University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Michele Polfuss named Joint Nursing Research Chair at UWM and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

The research chair is housed at the UWM College of Nursing and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

By - Jun 12th, 2017 06:00 am
Michele Polfuss. Photo from UWM.

Michele Polfuss. Photo from UWM.

MILWAUKEE _ Michele Polfuss, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC/PC, has been appointed to the Joint Research Chair in the Nursing of Children at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

The research chair is housed at the UWM College of Nursing and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Both institutions have nurse scientists conducting research in the care of children and families. The chair was created to conduct clinical nursing research and integrate that research into the curriculum at the UWM College of Nursing and clinical programs at Children’s Hospital.

Polfuss, an assistant professor of nursing, will also provide research consultation and mentoring to students and faculty at UWM’s College of Nursing and nurses at Children’s Hospital.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as the Joint Research Chair in the Nursing of Children,” Polfuss said. “I look forward to working with the leaders and staff at Children’s Hospital, especially Dr. Rosemary White-Traut and other nurse researchers in the department of nursing research. Together, we will further the already strong nursing research presence and assist in building research teams that include nurses and other interdisciplinary partners. This work will play an integral role in improving the health and well-being of children and families.”

Polfuss joined the College of Nursing faculty in 2013. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner both in acute and primary care. Previous clinical experience includes working in pediatrics within the subspecialties of obesity, endocrinology and cardiology. Polfuss became interested in research as a student during her master’s program. Her first endeavor was working as a research assistant on a study at Children’s Hospital that examined postoperative pain management in children. Polfuss found it empowering to see how research affects patient care.

During her practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner, Polfuss developed a particular interest in the role of the family in pediatric obesity. Early on she collaborated with a psychologist and a nurse on a small study of children of parents who underwent bariatric surgery. Her clinical practice continued to inform her research interests, and her PhD dissertation examined the relationship between parenting behaviors and a child’s weight. Recognizing the increased prevalence of obesity in children with certain diagnoses, her research is focused on advancing the science of weight management in children, with a concentration on the special needs population. Polfuss earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she was named Young Alumni of the Year. She has a master’s degree in nursing and a PhD from Marquette University. She is an active member of the Childhood Obesity Special Interest Group within the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

About UWM
Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 89 countries on a budget of $667 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2017 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, as well as a top “Green College.”

About the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and wellbeing of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wisconsin, is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It is ranked in all 10 specialty areas in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Children’s provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. The Children’s Hospital nursing program has been designated a Magnet facility by the American Nursing Credentialing Center for three consecutive four-year periods. This achievement places Children’s Hospital in the top echelon of hospitals worldwide.

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