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Dr. Melissa O’Connor named John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellow


In April, Melissa O'Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, COS-C, assistant professor, received the John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellow Award (2014-2016) for her study “Determining Readiness for Discharge from Skilled Home Health Services:  A Mixed Methods Study.”

According to the Foundation’s website, the Claire M. Fagin Fellow Award Program focuses on building academic gerontological nursing capacity through the development of leaders in gerontological nursing. This 2-year fellowship in advanced research training and mentorship is designed to assist doctorally prepared nurses committed to academic careers in gerontological nursing.

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

Dr. O’Connor explains her work, “This study builds directly upon my current pilot with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY, 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.” She notes that 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.”