Collaboration with College of Nursing Stimulates Transdisciplinary Projects

Lynette Phillips, PhD (Epidemiology) straddles public health and nursing. Why? The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) suggests that, due to the ever-changing healthcare landscape, nursing education should consider shifting its model away from solely providing acute care to individual, hospitalized patients toward total population health. Likewise, public health professionals can benefit from working more closely with nurses. The 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health, indicates that integrating services among many health providers is a key component to better care for all patients. Indeed, in its 2016 report, the NACNEP states, “…healthcare organizations need nurses capable of gathering and analyzing population level data, promoting wellness and disease prevention in the community, adopting and disseminating best practices for population health, and identifying patients who may benefit from greater outreach efforts to promote health screening and related primary care services.” And this is precisely where the CPH and the College of Nursing (CON) have aligned to provide students the best possible education to be prepared to face these changes.


Dr. Phillips spends 20% of her time as the statistical consultant to the CON. In this capacity, she advises faculty and doctoral students on study design and quantitative analysis for grant applications, existing internal projects, and dissertations and theses. She also carries out analyses when requested. Because research focuses often overlap between Nursing and Public Health, Phillips can connect people across the two colleges to stimulate transdisciplinary projects. One goal of this collaboration is to increase research funding and publications across both colleges. “What I like best about my role is learning about new research areas, especially practice-based, and enriching and applying my statistical knowledge to novel areas,” said Phillips.