National Nursing Leader to Present Research on Migrant Children

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, (PhD, RN, FAAN) the assistant dean of diversity and cultural affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, will present her research on immigrant and migrant children in “Children of the Road,” the 2011 UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing Ethnic Minority Visiting Scholar Lecture. This free lecture is open to the public and will take place from 3:00-5:00 pm on February 21, 2011 at the School of Nursing.

de Leon Siantz was born in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents. She has spent her career in community health nursing advancing immigrant mental health through research, education and national leadership. “One of the fastest growing populations in the United States is children of immigrants, yet very little is known about them,” she said. “So I studied the children and continue to do research and provide consultation in this area.”

For example, she is currently investigating how to reduce pregnancy and promote reproductive health among Latina girls in work supported by the Office of Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Service. “The risk for premature birth is greatly increased because of the teen’s developmental stage and lack of access to prenatal care in this group. Pregnancy is one of the top reasons that Latina girls drop out of school,” she said.

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Ethnic Minority Scholar to Give Lecture in February

The School of Nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill presents
the 2011 Ethnic Minority Visiting Scholar Lecture:


PRESENTED BY: Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, RN, FAAN

February 21, 2011
Reception to Follow

UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing
Carrington Hall,
Fox Auditorium
Parking is available in the Dogwood Visitors Deck

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, RN, FAAN

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Mary Lou de Leon Siantz is currently the Assistant Dean of Diversity and Cultural Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. In this role, she leads the planning and implementation of the strategic goals in diversity throughout the research, education, and practice missions which are a top priority both for the University and for the School of Nursing partnering with faculty, staff, students, and the healthcare environment. Dr. de Leon Siantz chairs the Advisory Task Force on Diversity and Cultural Competence, the Master Teachers Taskforce for Cultural Competence Education, and is faculty advisor for the Minorities in Nursing (MNO) a student nursing organization that support and represent minorities in the School.

Dr. de Leon Siantz is internationally recognized for her research on risk and resilience with Hispanic migrant/immigrant children and their families funded by the National Institutes of Health as well as the Department of Health and Human Services and recognized by the Texas Migrant Council for her contributions to the mental health of migrant preschool children and families.

Contact Dr. Diane Berry, e-mail: for more information.

Debra Barksdale Appointed to National Health Panel

Debra Barksdale, PhD, RN, CFNP, CANP

Debra Barksdale, PhD, RN, CFNP, CANP

, associate professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, has been appointed to a new national health-care research panel. Barksdale (PhD, RN, CFNP, CANP) is one of the 19 members of the Board of Governors for the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The institute was established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, part of the federal government’s health-care reform legislation signed into law earlier this year. The Act specified that at least one nurse be on the board, and Barksdale will fulfill this requirement.

“There are some major needs regarding health and health care in our country, and I hope to be able to make a contribution,” Barksdale said. “I bring my knowledge and skill as a researcher, primary care nurse practitioner, and educator to the board. I will also be an advocate for the disadvantaged, underserved and underrepresented in regard to issues of health and research.”

The institute’s role is to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers and policymakers in making informed health decisions by carrying out research projects. Those studies should provide quality, relevant evidence on how diseases, disorders and other health conditions can effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, monitored and managed.

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Dean Kristen Swanson Featured on Radio Show

Dean Kristen Swanson

Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor Kristen M. Swanson was the featured guest on the Sept. 11 YOUR HEALTH radio talk show. She talked about the Swanson Theory of Caring, updated listeners on the nursing shortage, and discussed issues facing nurses and nursing education today.

YOUR HEALTH is a weekly one hour radio talk show on patient health produced by the University of North Carolina Department of Family Medicine. The show is co-hosted by Dr. Adam Goldstein and Dr. Cristy Page.

Listen to the radio show here:

Welcome to the Faculty: Shawn Kneipp, PhD, ARNP

Shawn Kniepp, PhD ARNP

Shawn Kniepp, PhD ARNP

Shawn Kniepp has been involved in health disparities research for fifteen years and received numerous National Institutes of Health grants to support her work and that of doctoral students.  She looks at two major areas of disparities.  The first area involves factors that cause disparities in mechanistic, physiological ways.  An example is how chronic stress causes poor health outcomes, like blood pressure changes, in low income women.

The second area centers around women in a Welfare Transition Program.  Dr. Kniepp is examining how welfare policy affects stress levels, and how stress is being managed in the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to improve the health of women who are enrolled.  She followed 432 women for nine months, testing a public health nursing intervention using Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches.  The intervention group had a high likelihood of having problems reaching long-term employment goals.  Many suffered from heart disease, back pain, allergies, and other ailments that kept them from seeking or securing steady employment.

