I-PATH Faculty

Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN

Dr. Friend is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Oncology Specialty Master's Programs at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. She teaches classes on cancer genomics, cancer pathophysiology and disease management, and cancer supportive care and symptom management. She also coordinates the advanced practice nursing clinical course for the oncology master’s students. She has also taught the teaching practicum for PhD students as well as undergraduate research.

Dr. Friend is actively involved with the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) Resources and serve as a manuscript reviewer for the Oncology Nursing Forum She serves as abstract reviewer for the National Conference on Cancer Nursing Research and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual conferences. She is currently director- at-large for CCONS. Within the Niehoff School of Nursing, Dr. Friend has served as department chair, as well as chair of the master’s and DNP curriculum committee and the search committee. She is actively involved in faculty mentoring efforts.

Phone: 708.216.9553

E-mail: pfriend@luc.edu

For more information on Dr. Friend you can view her biography on the Loyola  University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing website.


Diana Hackbarth, RN, PhD, FAAN

Dr. Hackbarth, RN, PhD, FAAN has been a public health nursing educator, researcher and program evaluator for more than 30 years. She was a Navy nurse during the Vietnam conflict and served in California and Taipei, Taiwan ROC.

She is currently the Project Director for the HRSA-funded Loyola University Chicago School of Nursing School-based Health Center at Proviso East High School in Maywood, IL. The School-based Health Center provides primary health care, mental health, health education and nutrition services for elementary and high school students in underserved communities. She is also the Project Director for the HRSA-funded Population-based Infection Prevention & Environmental Safety DNP program. This program educates Infection Prevention nurses for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings.

Dr. Hackbarth has served as the project evaluator for numerous community-based primary health care and public health programs. She is currently a board member of the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and the co-Chair of the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco. Her advocacy for tobacco control and public policy to increase access to health care for underserved populations has led to numerous publications and awards. Her research interests are program evaluation; health policy; and tobacco control.

Phone: 773.508.2896

E-mail: dhackba@luc.edu

For more information on Dr. Hackbarth you can view her biography on the Loyola  University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing website.


Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN

Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian with 30+ years of experience in dietetic practice, education and research. She has focused her work on preventing and managing chronic illness through self-care, with a focus on nutrition and healthy eating patterns.  Considering the long latency of chronic disease, she has also completed research aimed at improving dietary patterns in youth. Examples include evaluation of community gardens to increase fruit and vegetable intake, finding that coping skills training coupled with nutrition and asthma education improved asthma control in adolescents, identifying associations between Latino adolescents and risk factors for chronic disease, including diabetes, and comparing food access in Chicago neighborhoods.  As part of the I-CARE PATH HRSA project, she is evaluating the effectiveness an alternate model of care which includes care coordination and medical nutrition therapy on diabetes self-care and outcomes in an outpatient setting.

In addition to research, Dr. Kouba practices dietetics through nutrition programs and services at a school-based health center, operated by the Loyola School of Nursing, in large high school.  As a member of the Proviso Partners for Health community coalition, she coordinates the Proviso East High School Wellness Committee which focuses on obesity prevention by improving the school food environment.  Dr. Kouba also is the director of two dietetics education programs at Loyola University Chicago, including an accredited dietetic internship.

Phone: 708.216.4132

E-mail: jkouba@luc.edu

For more information on Dr. Kouba you can view her biography on the Loyola  University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing website.


Holly Mattix-Kramer M.D. M.P.H.

Doctor Kramer joined the faculty at Loyola Medical Center with a joint appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences and in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. She received a Young Investigator Award from the National Kidney Foundation and became a co-investigator for the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

She is currently an Associate Professor and her research focuses on obesity and kidney disease and genetic variants for kidney disease. Dr. Kramer has also developed methods for the analysis of longitudinal changes in urine albumin excretion and she is interested in the intersection between kidney and cardiovascular disease.

She works with the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) and the Coronary Artery Disease in Young Adults (CARDIA) study and has completed several studies using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. She has worked with investigators across the United States and in Jamaica and Africa.

Dr. Kramer guides the Population Health component of the I-PATH project working closely with students participating in chronic disease presentations. She also oversees the staff involved with maintaining the I-PATH website.

Phone: 708-327-9039

E-mail: hkramer@luc.edu

For more information on Dr. Kramer you can view her biography on the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine website. 


MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci, EdD, MPH

Dr. Sharp-Pucci is director of the Health Systems Management Program that prepares undergraduate and graduate students for a career in the management side of the health-care industry.

Her teaching has included courses in comparative effectiveness research, outcomes performance methodology, healthcare leadership and policy, healthcare in America and health systems management. Sharp-Pucci also is a mentor for graduate and undergraduate students and serves as an adviser for the graduate comprehensive examination.

Dr. Sharp-Pucci also is founder and managing member of Sharp Health Strategies, which provides consulting services to academic medical centers, health plans, government agencies and hospital networks. Her work focuses on health-care quality-improvement initiatives and the planning and execution of health policies. Dr. Sharp-Pucci also is an advocate for improving health care for people with disabilities. Prior to forming her business, Dr. Sharp-Pucci served as a senior consultant to Central DuPage Health and as an associate director in the Technology Evaluation Center for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. She has held academic appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University and Northern Illinois University. In addition, Dr. Sharp-Pucci is actively involved with the Institute for the Advancement of Home Care Medicine, and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Burn Care & Research.

Dr. Sharp-Pucci manages the content and structure for the I-PATH Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Portal. Her experience consulting not-for-profit hospitals in this arena gives her the needed expertise in managing this portion of the I-PATH.

Phone: 773-508-3303

E-mail: msharp@luc.edu

For more information on Dr. Sharp-Pucci you can view her biography on the Loyola  University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing website.