Tim Cunningham, DrPH, MSN, RN - an assistant professor of nursing, an assistant professor in the drama department, and assistant director of the Compassionate Care Initiative - earned a BA in English from the College of William and Mary, worked as a professional actor and teacher, then joined the CNL program at the University of Virginia. After earning an MSN from UVA, he worked as a pediatric and adult trauma/emergency nurse while also serving as executive director of Clowns Without Borders, USA, work that took him around the world, including to post-earthquake Haiti where a documentary film "Send in the Clowns" featured him and his colleagues. Tim completed a doctorate in public health in 2016 at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the department of population and family health.
Tim is fascinated by what gets people out of bed in the morning, what makes children and adults who have witnessed extreme suffering keep going, and what factors help develop and sustain resilience. His doctoral research focused on the use of narratives to temper compassion fatigue among expatriate healthcare providers who responded to the Ebola epidemic of 2013-2016. While a CNL student at UVA, Cunningham witnessed the birth of programming for the Compassionate Care Initiative and became a facilitator for some of the early care provider retreats.
Awards and Honors
Resilience, psycho-social support for healthcare providers, the benefits of artistic interventions in hospital settings
Emergency care, pediatrics, humanitarian response
Catallozzi, M., Cunningham, T., & Striplin, M. (2016). The use of narrative practices by expatriate health care providers treating Ebola patients in Western Africa from 2013-2016. The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, 4(2), 1-4.
Cunningham, T. (2015). Measuring suffering: assessing chronic stress through hair cortisol measurement in humanitarian settings. Intervention.Vol 13, No 1, 19-27. doi:10.1097/wtf.0000000000000073
Cunningham, T., Bartels, J., Grant, C., & Ralph, M., (2010). Mindfulness and medical review: A grassroots approach to improving work/life balance and nursing retention in a level I trauma center emergency department. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 39(2), 200-202.
Cunningham, T. (2016, October 1). Two minutes [Editorial]. The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, 4(2), 1-4.
Cunningham, T. (2015, September 1). The sunshine chairs [Editorial]. The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, 3(2), 1-4.
Cunningham, T. (2014, April 1). A good night out [Editorial]. The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, 2(1), 1-4.
Cunningham, T. (2015, December 24). Why we never got Ebola: A Christmas story. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://testkitchen.huffingtonpost.c.