Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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Notes of Distinction


Assistant professor Melissa Pinto PhD RN FSAHM FAAN was inducted as a fellow of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Pinto’s research has advanced the mental health field for nearly a decade. As part of this work, she developed eSMART-MH, an avatar-based mental health program that helps adolescents learn to confidently manage depressive symptoms. Pinto also received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2015 Culture of Health: Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing Award. The award honors nurses who develop innovative approaches to improve health and health care. 

Lisa Muirhead DNP APRN-BC, clinical assistant professor,  and Rasheeta Chandler PhD FNP-BC, assistant professor, will be inducted as fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June. Muirhead has devoted her nursing career to serving veterans and other vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless or who have serious mental illness. She is best known for leading Emory’s Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership program, which trains undergraduate students in veteran-centered care in partnership with the Atlanta VA Medical Center. 

Through her research, Chandler has pioneered sexual health interventions for African American women by incorporating social media and digital technologies into the health education process. African American women account for the largest share of new HIV infections at a rate 20 times higher than for Caucasian women. Chandler recently was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Leaders in Health Care by the National Minority Quality Forum.


Linda McCauley, dean of the School of Nursing, is the recipient of the 2016 Charles R. Hatcher Jr. MD Award for Excellence in Public Health from Rollins School of Public Health. The annual award honors faculty members of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center for career contributions to public health. McCauley is the second nursing faculty member to receive the Hatcher award. The first was Annette Frauman PhD RN FAAN in 2001. The Hatcher award is named for the former vice president of health affairs who advocated for establishing Emory’s school of public health in 1990.

Canhua Xiao PhD RN is the recipient of the 2016 Victoria Mock New Investigator Award from the Oncology Nursing Society. Xiao is a research assistant professor whose studies focus on cancer-related systems and the mechanisms of cancer-related fatigue. Her current studies include the role of pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling in fatigue in head and neck cancer, funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, and fatigue and NF-kB-related inflammatory mediators in patients with head and neck cancer, funded by the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation.


The following faculty will be inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International’s Researchers Hall of Fame in Cape Town, South Africa, in July.

Dean Linda McCauley has led interdisciplinary studies on the occupational and environmental health of working populations and their children for more than 25 years. Most recently, McCauley studied the health affects of environmental exposures and heat on pregnant women who work in the farming and fernery industries in Florida. Her research results have influenced health policy to reduce the risks of pesticide exposures among pregnant women and children. McCauley also serves as a dual principal investigator of the newly established Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics, which looks at environmental factors affecting the health of African American mothers and infants in Atlanta.

Deborah Watkins Bruner PhD RN FAAN, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Nursing, has worked with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) for more than two decades. She is the first and only nurse to lead NCI-sponsored research groups on cooperative clinical trials, radiation therapy, and community clinical oncology. As vice chair for outcomes of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Bruner led a paradigm shift from a medically dominated focus on survival and toxicity to a patient-centered biobehavioral focus that includes nurse-sensitive symptoms management and quality of life outcomes. Additionally, she was the only female scientist to help guide the merger of three clinical trials cooperative groups into NRG Oncology, one of five lead protocol organizations in the NCTN. President Obama appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board in 2015.

Elizabeth Corwin PhD RN FAAN has shown that adverse pregnancy outcomes have predictable and preventable biological underpinnings and that exposure to racial discrimination during pregnancy leaves a biological fingerprint of disadvantage on African American women. Her research was the first in nursing to show that dysregulation in postpartum psychoneuroimmune response increases the risk of postpartum fatigue and depression. Many regard her article on the subject, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, as seminal in the field. Under her leadership as associate dean for nursing research, Emory is now ranked No. 4 among U.S. nursing schools for research funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Suzanne Staebler DNP FAANP, coordinator of Emory’s neonatal nurse practitioner program, was elected president of the National Certification Corporation (NCC). As president, Staebler will lead efforts to promote quality health care for women, neonates, and their families through NCC, which provides a credentialing program for nurses, physicians, and other licensed health care professionals. 

She also received two honors in 2015: the Georgia Nurse Practitioner Advocate of the Year Award from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award from the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners.


Angela Amar PhD RN FAAN, associate professor, is co-author of A Practical Guide to Forensic Nursing: Incorporating Forensic Principles into Nursing Practice. Co-written with L. Kathleen Sekula PhD, professor of nursing at Duquesne University, the book offers practical and theoretical perspectives on violence and provides helpful resources, including jury assessment and violence prevention strategies. In addition, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of relevant legal, ethical, societal, and policy issues. Access their book at bit.ly/nurse-forensics.

Dorothy Doughty 72MN RN FAAN co-edited the textbook WOCN Core Curriculum Wound Management. Doughty is former director of the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Education Center (WOCNEC), a continuing education program at the School of Nursing.  Contributors include Janet Ramundo MN RN, WOCNEC instructor, and Rose Murphree 11MN DNP, current WOCNEC director and assistant professor. Access their book at bit.ly/nurse-wounds.

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