Melodee Harris, Ph.D., RN, APRN, GNP-BC, AGPCNP-BC, FAAN
Roles: Associate Professor, Department of Nursing Practice, College of Nursing; Co-Director Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence; Specialty Coordinator of Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty
Research Interests: Massage; Dementia and Neuropsychiatric Syndromes; Geropsychiatric Nursing; Sleep; Gerontological Nursing Workforce
Brief Bio: Dr. Harris serves as the Specialty Coordinator of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is a board-certified adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and a gerontological nurse practitioner with geropsychiatric nursing practice in rural Arkansas nursing homes.
Current/Recent Research Projects
Project Title: Dementia and Neuropsychiatric Syndromes
- Project Goal: The goal of this project is to provide education modules on dementia and neuropsychiatric syndromes for advanced practice nurses and caregivers.
Project Title: Geriatric Advanced Practice Nursing (HRSA-15-046A)
- Project Goal: The goal of this project is to enhance the gerontological nursing workforce with advanced practice nurses who are experts in health disparities.
Project Title: National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education: Accelerating Interprofessional Community-Based Education and Collaboration for Older Persons with Mental Health Disparities
- Project Goal: The goal of this project is to test community partnerships for screening older adults with depression and mental health disparities.
Tracie Culp Harrison, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA
Role: Professor, Alice An-Loh Sun Chair in Geriatric Nursing
Research Interests: Aging; Life Course Paradigm; Disability; Gender, Cultural beliefs on aging
Brief Bio: After completing a BSN at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Harrison began work in a cardiovascular intensive care unit in central Texas. She completed her master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner and then started a clinic specializing in the nursing care of people with heart failure. This was followed by her doctoral studies in nursing with a focus on gerontology and gender with a specialization on how women with early onset disabilities adapt into late age. Her early research focused on studying differences in disablement outcomes between women of Mexican American and Non-Hispanic White women with mobility limitations. This led to a Health & Aging/ APSA congressional policy fellowship with the Administration for Community Living and the Office on Disability in Washington DC.
Dr. Harrison has combined knowledge of aging and disability from clinical settings with two decades of research. Focused on reasons why different cultural beliefs influence the ways in which adults with limitations react to their bodies differently, she has explored disability over the life course for men and women of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds. She has served on NASEM committees on the decision-making related to social security disability due to this knowledge. Dr. Harrison’s policy work also brought her to take a closer look at long-term services for people with disabling conditions. Dr. Harrison joined forces with TX HSSC to establish and direct this multi-prong effort to improve outcomes of elders and people with disabilities in need of long-term services and support. Currently, Dr. Harrison has written about ways in which a minority-disability strength model can overcome both disability comorbidity and losses of social roles. Her multi-National study of Mexican and her comparative analyses of Mexican American men and women demonstrates the importance of culture to understanding reasoning, adaptation, and innate strengths when integrating new ways of functioning into already complex lives.
Project Title: Health Disparities in Mexican American Women with Disabilities
- Project Goal: The purpose was to use mixed methods within an ethnographic methodology to explore the reasons for variations in epidemiologic outcomes between Mexican American and non-Hispanic White women in Texas. Over 80% of all women with mobility impairment in the study reported a diagnosis of arthritis. We established reliable procedures for mixed-method bilingual data collection in Spanish and English. Further, work-related predictors were the most reported variable associated with differences between groups.
Project Title: Embedded APRN Care in Texas LTC facilities
- Project Goal: The purpose is to test quality, financial, and safety outcomes post creation of APRN positions within LTC facilities with direct billing to the facility.
Project Title: Disabilities in the Elder Population of Central Mexico
- Project Goal: In this mixed-methods study, we used Dr. Harrison’s previous model of life course indicators of disablement (R01 NR010360) in the Mexican American population in the U.S. to explore and contrast the predictors in Mexico.
Corey Nagel, Ph.D., MPH, RN
Role: Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing Science, College of Nursing; Co-Director, Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence
Research Interests: Chronic disease/ multimorbidity among older adults; Physical and cognitive functioning in aging; Health disparities; Global health (Water, Sanitation, IAP); Analysis of longitudinal data; Latent variable modeling; Machine Learning. Big Data.
