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UR School of Nursing Names Nationally Recognized Sleep Disorders Expert as its Next Dean

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Kathy P. Parker, Ph.D., R.N., C.S., A.N.P.

After an extensive national search, Kathy P. Parker, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., an adult nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist in adult health, and a nationally recognized sleep disorders researcher, has been selected as the fourth dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., announced today. Parker is currently a professor of Nursing in the Department of Family and Community Nursing at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta. She will relocate and start at the University of Rochester in August.

“As a respected, practicing clinician, Kathy brings a deep appreciation for the value of clinician educators and learning approaches that focus on teams of providers,” Berk said. “Her expertise in NIH-funded research, especially translational research into hypersomnia, will synergize with the programs in our Clinical and Translational Science Institute.” Parker’s first task will be to create a comprehensive strategic plan for the School that integrates with URMC’s new strategic plan, Berk added. “The University of Rochester School of Nursing is well known for its academic excellence and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as its dean. However, what impressed me most about the School – and the entire University – was the warmth and collegiality of both faculty and staff,” Parker said. “I look forward to working with everyone in this wonderful, rich environment to become the best we all can be.”

“I congratulate Dr. Berk and the Search Committee on an excellent hire,” said University President Joel Seligman. “Dr. Parker is an outstanding teacher, scientist, and clinician who will further strengthen one of the University’s true gems with her intellect and enthusiasm.” Parker received her undergraduate degree in Nursing from Columbia University, her master’s in Nursing from Emory University, and her doctorate in Nursing from Georgia State University. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Academy of Nursing, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the Sleep Research Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Parker has served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, is a manuscript reviewer for a number of clinical and research journals, and serves on several NIH study sections. With funding from the NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research, Parker has over 100 journal articles, abstracts and proceedings to her credit.

Parker has more than 20 years of clinical practice experience and is both a certified adult nurse practitioner and a medical/surgical clinical nurse specialist. She is also one of only five nurses in the country certified in Clinical Sleep Disorders by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and was recently elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is currently developing and implementing an educational program on insomnia for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Parker has maintained an active clinical practice in the Emory Sleep Center and held a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Neurology at Emory University Medical Center.

Focusing much of her work on translational science, Parker’s ongoing research interests involve the study of sleep/wake cycle disturbances in patients with chronic illness and the development and testing of population-specific treatments. In addition, she is extending her research to include the study of sleep in cancer patients with pain. Parker sees her background in translational research as an asset to the University of Rochester Medical Center’s new Clinical and Translational Science Institute, a sentiment that’s shared by other URMC leaders.

“I very much look forward to working with Dr. Parker as a partner in advancing our patient care, research and education missions at the nursing and medical schools,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “Given her achievements as a clinical investigator, she will be able to enhance research at URMC by leveraging the physical and functional integration of the School of Nursing and the adjoining Clinical and Translational Science Building.”

“Everyone has described Dr. Parker as a passionate researcher in sleep-related neuroscience. We are assured from her references and her own energy that she will be an equally passionate leader of the School of Nursing who will give it her all,” said Ralph W. Kuncl, Ph.D., M.D., University provost and chair of the Search Committee. “The human factors are what we found most compelling; she will be a mediator, listener, and communicator who will bring people together.”

In addition to Kuncl, the Search Committee included Mary M. Collins, a psychiatric consultant and 1986 graduate of the School of Nursing; Richard J. Collins, M.D., of the University of Rochester Medical Center board; Sheldon D. Fields, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor of Nursing; Sally Ellis Fletcher, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., senior associate in Nursing; Steven I. Goldstein, president and CEO of Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital; David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., School of Medicine and Dentistry dean; Robert H. Hurlbut, Sr. of the University of Rochester Trustees; Frank Interlichia, URMC Advancement assistant vice president of major gifts and regional programs; Margaret H. Kearney, Ph.D., R.N., Independence Foundation professor at the School of Nursing; Harriet Kitzman, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean of Research at the School of Nursing; Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S., director of the Eastman Dental Center; Lisa H. Norsen, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor of Clinical Nursing and director of master’s programs at the School of Nursing; Sally A. Norton, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor at the School of Nursing; Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester; and Patricia Witzel, R.N., M.S., URMC associate vice president and chief nursing officer at Strong Memorial Hospital. Parker will succeed Dean Patricia A. Chiverton, E.D., R.N., F.N.A.P., whose eight-year tenure was marked by a number of changes and innovations including the launch of new academic programs which drove increases in the School’s enrollment and faculty size. Chiverton’s tenure was also highlighted by the completion an $8.1 million renovation and expansion project – the first in the School of Nursing’s history. Chiverton, the University’s first Pamela York Klainer Endowed Chair in Nursing Entrepreneurship, will return to the University as a faculty member in the Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship after a one-year sabbatical.

The University of Rochester School of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctor of nursing practice (D.N.P.) and Ph.D. programs to more than 450 students at its campus located in Western New York state. The School is nationally recognized for its Unification Model which seeks to improve the health of individuals, families and communities through the integration of education, research, and practice within a collaborative academic health setting and innovative health care community.  

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