Barbara Burns McGrath RN, PhD
I began my studies in anthropology, became interested in health care and received my BSN from University of Washington. While working at Harborview Medical Center I was drawn toward seriously ill patients and observed the critical role of their cultural beliefs on their behavior. I returned to the UW to study with Jeanne Benoliel and Ruth McCorkle in a new graduate program, Oncology Transition Services. After working as an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist providing home care for terminally patients and their families, I moved to New Haven and taught for a few years at the Yale School of Nursing. Upon returning to Seattle, I entered the anthropology doctoral program with a focus on medical anthropology. Ethnographic fieldwork in the Kingdom of Tonga let to a program of research with U.S. Pacific Islanders. Professional associations in the School of Public Health led to a concurrent interest around the social and cultural implication of genomics as an emerging science.
Psychosocial and Community Health
- BSN, University of Washington, 1977
- MN, University of Washington, 1981
- MA, University of Washington, 1989
- PhD, University of Washington, 1993
What classes do you teach?
- Genomics, Society, and Culture
- Undergraduate Research
- Qualitative Research Methods
- BSN Honors Seminar
What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?
I have been at the UW SoN off and on, in various roles, since the mid 1970’s. I continue to find it a stimulating intellectual environment with faculty, staff, and students bringing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to address a wide range of topics that fall under the profession of nursing.
- Medical anthropology
- Cultural response to illness
- Creation of meaning
- Pacific Islander health
- Genomics and society
- Ethnographic methods in health and illness
- Health intervention research
- Health Equity
- Lifespan Health
- Oh, H., Schepp K., & McGrath, BB. (2014) A journey of suffering: Living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in South Korea. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Jun;46(3):3–11.
- McGrath, BB. (2012) Advancing the post-genomic era agenda: Contributions from Public Health. Public Health Genomics. 15(3):125-131.
- McGrath, BB., Ka’ili, TO. (2010). Creating Project Talanoa: A culturally based community teen health program for U.S. Pacific Islanders. Public Health Nursing. 27:1(17-24).