Two OHSU scholars named American Academy of Nursing fellows


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Quin Denfeld, Ph.D., RN, FAHA, and Ellen Tilden, Ph.D., CNM, RN, FACNM, are among 250 new fellows who have been elected by an American Academy of Nursing selection committee for being nursing’s most accomplished leaders. (OHSU)

Two Oregon Health & Science University scholars have been named American Academy of Nursing fellows, a prominent recognition that is considered one of the highest honors nurses can receive.

Quin Denfeld, Ph.D., RN, FAHA, stands by a tree.

Quin Denfeld, Ph.D., RN, FAHA (OHSU)

Quin Denfeld, Ph.D., RN, FAHA, and Ellen Tilden, Ph.D., CNM, RN, FACNM, are among 250 new fellows who have been elected by an American Academy of Nursing selection committee for being nursing’s most accomplished leaders. Fellows transform America’s health system practice by creating and sharing nursing knowledge, and are recognized for their contributions to advancing the public’s health, championing health and wellness, and their expertise in policy, research, administration, practice and academia.

Ellen Tilden, Ph.D., CNM, RN, FACNM

Ellen Tilden, Ph.D., CNM, RN, FACNM (Courtesy)

“We are proud of all of our American Academy of Nursing fellows and extremely proud to have two faculty selected for fellowship this year,” said OHSU School of Nursing Dean Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. “Drs. Denfeld and Tilden are accomplished leaders who will have the additional opportunity to deepen their influence and contributions through the academy.”

A lifelong Oregonian, Denfeld is an associate professor in the OHSU Schools of Nursing and Medicine. She began her career in 2006 as a critical care nurse in OHSU’s cardiac and surgical intensive care units, and then shifted to research. Her research focuses on understanding and addressing the symptoms and frailty of adults who experience heart failure, particularly in women and older adults. Denfeld is currently leading a National Institutes of Health-supported study following 240 adults after they’re hospitalized for heart failure, seeking to understand how their symptoms develop and change over time. She has led and co-written multiple scientific statements and research papers that advance adult cardiovascular care.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. (OHSU)

Denfeld is an associate editor of the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and on the editorial board of the Journal of Cardiac Failure. She mentors undergraduate and graduate nursing students, as well as professionals in a variety of health disciplines. Also a fellow of the American Heart Association, Denfeld holds a Ph.D. in nursing science from the OHSU School of Nursing, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cardiovascular medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as an American Academy of Nursing fellow,” Denfeld said. “This incredible opportunity will allow me to continue advancing my efforts to collaboratively build a clinically relevant knowledge base that is supported by robust science so we can advance adult cardiovascular care, including improving patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life. As a fellow, I will strive to amplify the contributions of nursing science through national and international venues and also advance the OHSU School of Nursing’s research, mentorship and other valuable missions.”

Tilden is an associate professor in the OHSU Schools of Nursing and Medicine, as well as a practicing certified nurse midwife at the OHSU Center for Women’s Health. Having been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and other health journals, her research has influenced clinical guidelines and health policy related to where parents give birth, how long labor lasts, and the cost, quality and effectiveness of health system innovations. Tilden’s research seeks to reduce harm and death in parents who undergo unnecessary cesarean delivery or experience perinatal depression. She is leading studies focused on abnormally slow or prolonged laborpreventing perinatal depression, and models of doula and midwifery care.

Tilden is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Center Mom, Inc., a Portland-based startup that is focused on making effective, preventive mental health care available in routine prenatal care settings, and is also the clinical director of maternity services for Stork Club, Inc., which helps companies provide fertility, pregnancy and parental benefits for their employees. She is the associate editor of the journal Birth, data management chair for the Research Division of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and a member of the national data and research workgroup of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Maternal and Infant Morbidity and Mortality. Also a fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives, Tilden holds a Ph.D. from the OHSU School of Nursing and completed post-doctoral research training in women’s health through OHSU’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program.

“I am sincerely honored to be named a fellow in the United States’ preeminent nursing policy body,” said Tilden. “But being a fellow is more than an honor; it also brings the opportunity to make a real impact on health systems and policy nationally as well as internationally. Given recent recognition of unacceptable rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in our country, and especially for people of color, I will use my new position to contribute to much-needed maternity care system improvements. It will be my privilege to leverage my record of partnering across disciplines to advance equity and wellness, promote innovation and sustainability, reduce burdens on patients, providers and systems, and create health systems that support parents and children in a way that they can both thrive.”

Other active OHSU School of Nursing faculty who are American Academy of Nursing fellows include Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., RN; Dena Hassouneh, Ph.D., RN; Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, Ph.D., M.B.A., RN, NEA-BC; Joanne Noone, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF; Asma Taha, Ph.D., CPNP-PC/AC; and Helen Turner, D.N.P., RN-BC, PCNS. 

Denfeld, Tilden and other newly elected fellows will be recognized at an Oct. 29 ceremony  during the academy’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Including this year’s class, more than 3,000 nurses from 17 countries will now serve as academy fellows.


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