Population Health


The focus of the Population Health RIG is to advance nursing knowledge related to public health nursing, community health nursing and nurse managed centers. The membership consists of researchers and clinicians who share a common interest in expanding the research evidence base for community and population based health interventions in order to improve practice and policy.

Who Should Join

We invite members from across the research spectrum. Novice level students, entry level PhD and DNP professionals are as welcome as seasoned, experienced, funded and published researchers. We are an open-minded group without bias for a specific philosophical orientation. We aspire to quality research to build knowledge and science.

RIG Communication

Groupsite Community Networking Platform:

Meet the RIG Leadership for 2020 – 2021


Kim Hartley, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Dongjuan (Donna) Xu, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Purdue University

Past Chair 

Karen Monsen, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAMIA
Associate Professor educator, University of Minnesota

Grants Representative


2020-2021 RIG Awards

The 2020-2021 RIG Awards Nominations are now closed.  Please be sure to attend the RIG Annual Meeting right before the 2021 Annual Research Conference in March 2021 for the announcement of RIG Award Winners.

Overall/Long Term Goals

Our goal is not only to increase membership, but to mentor one another so as to promote a research agenda consistent with Quad Council (ACHNE, ANA, APHA, & ASTDN) recommendations in an ever changing health care system so as to fill knowledge gaps and develop strong evidence that cultivates healthy communities among diverse populations.

The members of this section meet yearly at the annual MNRS conference. An e-mail database supports communication among section members. Members are at various stages in their research programs and include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and other nurse researchers.

RIG Minutes/Meeting Summary

If you are interested in learning more about the Population Health RIG, please explore the minutes from the past meetings:
Population Health RIG Annual Report from the 2020 Annual Research Conference
Population Health RIG Annual Report from the 2019 Annual Research Conference

Population Health RIG minutes from the 2018 Annual Research Conference
Population Health RIG Minutes from the 2017 Annual Research Conference

Member in the Spotlight

Samantha Boch, PhD, RN

Dr. Samantha Boch, PhD, RN is a current post-doctoral scientist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Centered Pediatric Research Program. In the fall of 2020, she will serve as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati and as Affiliate Faculty in the James M. Anderson Center of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She earned her doctorate from The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Nursing in 2017. Her clinical background was in corrections nursing and her research centers on the social determinants of health with specific interest in the role mass incarceration has on child health and development.

She serves as an Evaluator for a Department of Justice funded program grant focused on  supporting adolescent youth with fathers incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail; a principal investigator of an internal grant funded qualitative project investigating the experiences and supports of families affected by incarceration; and a co-principal investigator of an OSU Center of Clinical and Translational Science funded pilot to develop a machine learning model to locate children affected by parental incarceration the electronic health record database at NCH for the purpose of identifying a cohort for subsequent analyses centered on understanding the health and health services use of children affected by parental incarceration.

Jessica Castner, PhD, RN-BC, FAEN, FAAN

Dr. Castner earned her BSN from Marquette University, MSN from University of Missouri‐Columbia, and PhD from the University of Wisconsin‐Milwaukee. Her environments for health, population health research was motivated and informed by patterns she noted in her clinical practice in the emergency department. Her research trajectory and published work revolves around four multi‐level and synergistic themes to inform the next generation of telehealth precision prevention and cardiopulmonary and sense organ surveillance:

  • inhaled toxicants and health outcomes,
  • mhealth tools for respiratory health and environmental exposure measurement,
  • unscheduled, or emergency, healthcare and utilization, and
  • understanding and improving occupational environments.

