Board of Directors

Carole Robinson, PhD, RNPresident (2015 – 2017)

Carole Robinson, PhD, RN (Canada)

University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Dr. Carole Robinson is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. She teaches nursing research, a clinical practice course focused on leadership and change, and a graduate course on nursing knowledge. Carole has provided leadership in the development of an interprofessional clinic where she taught graduate level clinical work with families experiencing life limiting illness. Her research addresses family health and wellbeing in the context of life threatening illness, palliative care, and at end-of-life. Her research is intervention focused and spans the spectrum from prevention to assisting families to live well while a member is dying. She led the development of an evidence-based decision guide for family palliative caregivers, which is now being implemented. Carole is a member of a large collaborative team investigating transitions in care for older persons living in nursing homes and requiring care in a hospital emergency department. Here again, there is a focus on the consequences of system reliance on family caregivers, effective communication with family members, and family involvement in decision-making. She has been a member of the Board of Directors since the inception of IFNA.


Lassetter, Jane 15 1402-28 Jane Lassetter Portrait Nursing February 19 2014 Riana Bruce-Goodsky /BYU Copyright BYU Photo 2014 All Rights Reserved (801)422-7322President-Elect (2015 – 2017)

Jane Lassetter, PhD, RN (USA)

Brigham Young University

Jane H. Lassetter, PhD, RN has been an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for more than 13 years. She currently teaches nursing ethics, advanced writing, and a clinical capstone course to undergraduates and scholarly writing in nursing to graduate students. Her research focuses on obesity prevention and reduction in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander families. In addition, she recently joined a research team based at the University of Essex in the U.K. to study the context and process of ethical decision-making in families who face life-altering illness. Dr. Lassetter enjoys serving in professional nursing organizations that combine research, education, and practice. She appreciates this powerful triple combination in the International Family Nursing Association and recognizes IFNA can, and will, play a vital role in improving families’ health worldwide.


Catherine A. Chesla, RN, DNSc, FAAN

Past President (2015 – 2017)

Catherine A. Chesla, RN, PhD, FAAN (USA)

University of California San Francisco

Catherine (Kit) Chesla, RN, PhD, FAAN is Professor and Shobe Endowed Chair for Ethics and Spirituality in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. For over 20 years she has taught family theory, intervention and research methods to doctoral and Family Nurse Practitioner students. Her research focuses on understanding and intervening with families where an adult member has a chronic illness. She has conducted multiple studies with families living with type 2 diabetes in African American, Chinese American, Latino and White families. She has also conducted NIH-funded interpretive research and a Community Based Participatory clinical trial where, in partnership with service agencies in San Francisco’s Chinatown, a family-focused cognitive behavioral intervention improved Chinese immigrants’ management of their diabetes. Current work focuses on cultural adaptation of diabetes prevention programs for Chinese immigrants.



SecretaryEggenberger 121x149 (2014-2018)

Sandra Eggenberger, PhD (USA)

University of Minnesota, Mankato

Dr. Eggenberger has been actively involved in family nursing research, education, and practice throughout her nursing career. As member and leader of a family nursing research team that she helped launch several decades ago, her research has focused on nursing practice with families experiencing chronic and critical illness. In 2007, she and her colleagues responded to a competitive call at their university by developing a proposal for an Institute to promote family and societal health. They were chosen to receive the $7 million Endowed Fund to create the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family & Society. A focus of this Institute is to advance family nursing practice. She has provided sustained leadership in the development of this Institute. She has also encouraged the development of faculty capacity in family nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato that resulted in the redesign of the undergraduate, master’s and DNP curriculum to focus on family health. They have also established a simulation lab for nursing education that focuses on family nursing practice. Dr. Eggenberger collaborated with colleagues to provide educational opportunities at IFNC11 focused on family nursing education using simulation. Her current efforts focus on collaboration with practice partners to launch projects that enhance family nursing practice based on current research. She also currently teaches family nursing science to graduate students and guides DNP projects focused on family nursing practice. Professional goals now focus on sharing experiences and knowledge among local and international communities.


Knafl 2015 122x184 BOD PgTreasurer (2015 – 2017)

Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN (USA)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kathleen (Kathy) Knafl, PhD, FAAN is the Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor in the Division of Family Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A sociologist who has spent her entire academic career in nursing, her research addresses family response childhood chronic conditions. For over 30 years she has taught family theory and research methods and mentored both faculty and students interested in family research. She has been a major contributor to the development of the Family Management Style Framework, including development of a structured measure of family management (Family Management Measure – FaMM). Much of her work has involved mixed-methods designs and entailed treating the family/dyad as the unit of analysis. Her current NIH grant is a mixed-methods synthesis of research on the intersection of family life and childhood chronic conditions. Drawing on data from over 1000 research reports, the study addresses the nature and efficacy of family-focused interventions and will map the relationships among parent, child, and family variables in the context of childhood chronic conditions. She is a founding member of the International Family Nursing Association, co-chaired the 11th and 12th IFNC, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Family Nursing.



Regina Bousso.photoRegina Szylit-Bousso, RN, MSc, PhD (Brazil) (2015 – 2017)

University of São Paulo

Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is also a founding member and researcher of the Interdisciplinary Nucleus for Research in Loss and Bereavement (NIPPEL) and member of the International Work Group in Death, Dying and Bereavement (IWG). She has developed an integrated program and process of education, research, and clinical practice aimed to improve nursing care to families experiencing situations of death in Brazil. She is currently involved in research on the topic of suffering, grief and palliative care.


Dr. Laurie GottliebLaurie Gottlieb, RN, PhD (Canada) (2015-2017)

McGill University

Laurie N. Gottlieb, RN, PhD, is Professor, School of Nursing, McGill University, Montreal, Canada where she holds the Flora Madeline Shaw Chair of Nursing. She is the Nurse-Scholar in Residence at the Jewish General Hospital and is a co-director of the International Institute of Strengths-Based Nursing and Health Care. She is editor emeritus of CJNR (Canadian Journal of Nursing), a position she held for 22 years. She is the recipient of the Centennial Award, the first and one-time only award from the Canadian Nurses Association recognizing the 100 most influential nurses in Canada; the L’Insigne Du Merit, the highest award accorded by the Quebec Ordre of Nurses Quebec, and the Prix du Conseil Interprofessionnel du Québec (CIQ) and has been elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Science. Her book Strengths-Based Nursing Care: Health and Healing for Person and Family (Springer, 2013) was awarded the 2013 AJN Book of the Year Award.  Her other books include A Perspective on Health, Family, Learning and Collaborative Partnership: A collection of writings on the McGill Model of Nursing, Dreams Have No Expiry Date (Random House), A Collaborative Partnership Approach to Care: A Delicate Balance (Elsevier). She has authored over 100 papers, book chapters, and editorials. She was the major developer of the McGill Model of Nursing that has families as its core. The MMN has evolved into Strengths-Based Nursing.


Hohashi_Original 2016_122x166Naohiro Hohashi, PhD, RN, PHN (Japan) (2016-2018)

Kobe University

Naohiro Hohashi is professor at Division of Family Health Care Nursing, Kobe University, where he currently supervises the master’s program leading to certification as Certified Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Family Health Nursing, a specialty unique to Japan. He is well known for proposing the Concentric Sphere Family Environment Theory (CSFET), a middle-range family nursing theory, and the Family Care/Caring Theory (FCCT). Based on these, he developed family assessment and family care/caring models, the effectiveness for which has been demonstrated in over 600 subject families. He is a founding member of the International Family Nursing Association, served as vice chairperson of 10th International Family Nursing Conference and in 2015 was named recipient of the Innovative Contribution to Family Nursing Award by the International Family Nursing Association. In Japan he serves on the Board of Directors of the Japanese Association for Research in Family Nursing and relishes his role as a bridge to span family nursing between Japan and the world.


Birte Østergaard, PhD (Denmark) (2013 – 2017)

University of Southern Denmark

Dr. Birte Østergaard is Associate Professor in the Institute of Clinical Research at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark. She is founder and president of the Danish Society of Family Nursing in the effort to grow a strong family nursing community in Denmark within organization, teaching, research and clinical practice. Within the last 8 years she has been President of the Danish Nursing Research Society and her main teaching obligations are concentrated on supervising Ph.D. students. In addition she is member of Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions of the European Society of Cardiology.

The primary focus of her program of research is Chronic Illness and the Family. Currently, she heads a large scale randomized multicenter trial that aims to evaluate the effect of Family Focused Nursing intervention among families suffering from heart failure. Furthermore her interests of research are focusing on families experiencing cancer, elderly medical patients and their families and cardiovascular disease.


Swallow 2016 111x138Veronica Swallow, PhD, MMedSCi, BSc (Hons), RGN, RSCN
(United Kingdom) (2016 – 2018)

University of Leeds

Veronica is Professor in Child and Family Health in the School of Healthcare, at the University of Leeds, UK where she leads the Children, Young People and Family Research Strand.

Her research and under/post graduate teaching focuses particularly on:

  • The ways children, young people, families/carers and health-professionals work together to effectively manage long-term conditions
  • Development/evaluation of complex, user-led interventions (e.g. web and smartphone apps) to promote optimum health-care experiences for families, and optimum outcomes for patients
  • User involvement and ethics in health-care research: Veronica promotes and supports active involvement of family members as co-researchers/advisers on research projects

Veronica led development and evaluation a NIHR-funded information and support web-application for parents managing their child’s long term condition at home that is now part of standard practice in the hospital where it was developed.
Web link:


Garcia-Vivar 2015 129x168Cristina García-Vivar, PhD, MSc, RN (Spain) (2014 – 2018)

University of Navarra, Spain

Cristina García-Vivar is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research of the School of Nursing of the University of Navarra (Spain). She is also an investigator of the Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNA).

Dr. Garcia-Vivar received her PhD degree in 2007 from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Then she returned to Spain where she has helped move family nursing forward through the many initiatives including organizing family nursing courses for practicing nurses; teaching family nursing courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students; supervising doctoral students conducting research in family nursing; and presenting her research in family nursing at seminars and at national and international conferences.

Her research focuses on understanding and intervening with families experiencing a chronic illness. She has conducted qualitative studies of grounded theory with cancer survivors and their family members as well as with families caring for a dependent elderly.

In her current research, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education (2013-2015), Dr. Garcia-Vivar  and her research team are examining the effectiveness of an educational intervention in Family Systems Nursing (using the Calgary Family Assessment and Intervention Models) with practicing nurses who support families who are caring for a family member experiencing chronic illness. This pioneering research project is using a RCT design and will help advance knowledge translation of family nursing theory to practice settings.

Click here to view the IFNA Board of Director Meeting Minutes.