Center Director

Become a member

Request membership
Download member list


Questions? Contact us
Phone: 612-624-4823

Center Membership

Melissa D. Avery, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Maternal confidence for physiologic birth
  • Exercise and pregnancy
  • Interprofessional education

Full bio

Barbara Beacham, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Heath Cooperative


  • Family management
  • Children with chronic health conditions
  • Diabetes mellitus

Full bio

Mary M. Benbenek, PhD, MS, RN, FNP, PNP
Clinical Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Immigrant health
  • Adolescent health
  • Bone health

Full bio

Mary L. Chesney, PhD, APRN, CNP, FAANP, FAAN
Clinical Professor Distinguished University Teaching Professor Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • APRN utilization in new models of health care delivery
  • Family adjustment after international adoption
  • Parent-child attachment/relationship

Full bio

Sarah E. Friend, MPH, Rd
Evaluation Director, Home Plus Study


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

Ann E. Garwick, PhD, RN, LP, LMFT, FAAN


  • Children and youth with special health needs
  • Cross-cultural health and culturally competent care
  • Family health and stress caregiving, and coping

Full bio

Casey Hooke, PhD, APRN, PCNS, CPON
Associate Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Interventions for fatigue and related symptoms in children with cancer
  • Physical performance and exercise in children with cancer
  • Development in children with chronic illness

Full bio

Melissa L. Horning, PhD, RN, PHN
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


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

Full bio

Wendy S. Looman, PhD, RN, CNP
Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


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

Full bio

Anne Chevalier McKechnie, PhD, RN, IBCLC
Assistant Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative

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

Full bio

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

Karen A. Monsen, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAMIA
Associate Professor


  • Home visiting intervention effectiveness research
  • Standardized terminology data research
  • Data mining, data visualization, time-motion and machine learning methods

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

Susan K. O'Conner-Von, PhD, RN
Associate Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative


  • Pediatric pain and palliative care
  • Spiritual care
  • Web-based education for adolescents with cancer

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
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, Child and Family Health Cooperative


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

Full bio

Sheila Smith, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAANP
Clinical Professor


  • Community-based and vulnerable population health
  • Immigrant/refugee health
  • Homeless persons, other underserved populations

Full bio

Samantha A. Sommerness, DNP, APRN, CNM
Clinical Associate Professor, Child and Family Health Cooperative

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

Full bio

No Results

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

Graduate Students

Christie Martin
Katherine Martin
Charles Osingada