Gail M. Houck, RN, PhD, PMHNP, was selected in October to lead the department of Family and Child Nursing in the University of Washington School of Nursing beginning Jan. 1, according to a news release. Houck also will serve as a professor in that department. The appointment is pending formal approval by the Board of Regents.
We are pleased to have Dr. Houck join us as the department chair of Family and Child Nursing, said Peg Heitkemper, RN, PhD, chairwoman of the search committee and of the Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems department, in the news release. Her lengthy research career and strong administrative leadership skills made her a strong candidate for the position.
Background and research
Houck is a professor and the program director for the Post-Master Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Oregon Health and Science University, a position she will resign before starting with UW, according to a UW spokesperson.
Houcks research career has focused on improving child health and optimizing child health outcomes. One of her recent projects, the Maternal-Toddler project, followed the everyday interactions of mothers and toddlers during a five-year span to understand the effect of interaction and support on overall toddler development. Houcks research has found its way into the classroom as well.
She recently co-authored a book, Depression in Children and Adolescents: Guidelines for School Practice. Written for school mental health professionals, the book provides evidence-based guidelines to promote resilience and to intervene with students at risk for or experiencing depression. She completed her BSN in nursing and PhD at the University of Washington School of Nursing, and earned an MN in psychiatric-mental health at Oregon Health Sciences Center at the University
She completed her BSN in nursing and PhD at the University of Washington School of Nursing, and earned an MN in psychiatric-mental health at Oregon Health Sciences Center at the University of Oregon.
Dr. Houck brings a unique set of academic administrative skills and a strong history of leadership and scholarship to our school, Azita Emami, RN, PhD, MSN, RNT, FAAN, the Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Dean of Nursing, said in the release.
The Department of Family and Child Nursings mission focuses on family-centered health enhancement across the lifespan.
Houck will replace retiring chairwoman Patti Brandt, RN, PhD, who has led the Department of Family and Child Nursing since 2009.