Tami Thomas, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAANP, FAAN, was appointed associate dean of research at Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences.
Dr. Thomas will transition from her former post as associate dean of academic affairs to spearhead the college’s research and faculty development initiatives. She also will serve as director of the PhD in Nursing program in this new role.
Dr. Thomas is an award-winning nurse educator and prolific researcher who is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in health promotion. Her work has been credited with improving adolescent health and access to primary care for underserved populations.
She has completed 12 funded research studies, including work funded by the National Institutes of Health on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and health disparities. This research illustrated how health care providers in rural and urban settings who related to patients’ values and beliefs could successfully educate them to increase HPV vaccine uptake and thereby help reduce HPV-related cancers.
Dr. Thomas most recently obtained $1.39 million in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to implement the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide primary care specifically in rural areas.
Her scholarly accomplishments include publishing more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals; being selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar, and receiving the prestigious Dorothy M. Smith Leadership Award for Excellence in Nursing Education, among many others.
Dr. Thomas’ move from the college’s Academic Affairs office to the Research office was seeded from her time on the nursing faculty at Emory University (2010-14) and the University of Florida (1998-2005). She was director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program and Specialty Coordinator for the Pediatric Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
At the University of Florida, Dr. Thomas was a coordinator of research programs for the College of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Addictive Health Behaviors Institute at the University of Florida.
“Dr. Thomas is a highly regarded member of nursing academia whose esteemed body of work, systematic approach to research and grant development, and administrative leadership experience will set the foundation to direct and advance the scope of the college’s research agenda,” said Ora L Strickland, PhD, DSC (Hon.), RN, FAAN, dean of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Dr. Thomas received her PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Florida along with her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. She holds an advanced certification in maternal newborn nursing from the National Nurses Credentialing Center and is a certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Pediatric Primary Care by the Pediatric Certification Nursing Board.
She currently serves on the National Steering Committee for the National HPV Vaccine Task Force in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; is former president for the South Eastern Region of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine; and is the previous national chair of the Immunization Special Interest Group for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
Established in 1982, the School of Nursing at Florida International University (FIU) was elevated to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences when it joined with the School of Health Sciences in October 2006. It was renamed as the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences in September 2013. The college offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, baccalaureate completion and specialty programs in nursing education; bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Health Services Administration; entry-level master’s degrees in Athletic Training, Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.