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About CCRS




Mary Heitschmidt

Mary Heitschmidt, PhD, APRN, CCRN, FAHA

Mary Heitschmidt, PhD, APRN, CCRN, is an assistant professor and the Director of Clinical Research, a position that bridges the corporate partners of Rush University’s College of Nursing with the Divisions of Nursing at Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital.

She is responsible for developing the interests of nursing research projects to improve patient care and outcomes while working collaboratively across the Rush System for Health to build consensus and drive implementation of the vision, agenda and strategic priorities for clinical nursing research.

As a mentor and role model, Heitschmidt provides guidance in multi-disciplinary research, evidence-based nursing practice activities, and dissemination while Co-Directing the Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship.


Administrative Assistant II

Alethea R. Callier, MPH

Alethea Callier joined the Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship in December of 2019. She is experienced in working with health research studies; providing administrative and coordinating support within the studies and programs. She has held the roles as a research coordinator, sleep coordinator/sleep technician and research navigator on women’s health, sleep health, parent/child development studies and a nationwide public health program.



Ruth Kleinpell, founder of the CCRS

The Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship was established in 2007 as a joint venture between Rush University College of Nursing and Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) to promote clinical nursing research that improves clinical practice and patient outcomes. It was founded and directed by professor Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCCM (pictured, right) for ten years with the goals of transforming clinical practice, enhancing clinical education, and positioning RUMC as a national leader in clinical and translational nursing research.

Fundamental to the success of the Center was the integration of practice, research and education through collaboration between college-based faculty and hospital-based clinicians. As part of its emphasis on clinical inquiry, the Center worked with Rush’s nursing leadership to stress the importance of integrating research and evidence based practice in the clinical setting. The Center is the formal evolution of a link between practice and research that has been in place for nearly four decades, evolving from the teacher-practitioner role at Rush University Medical Center.