Office of Research & Global Engagement

A Culture of Discovery & Innovation

The Jefferson College of Nursing (JCN) has ignited a trailblazing culture of discovery and innovation to reimagine the way nurses lead and impact society. Nurses are drawn to their profession because of a desire to care, to serve, and to help others. Now more than ever, JCN faculty and staff are focused on pioneering health services research and innovation to drive next-generation solutions that solve and prevent healthcare challenges in the community.

This newly energized JCN culture began with the Stratton Foundation's $500,000 gift to the College in 2019. The Stratton gift set forth a new journey for JCN by laying the groundwork for exciting research and scholarly activity and establishing the infrastructure to support it. JCN faculty are eager to engage in research activity that will enable them, our students, and our alumni to address healthcare issues effectively and to provide patients with positive outcomes that seem unimaginable today. Because of the support that the Stratton Foundation provided, we can expect to see tremendous growth in our research capacity and productivity including new collaborative partnerships across the Jefferson enterprise and innovation initiatives through the application of technology and outside industry alliances.

Empowering & Advancing Nurse Scientists

Established in 2019, the Office of Research and Global Engagement is focused on empowering and advancing JCN faculty and staff by:

  • Cultivating nurse scientists who conduct meaningful research that advances the science and practice of nursing and addresses society’s most intractable challenges;
  • Building a dynamic, supportive, risk-tolerant scholarly community that fosters excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Supporting the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge;
  • Promoting the determination and implementation of best practices; and
  • Advancing the reputation of the JCN as a research and innovation destination.  

Meet JCN's Chief Compassion Officer

The Jefferson College of Nursing (JCN) would like to introduce its newest team member, Maggie! Maggie is a Facility Dog serving as the Chief Compassion Officer. She is the face of JCN’s many research and innovation programs addressing compassion fatigue. She will be a fine addition, offering support and free hugs to Jefferson students, faculty, and staff across Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. We look forward to sharing Maggie's work through Instagram and Twitter once she assumes her role live, on campus. Stay tuned ... 

The Power of Teamwork

JCN selected a powerful team, who combined the best of academic research and corporate innovation, to lead ORI. Joanne Robinson, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, was named Associate Dean for Research and Innovation. A nationally recognized expert in gerontological and continence research, Dr. Robinson previously served as professor and founding dean of the Rutgers University School of Nursing. She has served as principal investigator for grant-funded research, written scores of peer-reviewed journal articles, given invited presentations at national and international conferences, and received awards for her research and teaching. Gabrielle Santulli, MBA, a dynamic innovator who led world-class marketing strategies for Fortune 500 and start-up companies and received multiple industry awards, was appointed to direct the Office of Research & Innovation. The creative union of Joanne and Gabrielle’s experience and know-how has resulted in an engaging JCN culture that promotes thinking differently to achieve distinctive outcomes.

Inspiring Scholarly Activities

To get a pulse on the organization’s scholarly efforts, the Office conducted an electronic survey and individual interviews of JCN faculty which included an assessment of scholarly interests and activities and examined perceived barriers to engagement or productivity in research. After analyzing the results, ORI began promoting a series of collaborative workshops and events to inspire faculty growth in scholarly activities:

  • Weekly Research Coaching Sessions for internal skill-building  where researchers learn from experienced visiting researchers, discuss their own work, and share information and strategies for securing funding and publishing their findings; one session per month is dedicated to promote scholarly writing  with the Faculty Scholars Group
  • Visiting Scholar series to include: Nurses in War: Learnings from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Back (Drs. Beth Scannell-Desch and Mary Ellen Doherty), Military Veterans: PTSD/TBI (Dr. Helene Moriarty), and Leadership Through Innovation (TBD)
  • External training opportunities at national conferences and workshops to provide JCN faculty with guidance and specific tools to advance their research and scholarly publication. Examples include Qualitative Research Institute, Jefferson GrantSuccess Program, monthly Jefferson Clinical Research Institute (JCRI) Forum and Health Services Research/Clinical Research (HSR/CR) meetings; individual training/support opportunities are also funded as appropriate – e.g., statistical support, consultation, research assistants, special training related to methods, funding opportunities, etc.

ORI facilitates scholarly collaboration by JCN faculty across the Enterprise (e.g., departments, colleges, clinical agencies) and beyond (e.g., global partners and external institutions, industries, and communities).  Development of skills in scholarly writing, grantsmanship, and grant management are fostered through weekly peer coaching sessions and access to individual consultation from expert nurse scientists and visiting scholars at regular intervals.  Connections with enterprise-level resources for grant support and scholarly writing are encouraged and facilitated, including the Research Administration Center of Excellence (RACE), Office of Human Research (OHR), Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA), Jefferson Clinical Research Institute, Scott Memorial Library, GrantSuccess Program, Writing Center, and focused research interest groups such as the Health Services Research/Clinical Research Discussion Group.  Financial support for selected external research training and/or consultation is also available to faculty who connect their request to a scholarly deliverable. 

The Expansive Reach of Stratton Grants

ORI received 26 proposals from JCN faculty in response to the $150,000 first round of funding from the Stratton Foundation. This astounding first-time response exemplifies JCN faculty’s passion for health services research and commitment to improving lives across many diverse populations. ORI awarded grants to 14 projects based on expert reviewer’s feedback for project’s relevance to health services research:  the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technology, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. 

Stratton Scholar Trailblazers

The Stratton Foundation gift funded these impactful pilot projects led by our 2020-2021 Stratton Scholars: 

  1. Primary Stakeholder Evaluation of Acute Care Induction Period for Women Entering Substance Use Treatment - Stephen DiDonato (PI)
  2. Informing Full Practice Authority Legislation for Nurse Practitioners - Janice Miller (PI)
  3. The Office is Closed: An Interprofessional Simulation Experience Utilizing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Students and Community Trauma Counseling Students - Laura Roettger (PI)
  4. Examining the Relationship between Smoking Status and Surgical Site Infections - Carol Devlin (PI)
  5. Using a Culturally Tailored Mobile Digital Teaching Tool and Social Media to Improve Engagement of African Americans in Clinical Trials -  Clara Granda-Cameron (CO-PI), Jeannette Kates, (CO-PI), Lisa Whitfield-Harris (CO-PI)
  6. Mother-Baby Interaction/Interpersonal Psychotherapy: Mobile Health Technology Treatment for Mothers with Postpartum Depression & Their Infants - Bobbie Posmontier (PI), Karen Alexander (CO-PI)
  7. Telehealth-facilitated Integrated Palliative Care (TIPC): Developing a "Pallipulm" Model - Carrie Stricker (PI), Jeannette Kates (CO-I), Kristen Rising (CO-I)
  8. Depression in the Postpartum Period: Exploring a Brief Behavioral Activation Intervention - Amy Szajna (PI), Patricia Kelly (CO-I), Sudha Raddi (CO-I), Vanessea Short (CO-I)

For 2020-2021, funding priorities were expanded to include: mitigating the impact of COVID-19, eliminating health disparities, engaging with global partners, and lastly creating innovative approaches to health services delivery. A portion of available funds will be reserved for at least one project in each area.   

Stratton Scholar Trailblazers

The Stratton Foundation gift funded these impactful pilot projects led by our 2019-2020 Stratton Scholars: 

  1. eMOM: A Personalized Patient-Engagement Tool for Pregnant Women with Opioid Use Disorder - Karen Alexander (PI)
  2. Nurses Advancing the Safe and Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Surgical Intensive Care and Oncology Units - Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz (PI) Mary Lou Manning (PI)
  3. Use of Service Dogs in Veterans with PTSD/TBI - Jennifer Shiroff (PI) Jacquelyn O'Rourke-Fulford (CO-PI)
  4. Impact of a Palliative Care Interprofessional Student Learning Collaborative on Patient-Participants and Student Participants from Different Healthcare Professionals - Jeannette Kates (PI) Clara Granda-Cameron (CO-PI)
  5. Latina Girls Empowerment Program at Julia de Burgos School - Shawana Moore (PI)
  6. Creating Equitable Care through the Use of Standardized Patients in Primary Care Settings for Autism Spectrum Disorder - Hannah Smith (PI)
  7. Clinical Decision-Making at the Bedside: From Novice to Expert - Julia Ward (PI)
  8. Examining the Prevalence of Perinatal Mental Illness to Improve Screening and Treatment - Aparna Kumar (PI) Angela Gerolamo (CO-PI)
  9. Student Success Initiative Through Artificial Intelligence - Mary Hanson-Zalot (PI)
  10. Use of a Hands-Free Maternal Support System to Prevent Infant Falls: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study - Valerie Clary-Muronda (PI)
  11. Baccalaureate Nursing Students’ Knowledge of Antibiotic Resistant Infections and Antibiotic Stewardship - David Jack (PI) Lori Wheeler (CO-I)
  12. Effectiveness of Post-Acute Home Health Care Services in Older Adults with Diabetes - Jamie Smith (PI)
  13. Feasibility Study to Test Jefferson-New Jersey Hospitals and Nurses’ Readiness for Implementing the Reducing All Falls Together (RAFT) Intervention - Deanna Gray-Miceli (PI)
  14. Implementation of a Three-Minute Physical Assessment Tool to Ensure Long-Term Cinsistency with Performing Head to Toe Assessments among RN's in a Nurse Residency Program - Anita Fennessey (PI)

For 2020-2021, funding priorities were expanded to include: mitigating the impact of COVID-19, eliminating health disparities, engaging with global partners, and lastly creating innovative approaches to health services delivery. A portion of available funds will be reserved for at least one project in each area.