary Associate Clinical Professor at the UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.
Her research provides evidence that mantram repetition is a "portable stress buster" that can be easily integrated into one’s life to aid in training attention and calming the body, mind and spirit.
Andrea Boyd, PhD, is currently a Research Health Scientist at the WJB Dorn Columbia VAMC (SC) and Charlie Norwood Augusta VAMC (GA). She is an alumnus of the VA Pre-Doctoral Fellowship as a graduate of the University of Florida (2008) and she is currently funded through a Nursing Research Initiative 3 year grant. Her research focus is exercise training in advanced heart failure patients and examining the effect on fluid stability outcomes. In addition to her VA appointment, she is an Assistant Professor at The Medical College of Georgia/Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, GA where she teaches Pathophysiology, Genetics, Research, and Statistics to undergraduate and graduate students.
Lauren Matukaitis Broyles, PhD, RN, is an HSR&D Career Development Awardee and Research Health Scientist at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). Dr. Broyles completed a two-year OAA postdoctoral fellowship in Health Services Research with CHERP, and also serves as an investigator with the VISN4 MIRECC.
Eileen G. Collins, PhD, RN, FAACVPR, FAAN, is the Director of the Physical Performance Laboratory at the Edward Hines Jr., VA Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The central focus of Dr. Collins’ research is improving the quality of life of patients with chronic illnesses through physical activity. Dr. Collins uses innovative approaches such as computerized biofeedback for prolonging exercise endurance and reducing dynamic hyperinflation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She is also testing the use of walking poles to improve mobility and exercise endurance in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Lastly, she has compiled a compendium of energy costs for physical activities typically completed by people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in order to begin the process of determining physical activity recommendations for people with SCI. Dr. Collins’ research has been funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (RR&D and HSR&D), the National Institute of Nursing Research, the American Nurses Foundation and others.
Dr. Teresita Corvera-Tindel, PhD, RN, is a Nurse Researcher in the Department of Nursing Education and Research at VA GLAHS. Over the past 12 years, Dr. Corvera-Tindel focused her research on the evaluation of appropriate and/or accessible rehabilitation programs that will improve functional status and quality of life in patients with heart failure (HF). Initially, she received and completed VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D), Nursing Research Initiative (NRI) grant #960311: Home Walking Exercise in Advanced HF. This research showed an improvement in functional status and symptoms, but without improvement in overall quality of life. In 2004, she received a Research Career Development Award from the VA Rehabilitation Research & Development (RR&D) for the proposed project Home-Based Nurse Counseling & Exercise Training. Recently, she received a 4-year research funding from the VA HSR&D, NRI #05-209: Prevalence and Clinical Course of Depression among Veterans with HF. This study investigates the course of depression in Veterans with HF and evaluates the relationship of depression to functional status and to biomarkers known to be associated with both inflammation and heart failure. Outcomes of this study will potentially lead to an appropriate assessment and intervention for the psychological rehabilitation needs of heart failure patients. Her clinical expertise coupled with her knowledge of research methodology and pragmatic approach to problem solving has provided Dr. Corvera-Tindel with the unique ability to mentor day-to-day clinicians at all levels about their professional commitment to research and evidence-based care. Her ability to clarify difficult research concepts and apply them in a meaningful way has helped clinicians see the importance of research in improving patient outcomes.
Mary Ellen Dellefield, PhD, RN, is a Career Development Awardee at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at San Diego State University School of Nursing.
Christine Engstrom, PhD, CRNP, AOCN, is the Clinical Practice Program Manager, Oncology Clinical Nurse Advisor and Women’s Health Program Manager in the Office of Nursing Services at the VA Central Office. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She also maintains a clinical practice in the Oncology Clinic, VA Maryland Health Care System.
Dana Epstein, PhD, RN, is the Associate Chief, Nursing Service/Research at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. She is the Co-Director of the VISN 18 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry and an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University. Dr. Epstein was part of the first group of nurse scientists funded by the VA Postdoctoral Nurse Fellowship Program.
