Dr. Sharon Horner, professor of nursing at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected a 2009 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, an organization that promotes health policy and practice.
The academy is composed of about 1,500 nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research. Fellows are chosen annually to recognize their efforts in advancing the profession of nursing. New fellows will be inducted at the academy's meeting Nov. 5-7 in Atlanta.
Horner specializes in asthma management education programs for children and parents in rural areas. Through $3.4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, she has developed and tested unique asthma management interventions specific to the needs of rural and minority populations.
Study results showed that school-age children participating in the asthma health education programs improved significantly in their asthma self-management and skill at using an inhaler. They had 50 percent fewer hospitalizations.
Horner's interventions have had positive impact for her participants and the ready-to-use materials have been widely disseminated to parents, school volunteers and school nurses. Her publications discussing the methodological innovations in her projects have strengthened the capabilities of other researchers to respond to the needs of special populations.
"For more than a decade, Dr. Horner has been a national leader in the development and testing of interventions to improve the health of children and adolescents," said Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, interim dean of nursing. "Until her research program, very few (less than 50) Mexican Americans had been included in research related to asthma self-management - despite the fact that this is the fastest growing minority group in the United States and will be the majority population in Texas by 2020."
The School of Nursing now has 15 fellows in the academy, six of whom are emeritus faculty members.