5 Questions with Rebecca Lash, Ph.D.

RebeccaLash.jpg Rebecca Lash, Ph.D., R.N., is an assistant professor at IU School of Nursing in Fort Wayne and an associate member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research focuses on patterns of emergency department (ED) use by recently diagnosed oncology patients. The research aims to improve quality and reduce fragmentation of cancer care by reducing unnecessary ED visits.

5Qs-image.jpgQ: Tell us about your research?

I am currently developing a program of research focused on identifying factors that influence ED utilization among patients with cancer and determining facilitators and barriers to providing high-quality care to patients with cancer in the ED.

Q: How did you become interested in this area of cancer research?

As an Emergency Department nurse, I found oncology patients to be a particularly interesting and sometimes challenging patient population to care for in the ED. As I began my doctoral research, I was surprised to find little research had been done to understand the implications of high rates of ED utilization by cancer patients for Emergency Departments or the patients themselves.  

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Since this is an emerging area of research, the most rewarding part of this work so far has been being part of early initiatives to address this issue and developing multi-disciplinary collaborative research relationships at local, regional and national levels.

Q: You joined the IU School of Nursing in Fort Wayne in 2020. What brought you to IU?

I was drawn to the opportunity to join such an innovative and supportive university. The School of Nursing in particular has some fantastic mentors in cancer-related research.

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I spend the most time playing with my two daughters (2 and 4 years old). I enjoy the outdoors and am looking forward to exploring lakes and camping in Indiana this summer!