Meet the Study Team

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Susan Dunn, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor and Department Head
University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing
Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Sciences

Dr. Susan Dunn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science at the UIC College of Nursing. She has clinical experience working in both acute care and cardiac rehabilitation settings. She developed and published the State-Trait Hopelessness Scale, now used in 8 countries. Her published research focusing on hopelessness in patients with ischemic heart disease has received several awards and resulted in a national press release from the American Heart Association. Her current NIH R01-funded study is focused on an intervention to improve physical activity and reduce hopelessness in patients with ischemic heart disease.

 

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Melissa Guitierrez-Kapheim, MS
Project Director
University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing

Melissa Gutierrez-Kapheim, MS, serves as the Project Director on the Heart Up! Study. Prior to joining Dr. Dunn’s team, she worked for twelve years at the Sinai Urban Health Institute, developing and implementing community-based interventions that address health disparities in Chicago’s Black and Latinx neighborhoods. She is a PhD candidate in Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at UIC. Her dissertation examines the effect of neighborhood characteristics on loneliness in ten Chicago neighborhoods.

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Madison Buursma, BSN, RN
Michigan Site Director
University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing

Madison is a Research Specialist on the Heart Up! study. In this position, she coordinates and prepares materials for patient visits with nurses and data collectors. Madison graduated with her BSN from Hope College and is currently a fourth-year PhD student in the College of Nursing at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has clinical experience working in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Spectrum Health. For her dissertation research, she is interested in studying the relationships among social support, heart rate changes and hopelessness in patients that have been hospitalized for a heart event.

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Anna Luong, BSN, RN
Research Assistant
University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing

Anna Luong is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Illinois Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is currently a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. Her clinical expertise is in the physical and mental health care of trauma and cardiovascular disease patients. Her current work includes examining higher mortality rates and detrimental health outcomes in association with adverse childhood experiences in minority ethnic groups. The long-term goal of her research is to improve health outcomes related to childhood adversities and the systems which surround people affected by them.

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Ulf G. Bronas, PhD, ATC, ATR, FSVM, FAHA
Co-investigator 
Associate Professor, University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing
Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Sciences

Eileen G. Collins, PhD, RN, FAACVPR, FAAN
Co-investigator
Professor, University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing,
Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Sciences

Holli A. DeVon, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Co-investigator
Professor, University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing

Nathan L. Tintle, PhD
Co-investigator
Professor, Dordt University Department of Statistics