In one notable population health research contribution, Dr. Castner’s team was the first to test the multipollutant
Air Quality Health Index levels and emergency department visits for otitis with collaborators from
Health Canada. Researchers around the world have built on these findings, particularly in China and Italy, and
cited Dr. Castner’s team in high impact interdisciplinary journals. Dr. Castner was instrumental to a new page in
history, with scholarly impact that includes informing the second‐ever criminal conviction of a polluting
company under the US Clean Air/Resource Recovery and Conservation Acts (United States vs. Tonawanda Coke

Dr. Castner translates research by informing civic action and public policy with scientific evidence. These
collaborative efforts in her US‐Canadian international border region have led directly to interventions to reduce
idling traffic, regulatory permit denials on an international gas pipeline expansion, and support for town to
state‐level sustainable development policy. This impact builds on her policy‐changing cohort studies addressing
opioid use, complex comorbidity, and inpatient length of stay as root causes of frequent emergency use. Dr.
Castner is Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Academy of Emergency Nursing, and Editor‐in‐Chief of
the Journal of Emergency Nursing. She is a past co‐chair of the MNRS Health System, Policy, and Informatics RIG
and is current co‐chair of the MNRS grants committee. Here are a few of her fascinating papers:

  • Castner, J. Guo, L, Yong, Y. (2018). Ambient air pollution and emergency department visits for
    asthma in Erie County, New York 2007‐2012. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental
    Health, 91(2), 205‐214. doi: 10.1007/s00420‐017‐1270‐7
  • Kousha, T, & Castner, J. (2016). The Air Quality Health Index and otitis media. Journal of Nursing
    Scholarship, 48(2), 163‐71. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12195
  • Szyszkowicz M, Kousha T, Castner J. (2016). Air pollution and emergency department visits for
    conjunctivitis: A case‐crossover study. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and
    Environmental Health, 29(3), 381‐93. doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00442.
  • Castner, J, Wu, Y‐W, B, Mehrok, N, Gadre, A, & Hewner, S. (2015). Frequent emergency
    department use and behavioral health diagnoses. Nursing Research, 64(1), 3‐12. doi:
  • Castner, J, Yin, Y, Loomis, D, & Hewner, S. (2016). Medical Mondays: Emergency Department Utilization
    for Medicaid Recipients Depends on the Day of the Week, Season, and Holidays. Journal of Emergency
    Nursing, 42(4), 317‐24. doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2015.12.010

Each of these publications uses emergency department visit data as an outcome, and includes discussions with relevance to emergency nursing practice. Thank you for your inspiring science, Dr. Castner!

RIG Member Research Updates

Publications (PubMed, September 2019 to current)

Adebayo, C. T., Walker, K., Hawkins, M., Olukotun, O., Shaw, L., Sahlstein Parcell, E., . . . Mkandawire-Valhmu, L. (2019). Race and Blackness: A Thematic Review of Communication Challenges Confronting the Black Community Within the US Health Care System. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 31(4), 397-405.

Bevan, N. A., & Emerson, A. M. (2020). Freirean Conscientization With Critical Care Nurses to Reduce Moral Distress and Increase Perceived Empowerment: A Pilot Study. Advances in Nursing Science, doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000307.

Biederman, E., Champion, V., & Zimet, G. (2020). A conjoint analysis study on self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing characteristics among black women in Indiana. BMC women’s health, 20(1), 1-8.

Boch, S. J., Taylor, D. M., Danielson, M. L., Chisolm, D. J., & Kelleher, K. J. (2020). ‘Home is where the health is’: Housing quality and adult health outcomes in the survey of income and program participation. Preventive Medicine, 132, 105990.

Caplan, S., Sosa Lovera, A., Veloz Comas, E., & Attilus, J. (2020). A Mobile App to Prevent Depression Among Low-Income Primary Care Patients in the Dominican Republic: Sociocultural Adaptations. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 31(4), 413-424.

Castner, J., Amiri, A., Rodriguez, J., Huntington‐Moskos, L., Thompson, L. M., Zhao, S., & Polivka, B. (2019). Advancing the symptom science model with environmental health. Public Health Nursing, 36(5), 716-725.

