Board of Directors

PCNA Executive Board

Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

President Elect
Jo-Ann Eastwood
UCLA School of Nursing, Los Angeles, CA

Immediate Past President
Barbara J. Fletcher
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Project Development Committee Chair

Lola A. Coke
Rush Univeristy College of Nursing, Chicago, IL

PCNA Board of Directors

Jerilyn K. Allen
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

Kathy Berra
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford, CA

Lynne T. Braun
Rush University and Heart & Vascular Institute, Chicago, IL

Susan Bush


North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, CO

Mary Ann Champagne
Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA

Sandra B. Dunbar


Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Laura L. Hayman
University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA

Nancy Houston Miller
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Cindy Lamendola
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

Jane Nelson Worel
Phases, Primary Health Care for Women, Madison, WI

Kim Newlin
Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Roseville, CA

Joanna D. Sikkema
University of North Dakota, School of Nursing

PCNA Board of Directors - Bios


Dr. Lynne Braun is a Professor in the Department of Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing in the Rush University College of Nursing.  She is also a nurse practitioner in the Rush Heart Center for Women where she focuses on prevention. Dr. Braun’s clinical and research interests include cardiovascular risk reduction, exercise, cardiac rehabilitation, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension management.  She served as co-investigator for 3 research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, most recently, a study entitled, “Reducing Health Disparity in African American Women: Adherence to Physical Activity.”  She is a co-author of five AHA/ACC Scientific Statements, the AHA/ACC statement on Performance Measures for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, and 2 AHA clinical practice guidelines.  She has served as consultant to the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention for several projects. Dr. Braun is an editorial board member for the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing and the Journal of Clinical Lipidology; she serves as reviewer for numerous other journals.

Dr. Braun has been an active volunteer for the American Heart Association since 1980 in numerous capacities.  Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association of Metropolitan Chicago and the Medical Leadership Committee for Chicago’s Go Red Luncheon.  She is the Chairperson of the Illinois Advocacy Committee.  Nationally, Dr. Braun is the Past Chairperson of the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, and is a member of the Council Operations Committee and the Advocacy Coordinating Committee.  

Dr. Braun is Past President of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, a current board member, and the Chairperson of the Advocacy Committee.  She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the American Heart Association, the Institute of Medicine of Chicago, the National Lipid Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Marie Hippensteel Lingeman Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice from Sigma Theta Tau International, Distinguished Alumna Awards from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing and Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association, the Healthcare Volunteer of the Year Award by the American Heart Association, and the Coeur d’Or Medical Honoree by the American Heart Association of Metropolitan Chicago.

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Jane Nelson Worel, MNS, APRN-BC, APNP, FAHA, FPCNA is an Adult Nurse Practitioner, currently practicing Internal Medicine/Primary Care in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jane has over ten years of experience in Preventive Cardiology. Areas of clinical interest include women and heart disease and the management of patients with complex dyslipidemia, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. She has spent much of her early career involved in cardiac rehabilitation and health promotion programs in administrative and program development roles. Most recently, Jane helped establish a Women's Heart Care Clinic - whose goal is to assist women in the reduction of cardiovascular risks through lifestyle intervention along with appropriate medical therapies.

In addition to her clinical role Jane serves as a lecturer and clinical preceptor for the University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Nursing – DNP program.

She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison with both MS and BS degrees in Nursing and an MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology. She has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Heart Association where she currently serves on a leadership committee. She is a Past President and current member of the Board of Directors for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.

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Cindy Lamendola, MSN, ANP-BC, FAHA, FPCNA is a nurse practitioner/clinical research nurse coordinator at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Cardiology in Stanford, California. She received her MSN, from the University of California in San Francisco in 1997. In her current position, Ms. Lamendola's time is divided between clinical research and clinical practice. Her clinical research focus is on insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and its relationship to cardiovascular disease. Her clinical practice is focused on caring for complex patients with type 2 diabetes. Ms. Lamendola has been involved in cardiovascular nursing and primary and secondary prevention most of her career. Previously, she was an associate director/director of a large community cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program with a focus on risk factor education, lipid management and research. She also developed and managed a lipid clinic in a cardiovascular medical practice. Cindy Lamendola is a founding member, past president and current board member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. She is also a member and fellow of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Nursing Council and participated in the American Heart Association Prevention Conference VI: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Writing Group IV: Lifestyle and Medical Management of Risk Factors. She is also a member of the American Diabetes Association.

