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Assoc. Prof. Suja Somanadhan awarded IFNA Innovative Contribution to Family Nursing Award

Wednesday, 30 August, 2023

News Item Suja Award 2023

Head of Children's Nursing at the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, Assoc. Prof. Suja Somanadhan was awarded the International Family Nursing Association (IFNA) Innovative Contribution to Family Nursing Award (2023).

This award recognizes IFNA members who have provided sustained leadership in innovatively disseminating and implementing family nursing theory, research, and/or practice in their countries and languages.

News Item Suja IFNA Award

(opens in a new window)The International Family Nursing Association (IFNA) embraces a compassionate family focus on health, social justice, human dignity and respect for all. The IFNA vision is to build a community of nurses and other healthcare professionals who are dedicated to transforming health for families worldwide. Approximately 330 delegates attended in person from 30 countries, and the IFNC16 conference which was held this year at DCU School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health (SNPCH).

As a patient and family-oriented researcher Dr Somanadhan conducts research in collaboration with patients (including children, families, and informal caregivers), clinicians, and decision-makers with a focus on service user priorities and outcomes that matter, to integrate research into policy and practice to improve health care outcomes and experiences.  For example, Dr Somanadhan leads the Rare Disease Partnership (RAINDROP) programme in the Republic of Ireland and co-leads the Rare Disease Research Engaging Social Science (REDRESS) partnership across the Island of Ireland. The first co-designed and co-created research prioritisation “Placing Families at the Heart of Research”  for rare diseases across the lifespan in Ireland.  This project won numerous awards, including recognition for its utilisation of PPI principles throughout the process while also influencing rare diseases policy, practice, education, and innovation. Dr Somanadhan has well-established relationships and connections with patients and disability organisations.  Most recently, leading an All-Ireland Rare Diseases Interdisciplinary Research Network (RAiN) funded by the Department of the Taoiseach from the Shared Island strand of the Irish Research Council’s ‘New Foundations’ awards. Developing an all-Island interdisciplinary rare disease research network is the primary thrust, Secondly, evaluating the functional status, quality of life, and family management measures of children and young people living with rare diseases on the Island of Ireland. The network builds on established north-south Ireland research partnerships between Universities and family-focused charitable organisations.

Currently, leading academically in forming international research networks and partnerships such as Children’s Research Network (CRN), RAINDROP, and RAiN.  As a Fulbright health impact scholar Dr Somanadhan has developed critical and robust academic relationships with US colleagues at the state department, including the National Institutes of Health.Her most recent appointments include a Higher Education Institutions representative at the Children’s nursing national strategy advisory group, a Co-Chair of the Children’s Research Network Ireland and Northern Ireland, and a Board Member of the International Family Nursing Association (IFNA) and Co-lead of IFNA UK-Ireland chapter. 

We wish to share our congratulations to Suja for this well-deserved accolade.

Contact the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems

Health Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4
T: +353 1 716 6488 | Location Map(opens in a new window)