University of Maryland’s Galik Named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’


NEWS RELEASE                                                     Contact: Gretchen Wright or Johanna Diaz
September 24, 2009                                                                   202/371-1999
University of Maryland’s Galik Named
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Dementia Researcher is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance
Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
Baltimore, M.D.—Elizabeth Galik, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to conduct research on developing and testing interventions to improve functional performance, physical activity, and quality of life among older adults with dementia who reside in assisted living facilities. Galik is one of just 15 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 “Nurse Faculty Scholar” award this year. It is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins this month.
“The generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to study how nurses can make a significant contribution in helping older adults with dementia maintain their independence and quality of life,” Galik said.
For her research, Galik will use a social, ecological model to test individuals’ functionality and their relationships with assisted living facility staff. Her research will determine whether patients are provided sufficient opportunities to care for themselves and maintain a healthy level of independence. Study participants will be located in four different assisted living facilities throughout the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.
“More often than not, the rate of decline in function of adults with dementia in assisted living facilities is significant, and within a year, many are transferred to nursing homes. This doesn’t have to be the case,” said Galik. “Nursing homes are more costly, require greater levels of care and staff attention. In some cases where staff try and be more helpful for patients with dementia, they inadvertently create greater dependency, accelerating the individual’s decline. With the right training and the right institutional policies, older adults can live healthier lives with greater independence.”  
Barbara M. Resnick, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., professor and Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Endowed Chair of gerontology at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, and Ann L. Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D., associate professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will serve as her mentors.
“Galik’s research on improving the care of persons with dementia who are in assisted living facilities is much needed,” Dr. Resnick said. “Her work in testing approaches to changing staff behavior, increasing patient independence, and postponing transfers to nursing homes will benefit countless individuals.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s“Nurse Faculty Scholar” award aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a severe shortage of nurse educators that threatens to undermine the health and health care of all Americans. Many nursing schools lack the resources needed to hire and support enough faculty to train the next generation of nurses. As a result, nursing schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants—rejecting the very people who can help reverse a serious looming nurse shortage. As the supply of nurses shrinks and the demand for their services grows, patient care will suffer.
The Foundation’s “Nurse Faculty Scholars” program aims to curb the effects of the nursing shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service in their universities.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, we work with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years we’ve brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those we serve. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, we expect to make a difference in your lifetime.