Ms. Lamendola is past president of the California Society for Cardiac Rehabilitation and is a fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. She currently serves on the review board for the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, and the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. She has spoken nationally on insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, lipid management, and cardiovascular risk factors, and has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals on these subjects. She recently wrote a chapter on Insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, in Cardiac Nursing, a companion to Braunwald’s Heart Disease. Moser, D, Riegel B Eds, Saunders, Elesvier Missouri, 463-484. 2008.

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Jerilyn Allen, RN, ScD, FAAN is M. Adelaide Nutting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public health.  Dr. Allen received a BSN from Pennsylvania State University, a Masters degree from the University of Maryland, and a Doctor of Science degree from Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The contributions of Dr. Allen’s program of research to the understanding of cardiovascular risk factors, prevention, and lifestyle modification in persons with or at high risk for the development of cardiovascular disease is well-recognized and highly regarded in the field of cardiovascular nursing and medicine. She has developed and tested innovative intervention models to advance nursing care such as a program of home-based risk factor modification, a nurse case management system for the treatment of hyperlipidemia, and improving adherence to national guidelines in federally qualified community clinics to reduce total cardiovascular risk in urban under-served communities.  As the principal investigator and co-investigator on multidisciplinary research teams in the medical and public health arenas, she has advocated for the nursing perspective.  This has shaped the scope of research questions asked and their relevance to nursing and cardiovascular health.  The interdisciplinary nature and findings of the research have made important contributions to the practice of nurses, physicians, and other health care providers who are involved in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Her research is always characterized by its innovation and clinical relevance.

Dr. Allen has presented her work both nationally and internationally and authored many outstanding publications in refereed, peer-reviewed nursing and medical journals. Dr. Allen’s expertise has been sought for formal consultation on numerous research initiatives in the U.S. and abroad, influencing the directions of research, practice and policy. Dr. Allen has served actively as a positive mentor, teaching, guiding, and developing faculty and students in research within the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and other universities nationally and internationally.   

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Joanna Sikkema, DNP, ANP-BC, FAHA, FPCNA is a Board Certified Adult nurse practitioner and a full time Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of North Dakota School of Nursing. She currently teaches in the Doctor of Nursing and Adult/Family Nurse Practitioner Programs. Dr. Sikkema has been providing primary and urgent care to employees and their families at a corporate health site in South Florida for the past 5 years. She is a Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council of Cardiovascular Nursing and a Fellow of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
Dr. Sikkema has recently served on several national health care advisory boards including the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Heart Failure Project, the American College of Cardiology CREDO (Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Cardiovascular Outcomes), the American Medical Association PCPI Project in Cardiology and the American Nurses Association Congress of Nursing Practice and Economics. She has authored several publications, served on several national guideline writing committees including the ACC/AHA Management of the Patient with Stable Ischemic Heart Disease and written several chapters in current primary care, APRN leadership and cardiology textbooks. She recently completed a research study on cardiovascular risk among Hispanics and the impact of gender, age and family history.

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Kathy Berra graduated from Stanford University and received her Master's and Adult Nurse Practitioner Degree from the University of San Francisco. Her research at the Stanford University School of Medicine has focused on heart disease prevention, women and heart disease, and nurse case management for CVD risk reduction. She has published extensively in the medical literature, has authored 2 books, and speaks internationally on heart disease related subjects. In 2007, Kathy started a home based care management company with Nancy Houston Miller, RN called the LifeCare Company. Their business is dedicated to improving caregiving and supporting caregivers.

Kathy serves on the Council for Aspirin in Health and Prevention, a Council of the Partnership for Prevention.   She is past president of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.  She is a founder and past president of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and serves on their Board of Directors.

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Dr. Cheryl R. Dennison Himmelfarb is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Department of Health Systems and Outcomes and School of Medicine Division of Health Sciences Informatics. She is a deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and Director of the ICTR Office of Recruitment and Retention. Dr. Dennison Himmelfarb’s research involves developing and testing interventions to promote self care and reduce cardiovascular risk among high risk populations in the acute care and community settings. She has been an investigator or principal investigator on numerous NIH-funded randomized controlled trials testing interdisciplinary models of care and telehealth-based interventions. She has over 60 publications and has presented on issues in cardiovascular risk management and self care at local, national, and international scientific meetings.

