379 Newton Hall
1585 Neil Ave.
Dr. Balas’ interest in conducting clinical research was spurred by numerous, often heart-breaking experiences she encountered during her practice as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) It is here she witnessed firsthand the devastating effects ICU-acquired pain, anxiety, and delirium had on patients, their families, and our healthcare system. It is also where she first grasped the importance of truly interprofessional education, practice, and research. Supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Program and mentored by leaders in the field of Gerontology, Dr. Balas’ doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on defining the epidemiology and outcomes of delirium in the surgical ICU setting. Since then, she continues to build a program of research focused on developing and testing interventions aimed at improving the cognitive, functional, and quality of life outcomes of critically ill adults. Dr. Balas been consistently funded as a PI or Co-I on several university and private foundation grants. She was a Co-PI on a study supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI). This project addressed a core dimension of the INQRI program, that being the translation of knowledge to improve nursing care and patient outcomes. Dr. Balas’ interprofessional team focused on rigorously developing, implementing, and evaluating an evidence-based, multicomponent delirium reduction strategy for critically ill adults (i.e., the ABCDE bundle). She was Co-I on another interprofessional, multi-institutional research study funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, where the team tested a novel and fundamentally different method of measuring functional status in cognitively impaired older adults. We believe this new technology (i.e., multimodal monitoring) will vastly improve stratification and outcome evaluation for clinical trials in both primary and acute care. Most recently, she was awarded a peer reviewed, industry sponsored grant that will explore the symptom experience and outcomes associated with ABCDEF bundle implementation in a particularly under-studied area (i.e., the Long-Term Acute Care setting).