Dr. Susan Dunn of the Hope College nursing faculty has been appointed to serve as a peer reviewer for the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The AHRQ is the lead federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.  As one of 12 agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, the AHRQ supports health services research that will improve the quality of health care and promote evidence-based decision making.

The peer reviewers serve on one of four subcommittees or study sections that review applications submitted to the AHRQ for research grants and training grants.  The study sections convene three times per year, and Dunn's appointment is for four years.

Dunn is an associate professor of nursing and chairperson of the department.  She has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1997.

Her emphases as a researcher include cardiovascular nursing, cardiac rehabilitation, depression, exercise participation and physical functioning.  She is currently investigating the symptoms of hopelessness experienced by some patients who were hospitalized for a coronary heart disease event.  In 2008, a paper that she co-authored about the research received the "New Investigator Award" presented by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Other recent recognition of her research has included the 2006 Excellence in Nursing Research Award from the Kappa Epsilon at-large chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honorary society, and the award for "Best Research Presentation by a Practitioner" during the 2005 Family Practice Research Conference XXVIII, held at Michigan State University.  She has had numerous articles published in professional journals.

Dunn holds her Ph.D. from Michigan State University, her M.S.N. from Grand Valley State University and her B.S.N. from the University of Michigan.  Immediately prior to coming to Hope she had been a member of the nursing staff at Butterworth Hospital for 12 years, during which she taught at both Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College.  She was previously on the staff of hospitals including St. Joseph Mercy, Bronson Methodist and Blodgett, as well as with a private practice.