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Susan Bush, RN, BSN, FPCNA has devoted her career to cardiovascular nursing in various capacities including critical care, lipid disease management, and cardiac rehabilitation.  Her nursing education started with an Associate of Science degree from Florida State College and continued with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Regis University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is continuing her education at Regis University in the Masters in Nursing Leadership and Health Administration Program. Susan currently manages the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado. Professional duties include supervision of Phases I through III Cardiac Rehabilitation, staff, patient, student, and community health education development and presentation, planning and facilitation of support group meetings, quality improvement, policy and procedure development, and certification preparation. As a cardiovascular disease manager she researched, developed, and implemented a lipid disease management program for sixty primary care physicians which included training as well as compiling and analyzing data.  Susan is a founding member and past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of PCNA.  Since the official designation as a chapter in October 2010, she has planned and moderated meetings and collaborated with the Colorado American College of Cardiology developing educational conferences. She has been a PCNA member since 2004 and has participated on multiple committees. Other professional memberships include AACVPR and ACC.

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Mary Ann Champagne, MSN, CNS, FAHA, FPCNA is a clinical nurse specialist and the nurse coordinator for the Stanford University Medical Center's Preventive Cardiology Clinic. Ms. Champagne received her Bachelor of Science degree from Seattle University and her Master of Science degree with a specialty in adult cardiovascular nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She has spent the majority of her professional career in the area of risk reduction and prevention of cardiovascular disease; starting out in the coronary care unit and moving in to cardiac rehabilitation and then to primary and secondary prevention. She was one of the nurse coordinators in the Stanford Coronary Risk Intervention Project (SCRIP). This was an angiographic regression trial that utilized nurse case managers to implement an aggressive multiple risk factor reduction intervention in patients with coronary artery disease. She has been a medical supervisor in the local cardiac rehabilitation program for over 30 years. She also lectures in subjects related to global cardiovascular risk reduction and disease prevention with an emphasis on dyslipidemia and hypertension. Ms. Champagne is one of the founding board members of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. She served as president of PCNA for two terms and has also been co-chair for the annual symposium. She continues to serve on the Board of PCNA and has been involved in a variety of activities, including serving as chief editor of “A Pocket Guide: National Guidelines and Tools for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction.” Ms. Champagne has been a member of the Cardiovascular Nursing Council of the American Heart Association (AHA) since mid 1980’s. She has supported many of the local, state and national AHA initiatives. In November 2004, she was designated as a Fellow in the AHA.

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Dr. Lola Coke is an assistant professor in Adult Health and Gerontological Nursing at Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago, Il. Dr. Coke has worked as a cardiovascular nurse for 30 years; 15 as a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist. Her acute care experience ranges from intermediate cardiac critical care to care of post open heart and peripheral vascular surgery patients. Her research area of interest includes the impact of resistance training on household physical activities and quality of life in women experiencing cardiac events. She was awarded an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in 2001 and developed a “Healthy Heart” program for under-served African American women, continuing the program for two years, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for the program. In 2006 she received the “Martha Hill New Investigator” Award from the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, American Heart Association for her resistance training research. In addition, Dr. Coke recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Bio-behavioral Health Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Coke is certified in Motivational Interviewing and conducts workshops and webinars in MI. Dr. Coke is a member of the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, serves as co-web editor for the Council website and serves on the membership committee. Dr. Coke is also a member of AACVPR and ACSM. Besides her program of research, Dr. Coke’s passion is to develop culturally sensitive, literacy appropriate materials to teach under-served populations about cardiovascular risk factor reduction and to develop creative and effective methods to begin educating patients in the acute care setting.

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Dr. Sandra B. Dunbar is the Associate Dean of Academic Advancement and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Cardiovascular Nursing at the Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, GA. She has focused her program of research on improving outcomes for complex cardiovascular patients and their families and has conducted NIH and other funded clinical trials that developed and tested intervention focused on improving self-care and quality of life and reducing cardiovascular risk, psychosocial distress and health resource use. Her leadership spans three other professional nursing organizations in that she has served as Chair of the Council of Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing of the American Heart Association (AHA), chair of the Nursing Council of the Heart Failure Society of America, and President of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She holds fellowships in the AHA, the American Academy of Nursing, and PCNA. She has published widely in nursing and interdisciplinary journal and has presented her work at local, national, and international scientific meetings.

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Barbara Johnston Fletcher, RN, MSN, FPCNA, FAAN is currently Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, College of Health, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. As a clinician and researcher in the field of cardiovascular nursing, she has conducted seminal studies on activity for cardiac patients, which evolved into a steady trajectory of scholarly inquiry into exercise behaviors and outcomes for different patient populations. She has led multidisciplinary research projects as a co-principal investigator of federally funded studies addressing cardiovascular risk factors.  Barbara has consistently disseminated her expertise and research through more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books. She is a founding board member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and has supported nursing education and leadership for many years. Her leadership in the American Heart Association's Council on Cardiovascular Nursing led directly to innovative health policy activities, increased visibility for nursing science, and expanded the scope of nursing's influence in important patient care and research issues. Her innovative and creative contributions to nursing, health care, and the public are exemplary. She is one of the founding members of “Us”, a University of North Florida, College of Health program addressing women and girls’ health in the greater Jacksonville area.

