Meet the oncology nurse scientists and researchers who are making quality of life a reality for patients with cancer.
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN
Keynote Address: Transcending Boundaries to Transform Healthcare Through Intervention Research and Evidence-Based PracticeImproving quality and outcomes through evidence-based practice change
As a “powerhouse of intensity and a 24/7 innovator,” Bernadette Melnyk is a firm believer in culture change. She has helped hundreds of healthcare systems and universities transition to collaborative, evidence-based models, and more importantly, to make those transitions stick. She’s also a champion for nurses as drivers of change, improving the quality and reliability of patient outcomes.
Melynk is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine and a co-editor of four books, including Implementing EBP: Real World Success Stories and Evidence-based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare: A Guide to Best Practice. She was awarded the NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research’s inaugural director’s lectureship award, and was recently inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International’s Research Hall of Fame.
Ellen Smith, PhD, APN-BC, AOCN®
Cancer Treatment-Related Chronic Pain: Assessment, Treatment, and Prediction
Victoria Mock New Investigator AwardBettering the prediction and management of difficult pain syndromes
Oncology nurse scientist Ellen Smith is a professor in the Division of Acute, Critical, and Long-Term Care at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She was the principal investigator of the first large randomized controlled trial to identify an effective CIPN treatment, garnering national and international attention.
Smith currently is conducting a pilot study to predict the development of chronic pain following breast cancer treatment, paving the way for future solutions to prevent and treat chronic pain in high-risk, “pain-prone” individuals. She is co-investigator of a multi-site study exploring ways to assess vincristine-induced CIPN and associated neuropathic pain in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Funders of Smith’s research include the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the ONS Foundation.
This award is supported by the ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher Fund through the ONS Foundation.
Judith Payne, PhD, RN, AOCN®
Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer
State of the Science LecturePromoting symptom relief through innovative research-based interventions
Judith Payne is the Program Director of Nursing Research at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Funders of Smith’s research include the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the ONS Foundation.
Judith Payne received her master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing from the University of Iowa College of Nursing. Her scholarly work is focused on fatigue and sleep disturbances, neuroendocrine system interactions and mechanisms of fatigue and sleep disturbances, and depressive symptoms. Her research program consists of identifying physiological underpinnings of the symptoms of cancer-related fatigue, sleep disturbances and depressive symptoms. Payne’s research has potential to contribute to evidence-based practice.
She is currently developing a yoga intervention to improve sleep disturbances in women survivors of breast cancer.
Diane Von Ah, PhD, RN
Cancer and Cancer Treatment-Related Cognitive Impairment in Cancer Patients: Current Research and Future Directions
Trish Greene Quality of Life LectureAdvancing quality of life for cancer survivors with cognitive dysfunction
Diane Von Ah is an assistant professor in the Indiana University Department of Adult Health and a full member of the IU Simon Cancer Center. In addition to studying the biopsychosocial predictors of fatigue and mood disturbances, she has conducted substantial work to understand and treat chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction in cancer survivors. She was the first person to evaluate the role of central serotonin as a causal mechanism of chemotherapy-induced cognitive dysfunction.
Von Ah’s research on cognitive impairment in patients with breast cancer has also led to interventions that help cancer survivors maintain or improve cognition. She chairs the Cognitive Impairment project team of the ONS Putting Evidence Into Practice initiative.
Von Ah has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the ONS Foundation.
Laurel Northouse, RN, PhD, FAAN
Treating the Patient-Caregiver Dyad As the Unit of Care
Distinguished Researcher AwardChampioning distress recognition and intervention in patients and caregivers
Laurel Northouse is the Mary Lou Willard French Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and Co-Director of the Socio-Behavioral Program at the University of Michigan Cancer Center. She has been a pioneer in identifying the psychosocial effects of cancer on patients and their family caregivers, advocating for the dyadic and interdependent approach now used by nurses and other health professionals.
Among her contributions as an oncology nurse scientist are the Fear of Recurrence Scale, the first cancer-specific fear of recurrence measure; the FOCUS Program, an intervention that helps patients and caregivers to live through and beyond cancer; and a predictive model that identifies patients and family members at high risk of developing emotional distress following the cancer diagnosis.
Northouse has received grants from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, National Institute for Nursing Research, National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and the ONS Foundation.
Claire Snyder, PhD
Closing Session: Patient-Reported Outcomes and the Keys to Quality Cancer CareAdvocating for care coordination efforts and patient-reported outcomes assessment
Claire Snyder is an assistant professor of medicine and oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in health and policy management. Her research in quality cancer care touches upon several core issues, including quality of life for patients undergoing treatment, coordination of care between cancer specialists and primary care providers, patient-reported outcomes assessment, health services research, and survivorship care strategies for patients with breast cancer.