336 Victoria Building
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
The overall goal of our team’s research trajectory is to ensure that all women with breast cancer receive timely diagnosis, treatment, and support across the breast cancer care continuum. Our research and teaching initiatives are directed toward African American women with breast cancer and to women with metastatic breast cancer as they progress through illness.
The ACTS Intervention to Reduce Breast Cancer Treatment Disparity (The American Cancer Society) is a 6 site RCT developed to evaluate the success of a supportive and educational intervention on adherence to breast cancer chemotherapy among African America women. A companion study is evaluating the symptom incidence and distress, symptom reporting methods and outcomes of African American women matched to white women as they proceed through chemotherapy. We also have funded work, focused on the AA community in mitigating racial disparity in breast cancer survivorship.
In order to better understand the MBC patient experience I developed and maintain a data base of 1100 women with MBC abstracting clinical and treatment variables to better predict outcomes We are now piloting a large descriptive study of patient needs, distress and willingness to participate in clinical trials along the MBC illness trajectory. ONc Power
The focus of my teaching is primarily ethics and oncology care for nursing students across all curricular levels. I am a key faculty member on the National Institute of Nursing Research: T32 NRO11972 Interdisciplinary Training for Nurse Scientists in Cancer Survivorship Research as well as a faculty member within the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner NP/DNP program, focusing primarily on oncology content. I am the principal investigator of the OncPower Program, an electronic curriculum, supported through an R25 mechanism of the National Cancer Institute that teaches practice and communication skills to nurse practitioners new to oncology. Through various educational initiatives directed towards students and clinicians across the health sciences I teach strategies to improve patient-health care provider communication skills, particularly in advanced illness and palliative care.
I maintain clinical practice as a nurse practitioner for women with breast cancer at UPCI/Magee Womens Hospital and serve as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Ethics Consult Service. I also volunteer as a nurse practitioner providing primary care at the Catholic Charities Free Care Clinic in Pittsburgh I am active within nursing organizations, including the Oncology Nursing Society, both locally and nationally and serve on the Practice Council of the Pennsylvania State Nursing Association. In order to encourage diversity within the health sciences I am a representative from the School of Nursing within the schools of the health sciences on pipeline health science programming for urban high school age children.