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Keynote Speakers

2020 Keynote Speakers

MNRS is pleased to host the following Keynote Speakers for the 44th Annual Research Conference:

2020 Opening Keynote Speaker on April 2, 2020:

Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, FAAN
Nursing Collegiate Professor, University of Illinois Chicago

Neighborhood research to advance health equity: Up, out, and onward

Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is Nursing Collegiate Professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. Dr. Zenk’s research focuses on understanding and addressing socio-environmental determinants of health to improve population health and eliminate inequities. Through pioneering research on food deserts, Dr. Zenk helped bring national attention to the problem of inadequate access to healthful foods in low-income and segregated neighborhoods. Dr. Zenk has since produced crucial evidence on the health implications of these neighborhood disparities, including by leveraging electronic health record data in longitudinal studies of millions of Americans. Using quasi-experimental study designs, she studies how intervention effectiveness depends on environmental context and evaluates policy impacts on health. Recognizing that a sole focus on residential environments may mischaracterize environmental exposures and lead to misdirected or bypassed interventions, her other research expands environmental measurement to include “activity spaces”. Dr. Zenk is currently combining real-time data collection approaches (e.g., GPS tracking, smartphone surveys, food images, accelerometry) to understand how activity-space environmental exposures and personal trait and state factors (e.g., executive functioning, stress) interact to influence health behaviors in a multiethnic sample of 500 midlife adults. As a proponent of team science, she collaboratively conducts all this research as part of multidisciplinary teams.

The research of Dr. Zenk and her teams is widely recognized with broad impact. She and her colleagues have published some 110 journal articles and book chapters with more than 5500 citations, and have received $50 million in extramural funding. Their research has informed eminent scientific reports and statements and advocacy efforts, and ultimately has helped spark policy changes to improve access to healthy food. Dr. Zenk chairs the NIH Community Influences on Health Behavior study section and is Associate Editor for Health & Place and Health Education & Behavior. Her recent honors include the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau and the President’s Award, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research. Dr. Zenk earned a BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University, joint MS-MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and PhD from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

2020 Closing Keynote Speaker on April 4, 2020:

Kathleen R. Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP, FAAN
Faculty, Rush University

Nursing Science as a Foundational Driver of Population Health: Get Noticed, Disrupt, and Stay Connected

As a teacher/practitioner at Rush College of Nursing (CON), Dr. Delaney has blended her academic, clinical and research roles. Her research has focused on creating safe and healing psychiatric environments for individuals with serious emotional disorders (SED) and on increasing access to child mental health services. Dr. Delaney recently designed and tested a measure of the degree a treatment environment is patient-centered/recovery oriented. Dr.  Delaney has authored policy statements focused on reducing stigma, prevention and bringing mental health services to the community settings where individuals live and work. She is currently a professor at the CON, director of the HRSA funded, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Residency  program and a member of state and national committees studying workforce and quality of mental health care.