Research Faculty

At the WVU School of Nursing our research focus is: Reducing Health Disparities and Improving the Lives of West Virginians and the global community.

  • Dr. Taura Barr, Robert Wood Johnson Scholar

    Dr. Barr’s program of research is centered on using genomic methodologies to identify biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, understanding their relationship with post-stroke inflammation and immunity, and defining the contributing environmental factors related to health disparities in underserved populations.

  • Dr. Joy Buck

    Dr. Buck’s research interests include community-based participatory research, particularly the palliative care needs of chronically ill rural populations, and transitions in complex chronic illness.

  • Dr. Roger Carpenter

    Dr. Carpenter’s research focuses on modifiable psychosocial factors, namely stress, appraisal, and coping, which affect the self-management behaviors of diet, exercise, and medication administration as well as the biophysical outcomes of hemoglobin A1c and BMI in patients with Type II diabetes.

  • Dr. Ilana Chertok

    As an epidemiologist, nurse researcher, and lactation consultant, the primary focus of Dr. Chertok’s research is examining factors influencing maternal-infant health and lactation outcomes among women of various cultures. She is an international researcher, conducting research in the USA and in Israel.

  • Dr. Joanne Duffy - Commonwealth Fund Executive Nurse Fellow

    Dr. Duffy is best known for her work in maximizing patient outcomes, particularly in hospitalized older adults. She not only designed and evaluated the Quality-Caring Model© but developed several versions of the Caring Assessment Tool, tested a caring-based intervention in heart failure patients, evaluated a relationship centered professional practice model, and much more. Dr. Duffy is the Director of the PhD Program at the WVU SON.

  • Dr. Tara Hulsey

    Dr. Hulsey’s research interests and expertise include perinatal outcomes, pregnancy behaviors, low birth weight, preterm birth, and secondary data analysis.

  • Dr. Gina Maiocco

    Dr. Maiocco studies female veterans’ reintegration into the community and academic settings after coming back from war. Earlier in her career, Dr. Maiocco examined various therapies in obese populations, the use of ultrasound in guiding deep peripheral IV insertions and the effects of pulmonary interventions on obese patient populations.

  • Dr. Jennifer Mallow, WVCTSI Research Scholar

    The focus of Dr. Mallow’s research is innovative solutions for the care of uninsured individuals with chronic Illness. Recently she completed a project evaluating barriers to attendance at health care visits of poor uninsured individuals. Her current interests center on m-Health technologies in order to improve rural health disparities and access to affordable health care.

  • Dr. Susan McCrone

    Dr. McCrone’s research interests include identifying the impact of anxiety and depression on the development and exacerbation of chronic illnesses. She is also interested in the screening of anxiety and depression in primary care toward the goal of more effectively treating these disorders in the primary care setting.

  • Dr. Georgia Narsavage

    Dr. Narsavage’s research interests include improving care for patients with chronic lung disease and lung cancer, and contributing to scientific discovery of best practices for out-of-hospital care for patients with chronic lung disease. Additionally, she has evaluated a competency based orientation program for intensive care units, using NDNQI data as outcomes.

  • Dr. Alvita Nathaniel

    Dr. Nathaniel focuses her research on nursing ethics, moral reasoning and moral distress, Appalachian health practices, and practice patterns of nurse practitioners.

  • Dr. Aletha Rowlands

    Dr. Rowlands is an advanced practice nurse with over 25 years of experience in the hospital clinical arena. She uses both qualitative and quantitative methodologies that focus on improving patient care delivery and outcomes through advancing evidence-based point-of-care delivery and patient safety practices, working collaboratively with hospital nurses.

  • Dr. Kari Sand-Jecklin

    Dr. Sand-Jecklin’s research interests are related to health literacy, teaching/learning methodologies, holistic and complementary nursing care. She is presently conducting a study related to admission assessment of health literacy in hospitalized older adults.

  • Dr. Marilyn Smith

    Dr. Smith investigates recovery from psychological trauma as well as general psychiatric and mental health issues. Much of her research has been directed towards understanding and preventing intimate partner violence.

  • Dr. Mary Jane Smith

    Dr. Mary Jane Smith’s research areas of interest include: theory development, qualitative methodology, and adolescent health promotion. She is presently working on the following two studies: The Lived Experience of Coming Back from War for Women Veterans and the Experience of Living with Headache for Adolescents.

  • Dr. Laurie Theeke, Robert Wood Johnson Scholar

    Dr. Theeke’s research goals include using mixed methods to better understand the phenomenon of loneliness, and to evaluate the efficacy of new interventions on loneliness, its associated psychoneuroimmunological stress response, and quality of life in chronically ill, older adults.

  • Dr. Suzy Walter

    Dr. Walter investigates headache frequency, headache disability, quality of life, and selected lifestyle behaviors in adolescents. Dr. Walter incorporates the self-management treatment paradigm for chronic illness that uses the principles of self-management, including goal setting, self-monitoring, and information processing to improve outcomes in adolescent headache sufferers.