As part of UWM’s long-term strategic planning, several UWM schools and colleges are being realigned. The process is underway and will be effective July 1, 2023.
Learn more about how the realignment will impact the College of Nursing.

Our Theme

Improving health outcomes in diverse populations through the science of self-management.

Our Focus

Self-management is defined as a process by which individuals and families use knowledge and beliefs, self-regulation skills and abilities, and social facilitation to achieve health-related outcomes. Self-management takes place in the context of risk and protective factors specific to the condition, the physical and social environment, and the individual and family. Proximal outcomes are self-management behaviors and cost of health care services; distal outcomes are health status, quality of life and cost of health. Self-management is applicable to chronic conditions as well as health promotion [1-2].

The science of self-management is advanced by scientists who are developing and testing self-management interventions in various health and illness conditions and with diverse populations. Their findings can then be translated to practice and curricula. The Self-Management Science Center at UWM is the nexus for collaboration among scientists at UWM and at universities nationally and internationally. The science is guided by the Individual and Family Self-Management Theory, which was developed by Drs. Ryan and Sawin who were Self-Management Center Scientists.


1 Ryan, P. & Sawin, K. J. (2009). The Individual and Family Self-Management Theory: Background and perspectives on context process and outcomes. Nursing Outlook, 57, 217-225. Link to article:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908991/

2 Ryan, P. (2009). The Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change: Background and intervention development. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 23(3), 161-170. Link to this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2778019/

3 UWM Self-Management Science Center Working Group*. (2011). Individual and Family Self-Management Theory: Definition of self-management.

4 Ryan, P. A., & Sawin, K. J. (2014). Individual and Family Self-Management Theory [Revised Figure]. Retrieved from
http://www.uwm.edu/nursing/centers-institutes/self-management/theory/

*Working group members. P. Ryan, K. Sawin, J. Doering, B. Rodgers, S. Morgan, R. Schiffman, E. Hildebrandt & R. Marine.

Self-management Researchers

Alexa Anderson
  • Assistant Professor
Jennifer Doering
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
  • Associate Professor
Julie Ellis
  • Associate Professor
Kaboni Gondwe
  • Clinical Assistant Professor
Sandeep Gopalakrishnan
  • Assistant Professor
Hyunkyoung Oh
  • Assistant Professor
Michele Polfuss
  • Associate Professor
  • Joint Research Chair in the Nursing of Children
Murad Taani
  • Assistant Professor