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College of Nursing Names Kimble
Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair

April 14, 2009

Mark Vanderhoek
(800) 837-2911, ext. 4037

ATLANTA — Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing announced today that it has named Laura P. Kimble, Ph.D., R.N., currently an associate professor of nursing at Georgia State University, as the College’s inaugural Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair in Nursing, effective July 1. The appointment follows an extensive national search for an outstanding academic scholar who will have a vital role in advancing the new Ph.D. in nursing, which begins this fall.

Piedmont Healthcare provided a gift to the Center for Health and Learning to establish the chair and to help launch the College’s new Ph.D. in nursing program. Mercer and Piedmont are partners in the Center for Health and Learning, which focuses on developing new programs to meet the health care needs of Georgians. The College of Nursing has a thriving relationship with Piedmont as part of the Center, including the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program and a state-of-the-art Piedmont Healthcare Learning Resource Center lab.

“We are honored to have Dr. Kimble accept our offer to be the inaugural holder of the Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair for Nursing,” said Dr. Susan S. Gunby, dean of the College of Nursing. “Dr. Kimble has a distinguished record of sustained scholarly accomplishments, and she is committed to making positive contributions to the College of Nursing and Mercer University.”

As part of the new 12-month faculty position, Dr. Kimble will be an integral part of advancing doctoral level education at the College of Nursing. She will also augment research initiatives of the College and the University, engage in teaching and conduct and facilitate research leading to increased grant funding at the College.

“It is a great honor to hold the first Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair in Nursing,” Dr. Kimble said. “It’s a really important step for the College because it means there is a commitment to increasing research within the University and establishing a strong foundation for the Ph.D. program. The new doctoral program is a part of the College’s and Piedmont's commitment to address the state’s nursing faculty shortage. Having qualified nursing faculty is essential to addressing nursing shortages within the state. I am proud to be a part of this effort.”

Dr. Kimble is an award-winning teacher and accomplished scholar. She has served as an associate professor at the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing at Georgia State University since 2004. Previously, she was an associate research professor and interim Ph.D. program coordinator at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. In 2004, she won Emory’s Teacher/Scholar Award, a university-wide teaching award. In addition to several positions as a practicing nurse, Dr. Kimble has also held academic appointments at the University of Rochester and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dr. Kimble’s research focuses on women with coronary heart disease — specifically how chronic angina influences the daily life and physical functioning in women and men and whether gender-specific interventions to assist angina patients are warranted. Her research has been funded by the American Heart Association, the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Institutes of Health.  Along with her research interest in women with heart disease, she also has strong expertise in statistics.

Dr. Kimble is the author or co-author of multiple research-based articles and abstracts focused on health outcomes in patients with coronary heart disease. She also serves as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals. In 2003, she won the Research Article of the Year, presented by the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing of the American Heart Association. She was named a fellow in 2003 by the Fuld/American Association of Colleges of Nursing Leadership for Academic Nursing, and in 2001 as a fellow of the American Heart Association.  Dr. Kimble currently serves on the grants review committee of the Southern Nursing Research Society. 

Dr. Kimble earned her Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, N.Y., a Master of Science in adult nursing from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Berea College in Berea, Ky. She completed a post-master’s program as an acute care nurse practitioner at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and a post-master’s program as a family nurse practitioner at the Emory University School of Nursing. Dr. Kimble is currently certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing:
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 107-year history, the College has had 6,594 graduates. Since its founding, the College has been dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing and, beginning in Fall 2009, a Ph.D. in Nursing.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,600 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit

About Piedmont Healthcare:
Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead. Piedmont Hospital offers all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services, and was named Best in Atlanta for Overall Cardiac Care and Cardiac Surgery (2008 and 2009) by HealthGrades (a leading healthcare ratings company) and one of the nation’s Most Wired hospitals for five consecutive years in the 100 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study. PHC also includes Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; and Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan. Piedmont Healthcare also is the parent company of  the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), which combines more than 60 renowned cardiologists in the Piedmont Heart Institute Physicians with more than 30 offices across north Georgia, and the 162-bed  Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta; Piedmont Philanthropy, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 100 primary care physicians in 30 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and the Piedmont Clinic, a 563-member physician network. For more information, visit
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