HCN News & Notes

UMass Amherst Nursing Inventor Named AACN’s Distinguished Research Lecturer

AMHERST — Nursing researcher Karen Giuliano, who recently joined UMass Amherst, has been selected by the American Assoc. of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) as its 2020 Distinguished Research Lecturer. The AACN established the annual award in 1982 to honor nurses who make significant contributions to research that improves patient outcomes and advances nursing education and practice.

In her joint position as an associate professor with the College of Nursing and the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), Giuliano will continue her program of research in medical-device design and innovation with a team of interdisciplinary IALS colleagues. Giuliano’s own clinical outcomes research is focused in two areas: reducing IV medication infusion error by improving the usability of IV smart pumps, and product development and the role of oral care in preventing non-ventilator, hospital-acquired pneumonia.

In her IALS product prototyping and development lab, Giuliano will work with clinical, academic, and industry partners outside UMass Amherst on a wide range of medical-device innovation initiatives. She and her team can then take product prototypes to her product-usability lab at the Mount Ida campus for validation and further development.

“Dr. Giuliano’s work focuses on the intersection of clinical needs and medical-technology use, development, and innovation,” said AACN President Megan Brunson. “Her critical-care nursing and medical-device development experience provide her with a unique perspective on testing and improving medical devices that considers both patients and providers.”

Giuliano also is collaborating with a startup, Fisher’s Indiana-based Recovery Force, as the principal investigator of a $1.8 million National Institutes of Health Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research grant. She will lead the clinical testing of a portable active-compression device designed to improve patient mobility and prevent deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots.

“I am so thankful to AACN for selecting me to share my research at the 2020 National Teaching Institute,” Giuliano said.

Her clinical experience includes 15 years of critical-care nursing. With a growing interest in product development, she then spent 13 years with Philips Healthcare, working on multi-parameter patient monitors, and later worked for several startup companies.