Nurse researcher inducted into Hall of Fame

Carol Ferrans

Carol Ferrans will be inducted next month into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Ferrans, professor of biobehavioral health science, studies disparities in health care. Photo: Mark Mershon

College of Nursing professor Carol Ferrans is one of 25 nurse researchers who will be inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame next month.

Ferrans, professor of of biobehavioral health science, will attend the induction ceremony July 26 at the 25th International Nursing Research Congress in Hong Kong. The 25 new Hall of Fame members represent the United States, Australia, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

For over 25 years, Ferrans has conducted studies on quality of life and disparities in health care. She developed culturally specific measures for African Americans and Hispanic Americans, as well as other ethnic groups.

She is best known for the Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index, which has been used throughout the world and translated into 21 languages.

Ferrans and her collaborators identified a set of cultural beliefs that contribute to the significantly higher mortality of African American women from breast cancer, and lead to an advanced stage of breast cancer at diagnosis.

Those findings were cited by the American Cancer Society in its national guidelines for screening in 2011.

Ferrans developed an educational DVD aimed at changing those beliefs that has been distributed to thousands of African American women in Chicago, Illinois and Michigan.

Ferrans’ leadership was instrumental to passage of the Illinois Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities Act, which funds screening, diagnosis and treatment for breast and cervical cancer for all uninsured women in the state.

Ferrans has received $56 million in funding since her first grant in 1984, including support from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute for Nursing Research and the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.

She has written 77 published articles; her work has been cited more than 4,000 times in scientific journals.

She is associate dean for research in the College of Nursing and co-director of the UIC Center of Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“Carol is not only an outstanding researcher, but a stellar mentor and educator,” said College of Nursing Dean Terri Weaver. “She is one of the most sought-after faculty members by graduate students, and she generously shares her time and expertise.”