Cavallazzi, R. S., Polivka, B. J., Beatty, B. L., Antimisiaris, D. E., Gopalraj, R. K., Vickers-Smith, R. A., & Folz, R. J. (2020). Current Bronchodilator Responsiveness Criteria Underestimate Asthma in Older Adults. Respiratory Care.

Delaney, K. R., Swartwout, K., Livesay, S. L., & Bavis, M. P. (2019). Establishing nurse practitioner clinical practicums: Addressing fiscal realities. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(11), 657-662.

Ding, Q., Funk, M., Spatz, E. S., Whittemore, R., Lin, H., Lipska, K. J., . . . Krumholz, H. M. (2019). Association of Diabetes Mellitus With Health Status Outcomes in Young Women and Men After Acute Myocardial Infarction: Results From the VIRGO Study. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(17), e010988.

Ding, Q., & Kryger, M. (2020). Greater health care utilization and cost associated with untreated sleep apnea. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 16(1), 5-6.

Drew, J. A. R., & Xu, D. (2020). Trends in Fatal and Nonfatal Injuries Among Older Americans, 2004–2017. American journal of preventive medicine, doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.1001.1008.

Dush, J. L. (2020). Adolescent food insecurity: A review of contextual and behavioral factors. Public Health Nursing, 37(3), 327-338.

Emerson, A., Allison, M., Kelly, P. J., & Ramaswamy, M. (2020). Barriers and facilitators of implementing a collaborative HPV vaccine program in an incarcerated population: A case study. Vaccine, 38(11), 2566-2571.

Ford, J. L., Boch, S. J., & Browning, C. R. (2019). Hair cortisol and depressive symptoms in youth: An investigation of curvilinear relationships. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 109, 104376.

Gao, G., Kerr, M., Beman, S., Bruhjell, C., Rudenick, J., Singh, O., . . . Monsen, K. A. (2019). Disseminating Strengths-Oriented Best Practices in Diabetes Care Utilizing a Standardized Language within a Global Community. Paper presented at the AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings.

Gibbons, A. T., Berazaluce, A. M. C., Hanke, R. E., McNinch, N. L., Person, A., Mehlman, T., . . . Ponsky, T. A. (2020). Avoiding unnecessary bronchoscopy in children with suspected foreign body aspiration using computed tomography. Journal of pediatric surgery, 55(1), 176-181.

Hartley, K., Ryan, P., Brokamp, C., & Gillespie, G. L. (2020). Effect of greenness on asthma in children: A systematic review. Public Health Nursing, 37(3), 453-460.

Huo, X., Krumholz, H. M., Bai, X., Spatz, E. S., Ding, Q., Horak, P., . . . Yan, X. (2019). Effects of Mobile Text Messaging on Glycemic Control in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease and Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 12(9), e005805.

Hurrell, S. R., Cliff, T. L., & Robertson, C. L. (2019). School Nurse Cultural Competency Development Using the National CLAS Standards: A Quality Improvement Project. The Journal of School Nursing, 1059840519877436.

Hutzel-Dunham, E., Tubbs-Cooley, H., & Kramer, K. M. (2019). A Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Triage Telehealth Model of Care. Journal of pediatric nursing, 48, 118-120.

Johnson, A., Corte, C., Culbert, G., Finnegan, L., Tarlov, E., Maskaly, J., & Lusk, B. (2020). Possible selves, psychological well‐being, and substance use in young men within 12 months post‐incarceration. Public Health Nursing, doi: 10.1111/phn.12738.

Kessler, P., Monsen, K. A., Lu, S.-C., Kreitzer, M. J., (2020). Validating standardized integrative nursing guidelines for symptom management, EC Nursing and Healthcare, 2, 2.

Khwepeya, M., Monsen, K., & Kuo, S.-Y. (2020). Quality of life and the related factors in early postnatal women in Malawi. Midwifery, doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2020.102700.

