School of Nursing

April 17, 2018

Leadership update in the academic departments

Azita Emami

As you may have heard, two of our distinguished academic department chairs, Dr. Gail Houck, chair of Family and Child Nursing, and Dr. Karen Schepp, chair of Psychosocial and Community Health, will retire at the end of the academic year.

Gail joined our faculty as professor and chair in 2014. Much of her research has focused on parenting and child developmental, mental health and social outcomes. Her clinical inquiry projects were focused on preventive and early mental health interventions in schools, and led to co-authoring Depression in Children and Adolescents: Guidelines for School Practice (2013).

Karen joined our faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor and stepped into the department chair role in 2010. Her research involves families as the context for the individual, as well as families as the unit of analysis. She developed and tested a symptom management community-based intervention for adolescents with schizophrenia and their family members. The symptom management program has been adapted in select mental health settings nationally as well as internationally.

I am profoundly grateful for their leadership, expertise and devotion to the academic excellence for which our school is nationally and internationally known.

I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Barbara Cochrane, professor of Family and Child Nursing, and Dr. Teresa Ward, professor of Psychosocial and Community Health, have been appointed interim chairs.

While their appointments don’t officially begin until June 16, Barbara and Teresa have already begun working with Gail and Karen to ensure a seamless transition in the departments. They have begun attending the Executive Team meetings and are meeting with fellow staff and faculty members in preparation.

Barbara is a world-renowned expert in older women’s health and healthy aging. She is leading the launch of an exciting pilot project, the Washington Wellness Network. She directed the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging between 2005 and 2018, where she honored and advanced Dean Emerita Rheba de Tornyay’s vision for the center to serve as a catalyst for promoting healthy aging through its support of research and education in the field of gerontology.

Teresa is co-director of the Center for Innovation in Sleep Self-Management (CISSM). Her program of research is focused on obstructive sleep apnea in children, and in the design and implementation of interventions to promote sleep health in children with and without chronic conditions (arthritis, lupus, chronic pain) and their families.

Join me in welcoming Teresa and Barbara to their new roles.