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University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Announces Research Funding and Achievements

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 17, 2010 – The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing faculty often are honored by prestigious organizations for their achievements and exceptional leadership. The following individuals are among those who recently have been recognized with research grants and awards:

  • Michael Beach, D.N.P., M.S.N., B.S.N., assistant professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, was awarded $60,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. This initiative aims to expand the pipeline of students in accelerated baccalaureate nursing programs.
  • Catherine M. Bender, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor in the Department of Health and Community Systems, received a $1.1 million T32 Institutional Training Program grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research. This grant will support the training of nurse scientists to lead independent research programs in cancer survivorship.  
  • Lora Burke, Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S.N., professor of nursing and epidemiology in the Department of Health and Community Systems, was elected chair of the American Heart Association Scientific Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism. She will serve in this role until 2012. Dr. Burke also was appointed as a member of the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section at the National Institutes of Health. She will serve in this role until 2013.
  • Mary Beth Happ, Ph.D., R.N., professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, received a $50,000 grant from the Greenwall Foundation’s Kornfeld Program on Bioethics and Patient Care. Her research involves nonspeaking patients in the intensive care unit and explores the ethical implications of their participation in treatment decisions.
  • Michael W. Neft, D.N.P., M.S.N., M.H.A., B.S.N., assistant professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, was selected to serve as chair of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist’s Professional Practice Committee. Dr. Neft also was elected secretary of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
  • Elizabeth A. Schlenk, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor in the Department of Health and Community Systems, received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for her research on promoting physical activity in older adults with co-morbidities.
  • Gail Wolf, Ph.D., M.S.N., B.S.N., professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, received a Nursing Excellence in Teaching and Technology Award for her project, “The Virtual Hospital: A Simulation for Healthy Decision Making.” Through this project, students are able to experiment with solutions to real life problems facing health care leaders today.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing educates nurses for an increasingly demanding environment through a curriculum that combines rigorous academic work with varied and intensive clinical experiences and a growing involvement in research. The school ranked seventh overall among the nation’s top schools of nursing in the 2007 issue of U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools” and fifth in research dollars by the National Institutes of Health. More than 11,000 students have graduated from the School of Nursing’s baccalaureate, master’s, RN options and doctoral programs since the school was founded in 1939. The school offers post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs in a variety of areas. Continuing education also is available for advanced practice nurses, nurse educators and nurses returning to work. For more information about the School of Nursing, visit www.nursing.pitt.edu.

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