Cathleen L. Michaels image

Cathleen Michaels is a clinical associate professor who teaches in the RN-MS program. As a PhD-prepared nurse, her roles have included nurse case manager, clinical director of research and administrator for Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Health System; team member for designing and operationalizing community-based, nurse-managed systems of care, including a nursing HMO and the federally-funded Community Nursing Organization; and staff specialist for a national Kellogg-funded project, the National Commission on Nursing Implementation Project.

At the University of Arizona College of Nursing, Dr. Michaels has served as co-director for the Community Cancer Connections program; co-director for the University of Arizona Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP) program; co-director for the Tucson Holistic Healing Initiative for Nurses, a learning network established to introduce integrative therapies into nurses’ self-care; and principal investigator for research projects that investigated people’s perspectives about health, in particular their explanatory models for what causes and relieves chronic symptoms.

Dr. Michaels is passionate about the role words play in health — how words are used to talk about one’s health or symptoms, and how words can be used to understand a patient’s mental model of illness to garner support for a treatment plan and to broaden a patient’s health literacy, especially about chronic illness and its treatment, including integrative therapies.