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Dr. LAURA L. HAYMAN, PHD, RN, FPCNA, FAAN is Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) and  Associate Vice-Provost for Research at UMass Boston.  Dr. Hayman earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Her program of research and scholarship has focused on primary prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in children, adolescents and families from diverse populations.  Her current interdisciplinary projects combine clinical and community-based approaches designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduce risk for obesity and cardiometabolic disease in school-aged children and adolescents and community-based research designed to  reduce health disparities and promote health equity.
Dr. Hayman has served on numerous national and international interdisciplinary advisory and expert panels relevant to primary prevention of obesity and CVD in childhood and adolescence. Dr. Hayman serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, and MCN: The American Journal of Maternal-Child Nursing. She is a past president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and a member of the Society's Health Policy Committee.

Dr. Hayman has also served in leadership roles in the American Heart Association (AHA); currently, she is a member of the Committee on Atherosclerosis, Hypertension and Obesity in the Young and the Leadership Committee, Council on Cardiovascular Nursing. She holds fellowships in SBM, AHA, the American Academy of Nursing, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and PCNA. She has been a member of the PCNA Board of Directors since 1997, served as president, 2006-2007, and currently chairs the International Committee.

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Nancy Houston Miller, RN, BSN, FAHA, FPCNA, is Director of the LifeCare Company dedicated to providing nurse care management to patients with complex medical problems.  She is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of California San Francisco and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.  For 35 years she was the Associate Director of the Stanford University Cardiac Rehabilitation Program of research. She attended the University of Washington School of Nursing where she obtained her BSN. Her fellowships include the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. Ms. Houston Miller has been the director of many major clinical research trials in cardiology prevention and rehabilitation.  She is also one of the developers of the MULTIFIT nurse care management program for patients with chronic disease including hypertension, diabetes, CAD, and heart failure. She is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the California Affiliate of the American Heart Association, and has served on the national board of directors. Ms. Houston Miller is one of the founders of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and is a past president. In 2000, she received the Award of Meritorious Achievement from the American Heart Association for her work in secondary prevention, and the Award of Excellence from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for her contributions to cardiac rehabilitation. She is the author of over 150 publications including both journal articles and book chapters.

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Dr. Jo-Ann Eastwood is an Associate Professor in Health Promotion Sciences/Acute Care Nursing and the Program Director for Advanced Practice at the University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing. She is a clinical nurse specialist and a board certified acute care nurse practitioner. Her program of research encompasses the study of gender differences in ischemic heart disease (IHD) and the identification of specific biologic, diagnostic and psychosocial correlates of IHD in premenopausal women. Her research activities include the development of new knowledge regarding hormonal mechanisms that contribute to early IHD as well as the early identification of "at risk" women for subclinical or early IHD. Her current research combines clinical and m-Health approaches to risk reduction in young, minority women. She is the recipient of an American Heart Association Clinical Research award, in which she combines a community-based participatory research model with mobile health technology. Her innovative approach focuses on development of self-management skills designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors and reduce cardiovascular risk in young Black women in the Los Angeles area. 

Dr. Eastwood is a Fellow of the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN) and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. She is the Vice-Chair of the Prevention Committee for these two councils. Dr. Eastwood is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association. She is a long-standing member of the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau and the Academy of Women’s Health.

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Kim Newlin is currently practicing as a Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist and Adult Nurse Practitioner at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, California. She first earned a BS in Exercise Physiology at University of California at Davis, then completed the RN and CNS program at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Gerontology/Adult Nurse Practitioner post-master’s program through the University of Massachusetts at Boston.  

Kim is the Clinical Manager of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab as well as the Heart Health Clinic and Cardiology Care Transitions program, while continuing to see patients in the Heart Health clinic which she established in 2011. She developed the first heart failure specific class in Cardiac Rehab and the first Care Transitions Program in the Sutter Sacramento region, both of  which have significantly improved the patient experience during the transition home and reduced readmission back to the hospital. She also continues to have the opportunity to teach a variety of classes to the nursing staff, mentor new and seasoned nurses and work on process improvement and research programs within the hospital and the region. 

Kim has been the president of the local PCNA chapter leader for ten years, served on several PCNA committees and helped develop PCNA’s cholesterol brochure and the physical activity section of the Heart Healthy Toolbox. She is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Heart Association and California Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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