News Story

Nursing Professor Selected as Next Susan H. Mayer Professor in Health Equity

October 23, 2019 – Dr. Diane Davis, an assistant professor of professional nursing practice at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, has been selected as the next holder of the Susan H. Mayer Professor in Health Equity.

Dr. Diane Davis stands in front of a bookshelf.
Dr. Diane Davis is the next holder of the Susan H. Mayer Professorship in Health Equity.

Georgetown parents Holly Mayer and Tom Mayer generously endowed this professorship at the school in 2002, and in recent years, it has become focused specifically on health equity. Davis will hold the professorship for a three-year term.

“I express sincere congratulations to Dr. Davis,” says Dr. Carole Roan Gresenz, the school’s interim dean. “For five years, Diane has led an important collaboration with colleagues at Briya Public Charter School and Mary’s Center. This effort has brought together Georgetown nursing students and Briya medical assistant students for learning experiences in the school’s O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center.”

Gresenz noted that during the past five years approximately 300 Georgetown and Briya students have participated in the experiential learning activities. (Read more about Davis’ collaboration with Briya.

‘An Exemplar’

“This ongoing workforce development collaboration is an exemplar of the way our school and community partners work together on mutual, mission-oriented activities,” Gresenz says.

Dr. Edilma Yearwood, chair of the Department of Professional Nursing Practice, also expressed her congratulations to Davis, noting that the professorship recognizes her partnership “with Mary’s Center and her interest in continuing work with vulnerable groups in DC.”

Davis, who earned her BSN and DNP at Georgetown, is a clinical nurse leader who focuses on child and family health and well-being. She says she has enjoyed working with community partners to develop the program. 

“The endowed fund will really make a difference in our efforts to build health equity capacity through teaching, community engagement, and research,” Davis says. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Health Equity Capacity

With colleagues, Davis published the journal article, “Effect of an Academic–Community Partnership Simulation Education Program on Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Competency Domains for Bachelor of Science in Nursing Students,” in Clinical Simulation in Nursing. (Learn more about the published article.)

“I hope to use the professorship to continue to build on our partnership,” she says. “In the immediate future, our community partners would like to expand our simulation education program to have more time with us in the simulation lab, which will give us the opportunity for more Georgetown student participation.”

Davis says she looks to build on “findings from recent research on Mary’s Center’s social change model to articulate how this framework has impacted the health and well-being of the participants in our academic-community partnership.” (Read the Urban Institute research report.)

She adds the “generous endowment” will help support “health equity capacity and provide meaningful community engagement for our students.”