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Jill H. Esquivel, Ph.D., R.N., N.P. Selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar


NEWS RELEASE                                                     Contact: Gretchen Wright or Johanna Diaz
August 31, 2011                                                                        202/371-1999
University of California, San Francisco’s Esquivel Named a
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Health Disparities Researcher Studying Heart Failure Among Latinos is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
San Francisco—Jill Esquivel, Ph.D., R.N., N.P., an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop an intervention to help Latinos prevent and manage heart failure. Esquivel is one of just 12 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 next month.
“The generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will help me show whether teaching Latinos with heart failure about self-care improves their mental and physical symptoms and their quality of life,” Esquivel said.
For her research project, Esquivel will test a linguistically and culturally appropriate intervention aimed at educating Latinos about how best to care for themselves. One group of patients will be given a one-hour presentation about how to manage symptoms caused by heart failure as well as helpful tools such as an easy-to-read scale, nutritious, culturally appropriate recipes, and a script to read to health providers in cases of emergency. In addition, a bilingual, bicultural nurse will contact patients to discuss symptoms and treatment every other week for six months. Patients will then be compared to other heart failure patients who receive standard care.
The test is designed to identify interventions that effectively teach Latinos with heart failure how to care for themselves and how to respond in emergencies. It is also designed to lay the groundwork for a larger, nationwide study on effective interventions among vulnerable people with heart failure.
Heart failure—when the heart is unable to effectively pump blood through the body—is the leading cause of hospitalization in the United States. Chronic heart failure can cause a range of uncomfortable and disabling symptoms that make even simple daily tasks difficult. Acute heart failure can cause severe symptoms and death. Latinos are among the vulnerable populations that are at greater risk of heart failure and that experience worse outcomes.
“Latinos are at greater risk of developing heart failure, a condition with higher mortality rates than most cancers,” Esquivel said. “Yet little research has been conducted into ways to help Latinos learn about and manage heart failure—and prevent the cycle of re-hospitalization and persistent physical decline. My study will begin to change that.”
Esquivel’s selection comes as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is embarking on a collaborative campaign to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. Based on the recommendations from a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine nursing report released last year—The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, RWJF is spearheading the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to engage nurses and non-nurses in a nationwide effort to overhaul the nursing profession. The campaign is working to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care.
Her mentors are: Barbara Drew, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N, Lilian & Dudley Aldous Professor of Nursing Science in the Department of Physiological Nursing in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco; and Kristen Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., M.D., M.A.S., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology and biostatistics in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program 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 shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses and faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to teach them.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping to curb the 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 at 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.
This is the fourth cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars. Many members of the first three cohorts have been published and recognized for outstanding work since they were accepted into the program.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars 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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