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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Amy Knopf

Dr. Amy Knopf 
Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project 1: Pandemic Parenting Study 
We examine how Indiana mothers are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts the family. Specifically, Dr. Jessica Calarco (IU, Department of Sociology) and I are identifying mothers’ preferred and trust sources of information about COVID-19, examining their understanding of the illness and its prevention, and documenting the extent to which they are following public health guidelines and Indiana’s stay at home orders. There will be three waves of data collection between April 2020 and February 2021. The first wave is now complete and data analysis is underway.

Project 2: Ethical considerations for digital contact tracing in the context of COVID-19: Implications for sexual and gender minority youth
I identify key ethical issues in digital contact tracing, especially for sexual and gender minorities. I am working with Simone Skeen to identify the ethical complexities that must be addressed to balance safety and privacy against public health goals, especially for marginalized LGBTQ adolescents. Knopf and Skeen are Co-chairs of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Bioethics Working Group, whose members are serving as expert informants for a paper.



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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Lisa Lindley

Lisa C. Lindley, PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a health services and policy researcher, my work during COVID-19 is to understand the new approaches to delivering pediatric end-of-life care.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
My nurse scientist career started in the doctoral program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Mark, I gained critical skills as a health services and policy researcher with the support of a NINR T32 predoctoral scholar and AHRQ R36 dissertation award. I found my passion for ensuring children at end of life have quality, accessible hospice care. NINR funding has assisted me in advancing the science of pediatric end-of-life care with K01 and R01 research awards. This work has improved access and quality of pediatric hospice care in an environment of federal and state regulations.


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Board Member Spotlight: Cathleen Wheatley

Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP
President, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop worrying. It serves no purpose.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
The Caribbean - any island, any time.



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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Holli DeVon

Holli DeVon PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA
University of California, Los Angeles

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I co-authored a manuscript that went to press on April 29, 2020 on "Current perspectives on Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and cardiovascular disease: A white paper by the JAHA editors." This paper may be informative for nurse researchers studying cardiovascular diseases at the basic, clinical, or epidemiological level.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am the Associate Dean for Research at the UCLA School of Nursing. My research focuses on the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. I have received more than $7 million in grant funding and received a Fulbright Scholar Award to Rwanda in 2018. I have been honored with several research and writing awards and has published more than 100 journal articles and am a founding editorial board member for the Journal of the American Heart Association.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Ann Cary

Ann H Cary PhD MPH RN FANP FAAN 
Florida Gulf Coast University,Marieb College of Health and Human Services

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I initiated the idea of assembling a University panel of health care faculty to address the public weekly in print, digital and broadcast media on separating facts from fears and working with our University communications department. Since doctorally-prepared faculty are part of this panel for weekly broadcasts on prime time news, it amplifies the role of nurses in health communication and health care.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
My specialty is public health and credentialing research.
What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
Doctorally-prepared nurses are essential to protecting and educating the public and are essential experts who protect the health of the public through communication and reinforcing behavioral change. 

If you would also like to share your story, you can do so by filling out this form

COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Jeannie Bernie

Jeannie Burnie
Bethesda North Hospital

As the emergency department (ED) clinical nurse specialist, I was asked to guide COVID19 pandemic preparation for a large hospital system in Southwest Ohio with six EDs (critical access, free-standing, urban and suburban) to identify processes involving screening, triage and testing patients. Executive ED leaders worked with the organizations attorney to revise the medical screening exam (MSE) policy. There was concern, with the expected surge, that physicians or advanced practice providers would not be available to provide the MSE. An interdisciplinary team developed standard operating procedures to guide ED nurses in providing the MSE for patients meeting specific, pre-established criteria. Nurses required straight forward tools to document screening, testing if indicated and consistent discharge instructions.

