Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Advancement
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Emory University
Sandra Dunbar has been a member of the faculty in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing since 1988. She is a cardiovascular nurse researcher and educator whose program of research focuses on psychosocial responses to serious cardiac illness, such as heart failure (HF) and ventricular arrhythmia and treatment with implantable technology. Studies of patient and family responses have led to the development and testing of interventions to improve both physical and psychosocial outcomes. Dunbar's current work is focused on interventions for HF patients who also have diabetes and interventions to improve integrated self care in comorbid conditions. She is also the principal investigator of an NIH funded study focused on caregiver stress for those assisting family members who have heart failure. She has tested a family focused intervention to improve outcomes for patients with chronic heart failure and conducted a clinical trial of a psychoeducational intervention to improve outcomes (depression, anxiety, functional status) of high risk arrhythmia patients treated with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
Dunbar has led interdisciplinary teams in studies funded by NIH NINR, the American Heart Association, and NHLBI. Dunbar is also an active volunteer and former chair of the American Heart Association's Council of Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, and she has served as President of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and chair of the Nursing Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America. She is a member of the editorial board of several major nursing journals including Heart and Lung, and Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses and the American Heart Association, and has received the prestigious Katherine A. Lembright award from the American Heart Association for her contributions to cardiovascular nursing research. She received the 2003 Georgia Nurse Researcher Award, was named the 2005 Distinguished Research Lecturer by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and recently named as one of the top 10 cardiovascular nursing scientists of the American Heart Association. Dunbar was named the 2010 Distinguished Nurse Researcher by the Southern Nurses Research Society and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2013.
At Emory University, Dunbar has been a fellow in the Woodruff Leadership Academy for the 2006 year, and she has served on the President's Advisory Committee, the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Initiative, and the Predictive Health Initiative Development group, and is member of the Emory Women’s’ Heart Health Center. She received the One in One Hundred Mentor award from the Emory School of Medicine postdoctoral training program. She has served the School of Nursing as Department Chair of Adult and Elder Health, Director of Graduate Studies and Coordinator of the PhD in Nursing Program, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Symptoms, Symptom Interactions and Health Outcomes. She leads the T32 Training Program focused on Improving Outcomes in Chronic Conditions.