College of Nursing Faculty
Elaine J. Amella, Ph.D., RN, FGSA, FAAN
Medical University of South Carolina
College of Nursing
99 Jonathan Lucas Street
Charleston, SC 29425-1600
Telephone: (843) 792-4627
Fax: (843) 792-2104
Elaine Amella is a Professor with tenure in the College of Nursing; she teaches across all programs. She received her AAS and BSN degrees from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY and her MA in Nursing, a Post-Masters certificate in Care of the Elderly, and a PhD in Research and Theory Development from New York University.
Dr. Amella has expertise in the areas of aging, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, caregiving, nutritional issues especially at the end of life, dysphagia, and use of theory to guide research. She was certified by the AACN as both a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. Prior to coming to MUSC in 1999, she practiced in large medical centers and nursing homes in the New York City area, as well as a primary care clinic in Tucson AZ. After coming to Charleston, she worked in a nurse-managed community clinic. She taught in advanced practice nursing programs at the University of Arizona and New York University. Dr. Amella served as President of the Southern Nursing Research Society from 2008-2010.
Dr. Amella is currently a ‘Multiple Principal Investigator’ for an NINR funded study, “Mealtime Partnerships for People with Dementia in Respite Centers & at Home” (R01). She works with respite care centers in the greater Charleston area using a train-the-trainer model to teach volunteers and family members of persons with dementia to manage meals – an issue that becomes progressively more challenging as the disease progresses. This has been the focus of her research since the late 1990’s and she has led other NIH R-level studies as well as USDA, state, foundational and university-funded studies with interprofessional colleagues. She has also been involved with basic science colleagues in pilot animal studies examining the relationship between specific nutrients and Alzheimer’s disease.