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Faculty Spotlight: Assistant Professor Susan Brasher, PhD, CPNP

Susan Brasher has an extensive pediatric background in both the inpatient setting as a pediatric Registered Nurse in a pediatric dedicated hospital and in the outpatient setting as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP). Additionally, she has several years of experience in teaching Pediatric Nursing to both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. She received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Florida with an emphasis on pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Briefly, tell us about a research project you’re working on...

I am currently the Principal Investigator (PI) of a patient-centered outcomes research institute (PCORI) award working alongside a team of patients and stakeholders to address the challenges of transitioning to adulthood in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is a two-year PCORI Eugene Washington engagement award that builds upon patient and stakeholder partnerships established in our previously funded PCORI award. In our current project, we expanded these partnerships to include individuals with ASD, caregivers, clinicians, and other key stakeholders (e.g., those truly informed on the challenges of transitioning to adulthood in ASD). The ultimate goal of our project is to facilitate services, inform treatment, identify and reduce service barriers, and improve healthcare decision making for individuals with ASD transitioning to adulthood. Our project has the unique opportunity to provide patients and stakeholders a voice in identifying needs encountered during transitioning to adulthood in ASD and ways to address these needs through patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).

What is one thing you hope your work can offer humanity by the end of your career?

It would be my greatest hope that my PCOR work would help contribute to a paradigm shift within research. Through my work, I hope more researchers and clinicians will see the value in forming collaborative partnerships with patients and stakeholders to create comparative effective research (CER) questions and evidence-based solutions that can be applied in real-world settings. This, in turn, will result in research that addresses questions important to patients, better health care delivery, enhanced healthcare decision-making, and improved health outcomes.
If you could go back in time and offer yourself some advice early in your career, what would you say?
Be grateful for the opportunities you were afforded. Trust that you are being molded to be an excellent nurse, nurse practitioner, and researcher. Remain focused on helping children and families. Keep asking questions and searching for the answers to those questions! All your hard work pays off! 

What do you enjoy most about being at Emory Nursing?

Emory Nursing raises the bar for nursing excellence and continues to inspire me to grow as a nurse, nurse practitioner, professor, and researcher. I am motivated by the excellent faculty and students to continually strive for greatness. I feel supported by colleagues and have no doubt I can attain my goals with their support.

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