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Roberta Lavin

Roberta Lavin earned her PhD in Nursing at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland; a Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management from the American Military University; and MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner and BA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Roberta Lavin, is Professor and Executive Associate Dean of Academic Programs at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, College of Nursing. She spent twenty years as U.S. Public Health Service officer. She began her career at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC on an acute psychiatric admission unit for those who were homeless. In her work she has coordinated mass migrations in Guatemala, managed health care in an immigration detention center in Batavia, New York before becoming the Chief of Field Operations of the Division of Immigration Health Services, worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Tucson, Arizona, and spent a few months “tooling around” the South Pacific on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel. After 9/11and the Anthrax attacks she was selected to be the Director of the Secretary’s Command Center for the Department of Health and Human Services and later became the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. She ended her USPHS career again working with the poor and underserved leading the research and development for a national disaster case management program. Her current research focuses on bringing cultural competency around urban and rural communities to practicing nurses and disaster preparedness.

Dr. Lavin has served as the as the President and Secretary of the Federal Nurses Association, Director of the Society for the Advancement of Disaster Nursing, and the designated federal officer for the National Commission on Children and Disasters. She has received funding for her work in disaster research and program development from ANCC and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FEMA, and OPRE. She has been funded by HRSA and FIPSE for DNP program development and the inclusion of cultural competency.