Self Management Science Center


The NIH NINR funded Self Management Science Center (SMSC) at UW-Milwaukee (P20NR15339) expands research aimed at enhancing the science of the self-management in individuals and families. The purpose of the Self-Management Science Center at the UW–Milwaukee College of Nursing is to expand programs of research that enhance the science of self-management in individuals and families. Self-management, a focus of research for the College, is a process by which individuals and families use knowledge and beliefs, self-regulation skills and abilities, and social facilitation to achieve health-related outcomes. To reference the Self-mangement Science Framework, please visit our Self Management Research Focus page.

SMSC Goals

  • Conduct Studies: Advance self-management science across persons of different ages, relationships (social/environmental) and health status/needs (prevention, acute and chronic);
  • Develop Expertise: SMSC researchers in the areas of intervention development and testing;
  • Enhance Capacity: Interdisciplinary synergy, and partnerships with colleagues studying self-management within and outside the university; and
  • Strengthen Research Infrastructure: To support researchers in development, implementation, and evaluation of self-management interventions.

Center Scientists

Rachel F. Schiffman, PhD, RN, FAAN
Director, Self-management Science Center

Christine Kovach, PhD, RN, FAAN
Director, SMSC Methods Core

Scott Adams, PhD
Aaron Buseh, PhD, MPH, MSN
Jennifer Doering, PhD, RN
Suzanne Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN
Rachel Neff Greenley, PhD
Susan Heidrich, PhD, RN
Jeanne Hewitt, PhD, RN
Eugenie Hildebrandt, PhD, RN
Penninah Kako, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, APNP
Astrida Kaugars, PhD
Jessica Kichler, PhD
Marcelius Merritt, PhD
Sarah W. Morgan, PhD, RN
Karen Morin, DSN, RN, FAAN
Sandra Plach, PhD, RN
Polly Ryan, PhD, APRN
Kathleen Sawin, DNS, CPNP, FAAN
Julia Snethen, PhD,
Hayeon Song, PhD
Pat Stevens, PhD, RN, FAAN
Sandra Underwood, PhD, RN, FAAN
Sheetal Vora, MD, MS



Striving to be Strong: Efficacy of a m-Health Self-Management Intervention
Principal Investigator: Polly Ryan, PhD (Funded by NIH Grant 1R01NR013913) 

Self-Management of Postpartum Fatigue by Poor Urban Women
Investigator: Jennifer Doering, PhD, RN (Funded by NIH Grant P20NR010674)
Co-Investigator: Karen H. Morin, DSN, RN, FAAN

Improving Discharge Transitions for Parents using MHealth
Investigators: Stacee Lerrett, PhD, CPNP (MCW) and Kathleen Sawin, DNS, CPNP, FAAN
(Funded by NIH Grant 8UL1TR000055 for the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin)

The Relationship of Parenting and Feeding Behaviors to a Child's Weight Status in Children with Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome and Autism
Investigator: Michele Polfuss, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC/PC (Funded, in part, by a Grant of the Spina Bifida Association)