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Donna Biederman, DrPH, MN, RN

Associate Professor
(919) 684-8849
718 Rutherford Street, Room 133

Dr. Donna Biederman joined the Duke School of Nursing faculty as an Assistant Professor in September, 2013. She earned her associate's degree in nursing at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, in 1992. She completed her BSN and MN (Communities, Populations and Health concentration) at the University of Washington, Tacoma in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Her Master’s research focused on social determinants of health and HIV/AIDS in subSaharan Africa. In 2012 she earned a DrPH with an emphasis in community health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her dissertation research focused on the perspectives of homeless women on their experiences and interactions with service providers.

Before her faculty appointment, Dr. Biederman was a Community Health Clinical Nurse Educator in the ABSN program. She has firsthand experience in the community health clinical and classroom settings and nursing experience in acute and community-based care. She will co-teach a number of courses within the community health component of the ABSN program.

Academic Program Affiliations

  • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


  • DrPH - University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • MN - University of Washington-Tacoma
  • BSN - University of Washington-Tacoma

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 || Outstanding Contributions to Community/Public Health Nursing Research Award, Association of Community Health Nurse Educators
  • 2013 || Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award, Duke University School of Nursing
  • 2012 || Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • 2011 || Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Nominee, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • 2006 || Gift of Service Award, University of Washington Tacoma
  • 2006 || Master of Nursing Outstanding Scholar, University of Washington Tacoma
  • 2006 || Peer Elected Class Speaker 2006 MN Class, University of Washington Tacoma
  • 2004 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2002 || Outstanding Teamwork Award, Providence St. Peter Hospital Administration, Sellen Construction, & Giffin Bolte Jurgens Architects (Olympia, WA)
  • 1990 || Inducted, Phi Theta Kappa

Areas of Expertise

  • Global and Community Health
  • Health Disparities

Areas of Interest

Experiences of homelessness
Transitional care for homeless persons
Health disparities
Community based participatory research (CBPR)
Qualitative inquiry

Representative Publications

  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 26212466 Eggert, L. K. and Blood-Siegfried, J. and Champagne, M. and Al-Jumaily, M. and Biederman, D. J. Coalition Building for Health: A Community Garden Pilot Project with Apartment Dwelling Refugees. J Community Health Nurs. Jul-Sep, 2015 32(3); 141-50
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25527124 Relf, M. V. and Flores, D. D. and Biederman, D. J. Ending HIV-Related Stigma: Nursing's Opportunity to Lead. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. Jan-Feb, 2015 26(1); 1-3
  • 2014 -- Biederman, D. J. and Lindsey, E.W. Promising research and methodological approaches for health behavior research with homeless persons Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless. September, 2014 23(2); 105-108
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25051320 Biederman, D. J. and Gamble, J. and Manson, M. and Taylor, D. Assessing the need for a medical respite: perceptions of service providers and homeless persons. J Community Health Nurs. July, 2014 31(3); 145-56
  • 2014 -- Biederman, D. J. Food for thought. Journal of Cultural Diversity. Summer, 2014 21(2); 55
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24528122 Biederman, D. J. and Nichols, T. R. Homeless women's experiences of service provider encounters. J Community Health Nurs. February, 2014 31(1); 34-48
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 25416429 Nichols, T. R. and Biederman, D. J. and Gringle, M. R. Using research poetics "responsibly": applications for health promotion research. Int Q Community Health Educ. 2014 35(1); 5-20
  • 2013 -- Biederman, D. J. and Nichols, T. R. and Lindsey, E. W. Homeless women's experiences of social support from service providers. Journal of Public Mental Health. 2013 12(3); 136-145
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 20439470 Biederman, D. J. and Sienkiewicz, H. C. and Bibeau, D. L. and Chase, C. M. and Spann, L. I. and Romanchuck, R. and Aronson, R. E. and Schulz, M. R. and Tiberia-Galka, A. Ethnic and racial differences of baseline stroke knowledge in a "stroke belt" community. Health Promot Pract. 13(1); 63-70
  • 2011 -- Francisco, V. T. and Biederman, D. and Cook, G. B. and Sienkiewicz, H. C. and Sickelbaugh, E. and Milner, B. and Krege, M. W. and Benhammou, M. and Poillot-Micca, M. Promoting Community Engagement for Systems Improvement for Pregnant and Parenting Teens and Young Adults: An Action Planning Guide for Community-based Initiatives 2011


Grant Funding (Selected)

