Carlee R. Lehna, PhD, APRN-BC
Dr. Carlee Lehna has been a registered nurse and an advanced practice nurse (APN) for many years. Her focus as an APN has been with families caring
for a child with a chronic illness (e.g., cancer, special needs, and major burn injury). She earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from
Alfred University in Alfred, New York, her Masters of Science in Parent/Child Nursing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and
post-masters Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas. In addition to teaching nursing at four universities (Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, and University of Louisville), Dr. Lehna has practiced as an APN as a clinical nurse specialist (Detroit Children's Hospital) and FNP (in private schools, in adolescent psychiatric program, and in nurse run free clinic).
Dr. Lehna, a skilled educator and innovative researcher, is part of an interdisciplinary team supporting family-centered care. Combining her skills in education and as an APN experienced in nursing care of families with chronically ill children, Dr. Lehna became Director of Nursing Education in 2003 at Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston. It was at Shriners that the focus of her education and research endeavors was on burn injury prevention. Seeing how devastating children's burn injuries were and the long-term reconstructive care necessary, all of which was preventable. She began by presenting burn injury prevention programs locally, statewide, and nationally. Her doctoral dissertation research was centered on sibling experiences after a major burn injury. Four publications and numerous presentations resulted from this mixed methods study. It was also at this time she was first appointed to the American Burn Association Burn Prevention Committee where she served the first of two consecutive three-year terms and continues to participate unofficially.
Leaving the gulf coast in 2008 to teach at a university in "the Bluegrass State," Dr. Lehna began to develop a research team of similar minded individuals (e.g., bio-statistician, nurses involved in injury prevention, firefighters, public school educators and co-investigators from other universities). Her research has evaluated different education methods (classroom versus individual, versus web-based) to teach baccalaureate nursing students, registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, parents of children with and without special needs, and teachers. Since 2008, studies have been continuously funded by institutional and foundational grants. Study outcomes have been presented, and published in nursing and medical journals. She has over 40 published articles and an additional five are in-press.
Currently, Dr. Lehna, as the principle investigator, and her team have received two substantial federally-funded grants to investigate changes in burn prevention knowledge and practice for two clinical populations after participating in an educational home fire safety digital video disk. Changes in knowledge are measured through pre-and post-test; knowledge retention long-term by a 2-week follow-up post-test; and changes in practice by home fire safety checks.
Service activities have included being a journal reviewer for six journals [nursing (e.g., Pediatric Nursing, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses, Journal of Specialists in Pediatric Nursing) and medical (e.g., McMaster's Evidenced-Based Journal, Burns)]; serving as an invited member of hospital-based nursing research committees and advisory boards; and as a member of the scholarship committee of a state APN organization (Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners). Additionally, she is a member of other professional (e.g., American Nurses Association, Kentucky Nurses Association, Society of Pediatric Nurses) and honorary (Sigma Theta Tau) nursing organizations. Academically, Dr. Lehna received promotion in 2012 to Associate Professor and tenure the following year. In 2013, Carlee was jointly appointed by the University of Louisville, Associate in Pediatrics, in the School of Medicine.
Dr. Lehna is honored to receive the prestigious American Burn Association Burn Prevention Award. She is thankful to all her colleagues on the Burn Prevention Committee, at the University of Louisville, and greater Louisville community who have assisted her with burn prevention education and research activities. Carlee would like to recognize her mentors Dr. Joan Engelbretson and Dr. Walter J. Myer III.