The team determined the need for an alternate care area (ACA) in the ED. Using guidance from the Center for Disease Control, patients presenting with fever, shortness of breath, new onset cough, malaise but stable vital signs would be evaluated in the ACA.  A screening process using pulse oximetry to determine saturations above 92% and heart rate below 110 meeting COVID-19 symptoms would be evaluated by a nurse to determine if testing was indicated.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Julie McCulloh Nair and Dr. Susan Birkhoff

Julie McCulloh Nair PhD, RN, APHN-BC and Dr. Susan Birkhoff PhD, RN
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The co-investigators seek to gain understanding of nurses’ lived experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic by documenting their stories during this period of time via written and digital narratives. Through these COVID-19 stories, nurses will share their voices and images to document their challenges, relationships, practice changes and personal feelings during this historic period in time. A brief and optional demographic survey section will be included to assist study investigators with the characterization of the study participants (i.e. years of experience, age, nursing role, etc.). Collecting these stories and demographic data allows investigators to document the nursing experience in an effort to inform future generations of nurses.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
Julie: Thus far, my program of research incorporates a variety of nursing focused investigations that include substance use, negative behaviors in the workplace, the DAISY nurse, mentorship and complementary health approaches in oncology and obstetrics. I have experience with qualitative, mixed methods and community based participatory research and plan to continue building my program of research in the community setting focusing on health equity and vulnerable populations.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Tener Goodwin Veenema

Tener Goodwin Veenema, PhD, MPH, MS, RN, FAAN
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
I am the Co-chair of the COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Research Group at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a Professor of Nursing at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As an internationally recognized expert in disaster nursing and public health emergency preparedness, I have served as senior scientist to the DHHS Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR), Department of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs Emergency Management Evaluation Center (VEMEC), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). I have sustained career funding over 2.2 million dollars, a member of the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness at the National Academy of Medicine, and an elected Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the National Academies of Practice, and the Royal College of Surgeons, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Dublin, Ireland. My research is directed towards informing policy related to public health emergency preparedness and response for catastrophic events such as pandemics and radiation/nuclear disasters.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Jane Muir

Jane Muir
University of Virginia Health

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am an emergency department nurse.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
As a current second year PhD nursing student at the University of Virginia, I study nurse burnout in the emergency department setting. My research interests relate to developing economic models assessing nurse burnout costs, understanding nursing shortages, and optimizing health care work environments to support nurse resiliency.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Shanina C Knighton

Shanina C Knighton PhD RN
Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
During COVID-19 I have am using science to advocate for, develop, and implement infection prevention policies, standards and guidelines to entities including public officials on state and federal levels, local leaders, small businesses, essential businesses, grocery stores and the local community. I have used platforms such as webinars, in-person trainings, science to inform legislation, but to also fundraise and mobilizing churches and others to get practical education resources out to lower-income communities. From a scientific innovative standpoint, I am partaking in innovation efforts such as hackathons and group meets utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence to develop digital solutions to improve hand hygiene among consumers and tracking of COVID-19. 

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a nurse scientist dedicated to strategically amplifying my ability to streamline research processes between engineering and nursing swiftly from the bench to the bedside by pairing my experience in clinical nursing research with the application-based training methodology of biomedical engineering. My research experience began as a nurse in clinical practice where my observations of deficient patient hand hygiene practices became the focus of my dissertation research in a baccalaureate-to-PhD program. Informed by Florence Nightingale & Virginia Henderson’s understanding of infection prevention and the importance of patients being clean along with the environment, my nursing science skillfully identified gaps in knowledge surrounding patient and self-management of hand hygiene. From the time of my pre-doctoral training, time as a VA Quality Scholar, T32-postdoc and now as a KL2 Scholar, I am emerging as a leader in the design, development, & evaluation of technology-based interventions including wearable sensors, machine learning and simple technology to support patient self-management in different settings. 
What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
Nurse scientists bring an important aspect to research, policy in that while interventions and solutions are being created, our training allows us to see tangible solutions that are often overlooked or undervalued. I can speak to this. While leaders around the world are encouraging the public to clean their hands to prevent germ transmission, my science provides evidence that patients and long-term care residents have germs on their hands, but lack adequate hand hygiene products and are rarely told to practice. 
Shanina C Knighton PhD RN

COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Ellen Smithline

Ellen Smithline
University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
My current role is to develop effective PPE compliant face shields - process to produce large quantities with small footprint for storage.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I am currently a PhD(c) and nurse innovator for 35 years of which 26 years as Emergency Nurse. I am involved in multiple collaborative research and innovative teams.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Ann Deerhake

Ann Deerhake, DNP, RN, CNL, CCRN 
The Ohio State University

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
As a Doctor of Nursing Practice, my goal is to apply nurse scientist-generated research to current practice. This research shows that communication is key during times of crisis and change. My role as an online educator and nurse scientist during the COVID-19 pandemic is to facilitate healthy communication among everyone I interact with, including my students, colleagues, family and friends. I have worked in close online contact with faculty to continue our supportive online learning environment for students, as well as create new opportunities for exchange of information and stress relief. Many of our students are currently working within difficult healthcare conditions at present, so reassuring them both academically and professionally translates into supporting American healthcare as a whole.

My coursework as an online instructor changed little with the transition to all online learning at my university, which has allowed me to work with other faculty to make changes to existing courses. Additionally, by creating simple online mini-courses, I have worked to educate my grandchildren, their friends and other members of my family regarding ways to communicate face-to-face via the internet and how to use these fun learning environments as stress-reducers and relationship builders in this time of social distancing. One of my most enjoyable activities has been creating and sending a daily ""Cabin Song and Dance Fever"" video to my community choir friends, encouraging them to be well, exercise their bodies and communicate positively with one another. COVID-19 has certainly taught us much about the importance of being communication innovators!


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Jill Byrne

Jill Byrne MSN, RN, CNOR, PhD student
CWRU FPB School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The focus of my dissertation research is occupational heat stress. I am a frontline trauma OR nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. I am terrified by what I am witnessing - with the mandate to cancel all elective surgical cases, one would assume the case load in the operating room would drastically drop, instead the stress and anxiety the general public are experiencing is impacting overall health, igniting a need for emergency surgery. This is a key area for further global-health research. We don't know the COVID-19 status of these patients who need emergent surgery and the entire healthcare staff have to wear full-PPE in these situations, reducing the availability of the limited supplies we are currently challenged with.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I have provided a video link that quickly describes my work as a nurse scientist in my plight to bring awareness to occupational heat stress while wearing PPE.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_sMHeJm6y8


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Scott Emory Moore

Scott Emory Moore 
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
My colleague (Kelly Wierenga of IU) and I developed a survey to examine the influence of perceptions and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on health promoting behaviors and symptoms. Due to the high importance of safety during the pandemic we developed the survey entirely online so potential participants do not have to meet in person. Using both social media and professional network-based recruitment we are hoping to reach 5000 participants in the cross-sectional phase of our study. Further, we will be following a subset of the participants who are willing over the course of the coming weeks and months to determine the longer term influences the pandemic is having on adults. We are particularly interested in those who might be considered at risk for COVID-19 or vulnerable to social disenfranchisement and disparate health outcomes. These are two groups where we believe individuals' perspectives related to social distancing practices and their responses to the pandemic may negatively impact behavioral health outcomes. The purpose of this initial study is to identify areas where we may leverage valuable intervention resources to improve health outcomes.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I am an assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally from South Carolina, I earned my BSN from the University of South Carolina Upstate, and my Master of Science in Nursing and PhD at Clemson University. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Multiple Chronic Conditions. My program of research focuses on increasing understanding of biological, psychological, and social influences on health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. Additionally, my research incorporates the study of sex and gender identity, sex as a biological variable, and sex-based differences in health. My clinical nursing expertise includes emergency and trauma nursing at a level 1 trauma center, acute and chronic stroke care, complex chronic diseases, and care of LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable populations.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Marlon Garzo Saria

