Dr. Cynthia Connelly
Director of Nursing Research & Professor
University of Rhode Island - Ph.D
University of San Diego - MS
University of Redlands - BA
Dr. Cynthia Donaldson Connelly is the Scholars Professor and Director of Research at the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science Beyster Institute for Nursing Research. She is also a research scientist at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center - San Diego, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Connelly’s evolution as scientist and scholar is grounded in the imperative for nursing to fully participate in interdisciplinary team science and by incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective in addressing the ongoing and evolving challenges confronting health care services. Prevention science and early intervention with populations experiencing health disparities, with an overall aim to evoke individual, family, community, and social change, is the major goal of her research and clinical practice. She works with nationally and internationally recognized scientists and practitioners to develop, evaluate, and refine early intervention/prevention strategies. In her work targeting diverse populations to lead healthier lives now and for future generations her scholarship provides empirically derived knowledge to inform practice and health policy. As an internationally recognized expert in health services research she can offer expertise in conducting research studies which focus on behavioral and social functioning at the level of the individual, small group, institution, or community, with translation into effective intervention strategies to facilitate more effective health service delivery in real world settings. She has a broad background in nursing, with specific training and expertise in key research areas including: Decreasing disparities and improving care for diverse populations; and “Dissemination“, evaluating methods by which appropriate interventions are introduced and adopted in clinical practice, including factors that inhibit or facilitate such adoption. Since starting her research career with a NIDA funded postdoctoral fellowship, followed by a NIDA K01, she has served on and led, numerous NIH funded studies in promoting health through prevention/early intervention including PI on R01- MH075788, a recently completed successful randomized clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention incorporating telehealth to improve the screening, referral, and treatment for maternal depression among low-income culturally diverse women during the perinatal period. She has conducted 6 major studies (as PI) focusing on women and family physical and mental health issues and health inequities, as well as developing and testing culturally responsive interventions in the health care system to improve its response to families and co-occurring health inequities. She has a strong commitment and demonstrated achievement in mentoring aspiring interdisciplinary junior faculty and doctoral students to build research capacity by engaging in team science and is currently a mentor in the Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholars program and a Jonas Scholar faculty mentor.
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