Deborah K. Mayer Receives Grant to Help Cancer Survivors

Join us in congratulating Dr. Deborah K. Mayer whose grant “Evaluation of Preferences for Survivorship Care Plans” has been funded by the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society. Cancer survivorship care represents a distinct phase of the cancer care trajectory and includes four components of care. Providing cancer survivors and their primary care provider with a Survivor Care Plan (SCP), which includes a treatment summary and care plan, is one component of survivorship care. There are a range of available SCP templates, but many are complex and detailed. The overall aim of this pilot study is to explore survivor and primary care provider preferences regarding the content, format, and delivery mode of treatment summary care plans. Congratulations to Deb!

Jai-Rong Wu Joins Carolina Nursing Faculty

Jai-Rong Wu, PhD, RN, is a nurse researcher who studies medication adherence with patients who have congestive heart failure.  She explains that older patients are particularly at risk because if they don’t take the medications they are fifty-percent more likely to be admitted to a hospital for complications that result from non-compliance.  And, this leads to increased cost of care.

“If people take good care of themselves and take their medications as prescribed, then chronic disease can be managed to provide a good quality of life,” she says.

Dr. Wu, who spent six years at the University of Kentucky School of Nursing as a doctoral student and researcher, has developed an intervention study to help patients adhere to their medical regimen.  She has identified the reasons why people do not adhere to what is prescribed.  At UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing she will be building a collaborative team to do another intervention study, collecting more data, analyzing it, and recommending ways senior can improve their cardiovascular health well into old age.

Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions–International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, March 23-25, 2011

The UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing is co-sponsoring the Second International Conference on Prevention and Management of Chronic conditions and the World Congress on Self-care Deficit Nursing Theory that will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, March 23 – 25 2011. The conference will focus on the role of the individual, family and community in preventing and managing chronic conditions. The program is organized by the Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University and can be viewed at:


Preliminary Program

Managing Chronic Illness Conference: Bangkok Thailand 2011

Healthcare Quality and Patient Outcomes Seminars Set for Fall 2010

THE FALL 2010 SEMINAR SERIES:   All Seminars are from 12:00 -1:00 PM in Carrington Hall,  Room 104, School of Nursing, UNC Chapel Hill.

  • September 21, Noel Brewer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health:  Patients’ Understanding of Genomic Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk Testing
  • October 5 ,   Til Stürmer Ph.D.,  Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health: Methodological and Analytic Advances in Observational Studies
  • November 2, Katrina Donahue, M.D., MPH,  Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine: Issues in Research on the Patient Centered Medical Home
  • November 16,   Donna Gilleskie, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Economics: Health Insurance, Medical Care and Health Outcomes:  A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics

All are Invited!

Funded by NINR 2T32NR008856

Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Team Wins Awards From HRSA and AHEC

“This work is essential.  Clearly Psych MH needs are on the rise given the challenged economy, prolonged efforts to secure peace, and lack of providers.  The work of our PMHNP faculty is exemplary.  Their collective excellence in teaching, research and practice is laudable.  Victoria, Mary Lynn, and team — you sure will be busy for the next few years!  Congratulations and thank you,” says Kristen Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor.

Our psychiatric-mental health graduate faculty team is to be commended for obtaining two Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants this summer and one Area Health Education Center (AHEC) grant:

1) Mary Lynn Piven, PhD, RN, from HRSA for the “HealthyIDEAS Program Chatham-Carolina (HIPCC)” which funds a 3-year community partnership with the Chatham County SeniorCitizens program to replicate an evidence-based program, Healthy IDEAS (IdentifyingDepression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) to detect and manage depressive symptoms in caregivers and older adults with chronic health conditions and functional limitations, living in Chatham County, to develop clinical sites and the accompanying curriculum to increase the knowledge and expertise of undergraduate and graduate nursing students and support faculty practice opportunities. Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, RN,  from our school as well as Rebecca Hunter and Lea Watson from the School of Medicine are collaborators on this project.

2) Victoria Soltis-Jarrett from HRSA for “Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in NC:  Meeting the Needs of the Underserved in North Carolina” (now known as “Psych NP-NC”), a three year project with NEW objectives which will enhance the PMHNP curriculum, expand the geographical impact and increase access of mental health care services for citizens who live in an additional 37 rural and remote counties in NC.  This project builds on the previous HRSA grants by continuing to recruit and educate minority and disadvantaged psychiatric nurses from a total of 68 targeted counties yet does recruit from all regions. In addition, through this project, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) curriculum will be enhanced to focus on children/adolescents and the elderly with mental health problems as well as advances in psychopharmacology. Finally, linkages with AHEC and the state DHHS will facilitate a sustainable partnership for the future. Victoria, Mary Lynn Piven, Grace Hubbard, Vicki Kowlowitz, Rumay Alexander and Jennifer D’Auria are all supported in part on this grant.

3) Victoria Soltis-Jarrett from AHEC to continue its support of the APRN-PMH program to assist with our efforts to enroll students from rural and underserved areas of NC. Funding from AHEC has been utilized to conduct needs assessments, undertake curriculum planning, recruit and support students, and develop clinical sites and preceptors. Victoria and Grace Hubbard are supported in part by this grant.


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