Newswise — Sarah L. Szanton and Jessica Gill of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) have been elected as members of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Szanton is dean of JHSON, and Gill is newly appointed Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Department of Neurology.
As members, Szanton and Gill will be part of the organization’s mission to spark innovative approaches to advance knowledge and progress in science, medicine, policy, and health equity. NAM operates under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, which was established in 1863 and signed into law by President Lincoln, to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research.
“It is especially meaningful to have been elected to serve beside such stellar colleagues and experts in science, technology, and health,” says Szanton. “The NAM impacts our nation’s most pressing health priorities, and bringing another nursing voice to this interdisciplinary organization is important.”
Szanton is a nationally renowned researcher, leader, and health equity advocate. She is best known for co-developing the visionary CAPABLE program, which combines handyman services with nursing and occupational therapy to improve mobility, reduce disability, and decrease health care costs. The program came to life after years spent providing house calls predominately to low income, African American older adults in West Baltimore. It has been researched and scaled to 45 places in 23 States, and is currently expanding through several policy mechanisms such as Medicare Advantage and Value Based care.
Szanton also has a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A prolific health equity researcher, she has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and received many awards for her work.
As another nationally renowned researcher, Gill investigates the biological mechanisms of traumatic brain injuries. She looks for ways to use biomarkers, such as proteins or extracellular vesicles, to identify which patients with TBIs are at high risk for poor recovery and long-term effects including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and post-concussive syndrome, and how to develop treatments to mitigate risks and support recovery.
Through a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Nursing Research, Gill focused on the biological mechanisms of PTSD and depression. This line of research led her to become a clinical investigator in the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine. At NIH, she also served as a senior investigator and acting deputy scientific director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, and deputy director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine. In 2013, Gill received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and in 2018, she earned tenure at NIH. She was the first nurse to receive the Lasker Clinical Research Scholar Award, which is considered the most prestigious research grant given by the NIH.
“I am excited to be part of the NAM and to join in its cross-disciplinary efforts to advise national and global responses to advancing science and health equity,” says Gill. “It’s another opportunity to share my work and improve health around the world.”
Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research, and practice. In U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school is No. 1 nationally for its master's programs, and No. 2 for DNP programs and its online MSN Healthcare Organizational Leadership options. JHSON is ranked No. 1 for total NIH funding among schools of nursing for fiscal year 2020. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 3 nursing school in the world, No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program, and No. 1 by NursingSchoolHub.com for its DNP program. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu