• Dr. Michele Polfuss presenting her SMSC Pilot Project at National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) in May 2016

The Self-Management Science Center (SMSC) at the UWM College of Nursing (CON) was established in 2007 as a National Institute of Nursing Research Exploratory (P20) Center. The SMSC was supported by grants (P20NR010674; P20NR015539) to conduct pilot and feasibility studies in self-management. Karen D. Marek, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN served as Director from 2007 to 2010 followed by Rachel F. Schiffman, PhD, RN, FAAN until 2019. As one of a small number of centers across the country funded by NINR, SMSC scientists participated in the larger scientific community with other Exploratory Center scientists and with scientists from Centers of Excellence (P30).

The SMSC continues under the leadership of co-Directors Jeanne Erickson, PhD, RN and Michele Polfuss, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC/PC. The purpose of the SMSC is to provide a structure for dialogue with scientists and students internal and external to UWM CON about advancing self-management to improve health outcomes. Through relationships established as part of the NINR Centers funding, collaborations with scientists from other centers who have diverse expertise are facilitated. The Individual and Family Self-Management Theory provides participants in the SMSC with a lens through which self-management can be viewed.

The contributions to the science of self-management from scientists affiliated with the SMSC is apparent through the grants received, initiatives established, and dissertations completed. Publications from SMSC scientists provide the community of researchers, practitioners, and educators with the knowledge and evidence needed to improve health outcomes.