Board of Directors

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 (2017 – 2019)

Jane H. Lassetter, PhD, RN

Brigham Young University, USA

Jane H. Lassetter, PhD, RN is a Professor and the Associate Professor or Graduate Studies, Scholarly Works, and Contribution to the Discipline in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. 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 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.


President-Elect (2017 – 2019)

Sonja Meiers, PhD, RN

Winona State University, USA

Dr. Sonja J.  Meiers is a Professor of Nursing and Director of Graduate Nursing, Department of Nursing, Winona State University, Rochester, MN. She currently teaches clinical scholarship courses and supervises masters and doctoral students in the provision of health promotion interventions, original research, and translation of evidence to practice within community and inpatient settings. Her ongoing clinical and research focus has been on enhancing care for individuals and their families with attention to the influence of the nurse-patient or nurse-family member relationship. Dr. Meiers has collaborated in research, practice, and education with colleagues in acute and community care settings, at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, USA and at Winona State University, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. She was founding co-director of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family & Society at Minnesota State University, Mankato, along with Dr. Sandra Eggenberger. She continues to work with colleagues in the development of a measure of the family experience of chronic illness and interventions to lessen the suffering of these experiences. She is a founding member of the International Family Nursing Association (IFNA), and has served on the Research Committee and as convener of its International Research Collaboration Subcommittee. She is currently Co-Chair of the Conference Planning Committee. Dr. Meiers is an active participant in Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, a community-based participatory research team in Rochester, MN focused on improving the health of underserved families. Dr. Meiers appreciates the lessons learned through connections with international colleagues through IFNA and is dedicated to ongoing development of the science and practice of family nursing through this amazing network of dedicated professional.


Carole Robinson, PhD, RN

Past President (2017 – 2019)

Carole Robinson, PhD, RN

University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada

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.


SecretaryEggenberger 121x149 (2014 – 2018)

Sandra Eggenberger, PhD

University of Minnesota, Mankato, USA

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 – 2019)

Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Kathleen (Kathy) Knafl, PhD, FAAN is the Frances Hill Fox Distinguished Professor in the PhD Division at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches qualitative research methods. 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. She recently completed a major study funded by the National Institutes of Health to synthesize research on the intersection of family life and childhood chronic conditions. Ongoing studies on which she is a co-investigator focus on parenting a hospitalized child who is not expected to survive and couple decision making related to enrollment in cancer clinical trials. She is a founding member of the International Family Nursing Association, co-chaired the 11th and 12th IFNC, and has been a member of the IFNA Board since 2015. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Family Nursing.



Hohashi_Original 2016_122x166Naohiro Hohashi, PhD, RN, PHN (2016 – 2018)

Kobe University, Japan

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.


June Horowitz, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN (2017 – 2019)

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA

Dr. June Andrews Horowitz is Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the United States. She is past and current co-chair of the Conference Committee and past co-chair of the Research Committee for IFNA. IN her scholarship concerning family nursing, she has made significant scientific contributions most notably from investigations concerning postpartum depression (PPD) during the past 20+ years. She conducted research concerning PPD symptoms, risk factors and screening approaches followed by two nationally funded longitudinal randomized clinical trials with depressed mothers and their infants involving recruitment and PPD screening of large community-based populations of postpartum women and intervention.  Her current work focuses on neurophysiologic markers of PPD and maternal-infant interaction quality. Dr. Horowitz also is an Excecutive Board member for Mother-Baby Connections, an intensive out-patient program for women and their infants and partners when women experience perinatal mentl health disorders.


Wendy Looman, PhD, APRN, PNP (2017 – 2019)

University of Minnesota, USA

Dr. Wendy Looman is professor and chair of the Child and Family Health Cooperative Unit in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota, where she has taught and conducted research in the area of family nursing since 2003. Her research focus is the health of families raising children with chronic conditions. Specifically, her work focuses on the role of social connections in family well-being. She developed the Social Capital Scale for Families, which has been used in several research studies and translated into four languages. She teaches Family Health Theory for nurses at the graduate level, and is active in the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs at the University of Minnesota.  Her clinical practice on a multidisciplinary team in a craniofacial clinic enables her to work directly with children and families as an advanced practice nurse, where she promotes the care of families in health and illness. She has been an active participant of IFNA as a member of the communications committee, as a member of the 11th IFNC conference planning committee, and as a member of the IFNA Board of Directors. Family nursing is her passion, her priority, and her focus for professional service. She aims to support the development of the science and practice of family nursing through leadership in IFNA.


Birte Østergaard, PhD (2013 – 2019)

University of Southern Denmark, 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 (2016 – 2018)

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

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 (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.