Dr. Joanne Singleton Named AAN Fellow

Pace University College of Health Professions graduate nursing professor Dr. Joanne Singleton, PhD, RN, CNL, FNP-BC, FNAP, FNYAM, has been named a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her significant contributions to health and health equity. Singleton will be recognized this fall at the academy’s annual Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference induction ceremony, which will take place virtually Oct. 29-31.

Singleton joins 230 new fellows representing 39 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territory of Guam and 13 countries. She is one of just 15 fellows chosen from New York State. The Academy currently comprises more than 2,700 nursing leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.

An accomplished clinician, educator, researcher, author, editor, documentary and simulation filmmaker, Singleton is deeply engaged in studying the human-animal connection. Since 2016, her work focuses on assistance dogs and stress reduction as non-pharmacologic approaches to care, for patients and caregivers. She created and leads Canines Assisting in Health (CAsH), the only program of this nature in the United States. CAsH supports individuals with disabilities teamed with a service dog by educating interprofessional healthcare students and providers to be knowledgeable about and culturally competent in providing care to this cultural community, as well as educating students and providers on the role of assistance animals in supporting human health.

Singleton has a special partner in Professor Spirit, a service dog she is teamed with, who is her teaching, practice, and research partner. Spirit is the first canine faculty at Pace University, with his own position description and faculty ID. Singleton and Professor Spirit have educated thousands of healthcare professionals. They have helped hundreds of students, faculty, individuals with disabilities teamed with a service dog, and community members to reduce stress through their evidence-based stress reduction practice, Paws & Breathe®. CAsH’s range of dissemination, peer reviewed and invited, includes national workshops, classes, presentations, publications, internet and television coverage, and public service announcements.

“I look forward to the opportunities the Academy offers and engaging with health leaders in transforming America’s healthcare system,” said Singleton “Nurses have tremendous influence in interprofessional education and practice within the Academy, and this is an enormous opportunity to advance this work in assisting those with disabilities and healthcare providers.” 

“Dr. Singleton's career is extraordinary, demonstrating significant and enduring contributions to nursing and healthcare,” said Drexel University clinical professor Dr. Al Rundio. “The power of a human-animal connection in her call to action addresses the critical gap in educating healthcare providers on the human-animal bond and Canines Assisting in Health. She harnessed all of her knowledge, abilities, expertise and wisdom to respond to this call, quickly mobilizing her vision and producing significant outcomes within nursing and healthcare, making it available for the public.”

An AAN Fellow herself, Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Health Professions and Lienhard School of Nursing, said, “Dr. Singleton has been building her body of work over many years and is wholly deserving of this honor. We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to her future contributions to healthcare, nursing, Pace, and the College of Health Professions.”

The American Academy of Nursing works to serve the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy, practice and science through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership. The academy and its members, known as fellows, create and execute knowledge-driven and policy-related initiatives to drive reform of America's health system.

Other faculty of the College of Health Professions who are fellows of the academy include Dr. Feldman, Keville Frederickson, EdD, RN, FAAN, and Sandra Lewenson, EdD, RN, FAAN. The College also boasts many Lienhard graduates who are members or will be so this year.

Dr. Singleton received a Diploma in Nursing from St. Clare’s Hospital School of Nursing, a BA in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan, a MA in Urban Management from the New School for Social Research, a BSN in Nursing from Excelsior College, and a PhD in nursing and post-master’s FNP (family nurse practitioner) from Adelphi University.