School of nursing

Chronic-illness scholar addresses convocation

The Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care at YSN hosted its ninth annual convocation on February 26. Lesley Degner, PhD, from the University of Manitoba, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Degner, an internationally recognized scholar and researcher in patient involvement in medical decision-making, is the author of Life-Death Decisions in Health Care, which outlines the factors that influence the way treatment decisions are made for patients with life-threatening illnesses. The Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care was established at YSN in 1999 to study the unique experience of chronic illness as it affects patients, families, and survivors. The center’s work focuses on multiple areas in which the school’s faculty conduct research, such as AIDS/HIV, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The aim of the center is to enhance the understanding of the chronic illness experience and to translate research findings into better care for those with chronic illnesses.

YSN articles top list of most accessed in nursing journal

Three articles published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing by YSN faculty and alumna were among that publication’s most accessed articles during 2006. Topping the list was “Decreasing the Risk of Complicated Bereavement and Future Psychiatric Disorders in Children” by YSN assistant professor Vanya Hamrin and Kathleen Kirwin '02MSN. The third-most accessed article in 2006, “The Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Children and Adolescents with Major Depression,” by Professor Lawrence Scahill '89MSN/MPH, '97PhD, with Professor Hamrin and Maryellen Pachler '03MSN, had led the rankings the previous year. “Psychopharmacology Notes: Nonstimulant Medications for the Treatment of ADHD,” by Adrienne Rains '03MSN and Dr. Scahill, came in at eighth on the list of most-accessed articles from the journal.

Authors discuss AIDS epidemic in South Africa

Nurses and doctors in South Africa have had to cope with the rationing of antiretroviral therapy and the limits imposed by what they describe as that government’s halting rollout of drugs, according to Dr. Ronald Bayer and Dr. Gerald Oppenheimer, authors of Shattered Dreams?: An Oral History of the South African AIDS Epidemic. In a talk sponsored by the Center for International Nursing Scholarship and Education at YSN, Bayer and Oppenheimer discussed how South Africa’s health care providers have confronted these problems. South Africa has struggled for over a decade with an AIDS epidemic that has claimed the lives of more than a million South African men, women, and children.

YSN has been actively engaged in the clinical response to the South African AIDS epidemic since 2002 through the Sizongoba project at Church of Scotland Hospital (COSH) in KwaZulu-Natal, and collaborations with the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine in Durban. Gerald Friedland, professor of medicine and epidemiology and public health at Yale and principal investigator of the Sizongoba project, and Terri Clark '76, '79MSN, lecturer at YSN who leads clinical midwifery experiences at COSH, participated in a panel discussion following the presentation by Drs. Oppenheimer and Bayer.

Recent awards support YSN research

The use of voice mail to improve transfer information from hospital to nursing home is the focus of a study being conducted by Dr. Meg Bourbonniere, YSN assistant professor, with the help of a grant from the Commonwealth Fund. The study builds on an earlier one conducted by Dr. Bourbonniere, which was funded by YSN’s Center for Self and Family Management of Vulnerable Populations. Dr. Bourbonniere’s specialty is geriatric nursing and clinical gerontology.

As part of her dissertation work, YSN doctoral student Christine Ceccarelli '10 is investigating the factors that help or hinder development of state policies to support home caregiving. Ceccarelli was one of four individuals last year to receive a Mattie J. T. Stepanek Intergenerational Caregiving Scholarship from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, which annually awards scholarships to students, volunteers, and professional caregivers who are interested in pursuing a career in caregiving or want to receive additional training for their current caregiving situation.

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