New Nursing Dean

November 30, 2004

Catherine Lynch Gilliss B.S.N. '71, professor and dean of the nursing school at Yale University since 1998, has been named dean of Duke's School of Nursing and vice chancellor for nursing affairs. She succeeds Mary Champagne, who was dean for thirteen years.

"As a nationally recognized nursing educator and researcher who has spent her career at some of the nation's top nursing schools, Dr. Gilliss brings to Duke a wealth of experience and knowledge," says Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs. Gilliss, an adult nurse practitioner, has been an active researcher in the areas of diabetes prevention, family management of the disease, and disparities in health risks and disease treatment for different socioeconomic and ethnic groups. She is the lead investigator for a series of grants totaling more than $3.5 million from the National Institute for Nursing Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

At Yale, Gilliss led efforts to strengthen the school's programs of research and doctoral education, and to attract more scholars from minority populations to nursing careers. In 2002, under her leadership, Yale and Howard University established the Yale-Howard Partnership Center to Eliminate Health Disparities.

"Those who study nursing know that the advancement of knowledge is not a means in itself but is deeply rooted in our social responsibility to improve health," says Gilliss. "When we educate nurses, we prepare women and men to make an impact on the health of their patients and their relevant communities. Duke's School of Nursing has a strong tradition of preparing outstanding clinicians."

Before becoming dean at Yale, Gilliss was chair of the department of family health-care nursing at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) from 1993 to 1998. As director of UCSF's Family Nurse Practitioner Program from 1988 to 1995, she led her program to a Pew Primary Care Achievement Award for Excellence.

Gilliss holds a master's in psychiatric nursing from Catholic University, an adult nurse practitioner certificate from the University of Rochester, and a doctorate of nursing science from UCSF, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship.

Gilliss has written two books, The Nursing of Families and Toward a Science of Family Nursing, and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Family Nursing; Families, Systems and Health; Journal of the Hispanic Nurses Association; Journal of the National Black Nurses Association; and Research in Nursing and Health. A fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, she is in her second term as an elected director on its board.