Mary Ersek, PhD, FAAN
is the Director of the Veterans Health Administration PROMISE (Performance Reporting and Outcomes Measurement to Improve the Standard of care at End-of-life) Center, which is located at the Philadelphia VAMC. The goals of this national program are to identify and reduce unwanted variation in the quality of end-of-life care throughout the VA and to define and disseminate processes of care (“Best Practices”) that contribute to improved outcomes for Veterans near the end of life and their families. Dr. Ersek also is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
DiJon R. Fasoli, PhD, RN, is a Research Health Scientist at the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes & Economic Research in Bedford, MA. Dr. Fasoli is also a Retired Navy Reserve Nurse Corps Commander. Dr. Fasoli completed a Health Services Research postdoctoral fellowship, following completion of a PhD in Social Policy (Health Policy). She also holds Masters Degrees in Emergency, Burn & Trauma Nursing / Nursing Administration and Business Administration (Health Care Management).
Deborah S. Finnell, DNS, RN, is a Research Scientist and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Center for Integrated Healthcare, Western New York VA Healthcare System. She is also an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Nursing. Dr. Finnell earned her BS from Roberts Wesleyan College, her MS from the University of Rochester, and her Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) from the University at Buffalo. She completed a VA Postdoctoral Nurse Fellowship with mentor, Jill E. Bormann, PhD, RN.
K. Sue Haddock, Ph.D, RN, is an Associate Chief of Staff for Research (ACOS-R) at the WJB Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Health Policy and Administration Department and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine.
Mary Hagle, PhD, RN, WCC, is a Nurse Scientist in the Department of Nursing Research at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, and a Research Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing with the Knowledge Based Nursing Initiative. Dr. Hagle’s research interests include patient safety and prevention of adverse events, including prevention of pressure ulcers, infections from vascular access devices, and respiratory depression from opioids. Other research has focused on partnership with patients and developing nursing expertise. Of special interest is synthesizing and translating research evidence into actionable practice recommendations. Findings from Dr. Hagle’s work have clarified risk factors for surgical patients with PCA and risk factors for med/surg patients developing pressure ulcers.
Deborah Hansen PhDc, APRN, BC, FNP is an advanced practice nurse and an infection preventionist at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. She is a visiting researcher at Washington University in St. Louis MO. Her research interest is male reproductive toxicology within the larger context of deployment health. Deborah Hansen is the principal investigator on the HSRD funded protocol entitled Paternal Environmental Exposures and Reproductive Outcomes: A Comparison of in Vitro and in Vivo Fertilization, and the companion VISN 15 funded protocol entitled Paternal Environmental Exposures and Gene Expression during Spermatogenesis which were created to form a comprehensive research framework upon which paternal environmental exposures can be quickly evaluated. Deborah Hansen is a 2007 NIH Fellow at NINR Summer Genetics Institute and she will complete her PhD in December 2010. Her dissertation focuses on the validation and optimization of laser microdissection (LMD) and quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) as an approach to obtain stage specific gene expression profiles during spermatogenesis.
Cristina Hendrix, DNS, GNP-BC, is a nurse investigator at the GRECC Durham VAMC and Associate Professor at Duke University School of Nursing. She completed her BSN (1991) at the University of Santo Tomás in Manila, Philippines, MSN-FNP (1996) at the University of Alabama, DNS (2001) from Louisiana State University, and Post-Master's Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (2005) at the Duke University School of Nursing. Dr. Hendrix's program research focuses on developing interventions to support chronically-ill patients and their caregivers during the hospital-to-home transition. She is funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research to investigate the effects of an individualized, tailored training for caregivers before hospital discharge of their loved ones. Dr. Hendrix obtained an HSR&D pilot funding to test the feasibility of such training for caregivers of frail older veterans before hospital discharge. Dr. Hendrix is the program lead of the Transitional Care (TLC) Partner at the Durham VAMC, a program that provides clinical services to older veterans up to 30 days of hospital discharge. Dr. Hendrix is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Gerontological Society of America, the Southern Nursing Research Society in Nursing, and the Philippine Nurses Association - North Carolina.
Pamela Jackson-Malik, PhD, MBA, was formally the Chief Nurse Executive and Associate Medical Center Director of the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and Chief Nurse Executive at Perry Point, Maryland and Huntington West Virginia. She served as Regional Chief Nurse for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions for more than nine years. In addition to her many years as a group therapist, labor mediator and facilitator, and administrative experience, she has conducted research on telehealth and management of chronic conditions, HIV testing for mentally ill and drug dependent veteran patients, practice-based evidence and research, organizational behavior, nurse work environment, hospital nursing workforce migration, and nurses’ perceptions of organizational climate related to job satisfaction, burnout, and intent to leave in both the United States and Europe. Dr. Jackson-Malik has traveled to India, Israel, Cuba, China, Western and South Africa, Canada, numerous European countries and Caribbean Islands to obtain firsthand knowledge about nursing workforce working conditions and health care policies. She has lectured, published, presented abstracts and posters on nursing work environment and nursing health care delivery.
Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Professor of Nursing at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Program Manager for University Affiliations in the VA Office of Nursing Services. Dr. Kasper’s program of research has focused on mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy and recovery. Currently she has expanded this work to study the genotoxic effects of embedded heavy metals in the form of war related retained shrapnel. A second line of research involves the effects of behavioral stimulation and anti-inflammatory therapies to mitigate the effects of blast induced traumatic brain injury. Her research has been funded by NIH, NASA, DOD, and VA Office of Rehabilitation Research and Development.
Carol T. Kostovich, RN, PhD, is a post-doctoral nursing fellow for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor of Nursing at Saint Xavier University, Chicago, IL. Dr. Kostovich’s research focuses on the phenomenon of nursing presence and its related outcomes. Her dissertation work involved the development and psychometric assessment of the Presence of Nursing Scale (PONS), an instrument used to measure acutely ill hospitalized patients’ perceptions of nursing presence. Dr. Kostovich found that patients’ perceptions of nursing presence were positively correlated with perceived patient satisfaction. Psychometric assessment of the scale revealed it to be reliable and valid in this sample. During her fellowship, Dr. Kostovich will establish the dimensions of nursing presence in the Veteran population, establish the psychometric properties of the PONS in a chronically ill Veteran population, develop an instrument to measure nurse-perceived nursing presence and determine the relationship between nursing presence and patient, nurse, and organizational outcomes.
Sarah L. Krein, PhD, RN, is a Research Health Science Specialist at the Ann Arbor VA HSR&D Center of Excellence, a Research Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and Co-Directs the VA’s Diabetes Quality Enhancement Research Coordinating Center. She also has an adjunct appointment in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan. Dr. Krein’s research interests include: understanding and improving management of patients with chronic health conditions, specifically those with complex or multiple chronic health conditions including diabetes and chronic pain; and, organizational behavior and implementation research with a particular focus on enhancing patient safety by preventing healthcare-associated complications. Her research is currently funded through grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health.
Yu-Fang Li, PhD, RN, is a Research Health Science Specialist in Northwest HSR&D CoE, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington. Dr. Li’s research interests include the associations of nurse staffing with nurse, patient and cost outcomes; care transitions from the hospital to the community; and psychometric analysis. She was Project Manager of the HSR&D team for the VA Nursing Outcomes Database project and is collaborating with the VA Inpatient Evaluation Center on quality improvement projects.
M. Katherine Maeve, RN Ph.D., is the Nurse Researcher at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, GA. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the Medical College of Georgia, and a Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina. She earned her BSN from Mesa State University, and her MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Gina Maiocco, PhD, RN, CCNS, is a Nurse Researcher at Louis A. Johnson VAMC in Clarksburg West Virginia. She also holds a position as Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at West Virginia University in Morgantown West Virginia, where she serves as Vice Chair for the WVU Institutional Review Board. Her current interests in research focus on studying the comparative effectiveness of different therapies used in the care of obese patients. Dr. Maiocco is currently funded by the VA through the Competitive Pilot Project Fund for her study looking at the effects of therapeutic interventions on pulmonary function of obese veterans. She has also obtained funding from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses to advance use of simulation to institute use of ultrasound guidance by nurses to place deep intravenous lines in difficult to access patients. As Chairperson for the Nursing Research Council at Louis A. Johnson, Dr Maiocco mentors fellow nurses in the research process and in implementation of evidence based practice. She is an active member of the Field Advisory Committee for Metabolic Syndrome/Diabetes for the VA National Nursing Clinical Program.
Roberta K. Oka, RN, ANP, DNSc, is the Associate Chief of Nursing for Research at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing, Dept of Community Health Systems and Dept of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery.
Christine M. Olney, PhD, RN, received her Doctoral degree from the University of South Florida in 2007. Her dissertation focused on the relationship complementary health practices as an adjunct treatment for persons with elevated blood pressure. Dr. Olney began her VA career as an Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Fellow at the VISN8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Tampa in 2007. The focus of her one-year fellowship was on hospital bed safety. In 2008 she was awarded a two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship Award from the Office of Academic Affiliations. Her post-doctoral training and research focused on pressure ulcer prevention in persons with spinal cord injury and was mentored by Dr. Gail Powell-Cope and Dr. Audrey Nelson. Dr. Olney is presently employed at the HSR&D/RR&D Center of Excellence, Tampa, FL as a Health Science Specialist. She continues to work on her program of research in pressure ulcer prevention by participating in several funded projects at the COE, involvement with the Spinal Cord Injury QUERI initiatives and is preparing an application for a Career Development Award. Dr. Olney plans to study the Veteran’s home environment and care to determine common contributing factors to pressure ulcer development in the spinal cord injury population.
