The Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 14, 2002
October 14, 2002
VOL. 32, NO. 7


Academic, Clinical Nurses Chart New Research

Grants fund collaborative efforts to improve patient care and outcomes

By Ming Tai
School of Nursing

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The first recipients of the Dorothy Evans Lyne Fund for Collaborative Nursing Research were recently announced. The fund, started by a grateful patient and administered by the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through clinical nursing research.

Grants were awarded to two teams comprised of nurses from the School of Nursing and the hospital. Principal investigators of the teams are Benita Walton-Moss, assistant professor at the School of Nursing, and Candis Morrison, associate professor at the School of Nursing.

Walton-Moss' study will provide data on living-organ donors that ultimately will be used to assist donors and their families in making informed decisions about organ donation. The lead investigator on this study from The Johns Hopkins Hospital is Nancy Boyle, clinical transplant nurse manager.

"The decision to donate a kidney or liver is unique for each person and his or her family," Walton-Moss says. "By increasing our awareness of the factors that may affect the decision-making process, we can better educate potential donors and their families and improve levels of satisfaction with the donation process."

The study led by Morrison will focus on enhancing educational communication tools used by cancer patients, families and consumers regarding the diagnosis, treatment and current research endeavors in pancreatic cancer. The lead investigator on this study from the hospital is JoAnn Coleman, acute care nurse practitioner. The team will evaluate the Frequently Asked Questions module on the Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Web site.

"Although pancreatic cancer is among the rarest forms of cancer, it is associated with one of the highest rates of mortality. Patients and families are frequently desperate to glean as much information as they can in a short period of time, Morrision says. "Since its inception in 1998, the FAQ module has received over 1 million hits, demonstrating that patients and their families are turning to the Internet for answers to their questions," she says. "Information needs to be accurate, current and reflective of the best evidence-based practice that is available. This study will help ascertain whether the FAQ module is meeting the needs of its users."

Martha N. Hill, dean of the School of Nursing, says these pilot studies are significant for several reasons.

"Both studies focus on empowering patients and families to make informed decisions--the ultimate goal of every good nurse," Hill says. "Moreover, these studies are promising because the research efforts have the potential to receive additional funding from other sources to conduct larger, more comprehensive studies."

The Dorothy Evans Lyne Fund is named for a School of Nursing graduate and was established by her friend June Elliott. The two met during the 1960s when their husbands were in residencies at Johns Hopkins. Their bond became particularly strong when Elliott began treatment for an advanced malignancy. Although her friend "Dee" Lyne was never her bedside nurse, Elliott was consistently impressed with the care she received from Hopkins. That prompted her to think of a unique way to honor Hopkins nurses. She decided to create the Dorothy Evans Lyne Fund named after her friend.

For more information about the fund, go to or contact the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing at 410-614-3160.