  • Durham Homeless Transitional Care Program

    Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation 2015 Hillman Innovations in Care Program Grant
    12/2015 to 12/2018
    Role: co-PI

    The Durham Medical Respite Program addresses a pressing unmet need to offer safe discharge options for homeless persons who are too sick for the streets or a shelter, but not sick enough to qualify for continued hospitalization. The Hillman Innovations in Care grant will be used to grow and further develop the Durham Medical Respite Program, a nurse-led, community based initiative which provides safe and supportive respite housing to homeless persons who require a place for healing that is safer than the street or shelters following discharge from a hospital, behavioral health, or jail setting.
    Hillman funds will help to broaden the role of nurse care coordinators and community health workers, who, in addition to connecting patients to health care for chronic and acute conditions, will help patients navigate access to housing and other benefits. Nursing students and other health professionals will be invited to participate in educational events tailored to the care of populations experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The overall goal of the program is to improve the health and quality of life of homeless and housing insecure patients experiencing care transitions, reduce costs, and reduce care provider’s time and emotional burden.

  • Understanding the Lives of Women Experiencing Homelessness Through Photovoice

    University of North Carolina Greensboro, Office of Leadership & Service Learning
    11/2009 to 06/2010
    Role: Student Researcher
  • Assessing HIV Related Stigma in French Speaking African Immigrant and Refugee Communities

    University of North Carolina Greensboro, Office of Leadership and Service Learning
    11/2008 to 06/2009
    Role: Student Co-Investigator
  • Salishan HOPE VI Evaluation

    Tacoma Housing Authority
    02/2005 to 05/2007
    Role: Research Assistant
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

“Bridging Population Health at Duke” was the title of the inaugural Population Health Symposium spearheaded by Health Affairs Chancellor Eugene Washington. Keynote speaker Clay Johnston, dean of the new Dell School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin, kicked off the event. Paula Tanabe, discussing her Sickle Cell Disease research, was among a panel of speakers sharing approaches to “Bridging (Population Health) Management and Science.” Donna Biederman served on the event planning group that began coordinating the event nearly a year prior.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The 2017 Durham County Community Health Assessment will be finalized later this month by the Durham Department of Public Health. The top five health issues in Durham County, identified by random surveys of the community, include:

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The 2017 Durham County Community Health Assessment will be finalized later this month by the Durham Department of Public Health. The top five health issues in Durham County, identified by random surveys of the community, include:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Donna Biederman recently presented in a webinar conducted by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council entitled “Somewhere to Heal: An Introduction to Medical Respite Care” which provided an overview of medical respite programing and operations.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Duke University School of Nursing Community Health Improvement Partnership Program (D-CHIPP) recently hosted a Design Thinking workshop for staff and volunteers at Families Moving Forward (FMF). D-CHIPP Director, Donna Biederman, along with D-CHIPP Advisory Board members Alison Edie, Irene Felsman and Michelle Hartman also participated.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Every person who lives in a shelter or on the streets in our community needs a combination of affordable housing, appropriate services and adequate income. The longer people are homeless, the more complex their needs become. As a consequence, homelessness ultimately costs taxpayers.

Homeward Bound, a nonprofit based in Asheville, N.C. and serving Buncombe and Henderson Counties, is dedicated to alleviating the effects of homelessness. Over the past 11 years, 89 percent of the more than 1,800 people that Homeward Bound has moved into housing have remained housed.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Donna Biederman and colleagues recently presented their Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders project at the Margolis Seminar in Health Policy and Management at the Fuqua School of Business. The research team is working with multiple stakeholders, including the NC DHHS Medicaid Office, to inform Medicaid policy on payment for tenancy support services for persons living in permanent supportive housing. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

At the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON), we are beginning the second year of our strategic plan and are focused on our mission: Together transforming the future of nursing, to advance health with individuals, families and communities. One of our strategic initiatives highlights community health improvement. To meet this goal, we have launched the DUSON Community Health Improvement Partnership Program (D-CHIPP).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Faculty at the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) have been working with the Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute Community Engagement Core at Duke on a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute project, Health Outcomes that Matter (PCORI EAIN #2512) to identify research priorities for patients, families and communities. Their work will contribute to a five-year roadmap for research. Five workgroups have been working towards this end, and DUSON faculty are involved in four of these:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Devon Noonan, Michelle Hartman and Donna Biederman co-authored an article with the Durham Housing Authority ROSS coordinator Joyce Briggs. The article, "Collaborating with Public Housing Residents and Staff to Improve Health: A Mixed Methods Analysis" was published in the Journal of Community Health Nursing.