Lavender, S. A., Polivka, B. J., Darragh, A. R., Sommerich, C. M., Stredney, D. L., & Wills, C. E. (2019). Evaluating home healthcare workers’ safety hazard detection ability using virtual simulation. Home healthcare now, 37(5), 265-272.

Lavin, R. P., Veenema, T. G., Langan, J. C., Charney, R. L., Zimmerman, R. S., & Bender, A. (2019). Zika and Flint Water Public Health Emergencies: Disaster Training Tool Kits Relevant to Pregnant Women and Children. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 33(3), 229-237.

LeClair, J. N., Chamberlin, K. W., Clement, J., & Holle, L. M. (2019). Documentation of medical marijuana use in cancer patients. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, 1078155219883912.

Leslie, J. L., & Little, M. (2020). Motivating Students to Read Using Guided Notes. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(1), 58-58.

Li, Y., Dalton, V. K., Lee, S. J., Rosemberg, M.-A. S., & Seng, J. S. (2020). Exploring the validity of allostatic load in pregnant women. Midwifery, 82, 102621.

Li, Y., Rosemberg, M. A. S., Dalton, V. K., Lee, S. J., & Seng, J. S. (2019). Exploring the optimal allostatic load scoring method in women of reproductive age. Journal of advanced nursing, 75(11), 2548-2558.

Ling, J., Robbins, L. B., & Xu, D. (2019). Food Security Status and Hair Cortisol among Low-income Mother-Child Dyads. Western journal of nursing research, 41(12), 1813-1828.

Ling, J., Xu, D., Robbins, L. B., & Meyer, J. S. (2020). Does hair cortisol really reflect perceived stress? Findings from low-income mother-preschooler dyads. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 111, 104478.

Lu, S-C., Delaney, C., Tracy, M.F., Chi, C-L., & Monsen, K.A. (2020). Informatics and artificial intelligence approaches that promote use of integrative health therapies in nursing practice: A scoping review. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 5 (1), 1-22. doi:10.21926/obm.icm.2001006

Monsen, K. A. (2020). Rapid Development and Deployment of an International Omaha System Evidence-Based Guideline to Support the COVID-19 Response. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 38(5), 224-226. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000648

Monsen, K. A., & Pesut, D. J. (2020). Pilot Test of a Theory-Based Instrument to Measure Nursing Informatics Leadership Skills. Nursing leadership (Toronto, Ont.), 33(1), 100–111.

Mutchnick, I., Thatikunta, M., Braun, J., Bohn, M., Polivka, B., Daniels, M. W., . . . Moriarty, T. (2020). Protocol-driven prevention of perioperative hypothermia in the pediatric neurosurgical population. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 1(aop), 1-7.

Nunez-Villaveiran, T., Fahradyan, V., McNinch, N. L., Valentine, A., Larson, H., & Murthy, A. S. (2020). Photogrammetric Outcomes of Primary Nasal Correction in Unilateral Cleft Lip Patients: Early Childhood Results From a Single Surgeon’s Experience. Annals of plastic surgery, 84(1), 53-61.

O’Conor, R., Hebert-Beirne, J., Kwasny, M., Eldeirawi, K., Hasnain-Wynia, R., Wisnivesky, J., . . . Federman, A. (2019). Structural and functional support among US older adults with asthma: cross-Sectional associations with medication adherence. BMJ open, 9(8), e027430.

O’Neill, A. M., Mossing, M. R., Newcome, M. D., Miller, K. B., & Monsen, K. A. (2019). Developing Structured Omaha System Goals for Use in an Electronic Health Record. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 37(12), 655-661.

O’Conor, R., Benavente, J. Y., Arvanitis, M., Curtis, L. M., Eldeirawi, K., Hasnain-Wynia, R., . . . Wolf, M. S. (2019). Perceived Adequacy of Tangible Social Support and Associations with Health Outcomes Among Older Primary Care Patients. Journal of general internal medicine, 34(11), 2368-2373.

