STEM Spotlight

YSN scientists have an outsized impact on shaping the world’s view of nursing. Nursing is the discipline at the forefront of applying science and research to clinical practice, and our faculty lead the way in integrating evidence-based care in order to meet our social mandate of better health for all people

Dena Schulman-Green

Extending the Reach of Palliative Care

Palliative care is specifically developed to help relieve the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual hardships of living with serious illnesses and– crucially – may be offered alongside curative care as part of self-management of the disease. The work of research scientist Dr. Dena Schulman-Green, of YSN and the Yale Cancer Center, seeks to help educate patients and families and extend the reach of palliative care.

Schulman-Green has gained recent recognition for her palliative care research, having been tapped by the Israeli Ministry of Health this year to help expand Israel’s palliative care infrastructure.

At Yale, her research expands the reach of palliative care in clinical applications as well: Schulman-Green and colleagues have developed an intervention in the form of written guidance about self-management of care for breast cancer patients and their families. The seven-module intervention, titled Managing Cancer Care, seeks to introduce palliative care into self-management of cancer by increasing palliative care literacy.

Two pilot randomized controlled trials, described by Schulman-Green in Contemporary Clinical Trials, are underway to test the protocol for a further, large-scale trial of the intervention.

Robin Whittemore

Self-management, Prevention & Bridging the Gap

Robin Whittemore, the director of YSN’s PhD program, studies lifestyle change to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes, as well as the psychosocial adjustment to chronic illness. Whittemore has funding from the NINR to develop and evaluate a diabetes self-management education and mHealth program in Mexico City. She also has funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to develop and evaluate a mHealth program for parents of teens with type 1 diabetes, with an eye toward bridging the gap between the parents and their teens.

Nancy Reynolds

Expanding Access to Care & Global Health

Nancy Reynolds investigates the complexities of self-care behavior, especially treatment adherence, among people living with chronic conditions. Her work seizes on the potential of low-cost, widely used technologies to broaden patients’ access to personalized care. She is currently the lead of four NIH-sponsored projects being conducted in India and Ghana that are focused on enhancing treatment adherence and health outcomes of HIV+ women and children. Dr. Reynolds is also the director of an ongoing T32 training grant in chronic illness self-management (NIH, NINR). This grant supports the research training of 6 pre-and post-doctoral fellows.

Cecilia Jevitt

Improving Women’s Health with Evidence-based Behaviors

Cecilia Jevitt’s scholarship focuses on perinatal weight gain optimization and integrating obesity prevention and weight maintenance into women’s health, particularly in prenatal and postpartum care. She developed the concept of advantage lists - lists of evidence-based, patient self-care behaviors that improve health (advantages) - and its use with motivational interviewing in health counseling. Currently, Dr. Jevitt is conducting an analysis of more than 30,000 births from the American Association of Birth Center’s Perinatal Data Registry® to investigate the role of obesity in perinatal outcomes. Dr. Jevitt is specialty coordinator of YSN’s Midwifery Program, which is ranked fourth in the nation, and the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program.