By: Bill Bangert
After five years as associate dean for research and translation in the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing, Donna Martsolf PhD has retired. A reception was held in her honor at Nippert Stadium West Pavilion on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016.
"Greer asked me to come here and work with her on improving the rankings of the college and make it more visible and more nationally known,” Martsolf says, referring to Greer Glazer PhD, dean of the College of Nursing. "I promised Greer the five years; I didn’t really think beyond the five years.”
Martsolf arrived at UC in January 2012, at the beginning of Glazer’s appointment as dean. Martsolf’s focus at the College of Nursing has been working with the other associate deans on the creation of the college’s Strategic Map and the mission statement, "Through the creative leveraging of technology and inclusive excellence, the College of Nursing will lead the transformation of health care in partnership informed by the people we serve.”
"The key word is partnership,” says Martsolf. "We want to partner with all of our colleagues across the Academic Health Center and also on West Campus to transform health care, always informed by the people we serve. This whole idea of patient-centeredness is at the core of what we’re doing.”
"Donna is driven to make sure that we have a seat at the table, that the quality of work is rigorous and that we pay attention to focusing on nursing as a discipline and nursing as a science,” says Glazer. "She created a ‘can-do’ atmosphere with a support network to help everybody so they can do all the things that were expected.”
Research was a major part of Martsolf’s work at the College of Nursing and she mentored many student researchers over the past five years.
"Nursing research is really cool in that it tends to be highly collaborative and it tends to be very close to the people that it’s going to make a difference for,” Martsolf says.
"For example, if you do drug trials, often you’re doing trials hoping the research is going to help somebody out. In nursing research, it’s so close to the patient that you can see really cool things happen with these research projects.”
"It’s important to understand the influence Donna had not only on the College of Nursing but also on the entire university,” William Ball MD, Christian R. Holmes Professor and dean of the College of Medicine and senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Cincinnati, told the crowd at the reception for Martsolf.
"Donna was important to all our health care colleges and she gained a reputation across the entire university for her outstanding contributions to research. I think we all owe her a great deal of gratitude.”
"In 2013, Martsolf convened a group of eight College of Nursing faculty and staff members who worked to develop a comprehensive database for the college to house all the data needed for reports about the faculty, staff and students,” says Glazer.
"That group collaborated with University of Cincinnati Information Technology to develop a robust, easily queried database with standard reports generated automatically.”
Martsolf says besides being more efficient and effective when dealing with accreditation and certification bodies, it’s also helped streamline the grant process.
"One of the reasons we’ve been really successful in these program scholarship and training grants is because we can demonstrate why we need the money because we have a really good handle now on who our students are and what they need.”
In the last five years, the national rankings of the College of Nursing have climbed steadily and Martsolf is confident that will continue after she moves on from her daily duties at Procter Hall.
"I want this place to be higher in the rankings than it is today,” says Martsolf. "I’m really excited about how we’ve been able to move them forward. I think we have the right faculty and staff chemistry, it’s just filled with possibility. I’d like to say that we’ve laid ground that somebody else will build on.”