Michael “Misho” Stawnychy MSN, CRNP, a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar, is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Stawnychy’s research is focused on the adult caregiver/care partner’s role in improving health through behavior change. Successful self-care/self-management of adult chronic illness requires often drastic lifestyle changes, frequent symptom monitoring and self-care maintenance. Illnesses such as heart failure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease impose a significant burden on the persons with the illness and their caregivers. As a clinician, Stawnychy witnessed social interactions between his patients and their well-intentioned caregivers that may not have had their desired positive effects. Caregivers spend considerably more time with their spouses, parents, children, and friends than clinicians and are uniquely situated to offer positive social support. However, there is little research about the caregiver in relation to a person’s health-related behavior change and the potential influence they may have on the self-management of illness.
Stawnychy earned his BA in Economics from Vassar College and his BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to becoming a nurse and board-certified Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Stawnychy produced award-winning documentaries and served as an elected member of the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles, CA. His intensive care nursing experience at Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center informed his desire to pursue primary care with adults and older adults. He maintains clinical certification as a Nurse Practitioner and lives with his family in Yardley, PA.