Yale Nursing Convocation Speaker Announced

The Yale University School of Nursing’s Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care will hold its annual convocation February 27, featuring a keynote speech by nursing scholar Donna Diers.

Amy S. Kuhner, the founder of a children’s hospice, and Janet Parkosewich, a nurse who has pioneered innovations in cardiac care, will be honored at the convocation.

Diers is Yale’s Annie Goodrich Professor of Nursing, a former dean of the school and former editor of “Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship.” Her topic will be “Between Policy and Practice.” Diers emerged as a leader in nursing research in the 1960s, when Yale made history by mounting the first controlled clinical trials in nursing.

A gifted writer, Diers is well known for her passionate and reasoned explanations of nursing’s role and its potential in the health care system. She regularly appears in nursing journals, but has also taken nursing’s case to readers of The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and other prominent media. Her current work focuses on large administrative data sets typically kept by hospitals. Diers has become expert at using data to extract important clinical information which can in turn improve practice and influence policy. She consults internationally about the uses of such data and their impact upon policy.

The 2001 Excellence in Caring in Chronic Illness Awards will be given to Kuhner, founder and executive director of Sunshine House, and Parkosewich, a cardiac clinical nurse specialist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Kuhner is working to build the first children’s hospice in the United States to care for young terminal patients in a homelike and child-friendly space. She recently received federal support for the project.

Parkosewich works with other nurses, physicians and staff members to raise standards in cardiac care. Among the innovations she has fostered are quicker emergency room response for heart attack patients, peer education that pairs former and current patients and statewide education for emergency medical technicians. In addition to her clinical duties, Parkosewich is actively engaged in research and is currently pursuing a doctorate at YSN.

The Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care promotes research that improves quality of life and survival for families living with AIDS, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. The center is also dedicated to the prevention of chronic illnesses.

The event will be held at 4 p.m. at the school’s 100 Church Street South campus with a reception to follow. For more information, call Nancy DeMatteo at 203-737-5501.

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