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The Catalyst

Public health specialist wins mentoring fellowship

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

Preparing and guiding nurses to conduct more evidence-based medical practices and determining how new resources can impact patient care is the goal of MUSC’s Elizabeth A. Crabtree, Ph.D. (c)

Crabtree’s work was recognized by faculty colleagues and resulted in her being named the 2013 recipient of the John R. Raymond Mentoring Fellowship Award.

MUSC Library Science’s Elizabeth Crabtree, center, joins Dr. Megan Baker Rupple, from left, Dr. John Raymond, Dr. Kristyn Zajac, and Dr. Ashli Sheidow at Colcock Hall for the John R. Raymond Mentoring Fellowship Award presentation.
MUSC Library Science’s Elizabeth Crabtree, center, joins Dr. Megan Baker Rupple, from left, Dr. John Raymond, Dr. Kristyn Zajac, and Dr. Ashli Sheidow at Colcock Hall for the John R. Raymond Mentoring Fellowship Award presentation.

Crabtree, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Library Science & Informatics, is director of evidence-based practice within the medical center’s Quality Management Department. She conducted similar research informatics work at Texas Children’s Hospital.

At MUSC, she teamed up with research informationist Emily Brennan, also with the Department of Library Science & Informatics, to review existing literature and resources as well as evidence-based medical data. Both she and Brennan are reviewing existing order sets from the medical center’s electronic medical record and linking it to best practices and clinical care. They also teach nurses through an evidence-based practice scholar’s course using reliable resources with nursing organizations, societies and other references to advance nurses’ scholarly work through publication in professional journals and resources.

Crabtree’s work was praised along with previous award fellows at the June 27 gathering held at Colcock Hall. The event was attended by faculty, colleagues, staff and members of the Women’s Scholars Initiative group, which helped sponsor the event.

“Nurses serve as the front line of health care. They have a unique opportunity to improve patient care through evidence-based practice. The staff nurse is a critical link to bringing research-based changes into clinical practice. However, the experience to prepare practicing nurses in this area is limited. I hope that my work and collaboration with others will change and improve this,” said Crabtree, whose goal is to develop evidence-based practice nursing experts on campus.

Danielle Scheurer, M.D., a hospitalist and chief quality officer for the Medical University Hospital Authority, praised Crabtree for leading the evidence-based practice effort with clinical nurses.

“All of these are integral components to the medical center’s journey to Magnet nursing designation,” Scheurer said. “Elizabeth has brought MUSC her endless talent, tireless energy and dedicated work ethic. We are so fortunate to have her.”

The award is presented to a full-time female faculty member who is interested in initiating a mentorship with a faculty-expert affiliated outside of MUSC to conduct research and advance her career.

The applicant’s field of interest must be in research, clinical practice or education. This year’s award will allow Crabtree to collaborate with Susan B. Stillwell, DNP, associate professor, the University of Portland School of Nursing. Stillwell is considered a leader and expert in the field of evidence-based nursing practice curriculum and mentoring programs. Funding for the fellowship will come from this award as well as matching funds by Crabtree’s home department, the Department of Library Science & Informatics, led by director Tom Basler, Ph.D.

By early May, candidates submitted their applications, which underwent a rigorous review process conducted by members of the fellowship advisory committee headed by Mary Mauldin, Ed.D., committee chair and executive director of the Office of Instructional Technology and Faculty Resources.

Crabtree is the fifth faculty member to receive this award since 2010. Previous winners include Jennifer L. Young, M.D., Division of Obstetrics & Gynecology; Kelly Harris, Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery; Megan Baker Ruppel, M.D., Department of Surgery; and Kristyn Zajac, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Following with tradition, previous fellowship awardees were invited back to talk about their experiences and share results and best practices with the audience at the annual award ceremony.

Zajac spoke about the progress of her work on transition-age youth and emerging adults living with serious mental health conditions. For the past year, she worked with Maryann Davis, Ph.D., at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Learning and Working.

“Dr. Davis was incredibly committed to making this work. In the past year, I traveled to Dr. Davis’ institution in Worchester, Mass., and she came down to Charleston. This provided valuable face-to-face time as we brainstormed ideas, discussed grant applications and existing projects, set goals to establish vocational materials for mental health providers, reviewed funding resources and other efforts. Thanks to this opportunity, I feel that Dr. Davis will continue to be a long-time career mentor for me,” said Zajac.

The fellowship was instituted in 2010 in honor of John R. Raymond, M.D., who served as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at MUSC from 2002 to 2010. Raymond serves as president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. Throughout his tenure at MUSC, Raymond was a advocate for women faculty and guided the establishment and advocacy of the Women Scholar’s Initiative.

July 17, 2013

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