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Cynthia A. Danford

Assistant Professor
Health Promotion & Development


Dr. Danford’s research focuses on issues related to childhood obesity in families with young children. The overall goal of her program of research is to decrease risk for obesity and cardiovascular problems and promote child health in vulnerable populations across cultures through sustainable family-centered interventions addressing healthy lifestyle behaviors. Establishing healthy lifestyle behaviors as early in life as possible is foundationaI to making healthy choices across the lifespan. Her work includes using event history calendars (EHC) with parent-child dyads to help guide self-regulation of lifestyle behaviors related to eating, physical activity, and sleep. She presently is focusing on families with preschool-age children and uniquely gathers data from the preschool children as the direct informants. She also has used the EHC technique with school-age children and adolescents. She has expertise in qualitative methodology and gathering data in different cultures, such as in Russia.

Clinical Emphasis

She is certified as a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Dr. Danford has practiced in pediatric primary care outpatient and home-based settings. Presently, she is affiliated with a family practice and a child-life center.


Dr. Danford teaches in the DNP program, focusing on pediatric advanced practice for PNP, FNP, and PMHNP students as well as PNP theory, advanced health assessment, and transition to practice. She also guest lectures in the PhD program and undergraduate pediatric course. Past teaching includes primary care issues in pediatric nurse practitioner programs, advanced health assessment, and health promotion/risk reduction theory for graduate students, as well as undergraduate nursing courses at schools of nursing in Indiana, California, Ohio, and Michigan. She has expertise developing and implementing primary care and acute care PNP curriculum.


She is a member of the International Family Nursing Association (INFA), The Obesity Society (TOS), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and the Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP). Through AFPNP, she has been nationally elected to the board serving as president-elect, president, and past president. In INFA, Dr. Danford is a member and now co-chair of the IFNA International Research Subcommittee of the Research Committee. Through NAPNAP, she is a member of the Childhood Obesity SIG, Global Health SIG, and AFPNP representative on the Research committee. She was past secretary for Michigan NAPNAP. Dr. Danford also is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses.