Meet The James Nurse Researchers



Taletha Askew

Taletha Askew

The Ohio State Medical Center, CCC
Arthur G. James and Richard J. Solove Research Institute
Columbus, Ohio 43210


Taletha is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with 22 years experience in care of the cardiac critically ill patient. I currently serve as the CNS for Thoracic Oncology which includes; thoracic surgery and medical lung cancer patients.

Her interests include critical care of the oncology thoracic surgery/lung cancer patient and cardiac disease in the thoracic oncology patient. My primary goal is to improve patient outcomes by promoting evidence- based practice in relation to care of the acute and critically ill oncology patient.

Taletha has lectured and published on a variety of topics on care of the cardiac patient with a focus on acute coronary syndromes, interventional cardiology and hemodynamic monitoring. I currently lecture on care of the post op thoracic oncology surgery patient.

In addition, she previously held adjunct faculty appointments and currently serve as an onsite evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Thoracic oncology, cardiac critical care, lung cancer

Danette Birkhimer

Danette Birkhimer

Danette is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist. She received her BSN and MS from The Ohio State University.  She holds an auxiliary clinical faculty position in the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University.
Danette currently serves as the neurosurgery/neuro-oncology CNS at The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Her clinical interests include quality outcomes, professional development and integration of evidence into nursing policy. She has presented on a variety of topics at the local and national level.

Kim Catania

Kimberly A. Catania

Kimberly Catania is an oncology clinical nurse specialist whose focus is hematology, primarily lymphoma and myeloma. Her clinical interests include safe administration of chemotherapy and biotherapy, symptom prevention and management and oncology certification for nurses. She has presented on many oncology-related topics locally, nationally and internationally.

Chemotherapy, hematology, oncology certification




Gail Davidson

Gail Davidson

Gail Davidson is the Disease Management Coordinator for the Regional Liver Therapy Program in the Division of Surgical Oncology, at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.   

Gail is an oncology certified nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University.  She has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions at the University, working with surgical oncology patients for over 25 years.  

Gail is actively involved in the Oncology Nursing Society nationally, as a Special Interest Group Council Representative, a previous Coordinator for the Surgical Oncology Special Interest Group, and is involved locally with the Columbus Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society (CCONS) and the CCONS Outreach Committee.  Gail has further contributed through multiple posters and presentations at regional and national conferences over the years.  She will be recognized at the Oncology Nursing Society Congress 2012 with the Excellence in Surgical Oncology Award and the Pearl Moore Making a Difference Award. 

Ruth Frankenfield

Ruth Frankenfield,
Mental Health CNS

Masters in Science in Nursing
Completion of Gestalt Training in psychotherapy
Currently in enrolled PhD in Philosophy program, Wisdom University, Mill Valley, California

Areas of Interest:
Integration of spiritual care as an element of holistic care of the cancer patient
Education of staff regarding spirituality as differentiated from religion
Education and support of direct care staff in development of resilience, prevention and management of stress, burn out and compassion fatigue

Research Activity:
"Development of an Educational Intervention to Enhance Interdisciplinary Spiritual Care for Cancer Patients".

Deborah Hanes

Deborah A. Hanes, MSN, RN, CNS, ARNP, OCN®

Deborah has been a nurse for 21 years and is an expert in hematology, pain control and oncology nursing. An advanced practice nurse,  she works predominately with patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease and genitourinary malignancies. 

Deborah works frequently with The Ohio State University, College of Nursing providing advanced practice oncology content to graduate students and frequently precepts undergraduates and graduate nursing students who have interests in oncology nursing. Deborah has also facilitated the development of clinical guidelines for the management of sickle cell pain crisis which led to a current nursing research protocol to explore hospital readmissions and pruritus.  Debbie presents frequently on sickle cell disease associated hospital outcomes and research findings.

Jean Just

Jean A. Just,

BSN Nursing,  Kent State University, 1983
MSN Nursing, Kent State University, 1986

Current position: Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute

Areas of expertise:

  • Leadership Development
  • Shared Governance
  • Continuing Nursing Education
  • Conflict Management
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Staff support
    • Compassion fatigue, Burnout
    • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing

MIsty Lamprecht

Misty Lamprecht, RN, MS, CNS, AOCN

Misty Lamprecht is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program. Her primary interests include blood and marrow transplant, critical care oncology and vascular access devices. She has been part of the BMT team at the OSUCCC – James for 24 years - first as a staff nurse, then as CNS for the past 10 years. She was a contributing author for the 2011 Oncology Nursing Society’s Access Device Guidelines. Misty is currently working on a research study, “A Randomized Study to Compare the Effect of Short- and Long-Term Cryotherapy on the Incidence and Severity of Mucositis in High-dose Melphalan”.

Joanne Lester, PhD, CRNP, AOCNlester_joanne_1989.jpg

Dr. Joanne Lester is a Research Scientist of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, credentialed nurse practitioner, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. She has extensive experience in oncology nursing practice and nursing education, with focused interests in breast cancer, high risk breast management, and cancer survivorship issues. Dr. Lester is an active member of the Alliance Oncology Nursing, Symptom Management, and Health Outcomes Committees [previously Cancer & Leukemia Group B (CALBG), North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), and American College of Surgeons (ACOSOG)], the Oncology Nursing Society, and Breast Disease Specific and Survivorship Committees of the OSUCCC – James Cancer Hospital.

Her research focus is in the area of survivorship, specifically breast cancer, symptom management, and distress with competitive grants to study (1) A randomized placebo-controlled study to explore the effect of oral omega-3 fatty acids on atrophic vaginitis in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors, (2) A two-phase study of the measurement of distress in leukemia and breast cancer survivors in early survivorship using a modified version of the NCCN Distress Thermometer, and (3) Ace that mammogram: Education, examination, and expertise. She has been a long-standing collaborator on clinical trials in breast cancer and identification of biologic markers for women at increased risk of breast cancer development.

Additionally, Dr. Lester is committed to nursing education and mentorship with IRB-approved involvement of undergraduate and graduate nursing students in ongoing clinical research studies, with training in clinical and regulatory research procedures and clinical monitoring. She has an extensive list of international/national/regional presentations on cancer survivorship issues. Dr. Lester has multiple publications and was lead editor for the survivorship text Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship: Transdisciplinary Approach to Personalized Care (2011, Oncology Nursing Society). 

Colleen O'Leary

Colleen M. O'Leary, RN, MSN, AOCNS

Education: Loyola University Chicago
Ohio State University
Bowling Green State University

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center:
Clinical Nurse Specialist Head & Neck Cancers

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital:
Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
Oncology Staff Educator

Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
Staff Nurse Oncology


Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Licensed Advanced Practice Nurse State of Illinois
Licensed Advanced Practice Nurse State of Ohio
Oncology Nursing Society
Chicago Chapter Oncology Nursing Society- Director at Large
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
Oncology Nursing Society Clinical Nurse Specialist Special Interest Group- Coordinator Elect
Sigma Theta Tau  Alpha Beta Chapter

Colleen has presented on a variety of oncology nursing topics locally, regionally and nationally. She has published numerous articles related to oncology nursing in peer reviewed journals and authored several chapters in oncology nursing text books. Colleen serves as the Associate Editor of the Advanced Practice Column in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Her interests and expertise include head and neck cancer, prevention of infection, hypersensitivity reactions and bleeding and thrombotic complications in cancer.


Overcash, Janine.JPG

Janine Overcash, PhD

Janine Overcash is currently the Director of Nursing Research at the James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute. Dr. Overcash was an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of South Florida and a geriatric nurse practitioner specialized in the care of the older cancer patient. She has assisted in the design and management of one of the first geriatric oncology programs located at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Overcash has authored over 35 peer reviewed journal articles in the area of geriatric assessment. A book entitled, The Older Cancer Patient: A Guide for Nurses and Related Professionals by Janine Overcash and Lodovico Balducci highlights principles of care of the older person with cancer and received book of the year award by the American Journal of Nursing.

Dr. Overcash has completed a postdocterate with the John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Program. Dr. Overcash participated in the Geriatric Nurse Educational Consortium sponsored by the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the John A. Hartford Foundation which instructed over 500 faculty from all over the United States. Dr. Overcash is currently interested in Vitamin D level in relation to older women undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and functional status concerns. Other research interests include understanding falls, performance status and independence in older cancer patients. 


Amy E. Rettig, MSN, MALM, RN, ACNS-BC

CBCN Clinical Nurse Specialist – Breast Cancer Continuum

Amy has more than 20 years experience as a Registered Nurse and more than 5 years as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. Prior to joining The James, Amy held numerous Registered Nursing positions in hospitals, colleges and government in Ohio. She was the Practice Consultant for the Ohio Board of Nursing and was the Breast Health Nurse for Blanchard Valley Health System. She joined The James in 2008 to specifically work with the breast cancer program. Amy received a Master of Science in Nursing in family and community nursing from Capital University, a Master of Arts in Lay Ministry from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from Bowling Green State University. She was also the founder of Special Kids Therapy, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with special health care needs and their families get funding for therapies that was not covered by state and private insurance. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Amy works to bring the breast cancer team together through direct patient care, staff education, and system-wide initiatives. The Breast Cancer Continuum (TBC) is one program she developed that impacts all areas of the care of breast cancer patients.

Roxann Scheerens

Roxann Scheerens,

Roxann Scheerens received her BS in Nursing from Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, New York.  Her experience began with six years in medical/surgical units at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester, New York, and at Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. Over the next 10 years, at Life Care Alliance (a United Way Agency) in Columbus, Ohio she worked in the home care field as a visiting nurse, a supervisor of home health aides, and then as program director of the Homemakers and Home Health Aides Program.

She then re-entered hospital nursing at the The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. She began at the Hospital as an oncology staff nurse on a medical oncology unit for over six years, then went to the outpatient chemotherapy clinic for almost seven years caring for a variety of oncology patients and providing chemotherapy, transfusions and other treatment needs. Since 2008, she has met the professional achievement requirements of the Hospital's Clinical Ladder program at the Clinical Ladder IV level.

Kathrynn Thompson

Kathrynn Thompson,

Kathrynn is currently a psycho-oncology clinical nurse specialist at The James and a clinical instructor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing.  Ms. Thompson's most outstanding contributions to nursing have been around honoring the psychosocial aspects of healing within the oncology patient population and giving holistic psychiatric care to patients with psychiatric and mental health problems. 

She has also focused on educating students and health care professionals about personal and professional boundaries, end of life care and psychiatric mental health nursing.  Her work is focused on integrating theory, research, education and practice within a holistic perspective. She specializes in individual, family and group counseling, as well as, Integrative Reflexology, Therapeutic Touch, guided Imagery, autogenic relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, ethics, spirituality, end of life care and personal and professional boundaries. Ms. Thompson is also an End of Life Nursing Education Consortium Trainer.  She is board certified in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and in Foot Reflexology. Ms. Thompson has 25 years of experience in nursing education, both clinical and classroom teaching.  She has presented at the local and national level on topics pertaining to psychiatric and mental health nursing and education.


nancy treece

Nancy Treece

Nancy is a board-certified Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist with 30 plus years psychiatric nursing clinical and management experience in a variety of settings. She received both her B.S. in Nursing and her M.S. in Psychiatric Nursing at The Ohio State University and has held a Certificate to Prescribe in her psychiatric specialty since 2007.

She currently practices as a Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist at the James Cancer Hospital of the Ohio State University Medical Center providing mental health consultation to patients, families, and staff in both inpatient and ambulatory settings. Special areas of interest include crisis intervention, suicide assessment, critical incident stress debriefing, compassion fatigue and complementary therapies such as breathing for relaxation, guided imagery, progressive muscular relaxation, Therapeutic Touch and aromatherapy.


The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 460 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: