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Vol. LXII, No. 16
August 6, 2010

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Grady Addresses Relationship Between Research, Practice and Policy

Comparing the dynamic interrelationships of science, policy and practice to complex biological systems, NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady provided a snapshot of NINR and NIH policy-related activities in a recent talk at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholars Leadership Forum.

The scholars program, directed by Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, chair of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, seeks to develop the next generation of national leaders through specialized training and career development awards for outstanding junior faculty. Selected scholars receive mentorship, leadership training as well as salary and other support to enable them to develop their own research programs. Grady serves on the program’s National Advisory Council.

In her talk, Grady highlighted the many ways researchers and clinicians provide scientific leadership in public policy. As an example, she cited the work of Dr. Mary Naylor and colleagues related to transitional care (TC).

In a landmark series of NINR-supported studies on nurse-managed TC in older adults with chronic health issues, their research showed TC improves health outcomes and reduces health care costs. Grady said Naylor and colleagues have taken these findings “far beyond the boundaries of research science,” including presenting their research data to Congress and developing partnerships with private insurers to further test TC in clinical and community settings.

Grady also described several other examples of policy-related activities in which NINR and NIH have participated, including the implementation and evaluation of science and health-related policies and legislation such as those pertaining to stem cell research and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

She encouraged the audience of young scholars to get involved, noting, “As clinical scientists, we know that research, practice and policy are intrinsically linked…we must be proactive in all three areas to ensure that the highest caliber evidence-based research provides the foundation for public policies.”—

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