PhD, CRNP-C, AOCNP, FAAN
Distinguished Service Professor of Nursing
Professor of Medicine
Associate Director for Catchment Area Research – Hillman Cancer Center
Vice Chair of Research
Acute & Tertiary Care
Our team’s research is focused on the factors that ensure that all women with breast cancer receive timely diagnoses, treatment, and support. Our research, education, and outreach initiatives are directed toward African American women with breast cancer, women with metastatic breast cancer, and community engagement to address racial and economic breast cancer survival disparity. In addition, we lead a national initiative in the training of advanced practice oncology providers.
The Symptom Experience, Management, and Outcomes According to Race and Social Determinants of Health during breast cancer chemotherapy (SEMOARS) study is a multi-site R01 funded study comparing the symptom incidence and distress, symptom reporting methods and outcomes, including the ability to receive full dose of prescribed chemotherapy between African American and White women as they proceed through chemotherapy. Genetics, epigenetics, and pharmacogenomics are areas of further exploration.
In collaboration with Magee Womens Hospital, our team leads the Support, Education, and Advocacy Program for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC/SEA Program). We developed and maintain a database of 1700 women with metastatic breast cancer. These findings informed the development of a successful nurse-led primary palliative care intervention for all patients with metastatic breast cancer seen at Magee Womens Hospital.
We are partners in the Allegheny County Breast Consortium, a community outreach program that seeks to assist women in underserved communities to access existing breast cancer resources.
To address the unmet educational needs of advanced practice providers, our team developed the Advanced Practice Provider Web Education Resource (ONc-PoWer and now AP-POWER), an R25 funded cancer education project. The AP-POWER curriculum has been nationally disseminated and is used for the onboarding of APPs in cancer care.
The focus of my teaching is primarily ethics and oncology care for nursing students across all curricular levels. 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 serve as a standing member of the Health Equity Study Section at the National Institute of Health. I am active within nursing organizations, including the Oncology Nursing Society. I maintain clinical practice as a nurse practitioner for women with breast cancer at UPCI/Magee Womens Hospital. I am also active within the community through Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
We are partners and I am a leader of the Allegheny County Breast Consortium, a collaborative community outreach program that seeks to assist women in underserved communities to access existing breast cancer resources.