Jeanne Marie Stacciarini, APNA Award for Excellence in ResearchJeanne Marie Stacciarini, PhD, RN
2014 Award for Excellence in Research

Jeanne Marie Stacciarini, this year’s recipient of the APNA Award for Excellence in Research, has a passion for improving the mental health nursing care provided to underserved populations that has given rise to global collaborations, funding from the National Institute of Health, and long-standing partnerships with community members. “Mental health has been my focus of interest since I received my bachelors, and then research came as a way to ‘answer questions’ on how to provide better nursing care,” says. Her research focuses on methods to address social determinants of mental health in underserved populations. “Working with minority and underserved populations is extremely fulfilling to me,” she explains. “I am an ethnic minority myself, and my ethnic and cultural background has given me a wonderful perspective on how to be more culturally sensitive when working with diverse populations.”

Nationally, Stacciarini’s current research study focuses on health disparities in Latino immigrants living in rural areas of Florida. “As a principal investigator, I am primarily working on an intervention to reduce psycho-social health determinants and promote mental wellbeing,” she says. “My approach is community based participatory research (CBPR), which requires the community involvement from creating the research questions to disseminating the results.” In fact, community members have co-authored several of her previous publications, which speaks to the high priority Stacciarini places on forming lasting relationships with community members as she conducts research.

“Working with social isolated rural Latinos is an area of inquiry that poses difficulties in participant recruitment, follow-up and trust,” says M. Josephine Snider, EdD, RN, one APNA member who nominated her for the award. “She has absolute commitment to understanding the needs of minority communities, developing innovative research strategies to help address them, and partnering with the Latino community to promote mental health.”

Stacciarini also collaborates internationally: “As a nurse I have had the opportunity to actively work in different countries and to experience the benefits and drawbacks of learning different cultures,” she says. In Mexico she is a part of a research center on Gender and Health Disparities and in Brazil she is a member of a team investigating a Community Workers Intervention to Improve Older Adults’ Wellbeing. Such international collaborations have provided her with a global perspective when it comes to ‘answering questions’ about providing culturally-sensitive care.

In addition to superb funding and publication track records, her colleagues’ esteem for her work is what really speaks to Stacciarini’s excellence in psychiatric-mental health nursing research. Maureen Curley, ARNP, PhD, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, a fellow faculty member at University of Florida says, “In our college, she is recognized for her endeavors and passion for global heath; including international research collaborations and mentoring/advising international students and junior faculty. She is an enthusiastic, dedicated researcher in the promotion of mental health, specifically in rural underserved and minority populations, using innovative methods, to reduce health inequalities in preventive mental health care.

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