O’Conor, R., Benavente, J. Y., Kwasny, M. J., Eldeirawi, K., Hasnain-Wynia, R., Federman, A. D., . . . Wolf, M. S. (2019). Daily Routine: Associations With Health Status and Urgent Health Care Utilization Among Older Adults. The Gerontologist, 59(5), 947-955.

Odoh, C., Sears, C. G., Tompkins, L. K., Hagemeyer, A. N., Pfeiffer, J. A., Polivka, B. J., . . . Zierold, K. M. (2019). Recruitment strategies and challenges: Lessons learned from a coal ash and children’s health study. Research in nursing & health, 42(6), 446-457.

Raad, J. H., Tarlov, E., Kho, A. N., & French, D. D. (2020). Health Care Utilization Among Homeless Veterans in Chicago. Military Medicine, 185(3-4), e335-e339.

Robertson, C. L., Halcon, L., Hoffman, S. J., Osman, N., Mohamed, A., Areba, E., . . . Mathiason, M. A. (2019). Health Realization Community Coping Intervention for Somali Refugee Women. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 21(5), 1077-1084.

Rosemberg, M.-A. S., Jun, J., & Jones, L. M. (2020). Employee Health and Blood Pressure Outcomes by Job Family. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 62(3), 232-236.

Sarna, K. V., Griffin, T., Tarlov, E., Gerber, B. S., Gabay, M., & Suda, K. J. (2020). Trends in Gender Composition on Editorial Boards in Leading Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy Journals. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2019.1012.1018.

Schultz, C. M., Krassa, T. J., & Jones, K. L. (2019). Pediatric Practicums Conducted in School Settings: An Integrative Review. International journal of nursing education scholarship, 16(1), doi: 10.1515/ijnes-2018-0051.

Smith, A., & Foronda, C. (2019). Promoting Cultural Humility in Nursing Education Through the Use of Ground Rules. Nursing Education Perspectives, doi: 10.1097/1001.NEP.0000000000000594.

Spehr, M. K., Zeno, R., Warren, B., Lusk, P., & Masciola, R. (2019). Social–Emotional Screening Protocol Implementation: A Trauma-Informed Response for Young Children in Child Welfare. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 33(6), 675-683.

Stroupe, K. T., Martinez, R., Hogan, T. P., Gordon, E. J., Gonzalez, B., Kale, I., . . . Hynes, D. M. (2019). Experiences with the Veterans’ Choice Program. Journal of general internal medicine, 34(10), 2141-2149.

Tarlov, E., Silva, A., Wing, C., Slater, S., Matthews, S. A., Jones, K. K., & Zenk, S. N. (2020). Neighborhood Walkability and BMI Change: A National Study of Veterans in Large Urban Areas. Obesity, 28(1), 46-54.

Warren B. J. (2020). The Synergistic Influence of Life Experiences and Cultural Nuances on Development of Depression: A Cognitive Behavioral Perspective. Issues in mental health nursing, 41(1), 3–6.

Watts, T., Stockman, L., Martin, J., Guilfoyle, S. M., Vergeront, J. M., & Zahner, S. (2020). Estimates of Prenatal HIV, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Testing Among Pregnant People Enrolled in Wisconsin Medicaid, 2011–2015. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 24(2), 177-185.

Weaver, F. M., Hickok, A., Prasad, B., Tarlov, E., Zhang, Q., Taylor, A., . . . Sarmiento, K. (2020). Comparing VA and Community-Based Care: Trends in Sleep Studies Following the Veterans Choice Act. Journal of general internal medicine, doi: 10.1007/s11606-11020-05802-11605.

Zenk, S. N., Tarlov, E., Wing, C., Slater, S., Jones, K. K., Fitzgibbon, M., & Powell, L. M. (2019). Does the built environment influence the effectiveness of behavioral weight management interventions? Preventive Medicine, 126, 105776.