HomeBest Practices → FIU Nursing Names Dr. Ellen Brown as the Wallace Gilroy Endowed Faculty Scholar for Her Research on Elderly Care and Caregiver Support

FIU Nursing Names Dr. Ellen Brown as the Wallace Gilroy Endowed Faculty Scholar for Her Research on Elderly Care and Caregiver Support Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Friday, 06 March 2020 12:33

MIAMI (March 5, 2020) –Ellen Brown, E.d.D., F.A.A.N., an associate professor of graduate nursing at Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences, has been named as the Wallace Gilroy Endowed Faculty Scholar. The two-year appointment, made possible through the Wallace Gilroy Endowed Nursing Research Fund established by the Hugoton Foundation and Joan K. Stout, R.N, will promote her research specializing on caregiving in the aging population.

The appointment will further Dr. Brown’s current collaboration with Miami Jewish Health to evaluate the impact of empathy in health care delivery for older adults, many living with dementia. For the past two years, Dr. Brown has been working with Marc E. Agronin, M.D., Senior Vice President, Behavioral Health and Chief Medical Officer for Miami Jewish Health’s MIND Institute, to pilot Miami Jewish EmpathiCare.

The comparative study will evaluate patient outcomes and clinical practice for approximately 80 of Miami Jewish Health’s nursing staff who receive empathy-based training to those without such training in caring for the facility’s residents. Findings could help establish baseline competency levels for nursing professionals in this patient specialty and hiring standards for health settings dealing with dementia patients, such as long-term care, assisted living and hospice care facilities.

“Dr. Brown’s dedication to improve the health and well-being for this highly vulnerable patient population, and for the people who care for them, is unmatched, making her the perfect recipient for this faculty honor,” said Ora L. Strickland, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., dean of the college. “She has spent three decades working on valuable research and creating practical solutions to empower practitioners and lay caregivers with the proper resources to deliver the highest quality care to the elderly and prepare themselves for the mental and physical demands of doing so.”

Dr. Brown was also instrumental in developing the CareHeroes web and smartphone app.  The app is designed to improve dementia care coordination between practitioner and family caregiver two-fold: (1) through a secure platform for sharing clinical information in real time with greater accuracy, and (2) access to multi-media educational content on Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) and caregiving including with the CareHeroes chatbot. The CareHeroes app also serves as a stand-alone intervention to reduce the negative impact of caregiving on the family caregiver by linking them to services and resources that caregivers often are unaware exist, and addresses mental health needs of caregivers through self-screens for depression and burden that provide instant feedback and recommendations.

Dr. Brown and fellow lead investigator Nicole Ruggiano, an associate professor of social work at the University of Alabama, are currently conducting a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to evaluate the impact of practitioners’ and caregivers’ use of the CareHeroes app on clinical workflow and decision-making with patients at Miami Jewish Health’s The MIND Institute and the University of Alabama-Birmingham Memory Clinic.

Dr. Ellen Brown is cultivating the future landscape of elder care with her nationally recognized research in gerontological nursing. She has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and Florida Department of Health, among others, for her work in the areas of geriatric depression care, caregiver education, and service delivery. The nursing intervention developed by Dr. Brown and colleagues, “Training in the Assessment of Depression,” received national recognition in 2011 by the American Academy of Nursing’s Raise the Voice: Edge Runner program. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and founding editorial board member of the Research in Gerontological Nursing journal. 

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