Two women standing in front of research presentation
Elena Lynn, an undergraduate student in the Health Behavior Science Program, and mentor Yendelela Cuffee, assistant professor for the Epidemiology Program, presented her research titled “Assessing the feasibility of implementing a storytelling-based intervention for black adults with hypertension” at the 16th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health.

January College of Health Sciences For the Record

January 31, 2024 Written by CHS Staff | Photo provided by Elena Lynn

For the Record provides information about recent professional activities and honors of University of Delaware faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Recent appointments, presentations, publications and honors in the College of Health Sciences include the following:


Sandra Nolan, assistant professor and interim director of the undergraduate program in the School of Nursing (SON) in the College of Health Sciences, recently became a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). The certification from the National League for Nursing promotes excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator. The certification is a mark of distinction for nursing faculty and proves Nolan demonstrates expertise as a leader in nursing education. 

Interdisciplinary disaster research involving the College of Health Sciences and the College of Engineering will be supported by a nearly $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Jennifer Horney, professor and founding director of the Epidemiology Program, and Shangjia Dong, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who are both core faculty with the Disaster Research Center, will work together on research that aims to improve the ability of infrastructure and communities to withstand severe natural hazards. The funding from the Disaster Resilience Research Grant Program, which is jointly managed by NIST and NSF, will go towards improving understanding of the risks to acute care access and flood impacts to improve service providers’ and communities’ disaster preparedness. The funding will also help ensure continuity of care and reduce morbidity and mortality associated with missed treatments in future disasters. "As climate change makes floods more frequent and severe and puts more people and essential services like healthcare facilities at risk, this type of interdisciplinary research that combines innovative engineering models with expected population health impacts is a critical part of prioritizing investments in flood resilience," Horney said. 


Elena Lynn, an undergraduate student in the Health Behavior Science Program, presented her research titled “Assessing the feasibility of implementing a storytelling-based intervention for Black adults with hypertension” at the 16th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health. The conference, which is co-hosted by the National Institutes of Health and AcademyHealth, showcased the latest innovations in diversity and inclusion science in Washington, D.C., from Dec. 10-13. Under mentor Yendelela Cuffee, assistant professor for the Epidemiology Program and associate director of the Partnership for Healthy Communities, Lynn is currently supporting the next phase of the storytelling-based intervention and assisting in recruitment of 60 participants for a six-week intervention. Participants provide feedback on program topics, their engagement with the storytelling approach, effectiveness of the storyteller, ways to enhance the intervention structure further, and the potential for stories to inspire lifestyle and behavioral change. Additionally, they are working together in creating a community advisory board to learn more from community member perspectives and organize recruitment for future interventions.

“We want to help educate our communities in the best ways to take care of their health against hypertension,” said Lynn. “We’re bridging the gap between research on possible strategies to change behavior and applying it directly into the real world.”

"It's been a great pleasure working with Elena," said Cuffee. "I'm proud of the work she's put into her research and we're looking forward to the results of this intervention study. We aim to continue enhancing the storytelling process to create the greatest impact for community members." 

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