Charlene Pope, PhD, MPH, BSN, is Associate Nurse Executive (ANE) for Research at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC where she is a Coordinator of the Implementation Research Core in the REAP Center for Disease Prevention and Health Interventions for Diverse Populations and is Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing (CON). As ANE, Dr. Pope advises the Nurse Research Committee and mentors nurses and others in research development. Dr. Pope is principal investigator of two VA-funded studies of health disparities: one of racial variations in communication, decision-making, and diabetes (HSR&D), and the other examining Veteran-nurse communication in home telehealth monitoring of heart failure (QUERI). She currently works with an H2H team on a proposal to decrease heart failure readmissions and a team developing an outreach intervention for rural Veterans. At MUSC, Dr. Pope is principal investigator of the NIH/NLM funded Carolinas Conversations Collection, a Web-based qualitative data repository of recordings and time aligned transcriptions of interviews with people over 65 from diverse ethnic and linguistic groups and a co-investigator of an NLM-funded study comparing remote video and audio interpretation for Hispanics with limited English proficiency in a community pharmacy.
Diana S. Pope, PhD, MS, RN, RN is an epidemiologist and the Acting Director of Nursing Research at the Portland VA Medical Center. She is a member of the local HSR&D REAP Committee and has the academic appointment of Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. She is also an Investigator at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research.
Gail Powell-Cope, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, is Associate Director for translation and training at the HSR&D/RR&D Center of Excellence in rehabilitation outcomes at the Tampa VA Hospital. She is also Assistant Director of Clinical Research at the University of South Florida, College of Nursing. Dr. Powell-Cope has a special interest in mentorship and serves as site director for the Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Patient Safety and the HSR&D Postdoctoral Fellowship, both funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations.
Mary Jo V. Pugh, PhD, RN, is a Research Health Scientist at the VERDICT. She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology with expertise in longitudinal data analysis and use of mixed methods. Her health services research has focused on assessing quality of care using national VA pharmacy and administrative databases in the areas of epilepsy, and geriatrics. In addition to developing measures to examine the quality of care provided to adults with epilepsy, Dr. Pugh has examined the extent to which older veterans with new-onset epilepsy receive epilepsy medications identified as having better tolerability in older patients in clinical trials. In order to better understand prescribing patterns, this research has used provider interviews to better understand clinicians’ perceptions of age and other factors that may be important in treatment of epilepsy. This information, in conjunction of analyses examining health care system factors associated with prescribing will provide a foundation for future interventions to care for older veterans with epilepsy.
Patricia Quigley, PhD, MPH, ARNP, CRRN, FAAN, FAANP, Associate Director, VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, is both a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Nurse Practitioner in Rehabilitation. As Associate Chief of Nursing for Research, she is also a funded researcher with the Research Center of Excellence: Maximizing Rehabilitation Outcomes, jointly funding by HSR&D and RR&D. Her contributions to patient safety, nursing and rehabilitation are evident at a national level – with emphasis on clinical practice innovations designed to promote elders’ independence and safety. She is nationally known for her program of research in patient safety, particularly in fall prevention. The falls program research agenda continues to drive research efforts across health services and rehabilitation researchers. She has translated her research findings into materials that are used in providing bedside and community care, e.g., the Falls Prevention Toolkit and patient education materials on the use of hip protectors, ensuring seamless transition between her scholarly work and its application in real world settings. Dissemination of this work has progressed beyond the Veterans Administration (VA) through the media including national and local television and newspapers as well as through publications and conference presentations. Her contributions significantly impact nursing science. She leads an interdisciplinary clinical team in the development of evidence-based assessment tools and clinical guidelines related to assessing veterans’ risk for falls and fall-related injuries across multiple medical centers. Her leadership resulted in the first organization to achieve CARF Accreditation for 3 Rehabilitation Programs, which expanded to now 11; National Deployment of the Functional Independence Measure / Program Evaluation System throughout VHA rehabilitation programs, and national Evidence-based Fall Prevention Conferences for 11 years consecutively, and first organization to acquire ANCC’s Magnet Designation. Additionally, she provides on-going consultation to the nursing staff, quality management, and patient safety coordinators for management of complex patients at risk for falls.
