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Meet Our Members
Cheryl R. Brubaker, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, RN is a primary care provider with DaVita Medical Group, ABQ Health Partners in Albuquerque, New Mexico. DaVita Medical Group is the largest independent group of medical providers in the United States. Dr. Brubaker works to incorporate genomics in to daily primary care practice. Dr. Brubaker also teaches part time with the University of New Mexico in the FNP and DNP programs.
Prior to DaVita Medical Group, Dr. Brubaker was an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. She received her BSN and first MSN from the University of New Mexico in 1979 and 1998 respectively. Subsequently she earned a second MSN and DNP from the University of St. Francis, where she studied under Dr.’s Deena Nardi and Linda Rooda. She came to the NIH campus Summer 2013, where she developed her DNP project study with some guidance from Dr. Kathy Calzone. Her DNP project was the “Epigenetics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Women, and PTSD in Women Veterans” which earned her the Research Award for the University DNP program.
Dr. Brubaker has worked in different hospital settings, including just about every intensive care there is, maternal child units (L&D, nursery and NICU, and postpartum), emergency care and was certified in battlefield nursing during her years in the USAF. She was deployed for Desert Shield/Desert Storm and have served on active duty, as well as in the Air National Guard. She has worked with the public schools and specialized in the area of chronic illness and disability, as well as serving as a resource to schools regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as they relate to individuals with disability.
Dr. Brubaker worked diligently to develop the role of the Nurse Practitioner within the schools and hired by the school system as a complement to School Based Healthcare Clinics. She has been active in Sigma Theta Tau, New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses and the New Mexico School Nurses Association, as well as PEO a philanthropic organization supporting the education of women around the world. She has held offices in many of these organizations.
Dr. Brubaker has published several articles and chapters in text books. She is a mother of four and grandmother of five and worked fulltime while raising her family and completing the two masters and a doctoral degree. She has broad interests which certainly include genetics, epigenetics and genomics, as well as genealogy.
Recently, with the ISONG Congress being held in Dublin, Ireland, she took the opportunity to spend two weeks exploring her family genealogy and tracing family roots deep in Ireland’s history!
Dr. Kathleen Hickey, Past President of ISONG and Associate Professor of Nursing at Columbia University Medical Center, is one of the Principal Investigators (PIs) of a new P30 Center Grant entitled, "Precision in Symptom Self-Management (PriSSM) funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health.
This 5-year Center of Excellence in Self-Management of Symptoms core grant funded for $2.7 million will be conducted in partnership with the Center for Home Care Policy and Research of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. The goal of the PriSSM Center is to advance the science of symptom self-management for Latinos through a social ecological lens that takes into account variability in individual, interpersonal, organization, and environmental factors across the life course. Through its Administrative, Pilot Projects, and Precision Medicine Cores, the PriSSM Center will use its outstanding institutional resources and proposed research activities to better understand how genetic ancestry, culture, and other factors influence Latino symptom self-management to reduce this scientific knowledge gap for Latinos of diverse heritage.
Rebecca S. Koszalinski, PhD, RN, CRRN, CMSRN, HT(ASCP) is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She began her healthcare career by first earning a diploma in histotechnology at St. Joseph’s School of Histotechnology through a joint venture with the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin. There, she discovered a deep love for science. After briefly working in the pathology lab at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, she returned to Wisconsin to pursue a degree in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Later, she completed a Master’s in Education and a PhD at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. Following completion of the PhD, she attended the Summer Genetics Institute at the National Institutes of Health (Class of 2015). It was there that Rebecca remembered her passion for science. Her love of investigational work related to causes and results of illness and disability was rekindled. She notes that Histotechnology and nursing actually have a great deal in common in that they are professions chosen by people who are problem solvers.
Rebecca is a Certified Rehabilitation Nurse and has studied and worked extensively in this area. She used knowledge about this population to develop a communication application specifically designed to address the needs of patients when hospitalized and unable to verbalize their needs. This application called Speak for Myself™ is in further development through an internal grant at UTK. The updated communication application will undergo further testing for validation. Rebecca is now beginning her exploration of genomics in relationship to disability.
Rebecca is a member of ISONG and is the new Co-Chair of the Development Committee. She is also a member of the Southern Research Nursing Society, Sigma Theta Tau International and Gamma Chi Chapter, Omicron Delta Kappa, and AAAS/Science Program for Excellence. She is a Certified Medical Surgical Nurse and a Certified Heart Math Trainer. Rebecca has written several publications in both rehabilitation-focused publications and in the caring sciences, and has written competencies for Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
In addition to academic and research life, Rebecca is the CEO of Outdoor Quests Corporation. She is the proud mother of a 24-year-old son, Brad, and has been happily married to Scott for 25 years.
Patricia Hershberger, PhD, RN, FNP-BC is an Associate Professor of Nursing and an Affiliate Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Hershberger has a long-standing interest in helping genetically high-risk individuals and families manage reproductive decisions that involve emerging genetic/genomic biotechnologies such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Patricia has experienced first-hand the multiple challenges of making reproductive decisions when parents are aware of their high-genetic-risk status. She hopes her research will ease these challenges for others. In her recent publication on the topic, co-authored with graduate student, Kathyrn Drazba, MPH and Michele Kelley, ScD, MSW, MA the authors explicate the financial concerns that high-genetic-risk couples in the United States face and how couples try to overcome these concerns in relation to PGD use. The article can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949612. Dr. Hershberger also brings her enthusiasm for genetics/genomics nursing research and practice to her role as member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Mental Health Professional’s Scientific Review Committee. Patricia is the first nurse elected to this committee and will assume the role of chair in 2016.
This fall, Dr. Hershberger and other ISONG members including former president Kathleen Sparbel, PhD, FNP-BC and new member, Mary Dawn Koenig, PhD, RN, CNM along with Aleeca F. Bell, PhD, RN, CNM and Anne M. Fink, PhD, RN are launching a new graduate genetics/genomics research course at UIC. The course will focus on principles of clinical and molecular genetics and incorporate aspects of clinical counseling and bioethics.