Center Director

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Questions? Contact us
Phone: 612-624-4823

Center Membership

Eunice M. Areba, PhD, RN, PHN
Clinical Assistant Professor


Full bio

Jayne A. Fulkerson, PhD
Professor & Center Director


  • Family-based health promotion in community settings
  • Child/adolescent obesity prevention through family meals at home
  • Research methodology, evaluation, measurement and instrument development

Full bio

Melissa L. Horning, PhD, RN, PHN
Associate Professor


  • Community-engaged, health promotion research with children, youth and families
  • Social ecological influences on adolescent health behaviors and nutrition
  • Public health nursing

Full bio

Jiwoo Lee, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor


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Wendy S. Looman, PhD, RN, CNP


  • Family health care nursing
  • Quality of life among children and youth with special health care needs
  • Care coordination for children with medical complexity

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Lauren Martin, PhD
Associate Professor


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Anne Chevalier McKechnie, PhD, RN, IBCLC
Associate Professor

  • Preparing process of expectant parents after fetal diagnoses
  • Adaptive work of parents caring for children born with complex health needs

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Barbara J. McMorris, PhD
Associate Professor


  • Prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescence
  • Promotion of health among vulnerable populations
  • Program evaluation, research methods and complex statistical modeling

Full bio

Carrie Neerland, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM
Certified Nurse Midwife


  • Maternal confidence for physiologic labor and birth
  • Care practices to support physiologic birth
  • Reducing primary cesarean birth

Full bio

Barbara L. Peterson, PhD, RN, CNS
Clinical Associate Professor


  • Psychiatric and mental health problems in children/adolescents
  • Interprofessional graduate education; integrative psychiatric mental health
  • Trauma-related nightmares and post-traumatic stress in youth

Full bio

Carolyn M. Porta, PhD, MPH, RN SANE-A, FAAN, FNAP
Professor, Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs


  • Promoting healthy physical and emotional trajectories into adulthood
  • Trans-disciplinary eco-health research to advance global health
  • Use of mHealth and photovoice strategies in health promotion

Full bio

Cheryl L. Robertson, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN


  • Refugee trauma, stress and coping
  • Climate variability, conflict and forced migration
  • Community coping interventions

Full bio

Melissa A. Saftner, PhD, CNM, RN
Clinical Professor


  • Adolescent sexual risk behavior
  • American Indian health promotion
  • Confidence for physiologic birth

Full bio

Samantha A. Sommerness, DNP, APRN, CNM
Clinical Associate Professor

612-624-9445 (Twin C

  • Improving the safety of mothers and infants in health care systems
  • Second Stage Labor: Implementation science and the quality improvement for positive clinical practice changes
  • Long-term connection with infant breastfeeding and childhood obesity

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Graduate Students

Adrianna Bell
Kristin Elgersma
Christie Martin
Lynn Tanner

Affiliate Members, Doctoral Students, and Postdoctoral Fellows

The Center invites University of Minnesota faculty from departments other than nursing, previous doctoral student members, and project staff involved in child and family research implementation, to apply for membership. Currently enrolled doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in child and family health promotion are also invited to apply for membership.  As members meet monthly in person and review confidential grant information, membership is only open to University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students.  There are no costs associated with membership in the CCFHPR.

Members can benefit from participation in a variety of activities, including research seminars, roundtables, mock grant reviews, manuscript reviews, collaborative activities with community agencies/organizations and social events.  

If you are interested in becoming a member of the CCFHPR, please complete the application form in REDCap.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jayne Fulkerson by telephone at 612-624-4823 or by email at