Dr. Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing and the Co-Director of the Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Dr. Nagel’s clinical training and background is in gerontological nursing and Dr. Nagel has extensive interdisciplinary training in epidemiology and biostatistics. Dr. Nagel’s current program of research focuses on socio-environmental determinants of healthy aging, long-term trajectories of functional and cognitive performance among chronically ill older adults, and methodological issues related to the ascertainment and measurement of health status, health services utilization, and functional performance from complex survey data. Dr. Nagel’s work generally involves analysis of data from nationally-representative health surveys merged with external data sources such as medical claims, census records, and geographic information systems. Dr. Nagel has specific expertise in multilevel and latent variable modeling of longitudinal data, time to event models, causal inference methods for observational data, and machine learning.
In addition to research focused on older adults in the US, Dr. Nagel also works with a team of researchers to evaluate community-level environmental health interventions in low-income countries, with a focus on reducing child morbidity and mortality from diarrheal and respiratory disease. Dr. Nagel’s recent global health work includes cluster-randomized controlled trials of large-scale sanitation (India), household drinking water (Rwanda), and improved cook stove (Rwanda) interventions.
Current/Recent Research Projects:
Project Title: ADVANCE: Advancing Care of Neonates with Acute Kidney Injury Utilizing the Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Consortium Database.
- Project Goal: The study uses machine learning techniques to identify predictors of acute kidney injury in neonates using electronic medical records data.
Project Title: A Risk Stratification Tool for Mortality Prediction in the Setting of Neonatal Acute Kidney Injury Using a Machine Learning Approach.
- Project Goal: This study employs machine learning to develop a dynamic morality risk prediction algorithm among neonates with acute kidney injury.
Project Title: Multimorbidity Combinations and Dementia Onset Among Race-Ethnic Older Adults.
- Project Goal: This study examines race/ethnic differences in longitudinal trajectories of multimorbidity and cognitive function among a nationally-representative cohort of older adults.
Project Title: Changes in Multimorbidity and Disability among Race/Ethnic Older Adult
- Project Goal: This study examines racial/ethnic differences in the longitudinal development and progression of multimorbidity and disability among older persons and its relationship with health care utilization and mortality.
Stephanie Trotter, Ph.D., RN
Roles: Clinical Instructor; Clinical Coordinator; Department of Nursing Education, College of Nursing
Research Interests: Health Promotion, Health Behavior, Hypertension; Nursing Workforce Diversity; Social Determinants of Health; Community/Public Health; Aging/Geriatrics
Dr. Trotter serves as both Clinical Instructor and Clinical Coordinator for Nursing Care of the Older Adult and Community/Public Health Nursing baccalaureate nursing courses. Dr. Trotter completed her BSN and Ph.D. from UAMS. During her doctoral education, she worked as a research assistant for a number of collaborative research projects pertaining to older adults with chronic pain and/or dementia. Her dissertation work examined generational differences in time perspectives and health behaviors in adults with hypertension. Her current research focuses on exploring certified nursing assistants’ opportunities for a career path in nursing, thus potentially impacting care outcomes for older adults in geriatric care facilities. Prior to earning her BSN and Ph.D., she earned a BA and BFA from Kansas State University.
Current/Recent Research Projects:
Project Title: Increasing Nursing Workforce Diversity Through Innovative Training and Career Development
- Project Goal: This study has two overarching goals. The first goal is to identify past or current career development opportunities for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in a geriatric nursing setting, via a scoping literature review. The second goal is to identify CNAs’ interest in transitioning to a career in nursing and discover perceived barriers and facilitators in a CNA-to-Nurse career transition/development endeavor. This project will lay foundational groundwork for the potential development of a CNA career transition program.
Project Title: Adolescent Vaping and Barriers to Quitting
- Project Goal: This study investigates the use of e-cigarettes (i.e., vaping) in Little Rock School District middle and high school students. Additionally, it seeks to identify attitudes toward prevention strategies, current levels of nicotine dependence, perceived barriers to quitting, and acceptable quitting approaches in middle and high school students.
Project Title: Increasing Public Health Competency Using an Integrated Curriculum and Summative OSCE
- Project Goal: This project incorporates public health nursing competencies across the baccalaureate nursing curriculum. Measurement of students’ public health nursing competencies will be measured through a team-based OSCE. These scores will also be compared to traditional standardized testing results to determine public health nursing competency achievement.