Tanabe Receives Funding for Sickle Cell Disease Research from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

As part of its effort to improve the care of individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD), the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is awarding a three-year $865,365 grant to Paula Tanabe, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, of Duke University School of Nursing. Dr. Tanabe will be conducting research to develop evidence-based best practices for emergency departments that treat adults with sickle cell disease.Announcement of the grant came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of its September observance of National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness month and its Sickle Cell Disease Initiative. SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder; an estimated 72,000 Americans live with SCD, and approximately two million Americans, including one in twelve African Americans, carry the Sickle Cell Trait. A recent study indicates that approximately twenty-five percent of adults with SCD visit emergency departments more than six times a year, and many of these patients have potentially life-threatening complications.Dr. Tanabe is a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health Expert Panel, which is developing evidence-based guidelines for primary care providers in the care of patients with sickle cell disease. She has previously conducted research in emergency medicine and health services, including studies of pain management practices in the emergency department with a strong emphasis on sickle cell disease. Dr. Tanabe also developed the Emergency Department Sickle Cell Assessment of Needs and Strengths (ED-SCANS), a decision support tool aimed at improving the quality of care provided to adults with sickle cell disease in emergency department settings. In addition to her research at Duke University School of Nursing, Dr. Tanabe also teaches courses for students in the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and PhD programs.“Paula Tanabe is a leading researcher in the field of the care of patients with sickle cell disease,” said Catherine L. Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN, dean of the Duke University School of Nursing and vice chancellor for nursing affairs at Duke University. “Dr. Tanabe’s new grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will enable her to improve the care being provided to persons with sickle cell disease who visit emergency rooms, by accelerating the application of scientific knowledge to the care of those with SCD.”About DUSONDuke University School of Nursing (DUSON), as a diverse community of scholars and clinicians, educates the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing, advances nursing science in issues of global import, and fosters the scholarly practice of nursing. In 2011, US News and World Report ranked Duke among the top seven graduate schools of nursing in the nation. The School offers masters, PhD, and doctor of nursing practice degrees, as well as an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree to students who have previously completed an undergraduate degree. More than 750 individuals enrolled for Fall 2011 classes, the largest number of students in the School’s 80-year history.

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