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Nationally recognized nurse researcher and wound care expert named associate dean.

September 02, 2019
Teresa Kelechi, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Teresa Kelechi, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

Following a national search, Teresa Kelechi, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, has been named associate dean for research for the MUSC College of Nursing. She assumes her new role Sept. 1. Kelechi is a nationally respected nurse scientist who studies wound care and prevention. She is best known for her research in venous leg ulcer prevention interventions, symptom self-management, palliative wound care, and caregiving for persons with dementia. She joined the Medical University of South Carolina in 1987 and is the David and Margaret Clare Endowed Chair and a tenured professor.

In this position, Kelechi will be responsible for the administration of the college’s research agenda, as well all aspects of research grants, from idea formulation, through scientific review, grant submission, and post-award activities. She will also continue to mentor doctoral students and teach in the Ph.D. program.

“Dr. Kelechi is a driving force in the research community and will bring her many strengths to this new role,” said Dean Linda Weglicki, Ph.D., R.N. “I am confident she will move the college forward in new and exciting directions.”

In 2016, Kelechi was awarded a five-year exploratory grant (P20) totaling $1.2 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The grant established the Symptom Self-Management Center that provides pilot funding for nurse scientists to develop technology-based interventions for pain and fatigue. She is the principal investigator (PI) of a randomized controlled trial of a cooling intervention to prevent venous leg and diabetic foot ulcers from recurring. She is also co-PI of a telehealth study of mealtime training of caregivers of persons with dementia. 

Kelechi, a certified wound care nurse, developed her expertise early in her career. For many years, she delivered care in an outpatient nurse-managed clinic that she implemented. She is a pioneer in changing policy through state boards of nursing to advance foot care provided by nurses for patients with diabetes. She also was instrumental in establishing a series of in-person and online courses and resources that lead to certification as a certified foot care nurse (CFCN). After many years of clinical practice, Kelechi returned to school to earn a Ph.D. in nursing so that she could advance her research ideas. Her work resulted in numerous studies being funded by NINR and organizations such as Marine Polymer Technologies and American Nurses Foundation.

Kelechi also serves as the director of recruitment for the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute at MUSC. She is the deputy editor for the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing and has published more than 100 papers throughout her career. 

Kelechi received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Kent State University, a master’s degree in gerontological nursing from Case Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. 

Keywords: Fall 2019