Doherty cited for pioneering research on nurses in war

WCSU Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty received a Connecticut public university annual award recognizing exceptional research for her contributions in giving new voice and long-overdue attention to military nurses on the front line of critical medical care for service men and women injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Doherty was named the WCSU recipient of the 2012 Board of Regents/Connecticut State University Norton Mezvinsky Research Award for her research “bringing to the forefront the experiences of understudied populations,” the award citation noted. Doherty is coauthor with her twin sister and research colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, of the recently published book, “Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan,” which explores the experiences of U.S. military nurses during deployments in those war zones from 2003 to 2011.

A Ph.D. recipient from the University of Rhode Island and member of the WCSU nursing faculty since 2008, Doherty has conducted extensive research in the areas of childbearing and women’s health, and holds certifications as a nurse-midwife, family nurse-practitioner and maternal-newborn clinical nurse specialist. Her research collaboration with Scannell-Desch, a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps and nursing professor at Adelphi University, began in 2007 with a study of the experiences of women who became widowed during pregnancy as a result of their spouses’ deaths in the 9/11 terror attacks as well as in the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts.

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Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty discusses her recently published book, “Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan,” as the keynote lecturer at the 2012 WestConn Research Day held in May in the Science Building.