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Villanova professor receives prestigious fellow award


Melissa O’Connor, RN, PhD, MBA, COS-C, assistant professor at Villanova University College of Nursing in Philadelphia, has received the John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellow Award for 2014-16 for her study “Determining Readiness for Discharge from Skilled Home Health Services: A Mixed Methods Study, according to a news release.

The Claire M. Fagin Fellow Award Program focuses on building academic gerontological nursing capacity through the development of leaders in gerontological nursing, according to the foundation’s website. The two-year fellowship in advanced research training and mentorship is designed to assist doctorally prepared nurses committed to academic careers in gerontological nursing.

Fagin Fellows, in collaboration with mentors, create professional development plans to support them in developing new competencies and enhanced effectiveness as an academic leader and researcher. O’Connor’s team includes teaching mentors Belle Erickson, RN, PhD, and Betty Keech, RN, PhD, and research mentors Helene Moriarty, RN, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, and Elizabeth Dowdell, RN, PhD, FAAN, all from the College of Nursing, as well as alumna Kathy Bowles. RN, PhD, FAAN, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“This study builds directly upon my current pilot with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (where she is the Eugenie and Joseph Doyle Research Fellow) and involves patient interviews that will be conducted at the VNSNY and the Jefferson Home Care Network, as well as Medicare data,” O’Connor said in the release.

She said her goal is “to build a discharge decision support tool designed to support home health clinicians to determine readiness for discharge from skilled home health.”


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