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First Nursing Research Chair at CHEO Reinforces Commitment to Quality Care for Kids

– February 10, 2011 The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the CHEO Research Institute and the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa are proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Denise Margaret Harrison as CHEO’s first Endowed Chair Nursing Care of Children, Youth and their Families.

An endowed chair of nursing care finds new approaches to patient care through innovative research and education. Dr. Harrison, assistant professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, is a world-class researcher in the field of pediatric pain and her work has resulted in the development of a number of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of pain in hospitalized infants around the world.

“Nurses ask different questions, given their clinical role. I see my job as helping support the search for these answers and, ultimately, help improve care,” said Dr. Harrison. "I remember inserting an IV drip in a very sick baby more than 10 years ago. The baby became very distressed, and I asked myself ‘How can we do this better?’ From that day forward, I was committed to finding answers to this, as well as to many more questions posed by nurses. I look forward to bringing that passion to CHEO where there is already strong research and a commitment to quality care.”

In her new position, Dr. Harrison will further build on nursing research, work on better enabling the translation of research into clinical practice and integrate research in her teaching at the School of Nursing. This will also provide research opportunities for postgraduates, higher degree students and postdoctoral trainees. She also plans to continue to work with the community research partners in seeking answers to their questions.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Harrison as our first Nursing Research Chair. Her work is a great example of how nursing health research improves patient management at the bedside, thus directly improving the quality and effectiveness of care of our youngest patients,” said Dr. Martin Osmond, CEO of the CHEO Research Institute. “Dr. Harrison’s work will lead to new treatment plans in pediatric care and to stellar research collaborations locally and nationally.”

“We are very proud to see our colleague, Dr Harrison’s expertise and passion for pediatric care put forward in this very particular field of nursing. Her work will enhance the knowledge base for nursing of children and families and provide excellent teaching resources for our undergraduate and graduate students,” concluded Dr. Betty Cragg, director of the School of Nursing at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa.

Dr. Harrison hails from Australia and received her PhD in Nursing from the University of Melbourne in 2007, after working as a nurse for close to 25 years. She is a co-investigator leading a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Synthesis Grant to review the use of sweet solutions for acute pain relief in infants. The aim of this project is to synthesize and translate knowledge about the analgesic effects of sweet tasting solutions in infants with the goal to reduce pain in infants requiring painful procedures.

About the CHEO Research Institute: Established in 1984, the CHEO Research Institute coordinates the research activities of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and is one of the institutes associated with the University of Ottawa Teaching Hospitals. The Research Institute brings together health professionals from within CHEO to share their efforts in solving paediatric health problems. It also promotes collaborative research outside the hospital with partners from the immediate community, industry and the international scientific world.

About CHEO: The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario is a pediatric health and research center providing outstanding family-centered patient care, pioneering breakthrough research, and training the health care professionals of tomorrow. Built in 1974, CHEO provides a full spectrum of pediatric services, in a family-centred model of care, to children and youth from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

About the School of Nursing at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa: Founded in 1933 as the first professional school at the university of Ottawa, the School of Nursing prepares nurses at the baccalaureate, Master’s and PhD levels. Professors are in the forefront of nursing research in Canada, with major funding from federal and provincial governments, foundations and specific donors. Denise Harrison joins three other recipients of chairs in the school, the first with CHEO.


For additional information, please contact:  

Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn

Communications Specialist  I  Spécialiste en communications

CHEO Research Institute I Institut de recherche du CHEO

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario I Centre hospitalier pour enfants de l’est de l’Ontario

613. 737. 7600 ext. 3536  I I



Mélodie Gagnon

E-communication and Media Relation Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences

613 562-5800 (4586)

University of Ottawa

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