Jonas Center Partners with The Geneva Foundation to Support Military Medical Research

Pilot program will provide scholarship support for doctoral nursing candidate focused on molecular biomarkers of PTSD

NEW YORK, May 24, 2016 – The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare today announced a partnership to support The Geneva Foundation’s first scholarship for nursing research to advance military medicine. The scholarship will fund a Johns Hopkins School of Nursing doctoral candidate whose goal is to transform the diagnosis process for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – an area of scientific study with potential for impact beyond military and veteran communities.

“With aligned missions and nursing at the core of each organization, The Geneva Foundation and the Jonas Center make ideal partners,” said Brigadier General (Ret.) William T. Bester, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Senior Advisor, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program. “The Geneva Foundation is leading some of the most innovative research in the world to benefit soldiers, veterans and their families. Together, we hope to enhance this work through the combined expertise of nursing leaders dedicating their careers to the same cause.”

The Geneva Foundation was founded in 1993 by Jane Taylor, a critical care nurse, at the request of Madigan Army Medical Center. Since its inception, the nonprofit organization has supported medical research at over 50 Federal Laboratories and Military Treatment Facilities worldwide, with the goal of providing the highest quality healthcare to U.S. service members and veterans, their families, and the global community.

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Ph.D. candidate Tamar U. Rodney, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC, was selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship, to be matched by Johns Hopkins, for research focused on identifying biomarkers to aid in the screening process for PTSD in veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In contrast to previously held views that TBI actually offered protective benefits against PTSD because of diminished consciousness during the traumatic event, recent research has shown that even mild TBI (MTBI) increases the risk of PTSD. For example, a large military survey found that while 16 percent of troops who sustained a bodily injury screened positive for PTSD, 44 percent of those with MTBI screened positive for PTSD. Current research indicates that TBI and PTSD are frequent comorbidities, with the symptoms of these conditions often being confused.[1]

“We are excited to partner with the Jonas Center in support of TBI and PTSD research – two critical and challenging issues affecting both military and civilian populations,” said Jane S. Taylor, BSN, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Geneva Foundation. We are also grateful for this unique opportunity to continue our enduring support of military nursing research in order to improve the clinical, functional, and quality of life outcomes for U.S. service members, their families, and ultimately, the broader community.”

Tamar Rodney, PhD candidate, Johns Hopkins University

“Health improvements are influenced by the policies and research that are in place long before one is injured or in need of services… I am motivated by the process of discovery and change, and eager to use my work to make a meaningful contribution to the science of nursing.”

Rodney was featured as an Emerging Leader by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Read more about her in AACN’s Graduate Nursing Student Academy Bulletin.

Rodney, a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, has practiced in numerous patient settings and multiple countries – most recently in a London-based neuro-trauma setting. Scheduled to graduate with her doctoral degree in May of 2018, she also serves as the President-Elect of the Doctoral Students Association and the Executive Director of the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing at Johns Hopkins and is an active member of Sigma Theta Tau.

As millions of veterans access the healthcare system with unprecedented medical, emotional, psychological and rehabilitation needs, nurses such as Rodney are on the frontlines of care. Rodney is part of a growing cohort of approximately 300 scholars in the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, modeled on the Jonas Center’s flagship Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which supports an additional 700 doctoral nursing scholars at 140 universities in all 50 states. The Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program was created in 2012 to address veterans’ pressing, often life-altering health issues by expanding the field of qualified caregivers through scholarships to doctoral nursing candidates. The Geneva Foundation joins such Jonas partners as the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has partnered with the Jonas Center since 2013 to help fund scholars focused on the “invisible wounds” of war, including PTSD.

“In addition to furthering important scientific and clinical efforts, our goal in partnering with such renowned and influential organizations as The Geneva Foundation is to give Jonas Scholars every opportunity to expand their skills at the highest levels,” said Darlene Curley, RN, MS, CEO of the Jonas Family Fund and Executive Director of the Jonas Center. “The Geneva Foundation’s international community encompasses researchers at all levels, so that young investigators, such as Rodney, learn from the most experienced scientists across the globe.”


The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, established in 2006 by Barbara and Donald Jonas as part of the Jonas Family Fund, is dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. In 2016, the Jonas Center is preparing 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders nationwide.

The Geneva Foundation is a non-profit organization headquartered in Tacoma, WA. Established in 1993, Geneva supports innovative medical research within the U.S. military in the areas of federal grants, industry-sponsored clinical trials, federal contracts, and event management. We build enduring partnerships with world-renowned researchers, dedicated sponsors, and highly-skilled research and administrative professionals, all dedicated to the health and well-being of U.S. service members, their families, and the global community.


[1] Richard Bryant, PhD, “Post-traumatic stress disorder vs traumatic brain injury,” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 2011 Sep; 13(3): 251–262.