Lynn F. Reinke, PhD, ARNP, is a Research Scientist and Nurse Practitioner in Pulmonary Medicine at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services R&D at the VA Northwest Center of Excellence. She is an Instructor/Research Associate in the Schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health at the University of Washington. In this role she teaches nurse practitioner students and medical residents end-of-life communication skills. The central focus of Dr. Reinke’s program of research is integrating palliative care into the care of patients with pulmonary and life-limiting illnesses. She has been funded from NINR to investigate patient-provider communication for patients at the end of life. She was recently funded from VA Office of Nursing Service to study palliative care needs for Veterans newly diagnosed with lung cancer. Dr. Reinke’s research includes conducting organizational analysis of VAs capability to provide palliative care services and testing innovative approaches to incorporating components of palliative care into standard clinical practice. Ms. Reinke also serves in a leadership role for the nursing assembly of the American Thoracic Society.
Meredeth Rowe, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a Research Scientist at the HSR&D/RR&D Center of Excellence in rehabilitation outcomes at the Tampa VA Hospital and a Professor at the University of Florida College of Nursing. Dr. Rowe’s research interest is with informal caregivers of cognitively-impaired individuals and problems they encounter, such as nighttime activity and becoming lost in the community. Dr. Rowe’s research seeks to find strategies to lessen the inherent dangers associated with wandering Alzheimer’s and dementia patients as well as analyze the physiological and psychological effects on caregivers of these patients. She has developed and commercialized a home monitoring system for caregivers of persons with dementia and parents of autistic children. The system, called AlzAlertTM, assists caregivers in managing nighttime activity and preventing unattended exits from the home. Dr. Rowe was funded nationally from the National Institutes of Nursing Research and the Veteran’s Administration. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Rowe teaches research, statistics, pathophysiology and other classes to undergraduate and graduate students. She received her BS in Nursing at the University of Cincinnati, her MS in Critical Care Nursing at California State University and her PhD in Nursing at the University of Rochester.
Kathryn Rugen, PhD, FNP-BC, is the Associate Chief Nurse for Education and Research at the Jesse Brown VAMC in Chicago. In this role, she is the chair of the local IRB and designated reviewer for the central IRB. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches in the graduate program for advanced nursing practice. She maintains clinical practice in the Primary Care clinic at a local CBOC. She is a volunteer site reviewer for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Karen L. Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, is is a Research Health Scientist in the Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care (CMC3) at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital where she recently completed a three-year nursing postdoctoral fellowship. She is also a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Risk Reduction, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago. She has over twenty years of experience as a neuroscience, critical care, and trauma nurse.
Brenda G. Skaggs, RN, PhD, APRN, BC, is currently the Associate Chief for Nursing Service, Education & Research at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (OKCVAMC). Previous positions held at the OKCVAMC include Quality Improvement Specialist, Nurse Manager, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Case Manager. Dr. Skaggs also has a faculty appointment at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing as Adjunct Assistant Professor. Dr. Skaggs is the VA Program Director for the Oklahoma City VA Nursing Academy (VANA) pilot program. Dr. Skaggs’ specializes in the care of patients with heart disease. Her program of research focuses on the recovery experience of patients with heart disease, specifically the person’s cognitive appraisal of the heart disease experience and the impact on functional status (psychological and physical), symptoms, and the healthcare system. An additional research focus for Dr. Skaggs is the outcome evaluation of the Transition to Professional Practice program, the Oklahoma City VANA pilot program.
Lynn Soban, PhD, MPH, RN, is a Research Health Scientist at the VA Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior, VA Greater Los Angeles. In 2007, she was awarded a VA Health Services Research and Development Career Development Award (CDA-2) to study the quality of nursing care in VA hospitals. Her research interests involve organizational change, implementation of evidenced-based practices, patient safety, and nursing care. She is currently Principal Investigator of: Improving Patient Safety: Context and Nurses’ Work Processes for Pressure Ulcers, a VA HSR&D funded study that examines the relationship between hospital/nursing unit features and the delivery of guideline concordant care for pressure ulcers. Dr. Soban was a member of the evaluation team for Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), Phase II (Jack Needleman, PI). She is the former Director of the Put Prevention Into Practice (PPIP) program, the implementation arm for the US Preventive Services Taskforce at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Melissa V. Taylor, PhD, RN, is the Associate Chief Nurse for Research at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating and implementing a program for evidence-based nursing practice and building capacity for research. Her primary research interest focuses on the impact of co-morbid depression on individuals with chronic medical disorders. Previous research includes:
Her current research interest is in the area of subthreshold depression symptom management for individuals with heart failure. She is a co-investigator, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, on a NIH funded study examining the effectiveness of a nurse-led intervention to improve adherence to antidepressants in primary care patients with comorbid diabetes and/or hypertension.
