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Colleen McGovern Headshot

Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Nursing

Colleen McGovern, PhD, MPH, RN is a Postdoctoral Fellow with UNC – Chapel Hill School of Nursing (T32NR007091-23). Dr. McGovern completed her PhD in Nursing at The Ohio State University (OSU) in 2018 and a Master of Public Health in 2015. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and in elementary education. Prior to pursuing a PhD, Dr. McGovern worked in critical care and community settings, always with a special interest in health disparities and the needs of underserved populations. Dr. McGovern also has a passion for nursing and teaching. She completed the Nurse Educator Certificate and has experience teaching implicit bias and pharmacy classes to undergraduate students.

Dr. McGovern’s research focuses on the intersection of chronic physical conditions and mental health in children. Specifically, she is interested in the development and implementation of theory based interventions for children with asthma and anxiety/depressive symptoms to improve physical and mental health outcomes. Learning coping skills alongside self-management behaviors as children may contribute to better overall health during adolescence and adulthood.

Dr. McGovern’s pre-doctoral training at OSU was supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32NR014225) and included mentored research experiences in the development and management of behavioral intervention studies, and in conducting focus groups with children and adults. For her dissertation research, Dr. McGovern adapted a cognitive behavioral skills-building intervention for children with asthma and anxiety, and then conducted a one-arm pilot study of the asthma education and coping skills program delivered in small school-based groups.

During her postdoctoral fellowship at UNC, Dr. McGovern is conducting a randomized pilot study. She is also gaining skill in using wearable activity and asthma devices to measure intervention processes and outcomes.