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AHA names Barbara Riegel, PhD, FAHA, FAAN, a 2015 Distinguished Scientist

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PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 9, 2015) – The American Heart Association (AHA) has named Penn Nursing's Barbara Riegel, PhD, FAHA, FAAN, professor of Nursing, the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Chair of Gerontology and director of the Biobehavioral Research Center, a 2015 Distinguished Scientist. Riegel received this honor during the opening meeting of the AHA Scientific Sessions on November 8, 2015.

The AHA's Distinguished Scientists are a prominent group of scientists and clinicians whose work has importantly advanced the understanding of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. It honors significant, original and sustained scientific contributions that have advanced the association's mission of "building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."

Riegel is an established nurse scientist studying adults with cardiovascular disease. Her primary research interest is self-care of older adults with chronic heart failure. Recently her interests have expanded to include multimorbidity–a common phenomenon in adults with heart failure. She focuses her research on the self-care issues of medication adherence and decision-making in response to symptoms. Her finding have demonstrated that poor medication adherence is a primary contributor to hospitalization in heart failure, identified intentional and unintentional factors associated with poor medication adherence, and developed an approach to improving medication adherence in these patients.

Riegel has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and is often invited to speak nationally and internationally on self-care. This interest grew out of her early years as a clinical nurse researcher in California, where she led several studies testing disease management approaches to transitioning chronically ill patients from hospital to home, a theme that continues in her current program of research.

This is the third major honor Riegel has received this year. Earlier in 2015 she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, and presented the AHA Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing's Kathleen A. Dracup Distinguished Lecture in Exemplary Early-Career Mentoring.

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About the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing is one of the world's leading schools of nursing and is ranked the #1 graduate nursing school in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Penn Nursing is consistently among the nation's top recipients of nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through research, education, and practice.

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