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March 2017 Research Newsletter

Faculty Spotlight

Van Haitsma

Kimberly Van Haitsma, PhD

Kimberly Van Haitsma, PhD, is associate professor of nursing; director of the Program for Person-Centered Living Systems of Care; and senior research scientist for the Polisher Research Institute, Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

Dr. Van Haitsma, a clinical geropsychologist and applied researcher, focuses on questions seeking to understand the impact of contextual issues (physical environment, culture of care, staff interactions, interdisciplinary team processes, and psychotherapeutic approaches) on holistic aspects of quality of life and person-centered care provided to seniors residing in long-term care settings.

As a co-investigator, she was recently awarded a grant from the Ohio Department of Aging titled “Incorporating the Preferences for Everyday Living Inventory (PELI) into Ohio’s Nursing Homes to Improve Resident Care.” The goal of this project is to promote the adoption of preference assessment for nursing home residents through education/training and sustainability through quality improvement strategies. The project has three primary specific aims: 1) guide providers on ways to integrate the PELI assessment into daily operational practices in 960 Ohio nursing homes; 2) provide education/training for providers about using the PELI data to inform care; and 3) evaluate the barriers to preference-based, person-centered care implementation and provide solutions for long-term sustainability. This project will develop a mobile responsive website titled “Care Preference Assessment of Satisfaction” (ComPASS), which will enable nursing home providers to track their residents’ satisfaction with how their preferences for everyday living are being taken into consideration. Another website,, will host resources for providers as well as research-related information for those interested in person-centered care.


Ann Kolanowski was appointed co-chair (with Dr. Richard Fortinsky) for the session “Research on Care Needs and Supportive Approaches for Persons with Dementia” at the National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers. Sponsored by the Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, the research summit will be held October 16–18, 2017, on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Awards, Publications, and Presentations

Awards and Honors

  • Donna Fick was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence through 2019.
  • Lorah Dorn was elected to the General Council of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).

Funded Awards

Michael Green, Benjamin Levi, Chengwu Yang, Jane Schubart, Janice Penrod, and Martha Levine. Preparing family caregivers of very ill patients for end-of-life decision making. NIH R01. Non-competing continuation. $2,860,395

Carmen Giurgescu and Christopher Engeland. Social stressors and inflammation: A mixed methods approach to preterm birth. NIH R01. 1/6/2017–12/31/2021. $2,498,120



  1. Welke, J. Thomson, M. D. Koenig, E. Nemeth, R. White-Traut, B. McFarlin, C. Giurgescu, C. G. Engeland, M. Kominiarek, and L. Tussing-Humphreys. 2017. Iron metabolism in African American women in the second and third trimesters of high-risk pregnancies. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing 46(1):148–158.
  1. D. Koenig, B. McFarlin, A. Steffen, L. Tussing-Humphreys, C. Giurgescu, C. G. Engeland, M. Kominiarek, B. Strom, C. Ciezczak, W. D. O’Brien, K. Norr, and R. White-Traut. 2017. Decreased nutrient intake is associated with premature cervical remodeling. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing 46(1):123–134.
  1. Giurgescu, S. N. Zenk, C. G. Engeland, L. Garfield, and T. N. Templin. 2017. Racial discrimination and psychological well-being of pregnant women. American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 42(1): 8–13.
  1. G. Engeland. 2017. Wound healing. In Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, 2nd edition, ed. M. Gellman and J. R. Turner. New York: Springer.
  1. Dionne-Odom, S. A. Hooker, D. Bekelman, D. Ejem, G. McGhan, L. Kitko, A. Stromberg, R. Wells, M. Astin, Z. G. Metin, G. Mancarella, S. V. Pamboukian, L. Evangelista, H. G. Buck, and M. A. Bakitas, on behalf of the IMPACT-HF National Workgroup. 2017. Family caregiving for persons with heart failure at the intersection of heart failure and palliative care: A state of the science review. Heart Failure Reviews [epub ahead of print].
  1. Kolanowski, D. Fick, M. Litaker, P. Mulhall, L. Clare, N. Hill, J. Mogle, and A. Yevchak-Sillner. 2016. Effect of cognitively stimulating activities for the symptom management of delirium superimposed on dementia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 64(12):2424–2432.
  1. Morandi, D. Davis, G. Bellelli, R. Arora, G. Caplan, B. Kamholz, A. M. Kolanowski, D. Fick, S. Kreisel, A. MacLullich, D. Meagher, K. Neufeld, V. Page, P. Pandharipande, S. Richardson, A. Slooter, J. Taylor, C. Thomas, Z. Tieges, A. Teodorczuk, P. Voyer, and J. Rudolph. 2017. The diagnosis of delirium superimposed on dementia: An emerging challenge. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 18(1):12–18.
  1. Sawyer, T. King, T. Weaver, D. Sawyer, M. Varrasse, J. Franks, A. Watach, A. Kolanowski, and K. A. Richards. 2017. Tailored intervention for PAP adherence: The SCIP-PA trial. Behavioral Sleep Medicine Jan 27:1-25. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2016.1276018. [epub]
  1. Arslanian-Engoren, L. Laskowski-Jones, T. Bressler, A. Kolanowski, A. Perez, L. Popejoy, and B. Caceres. 2016. Admit to observation status: Policy brief. Nursing Outlook 64(4):287–289.
  1. M. Reid, B. S. Miller, L. D. Dorn, C. Desjardins, B. Donzella, and M. Gunnar. 2017. Early-growth faltering in post-institutionalized youth and later anthropometric and pubertal development. Pediatric Research Feb 7. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.35. [epub ahead of print]
  2. J. Susman, M. K. Peckins, J. L. Bowes, and L. D. Dorn. 2017. Longitudinal synergies between cortisol reactivity and diurnal testosterone and antisocial behavior in young adolescents. Developmental Psychopathology Jan 3:1–17. doi: 10.1017/S0954579416001334. [epub ahead of print] PMID: 28043239