Patty Taylor-Young PhD, RN, FNP-BC, is a Nurse Scientist at the Portland VA Medical Center where she recently completed a nursing postdoctoral fellowship. She has the academic appointment of Assistant Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing. She also maintains a clinical practice in the Liver Clinic at the Portland VA Medical Center. Dr. Taylor-Young’s research interest is investigating the use of alternative therapies for symptom management in Veterans with hepatitis C. Her postdoctoral research investigated the efficacy of an exercise intervention to decrease symptoms of depression in Veterans with hepatitis C. Her current research interest is the use of acupuncture to manage symptoms commonly experienced by individuals with hepatitis C and individuals with hepatitis C undergoing antiviral therapy.
Constance R. Uphold, PhD, ARNP, FAAN, is the Associate Director of Education/Evaluation for the Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center and a Research Health Scientist with the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center in the VA Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Uphold is a Research Associate Professor in the College of Medicine and a Courtesy Professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at University of Florida. Dr. Uphold completed a VA nursing postdoctoral fellowship and was a VA Research Career Development Awardee.
Her research has led to a Spanish-language Community Readjustment Guide for returning Puerto Rican veterans and families, a monthly RESCUE newsletter for family caregivers of veterans with stroke, and Websites for educational resources for stroke caregivers and OEF/OIF veterans.
Sharon Valente, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, is is Associate Chief Nurse, Research/Education at the Greater Los Angeles VA and UCLA faculty. Her BSN is from Mt. St. Mary’s College, MSN (UCLA), and PhD in Psychology (USC); PostDoc VA. Her research includes mental health, human sexuality, suicide, provider behavior, evidence-based practice, and end-of-life. Her research set standards for suicide prevention and created paradigms for suicide bereavement services. The American Cancer Society, Sigma Theta Tau, NOVA, and Bristol-Myers Squibb have funded her research. She co-authored 3 books, including Suicide and Human Sexuality and >120 juried articles. Awards include: American Association of Suicidology Shneidman Award; 2008 GLA Nursing Hero award, AHRQ Innovation Profile, and VA ONS Innovation Awards, 2006 Nursing Spectrum Excellence for Advancing the Profession, American Nurses Association Hildegard Peplau Award, APNA Innovation, and Excellence for teaching/ mentoring (e.g., Sigma Theta Tau Chiron Mentor and a VA mentor). She was among UCLA SON Nursing Distinguished Alumna (2010)and Alumna of the Decade (1999) . She served on the American Psychological Association End of Life Task Force. She led a People To People suicidology delegation to Russia and Estonia. Active in professional organizations, she is an Honorary Member of Chi Eta Phi, Int.
Bonnie J Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a senior investigator, Iowa City HSR&D Center for Research on Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice and Associate Research Professor, University of Missouri School of Nursing. Her main research focus is design and evaluation of e-health communication technologies to improve care for chronically ill elders. Her studies have included evaluating the feasibility of telemedicine involving patients at a distant state veterans’ home and VA Medical Center and two randomized controlled trials evaluating home telehealth in chronically ill veterans. The first study evaluated post-hospital care for patients with heart failure, comparing use of telephone versus videophone. The second evaluated use of a messaging device to improve outcomes in patients with co-morbid diabetes and hypertension. This study also evaluated varying the dose of the intervention. A recent study examined caregiving strain and satisfaction in caregivers of veterans with chronic illness enrolled in the VA Care Coordination Home Telehealth program (CCHT). She has served on a number of review panels and committees in VA. She founded and serves as Editor of the Technology Innovations Section for the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, which focuses on innovative applications of technology to improve care for older adults.
Charlene Weir, PhD, RN, is Associate Director for Education and Evaluation at the SLC GRECC and an Health Services Research Investigator in the HSR&D Informatics, Decision Enhancement and Surveillance Center (IDEAS) in Salt Lake City, UT. In addition, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and an adjunct research associate professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah.