Dear Dr. Dirschel,
I was extremely honored to have NEF support my doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2001. I completed my PhD in May 2003 and defended my dissertation "Somatic awareness, uncertainty and delay in care-seeking in acute heart failure." My dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Donna Zucker with Dr James Fain and Dr Robert Goldberg as committee members.
The pilot work was supported by a seed grant from the Kappa Gamma chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Heart Association, Heritage Affiliate supported the final study with a grant for $28.177. The dissertation paper was also accepted to the American Heart Association's 2003 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida. At this meeting, I was honored to be a finalist for the Cardiovascular Nursing Council's 'Martha N Hill New Investigator of the Year' award for 2003. I have subsequently presented at ENRS (poster in 2003 - finalist in student competition, and an instrument development paper in 2004).
Presently, I have been awarded a 2 year $100,000 grant by the John A Hartford Foundation "Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity" to continue my study of the contextual factors affecting symptom perception and care-seeking in elders with acute heart failure. The award supports a 2 year post doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. My mentor at the University of Pennsylvania is Dr Barbara Riegel, a nationally recognized nurse researcher, who has similar interests in patients with heart failure. Biweekily seminars in gerontology are chaired by Dr. Neville Strumpf. The postdoctoral course of study affords access to many established researchers as well as seminars on policy, grant development, and leadership, to name but a few. I am also pursuing the study of physiological as well as psychosocial factors affecting symptom perception in elders. This program of research is building the foundation for an intervention study to assist elders to manage their symptoms more effectively, avoid frequent hospitalizations, and ultimately improve quality of life.
My current study is a collaborative effort and is being conducted both at Stony Brook and the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania. I travel to Philadelphia every other week to enroll patients, attend seminars, and meet with my mentor. A major focus in addition to the research is the development of peer reviewed evidence-based papers for publication. In addition, I was invited to write a chapter on dyspnea for the Moser/Riegel book "Cardiac nursing: A companion text to Braunwald's Heart Disease." The chapter is currently out for review.
Lastly, I was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor at Stony Brook University as of January 2005. Again, I wish to thank the Nurses Educational Fund for their support. I believe NEF is an important supporter of nursing education and I have sent a donation under separate cover for future doctoral scholarships.
Corrine Jurgens, PhD RN CS ANP
Clinical Associate Professor
Stony Brook University
School of Nursing
Stony Brook, NY 11794-8240
John A Hartford Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Pennsylvania
School of Nursing