Paula Tanabe, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, FAEN, FAAN, associate dean for research development and data science, has been named Laurel Chadwick Professor of Nursing by the Duke University Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2019. Designation as a distinguished professor is the highest honor that Duke University awards to its faculty members.
"I am incredibly honored and humbled to be named the Laurel Chadwick Professor of Nursing. Dr. Chadwick was a longtime advocate for the rights of elderly patients," says Tanabe. "I follow in this tradition by focusing my research on improving the lives of individuals with sickle cell disease and advocating for improvements in healthcare to support their quality of life."
Tanabe’s research at Duke University School of Nursing is in emergency medicine and health services and includes studies of pain management practices in the emergency department (ED) with a strong emphasis on improving the care of persons in the ED with sickle cell disease. She developed the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS), a quality improvement framework aimed at improving the care of adults with sickle cell disease in the ED setting. She has also developed a pediatric version of the ED-SCANS.
Tanabe has also conducted research in the area of emergency department triage. She is one of the four members of Emergency Severity Index (ESI) Triangle Research Group and has conducted research on the triage system and worked with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop standard training materials; ESI is now used in more than 50 percent of all EDs in the United States, and also in several other countries. She has more than 30 years of experience as an ED nurse, researcher and educator and has published more than 40 journal articles.
She is a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health Expert Panel developing evidence-based guidelines for primary care providers in the care of patients with sickle cell disease and is a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Nursing and the American Academy of Nursing.