nursing schoolJerilyn Allen, ScD, RN, FAAN, a well-known leader in clinical research on heart disease prevention and treatment, is the 2012 recipient of one of the highest honors of the NIH’s Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), the Ada Sue Hinshaw Award.

Named for the visionary first permanent director of the NINR, the award honors the sustained work of a nurse researcher whose science has been widely disseminated across disciplines. Allen, a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) professor and associate dean for research, was recognized for her career-spanning, cross-disciplinary research, scholarship, and mentorship in cardiovascular health, disease management, prevention and the promotion of evidence-based practice. 

Her often groundbreaking research has tested and advanced patient-focused, community-based cardiovascular care. With continuous research funding since 1986, she has led multiple studies of cardiovascular risk factors, recovery, and lifestyle modification in persons with, or at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Her studies have not only been widely disseminated across disciplines, but have also taken healthcare delivery into new directions. One example, a nurse practitioner-community health worker model tested in her Community Outreach and Cardiovascular Health (COACH) study, was found to help high-risk patients manage heart disease and diabetes better than other existing practice.

Today, Allen continues her contributions to closing gaps in knowledge about the effective application of these risk-reduction therapies and the factors that influence lifestyle changes. As a member of the National Institutes of Health Coordinating Committee to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk, Allen is working through a cross-discipline collaboration to help translate the latest research-proven risk-reduction interventions into community-based cardiovascular practice.

Allen notes, “It is a great honor to have my program of research recognized through this award. The findings of this cross-disciplinary research have improved the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities and could potentially contribute to a reduction in cardiovascular disease-related morbidity, mortality, and costs, if translated across primary care settings.” 

On learning of Allen’s selection, JHUSON Dean, Martha Hill, PhD, RN, said, “Dr. Allen has proven herself an extraordinary leader both within our University and nationwide, promoting nursing science through the conduct of her original research, her masterful leadership of interdisciplinary research teams, and the education and mentorship of future nurse scientists and clinicians.”

Allen accepted the 2012 Ada Sue Hinshaw Award at the FNINR NightInGala on September 12, 2012 in Washington, DC.