Associate Dean Mollie Cummins received one of six Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chairs this week.
Cummins accepted her chair and medallion at a luncheon Oct. 15. She was recognized for her work in informatics research. She is a co-investigator on the Pediatric Research using Integrated Sensor Monitoring Systems (PRISMS) project at the College of Nursing and is working to establish a new University of Utah Center of Excellence for Exposure Health Informatics, along with Professor Kathy Sward.
At Tuesday's event, Cummins noted the College of Nursing's reputation as a hub of nursing science. "We are rising to become one of the premier academic nursing departments in the nation, and I am so excited to be a part of it," she said.
Cummins, who came to the University of Utah College of Nursing in 2004, received her PhD from Indiana University. In 2007, she studied methods of complexity science at the Santa Fe Institute. Prior to her research career, Cummins worked as an emergency nurse and family nurse practitioner. She recently chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Informatics.
Cummins, who also leads the college's PhD program, has led a series of studies related to informatics applications in poison control, and she is currently working on a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and evaluate a health information exchange process for emergency departments and poison control centers. She is also heavily engaged in clinical research informatics and serves as a biomedical informatics lead for the University of Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). She has authored numerous articles, book chapters, scientific papers, and abstracts, and previously served as a journal editor.
"No one works alone," she said. "With this chair, I'll be able to fund students and post-doctoral trainees, fund critical technical staff, and support the efforts of poison center specialists tied to our research. It is extraordinary."
Cummins thanked her research partners, including professors Kathy Sward and Julio Facelli; and Barbara Crouch and Heather Bennett, from the Utah Poison Control Center. "My work is truly our work," Cummins said.
Huntsman chairs provide additional research funding for five years.