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Dorothy Brooten Headshot

Dorothy Brooten, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Brooten developed and tested the Nurse Specialist Model of Transitional Care (now APN Transitional care) with many patient groups, which is now well known and used globally. She, with Dr. JoAnne Youngblut, is studying effects of infant/child death on families’ health and functioning. Dr. Brooten’s National Institutes of Health and foundation-funded research results have been published in prestigious journals including The New England Journal of Medicine. She served as research consultant for ministries of health and universities in Africa, Asia, South America, Canada and Europe. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Ellen Brown

Ellen Brown, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN

In September 2020, The National Institute on Aging awarded $1.6 million to Dr. Ellen Brown, her FIU based research team, and researchers from the University of Alabama to design touch-screen technology to improve communication between dementia patients and their caregivers. The 5 year R01 project title is “Integration of Health Information Technology and Promotion of Personhood in Family-Centered Dementia Care”. The new interface will be customizable and grounded in evidence on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices and touchscreen-use by persons with dementia. The AAC will be developed to compensate for the persons’ communication deficits by using photographs, graphics and text to promote engagement of the person with dementia, promote personhood, and offer providers access to real-time, tracked behavioral trends that support early detection, intervention, and monitoring of community dwelling older adults. Dr. Nicole Ruggiano, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama is the Co-PI for this project. Full details about the project can be found here (

The project builds on Dr. Brown’s and the team’s earlier work developing “Care Heroes,” a multi-function app designed to support caregivers and improve dementia care coordination including communication between healthcare providers and caregivers. Dr. Brown and her colleagues previously received a Florida State appropriation and federal funding (AHRQ R21 HS026571) to develop and test Care Heroes. Dr. Brown’ scholarly work has been presented nationally and internationally and she is the author of more than 60 articles appearing in multiple high impact journals. Dr. Brown is an elected member of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The nursing intervention developed by Dr. Brown and colleagues, “Training in the Assessment of Depression” (TRIAD), established efficacious and effective, received national recognition from the AANs’ Raise the Voice Edge Runner Program. Dr. Brown is a founding editorial board member of the journal Research in Gerontological Nursing and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Dr. Sheila Clemens

Sheila M. Clemens, Ph.D., M.P.T, P.T.

Dr. Trudy Gaillard

Trudy Gaillard, PhD, RN, CDE, FAHA

Dr. Trudy Gaillard’s research trajectory has informed the science of aging and health equity.  She has been awarded a 2.9-million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging (NIA) entitled, “ Florida Registry for Aging Studies” to recruit and retain older African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Caribbean adults into clinical research  as recruitment in these groups continues to be a significant challenge.  Dr. Gaillard’s study will explore  younger family members' (25-64 years) influence on recruiting older adults (65 years and older) into aging research as this line of research is  particularly important because many culturally diverse adults consult family members when making healthcare treatment decisions. The primary goal is to have a population of diverse older adults ready to participate in NIA funded clinical research studies. Specific aims of this study are 1) to identify strategies that promote recruitment and enrollment of diverse older adults into aging research; 2) implement a communication plan to increase awareness of and willingness to participate in research and 3) implement a statewide registry of African American, Latino/Hispanic and Caribbean  older adults ready to participate in NIA- funded clinical research. Dr. Gaillard’s work  is among the first to propose an organized plan specifically designed to increase our understanding of younger and older diverse adults' knowledge of research participation, and then translate this information into a strategic plan to recruit and enroll older diverse adults throughout Florida into a registry.

Jean Hannan Headshot

Jean Hannan, PhD, ARNP

Dr. Hannan is a member of the American Academy of Nursing whose program of research focuses on improving health outcomes of minority mothers and their infants leading to lower healthcare costs. Dr. Hannan has been a Principal Investigator on a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health examining an intervention to improve healthcare access for low-income mothers and their infants. Dr. Hannan has also served as a Co-Investigator on a Canadian Institute of Health-funded grant for a multi-international study examining ethno-cultural infant feeding practices with HIV+ mothers.

Dr. Jackie Schwartz

Jaclyn K. Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Schwartz draws on her experience as an acute care occupational therapist to direct her research toward improving health and well-being in people with disabling conditions, with a focus on medication adherence. She has used novel technologies and approaches to address long-standing issues in self-management and developed key resources on medication management, including the 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) position paper on the topic. In 2015, she was recognized by AOTA for her work and service to the profession with the Gary Kielhofner Emerging Leader Award.

Ora Strickland Headshot

Ora L. Strickland, PhD, DSc (Hon.), RN, FAAN

Dr. Strickland is one of the original founders of the National Institute of Nursing Research. Her field of research includes the world-renowned Women’s Health Study. Her cutting-edge findings inform evidence-based practice and millions of women and families around the world by providing foundational knowledge in women’s health, genetics and quantitative measurement. Dr. Strickland has made research innovations in the field of measurement through her text books, articles and application of measurement in both nursing practice and nursing research across healthcare disciplines including medicine, nursing, psychology, sociology, genetics and epidemiology.

Tamu Thomas Headshot

Tami L. Thomas, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN

Dr. Thomas’ research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Her research focuses on the HPV Vaccine, Rural Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Thomas’ scholarly work has been presented nationally and internationally, with the impact of her service resulting in her selection as one of only 15 nursing faculty for the second cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholar Program; selection as an Early Career Reviewer; and requests to contribute to prevention initiatives worldwide.

Dr. Edgar Viera

Edgar Ramos Vieira, PT, MSc, PhD

Dr. Edgar Vieira’s research expertise is on risk assessment and prevention of aging-related mobility impairments, frailty and falls. The aim of his research activity is helping older adults stay functionally independent longer in their lifespan. Dr. Vieira had 12 projects in the field funded by agencies such as the Florida Department of Health and the Administration for Community Living from the Department of Health & Human Services (ACL-HHS).

JoAnne Youngblut Headshot

JoAnne M. Youngblut, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Youngblut has an extensive research program funded by the National Institutes of Health focused on critically ill children and their families. She and Dr. Dorothy Brooten are studying (in English and Spanish) the physical and mental health and functioning of Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and white parents, grandparents, and siblings through 13 months after a child’s NICU/PICU death. Findings have been published in Pediatrics, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, among others. She has reviewed NIH research grant applications since 1993 and was a voting member of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Board of Directors for seven years. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Nursing.