Marlon Garzo Saria
Providence Saint John's Health Center

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have a dual-hatted role as a nurse scientist and oncology clinical nurse specialist. With the Professional Development (Nursing Education) team, I took on responsibilities to strengthen and sustain our ministry's COVID-19 workforce by supporting (instructor) cross-training and rapid onboarding to med/surg, ED, and ICU for procedural nurses (pre-op, OR, post-op, ambulatory surgery, ambulatory care and clinics). I was tasked to provide information on the "science" of SARS-CoV-2, including epidemiology, modes of transmission, and strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I drew from lessons I learned from my Professional Military Education courses from the Air Force to discuss emergency response and actions to take for the worst case scenario. 

I am also on-call for direct patient care, particularly for any oncology patient who may need systemic treatment during these times. I wear scrubs and am ready to administer chemotherapy for any patient who will need treatment.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Betty Bekemeier

Betty Bekemeier 
University of Washington School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a nurse scientist, my scholarship is about advancing the evidence, policy development, and workforce capacity needed for state and local governmental public health systems to effectively promote and protect the public’s health. In the face of this pandemic, I have been communicating every day with state and local public health practice partners in Washington State and around our region as they have come to me with requests for help from our academic and student partners. As Director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington, I also lead a training team of talented staff who are being tapped to meet public health practice needs. Finally, my research team is also being asked by a national organization to help support and monitor the equitable distribution of federal COVID-19 financial resources from states to communities in greatest need. 

All of these activities include coordinating requests from public health practice to the academic community, linking student volunteers to health departments in their home communities, making existing and appropriate emergency preparedness training most accessible to practice, adapting my research to include preparedness and response measures desired by the public health leaders, communicating the depth of our nation’s public health practice needs through a published editorial and interviews with national news outlets, and advocating for resources to go to ‘upstream’ solutions that will promote equity in response to this pandemic crisis and the prevention of disparities.





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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing

Marilyn Rantz, Amy Vogelsmeier, Lori Popejoy, and Shari Kist
University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our research team has a study underway in 40 Missouri nursing homes with APRNs working full time in 16 of them to improve care and reduce avoidable hospitalizations. In this pandemic, the APRNs are there every day, working side by side with direct-care staff, helping leadership and staff take better care of residents. They help reassure staff, residents, and families that everyone is doing their best to keep people healthy. All staff are very worried about supplies and doing what is best to prevent spread of COVID-19. 

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.



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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Lucia Wocial

Lucia Wocial
Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am working on triage protocols, identifying resources to address and alleviate moral distress and have been approached by international colleagues wanting to use my instrument (moral distress thermometer) for real time assessment or front line provider moral distress. 

What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
The ethical challenges for nurses on the front lines are real. People can help us by being patient, and be engaging in difficult conversations about what matters most to them if they were to get sick with COVID-19 and die from it. This is especially important for people with serious illness.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Candy Wilson

Candy Wilson
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are focusing on research topics for COVID-19 to support nurses caring for patients.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a military nurse scientist for 12 years. My research background is on symptom science.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Kelly L. Wierenga

Kelly L Wierenga
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am currently a PI on a behavioral health study. The purpose of this study is to understand the influence of the COVID-19 infection on people during a time of increased social distancing and prevention measures.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
My program of research focuses on improving recovery and secondary prevention. My research interests lie in how improving abilities to adaptively regulate emotions during a stressful period of recovery can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. These improvements in psychological symptoms paired with traditional recovery and treatment programs may increase the uptake and sustaining of healthy behaviors long-term. I have developed a treatment using mechanisms of emotion regulation to support recovery and improves weekly physical activity in the cardiovascular rehabilitation population. This treatment has demonstrated early efficacy in a small pilot sample and was recently refined by my team for testing in rural populations with remote access.


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