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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Debra Barksdale Elected President-Elect for National Nurse Practitioner Organization

Associate Professor Debra J. Barksdale was elected as president-elect for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF). She will begin her term

Associate Professor Debra J. Barksdale will begin her term as president-elect during the week of April 12, 2010.

in the week of April 12, 2010, during the 36th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Her tenure will run through 2012.

As president-elect, Barksdale will serve as chair of the Special Interest Group (SIG) Steering Committee and the liaison for the SIG Steering Committee. She will also represent SIG issues on the Board of Directors.

Congratulations, Debra!

Hypertension in African Americans

The School of Nursing congratulates Debra Barksdale who was notified today that her K23 (Mentored Patient-Oriented Career Development Award) has been funded by National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The title of her grant is, “Hypertension in Black Americans: Environment, Behavior, and Biology. Debra’s mentors for the grant are Joanne Harrell (UNC-CH SON) and Susan Girdler (UNC-CH SOM). If you are interested in learning more about Debra’s grant, see below for the abstract from her proposal – or just ask her. I know she would love to tell you about it.

Hypertension (HTN) is a major health problem for Black Americans: as a group they have the highest rate of HTN in the world. HTN develops at younger ages, is more severe, and leads to more adverse clinical outcomes and higher death rates for Blacks than for Whites. Chronic psychosocial stressors (e.g., daily hassles, racial discrimination and financial strain) are believed to contribute to the development of HTN. The purposes of the proposed mentored patient-oriented research career development award are to provide the necessary training experiences so that the candidate can achieve independence as an investigator conducting biobehavioral research and to begin to address the question of why some Blacks develop HTN while other Blacks do not. The training goals are to 1) expand knowledge of cardiovascular physiology and pathological mechanisms leading to HTN; 2) obtain expertise in the assessment of psychosocial stress and the integration of measures of psychosocial stress with physiological indices of stress; 3) obtain expertise in impedance-derived measurement of total peripheral resistance and to become skilled in the assessment of cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to acute laboratory-based stressors; 4) become proficient in the design, conduct and analysis of longitudinal studies and associated advanced statistical methods; and 5) disseminate results of research and develop a fundable R01 proposal. The candidate will engage in a 3-year intensive, supervised career development plan that will include: a) formal course work in HTN, stress, and advanced research methods; b) hands-on laboratory experiences with her mentors, consultants, and specialists; c) interdisciplinary experiences such as journal clubs, seminars, and conferences; and d) participation in mentors’ research team meetings. To compliment the training, the candidate will conduct a study to examine factors related to HTN in 128 Black men and women between the ages of 25 and 55. The study will compare Blacks with and without HTN for differences in indicators of allostatic load (sleep blood pressure, sleep total peripheral resistance, cortisol awakening response, and obesity); in chronic psychosocial stressors (daily hassles, racial discrimination, and financial strain); and in the moderating effect of positive and negative emotions, religious coping, and John Henryism active coping on the influence of chronic psychosocial stressors on indicators of allostatic load. A team of experienced researchers will serve as mentors and consultants in the areas of a) HTN and cardiovascular disease, b) physiological and psychological stress, c) biomedical assessment, and d) design and analysis of longitudinal research.

Carolina Blue Shines at Southern Nursing Research Society Meeting

Carolina Blue were strong in number and accomplishments at the recent Southern Nursing Research Society meeting held in Birmingham, Ala. Participants from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing included seven faculty (six presented papers), two post-doctoral students (both had papers), 18 doctoral students (19 had posters) and six undergraduate students participating in the Center for Innovation in Health Disparities Research: Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program (REAP) for minority students (five had posters). Our group was diverse in gender and ethnicity/culture!!

While the quality of all of our scholars was outstanding (non-biased comments from many of the attendees), several received particular attention of the planning committee. Drs. Debra Barksdale and Margaret S. Miles’ abstracts were chosen from among all submissions to be presented at a special plenary session on health disparities. Debra’s paper was on “Stress, John Henryism and Cortisol Responses in Black Women.” Marge’s paper was on “Process Evaluation in Intervention Research: The Nurse Parent Support Intervention with Rural African American Mothers of Pre-term Infants.”

Clarence Byrd, an undergraduate REAP student, won second place in the student poster awards, competing with doctoral and post-doctoral student posters (his co-author and mentor was Dr. Debra Barksdale). His poster focused on “Body Mass Index and Weight Perceptions of Pre-Hypertensive and Hypertensive Black Americans.”

An additional honor was that the first Margaret S. Miles parent-child student poster award was given to a doctoral student from the University of Louisville.

If you are interested in research and didn’t attend this year, please consider attending next year – the conference will be in Baltimore! We came away feeling very proud of UNC-Chapel Hill SON faculty and students.


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