Faculty Profile: Deborah Mayer

Deborah Mayer is an associate professor at the School of Nursing and a member of the UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Prevention and Control program. Dr. Mayer’s research is on cancer survivorship. Read more about her in a faculty profile on page 4 of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Spring newsletter here.

“I will do anything that’s involved with improving cancer care,” says Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, associate professor of nursing and member of UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Prevention and Control program. Her work improves cancer care locally and nationally, and nursing was always her career choice. “I wanted to be a nurse since I was five years old,” she says. “I never wavered.”

Grant Supports Study of Ethical Issues in Dialysis Facilities

Mi-Kyung Song, PhD, RN

Associate Professor has received a grant ($50K) from the  which is administered by The Greenwall Foundation. The grant will support Dr. Song’s research project that  examines management of ethical issues in free-standing dialysis facilities. This prestigious award recognizes the significance and potential impact of individual research projects and researchers in bioethics areas. In the 62 years of the Foundation’s history, only two nurse researchers have been awarded grants.

Beth Black Receives NIH Funding to Study End of Life Care

Beth Black, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor has received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH for her grant entitled “End-of-Life Care After Severe Fetal Diagnosis.” The grant is for $407,000 over 2 years to study the implementation of a perinatal palliative care program at the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health, and responses to a life-threatening fetal diagnosis by women, their partners and health care providers. Dr. , Cary C. Boshamer Professor, is a co-investigator and is a research adviser to the study.  

“We need to learn how to support these families in the best way possible. The way to learn is to talk to them, to find out what they need, identify their grief trajectory, and find out how they do after the loss,” Dr. Black says. In the long term, Dr. Black wants her work to provide a good theoretical foundation for the development of interventions for these families. She also wants to align perinatal issues with the end of life care issues conceptually. “I’m really committed to the care of these families. I want to find out from them and from their providers how we can best care for them in this heartbreaking situation.”
Look for more on Dr. Black’s work in the next issue of .

Study examines NC cancer patient emergency department visits


Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

When cancer patients experience medical problems, they may visit emergency departments, but how often and for what reasons, there is little data.

A first-ever study of emergency room use by oncology patients in North Carolina was published in the May 23, 2011 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Authors hope the study can give them information so that they can target clinical problems to improve delivery of quality cancer care, thus avoiding emergency room visits.

Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, associate professor of nursing in the UNC School of Nursing, study lead author, said, “While some cancer patients develop acute problems that do require a visit to the emergency department, some visits might be avoided with better symptom management.” Mayer is a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Merle Mishel to be Inducted into Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame

Dr. Merle Mishel

Kenan Professor of Nursing Dr. Merle Mishel will be inducted into the 2011 Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognizes scholars and leaders whose funded program of research has had a long-term impact on the profession and patient/family outcomes. The nomination recognized Dr. Mishel’s more than 20 years of federally funded research and her development of the theory of uncertainty in illness. Dr. Mishel says she is pleased that this award recognizes the importance of nursing research and is honored to have an international organization recognize her work as meaningful.

The scales she developed to help investigators measure uncertainty in illness are used in 30 countries and have been translated into many languages. Dr. Mishel will be inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame at STTI’s 22nd International Nursing Research Congress in Cancun, Mexico, in July.

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Cheryl B. Jones named Faculty of the Year by UNC Hospitals

Associate Professor Dr. Cheryl B. Jones

Associate Professor Dr. Cheryl B. Jones  has been chosen as Faculty of the Year by the UNC Hospitals  Nursing Division. She is the Research Consultant for UNC Hospitals, and one of her roles in this position is to foster research relationships between the School of Nursing and the Hospitals.

UNC Hospitals emphasizes nurses engaging in research to address critical problems in practice, and Dr. Jones is working with its nursing Research Council to develop a research agenda that guides its nursing research efforts. She also mentors teams at the Hospitals that have research ideas or are developing ideas into research proposals.

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7th Annual Aging Exchange

The Annual Aging Exchange is an event dedicated to recognizing and promoting research in the field of aging at UNC-Chapel Hill. It will be held at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill on Thursday, April 7th from 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. It is open to the public and free parking is available.

The UNC Institute on Aging, in collaboration with its co-sponsors, will host this event.

The program will feature:
*A guest lecture by Dr. Margaret Moss, Yale University School of Nursing
*Poster presentations by UNC-Chapel Hill graduate students and faculty
*Presentation of the Gordon H. DeFriese Career Development in Aging Research Awards
*A reception with light hors d’oeuvres
*An opportunity to network with colleagues, students, and other attendees with an interest in aging-related research

Find the complete schedule here and directions here.

This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP by e-mailing or calling Diane Wurzinger: diane_wurzinger@unc.edu or call (919)843-2647.

Watch the “I am a Carolina Nurse” Video

Share the link to the video with your friends: http://wp.me/pb6Ou-oS.

Being a “Carolina Nurse” has many dimensions.  This 7-minute video tells the story from the perspective of students, alumni, faculty, SON and hospital leaders who all experience the quality, energy and emotion of being connected to one of the leading Schools of Nursing in the United States.  Unrestricted private gifts made this video possible and we are grateful to our alumni and friends who provide on-going support to the School.  For giving opportunities, please contact Director of Advancement Norma_Hawthorne@unc.edu

Diane Berry Graduates from UNC Faculty Engaged Scholars Program

Graduates of the Carolina Center for Public Service’s Faculty Engaged Scholars Program included SON Assistant Professor Diane Berry.
Diane Berry, an assistant professor at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing, is part of the second class of Faculty Engaged Scholars. The Carolina Center for Public Service celebrated this second class of scholars at a graduation on Jan. 7, 2011, giving the scholars cords and certificates during the ceremony. The scholars represent various disciplines across the UNC Chapel Hill campus and worked during the two year program to strengthen their community partnerships and their connections to their research.

Faculty Receive Awards for Sickle Cell Disease and Infant Feeding Research


Dr. Coretta Jenerette

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Coretta Jenerette and Dr. Eric Hodges, who both received Junior Faculty Development Awards from UNC’s Faculty Study and Research Leave Committee.

Dr. Jenerette will use the funds for the transcription of a set of 42 life-review interviews conducted as part of a pilot study on the efficacy of an intervention for improving satisfaction with the pain management experience and reducing perceived health-related stigma for young adults with sickle cell disease. This award will help Dr. Jenerette further develop her program of research, which is aimed at designing theory-based, self-care management strategies for individuals with sickle cell disease.

Eric Hodges

Dr. Eric Hodges

Dr. Hodges will be using the funds to conduct a secondary analysis of data from the Infant Care, Feeding, and Risk of Obesity Study. His secondary analysis of data will characterize patterns of maternal feeding responsiveness over time while taking into account the role of salient maternal and infant characteristics  as well as distinguish patterns of maternal feeding responsiveness among groups based on three infant weight-for-length growth trajectories: 1) those starting below the 85th percentile and eventually going and staying above, 2) those starting above the 85th percentile and eventually going and staying below, and 3) those staying between the 30th and 70th percentiles at all observations.


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