Liz Novack, BSN, RN, and Stephen Perez, MS, RN, NP, new doctoral candidates at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, are among 16 nurses who are the first recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program, according to a news release. The three-year program, which includes 14 nursing schools nationwide, provides financial support, mentoring, leadership development activities and postdoctoral research funding to build the leadership capacity of nurse educators and researchers.
Novack is focusing her studies on the short- and long-term health effects of sexual assault, domestic violence and relationship power inequalities and how these issues are related to negative health outcomes. Before beginning the program, Novak was a nurse extern at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital and a crisis counselor at Centre County Womens Resource Center, according to the release.
Perez will research how policy decisions affect significant public health issues and outcomes in underserved populations, with a particular area of focus on the intersection of health policy and infectious diseases, according to the release. Before beginning the program, Perez was a quality improvement consultant for the Inova Juniper Program, the largest provider of HIV services in Northern Virginia. He also served in this capacity for Inova Transitional Services, a program of Inova Health System aimed at reducing hospital readmission rates through targeted chronic disease management strategies.
The Future of Nursing Scholars program is designed to create a diverse cadre of PhD-prepared nurses who are committed to long-term leadership careers that advance science and discovery through research as well as strengthening nursing education and bringing transformational change to nursing and healthcare, according to the release. In addition to the RWJF, which will contribute $20 million over five years to support program activities, United Health Foundation, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Rhode Island Foundation are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year. Penn Nursing is receiving its grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
We are very honored to be working with both Liz and Stephen with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and funding from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Connie Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor of nursing at UPenn, said in the release. This unique initiative will allow Liz and Stephen to shape science in new directions and address some of the more complex issues in the healthcare arena.