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The Hillman Scholars in Nursing Innovation program is guided by several distinguished leaders and researchers:

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Linda Aiken Headshot

Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN

Dr. Linda Aiken is the Professor of Nursing and Sociology, and the Founding Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at Penn. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Her pioneering research has created an evidence base in over 30 countries showing the impact on patient outcomes of nurses caring for fewer patients each, having most nurses with bachelor’s or higher qualifications, and improving nurse work environments. Her research has improved health outcomes through policy; it influenced nurse staffing legislation in California, Massachusetts, Wales, Ireland, and Queensland, Australia; is incorporated in the National Academy of Medicine’s 2010 recommendation that 80% of US nurses have a bachelor’s degree by 2020, and the European Parliament’s 2013 decision to recommend university education for nurses in the European Union; and influenced the successful evolution of the Magnet Recognition Program®, a voluntary accreditation program for nursing that creates good clinical work environment that result in better patient outcomes.

Dr. Aiken has received the major awards in her field of health services and policy research, including the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine, the AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator Award, the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research, and the Christiane Reimann Prize from the International Council of Nurses.

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Program Directors

Cheryl Jones Headshot

Cheryl B. Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Jones is Professor, as well as a Research Fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Dr. Jones’ research is aimed at uncovering knowledge related to the organization and delivery of care, and the impacts on the costs, quality and safety of care. She is a recognized leader in nursing health services research, having studied micro- and macro-level nurse workforce issues to improve the work environment, executive practice, and the cost and quality of care delivery. One of Dr. Jones’ most recognized contributions has been the development, testing, and refinement of a method to measure nurse turnover costs.

Prior to joining UNC, Dr. Jones served as Senior Health Services Researcher at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), where she worked on nursing workforce issues at organizational and public policy levels. She was a Primary Care Policy Fellow in the U.S. Public Health Service in 1999.

Headshot of Peggy Compton

Peggy Compton, RN, PhD, FAAN

Dr. Compton is a Professor and the van Ameringen Endowed Chair in the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the International Association in the Study of Pain, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Her area of clinical expertise is the intersection of opioids, addiction and pain, and her novel data have contributed to a growing body of literature on the phenomenon of opioid-induced hyperalgesia, as well as informed guidelines for the management of pain in persons with opioid addiction or on maintenance opioid therapy. Complementing Dr. Compton’s expertise in the pain responses of opioid addicts is her clinical work establishing methods to identify substance use disorders and addiction in chronic pain patients on ongoing opioid analgesic therapy. She has published extensively in the scientific literature on substance use disorder in chronic pain patients on opioid therapy, and the pain responses of opioid addicts with and without chronic pain. Having worked in several public treatment settings, she is expert in the use of methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone in the treatment of opioid use disorder. She has served on FDA, SAMHSA and NIH expert panels on prescription opioid abuse, and contributed to position statements from the American Pain Society, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, and the American Society of Pain Management Nurses on pain management for patients with addictive disease. She is principal investigator on an NIH study evaluating the effects of opioid taper on post-operative pain outcomes and on pain responses in patients undergoing joint replacement surgery, and was recently inducted into the Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame by Sigma Theta Tau International in recognition for the impact of her work.

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National Program Office Staff

Irene Hung Headshot

Irene Hung, MPH, Deputy Director

Ms. Hung manages the day-to-day operations of the national Hillman Scholars program. She also serves as the Administrative Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn’s School of Nursing. She has a Master’s in Public Health and extensive experience in academic administration in multiple top universities.

Andrea Barol Headshot

Andrea Barol, Research Center Coordinator

Ms. Barol also serves as administrative coordinator of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the Penn School of Nursing.

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