Y.-L. Jao, F. Epps, C. McDermott, K. Rose, and J. Specht. 2017. Effects of support groups for individuals with early-stage dementia and mild cognitive impairment: An integrative review. Research in Gerontological Nursing 10(1):35–51.

H. Buck, J. Hupcey, J. Mogle, and M. K. Rayens. 2017. Caregivers’ heart failure knowledge is necessary but not sufficient to assure engagement with patients in self-care maintenance. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing. 19(2):170–176. doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000326


Eastern Nursing Research Society 29th Annual Scientific Sessions


Nikki Hill. Improving older adults’ cognitive and functional health: Innovative approaches from the aging RIG.

Susan Loeb. Enhancing care of the aged and dying in prisons: The process of going to scale.

Marie Boltz. An examination of the family role in promoting the functional recovery of hospitalized older adults.

Nikki Hill (Symposium Chair). Improving older adults’ cognitive and functional health: Innovative approaches from the aging RIG.

Ying-Ling Jao and Madeline Verbeke. Apathy assessment discrepancy among family and clinicians for long-term care residents with dementia.


Alea McClintock. The feasibility of implementing a non-pharmacological weight loss program to address obesity in a rural community.

Holly Weinschenk. Identifying differences in experience related to caregiver burden and health status among heart failure caregivers.

David Everly. Perceptions of heart failure and end-of-life decision making.

Julie Murphy Ross. Dyadic experience of symptom burden and health perception pre- and post-LVAD implantation.

Alison Walsh. The effect of heart failure on health-related quality of life during critical transitions in the life course.

Caroline McDermott. How do younger adults view aging? A pilot study examining the impact of a cross-generational arts installation.

Windy Alonso. Theory integration to examine the influence of rurality on ventricular assist device patient outcomes.

Barbara Birriel. Family surrogates in critical care: The ethical basis for their decisions. 

Submitted Proposals

Susan Loeb. E-training of inmate peer caregivers for enhancing geriatric and end-of-life care in prisons. Klein Buendel, Inc./NIH R41 $112,769

Madeline Mattern. Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program. Health Resources and Services Administration $1,285,031

Lisa Kitko, Barbara Cole, Donna Fick, Judith Hupcey, Jacqueline Mogle, and Michael Evans. Primary palliative care for older adults living with heart failure and their families: Pilot testing the PATHS intervention. NIH/NIH R21 $411,425

Ying-Ling Jao, Lisa Kitko, and Jacqueline Mogle. Apathy in nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias: A mixed methods approach to examine the impact of care environments. NIH/NIA $432,039

Lorah Dorn, Jennifer Maggs, Mary Jane De Souza, Nilam Ram, and Elizabeth Susman. Adolescent-young adult bone health: Modifiable risks and stress mechanisms. NIH R01 $3,751,526