Micah A. Skeens, PhD, RN, CPNP
Embryonal Tumor Team
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Micah A. Skeens, PhD, RN, CPNP
Embryonal Tumor Team
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Second largest gift in the college’s history will support faculty and PhD student research, as well as renovations for the center.
The Pitzer Family Foundation has pledged a transformational $3 million gift to The Ohio State University College of Nursing in memory of former faculty member and alumna Martha S. Pitzer, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing in 1974 and her master of science in nursing in 1976. In recognition of Pitzer’s passion for women and children’s health and pending The Ohio State University Board of Trustee approval, the family’s gift will establish the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth and fund cutting-edge research projects that target the improvement of health and well-being outcomes of vulnerable populations and its translation into real-world settings.
“This generous gift will provide support to our world-class nurse scientists and PhD students for their innovative research that seeks to develop real-world solutions for some of the most prevalent health and well-being problems affecting women, children and adolescents,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “We are incredibly grateful to Martha’s husband, Russ, and the entire Pitzer family for their generosity and support of this important work. Naming the center in memory of Martha honors her legacy as a passionate advocate and specialist in women and children’s health.”
The mission of the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth is to build outstanding research teams of expert faculty and doctoral students that generate new knowledge and develop evidence-based interventions that can be translated into lifesaving action. This gift will help the center emerge as the world’s leader in generating innovative research and scaling it swiftly to enhance population health and well-being for women, children and youth.
The College of Nursing plans to celebrate the Pitzer family and their lifesaving investment with a special reception later this year.
A newly established endowed professorship at The Ohio State University College of Nursing will help improve the health outcomes of one of today’s most at-risk populations – children and adolescents.
Through a generous $1 million gift from FloAnn and John Easton, The FloAnn Sours Easton Professorship of Child and Adolescent Health will support the recruitment of a nationally recognized expert in pediatric nursing. This endowed professorship will provide resources to fund a distinguished faculty member's research and enable the professor to pursue rigorous intervention research to improve the health of children and adolescents. This position also will serve a leadership role within the college’s Center for Women, Children and Youth.
“Through this generous gift, our college can attract a nationally esteemed scholar whose cutting-edge work will serve to make a significant impact on the health and wellness of our nation’s greatest resource – our children,” said Dean Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion and university chief wellness officer. “Furthermore, this individual will serve as a mentor to our faculty and students, and will further strengthen the strong community partnerships the college has with various healthcare networks. We are so thankful for FloAnn and John’s very generous support.”
Children and teens today face a multitude of health problems, making it the first time in history that children are predicted to lead a shorter lifespan than their parents. Approximately 500,000 babies are born prematurely every year, resulting in longterm, adverse health and behavioral outcomes. Overweight and obesity—commonly associated with diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular problems—are significant health problems that now affect approximately one-third of all children and teens. Additionally, mental health problems affect one in four children, yet less than 25 percent receive any treatment. The increasing prevalence of multiple chronic conditions in children and teens is also significant, especially among minorities and those living in poverty.
A strong base of intervention research is needed, yet funding for pediatric research has been limited compared to investments in adult and older adult conditions. The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) funding of pediatric studies recently declined to 11.3 percent of its total expenditures even though children represent 20 percent of the United States population. As a result, a recent report by the Institute of Medicine calls for more research with children and youth. The FloAnn Sours Easton Professorship of Child and Adolescent Health will support such research and help the college’s Center for Women, Children and Youth make a lasting difference in the care and health outcomes of today’s young people.
FloAnn Easton is a 1962 graduate of the College of Nursing, and both FloAnn and John serve as volunteers on the College of Nursing’s But For Ohio State capital campaign committee. As a campaign priority, this gift to support an endowed professorship will be the first of its kind for the But For Ohio State campaign within the College of Nursing.
A new speaker series in the College of Nursing will provide opportunities for discussion and collaboration among the nurse scientists and researchers in the college and other health sciences colleges. Hosted by the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth (MSPCWCY), the Lean-In speaker series inspires thinking, promotes discussion and stimulates research collaboration. The series will offer conversations that are “so good, you want to lean in and hear what is being said,” explained Karen Patricia Williams, PhD, distinguished professor of women’s health and director of the MSPCWCY.
The center is promoting several different programs throughout the year to encourage collaboration from mentoring junior faculty to help them understand the process of gaining tenure to providing regular opportunities for faculty to present recently published papers.
“We are trying to build more of a team approach to science,” Williams said. “Nurses in hospitals are accustomed to working in teams. Traditional academic nursing tended to be more independent, and that model is passé. With knowledge being generated so quickly, we have to engage in collaborative research. I think that understanding what others are doing helps build productive collaborations that will advance our research.”
The first Lean-In speaker of the year will be LeeAnne Roman, PhD, MSN, RN, associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Roman will speak on “Improving the Health and Health Care of Medicaid-insured Pregnant Women and Their Infants” on Monday, Sept. 19, from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 198 in Newton Hall, located at 1585 Neil Ave. Roman specializes in health-services research primarily focused on maternal and child health and health disparities among Medicaid-insured families. Her research is conducted in collaboration with multiple partners, health systems, health departments and community agencies.
The second talk in the series "Can You Hear Me Now?" will be presented by Karon F. Cook, PhD, research professor in the department of medical social sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, on Monday, Oct. 3, from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 198 in Newton Hall. Cook has made substantial contributions to research of health outcomes, including the National Institutes of Health-supported Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System. Her work focuses on modern psychometric approaches and in recent years on the measurement of self-reported pain and its correlates.