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Meet Our Postdocs


Kimberly Allen, PhD

Kimberly Allen graduated from Duke University with a PhD in Nursing Science. She completed her Masters of Science in Nursing with a focus in critical care at Emory University. Kimberly received her BSN and ADN from the University of South Carolina-Aiken. The majority of her clinical experience is in both emergency and pediatric critical care. My postdoctoral research will extend my prior research on what influences parents and health care providers decision-making for infants with neurological injuries. We will identify specifically what information is communicated by health care providers to parents about the infant’s current health status, milestones the infant must meet prior to discharge from the hospital, and any information about short- and long-term outcomes. The overall goal of the subsequent study is to ascertain what information parents do and do not understand after meeting with health care providers. The next step would be to create an intervention that facilitates communication between parents and health care providers.



Sandra Banta-Wright

I received my PhD in Nursing from Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon. My research focus is on how families manage and deal with the issues of raising children who have inborn error of metabolism disorders. During my dissertation work, my research focused on breastfeeding infants with phenylketonuria (PKU) including:  breastfeeding success at one regional metabolic clinic in the NW, the incidence and prevalence of breastfeeding among mothers with infants who have PKU in the US and Canada, and mothers’ experiences of the work of managing PKU and breastfeeding. My postdoctoral research will extend my dissertation research and will focus on parental experiences of raising young children less than 3 years of age who have an inborn error of metabolism disorder requiring a protein restricted diet. These are but the first steps in a program of study that may contribute to the future development to improve the adaptation, implementation and evaluation of a family-based intervention for families raising children with inborn errors of metabolism disorders.

On the home front, I am the proud mother of 17 year old twins and married to the love of my life, my supportive husband. During the rainy season, I enjoy sewing, knitting, and scrapbooking while listening to classical music. When the sun has arrived to the NW, I love to be in the garden. This past spring, I canned 35 pints of strawberry jam as Christmas gifts for friends and family. 



Shervin Churchill

Shervin Churchill holds a PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Washington, and an MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics.  Her work and research concentrate on the health of children with special health care needs and prevention of secondary conditions, using an interdisciplinary approach.  The goal of her research is to maximize the health and wellbeing of children with special needs and their families through preventive measures such as regulating sleep and physical activity and weight control.  Prior to joining the UW as a postdoc, she worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute for 12 years as epidemiologist and senior research associate.   Her current research is focused on sleep and activity patterns of children with developmental delay, in relation to sleep disordered breathing.