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Pitt School of Nursing Professor Praised for COVID-19 Treatment Contributions

Since 2020, John Gallagher, DNP, RN, RRT, professor, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Guidelines Panel, working tirelessly on COVID-19 treatment guidelines for front line workers. He’s the only nurse in the country on the committee – put forward by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

His work helped create the treatment guidelines used across the country during the pandemic that supported clinicians who were caring for patients suffering from the illness.

“For me, this is an honor and a privilege to serve on a panel that forms the guidelines supporting the clinicians at the bedside in care of patients and families,” said Gallagher.

His work hasn’t gone unnoticed, and in December 2021, he received an appreciation letter from two of the nation’s top doctors: Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recognizing his work in the NIH “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines.”

“Your devotion to the process, participating in virtual meetings that typically occurred multiple times per week, and numerous hours spent in writing and editing content, are much appreciated,” Collins and Fauci wrote in the letter. “We are proud that, with your help and contributions, the guidelines have been updated 38 times since their first release in April 2020, reflecting our rapidly changing understanding of COVID-19. This has enabled the guidelines to be a “gold standard” for currency and accuracy. We are also proud that the guidelines have been so widely used, with over 27 million page views as of November 21, 2021. Almost half of the page views currently come from outside the United States.”

“I was very proud that our individual efforts were recognized by these letters,” said Gallagher. “This panel operates at the highest level of integrity, and the guidelines we produce are based on the best scientific evidence available.”

 Collins and Fauci go on to write that Gallagher was able to do this important work while also handling overwhelming COVID-19 responsibilities in his own backyard. “It is this level of first-hand knowledge that has been invaluable in maintaining a set of living guidelines informed by both data and real-world experience,” the letter states.

Gallagher has more than 30 years of experience in trauma and critical care nursing, and is an accomplished clinician, educator, and leader. His contributions have consistently been recognized with Fellowship in the American College of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM).