Assistant Professor Lenette M. Jones joins nurse leader fellowship program at UC Davis nursing school

Lenette Jones faculty head shotU-M School of Nursing Assistant Professor Lenette M. Jones, Ph.D., ACNS-BC, RN, is one of 10 nurse scientists accepted to the second cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators at the University of California, Davis. This fellowship program, funded by a $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, recognizes early- to mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship.

As part of the three-year program, fellows receive $450,000 to conduct an innovative project or study with the potential to address a gap in knowledge, meet a vital need, alter care delivery or design a new solution to advance health.

Jones’ research focuses on uncovering the biological, psychological, social and physical mechanisms of self-management interventions. She uses neuroimaging to explore brain activity associated with behaviors, such as diet, exercise, and medication-taking, and examines how health information behavior can be enhanced to support blood pressure self-management. Hypertension in African American women is the focal point of Jones’ work, which is currently supported by a K01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The fellowship gives Jones a unique opportunity to advance her work on the Wellness, Hypertension, Information-Sharing, Self-Management, Education (WHISE) project, which focuses on developing a mobile application designed to educate African American women on behavioral changes that can be used to lower blood pressure. The intervention also promotes social activities related to blood pressure self-management and focuses on sharing blood pressure self-management information with peers. Findings from this research may have a direct impact on better understanding brain activity associated with behavior change and improving the precision and tailoring of self-management interventions.

“The timing of this opportunity is excellent, because it allows me to focus all my work on developing this intervention,” Jones said. “It’s inspiring, because it not only shows that my science is important but that the funders and other leaders are very interested in addressing health inequities as well.”

In addition to the project, the fellowship program features a hybrid online and classroom curriculum designed and taught in partnership with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management to enhance leadership and innovation capacity, strengthen strategic thinking and collaborative skills, expand professional networks, develop entrepreneurial skills, and propel innovative ideas to fruition. A mentor selected by the fellow and an additional mentor provided by the national program office round out the educational experience.

“To have an expert willing to invest in someone who doesn't know the ins and outs of innovation and technology yet is very exciting,” added Jones. “I think this training will expand my toolkit and our ability to deliver an effective intervention. We have put so much work into this project — I’m just very grateful for this opportunity to continue to refine and enhance it.”