Member Spotlight: Sheria Robinson-Lane

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Member Spotlight: Sheria Robinson-Lane

Dr. Sheria G. Robinson-Lane, Assistant Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, is a gerontologist with expertise in palliative care, long-term care, and nursing administration. Dr. Robinson-Lane’s work aims to reduce health disparities and improve health equity for diverse older adults and family caregivers managing pain and chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Dr. Robinson-Lane’s research addresses the ways in which older adults adapt to changes in health, and particularly how various coping strategies affect health outcomes.

Her current work is focused on improving the ability of diverse older adults to successfully age in place through culturally responsive and community engaged care practices along with effective caregiver support. Dr. Robinson-Lane completed her Ph.D. in Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit and a postdoctoral fellowship in Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training at the University of Michigan Medical School.

  • Tell us a bit more about the focus and details of your current research/projects

My work is focused improving the experience of family caregivers of persons with dementia. Caregiving can be a particularly stressful experience that can leave families depleted and unsupported. This is particularly true for under resourced families. My most recent project has involved working with focus groups of Black family caregivers to learn more about their particular experiences and the barriers and facilitators to caregiving that they have experienced. We’ve learned a lot about what it means to be resilient, and areas that perhaps health systems could improve on. I am also in the process of trialing a new program for family caregivers that uses a small group-based approach provide caregiver support and education.

  • What is innovative/new/exciting about these projects?

What is exciting about this work is hearing all of these stories about how and why people have chosen (or been chosen) to be a caregiver. The raw truths that people were willing to share about their experiences is a real driver to find solutions for them. What is innovative about the program that we are rolling out is our strength-based approach that integrates strategies caregivers have already identified as being useful to them.

  • What is the anticipated outcome of this research?

For one thing we will have a better understanding of whether or not our proposed model really makes a difference for our caregivers who participate in our program. We also hope to be able to scale up the program so that it can be implemented more widely.

  • How it will benefit patients and clinicians?

Our program is primarily designed for patient’s families. By supporting family caregivers’ wholistic health and making sure they have access to resources that provide effective support on their caregiving journey—we are able to keep families in tact and patients at home where they want to be.

  • What are your research interests, broadly?

More broadly I’m interested in healthy, equitable, aging and the people, systems, and processes that make that happen.

  • Can you share links to your recent/significant work?