Heidi Donovan, PhD, RN



Dr. Donovan’s research and practice is in the development of education and support programs for patients with cancer and their family caregivers. Her research has focused on finding innovative strategies and support systems to help families continue what is most important to them in the face of myriad cancer-related challenges.  She is particularly interested in the intersection between symptoms, self-management, and psychological and functional outcomes for patients and caregivers and in the optimal use of ehealth technology to reduce the work of self-management.  She has had NIH R01 funding to test a web-based symptom management intervention for women with recurrent ovarian cancer through GOG/NRG and another to evaluate a web- and telephone-based intervention for caregivers of patients with primary malignant brain tumors. She is currently the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the first National Center on Family Support funded by the Administration for Community Living.  

She is the co-founder and Director of the Family CARE Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where her team is providing support and education to family caregivers of women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer while conducting innovative family-centered research.  

She has served on the Medical Advisory Board of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition for 20 years, developing educational materials for national dissemination and providing community-based seminars and professional education seminars to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. She served on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on the State of the Science in Ovarian Cancer Research. 

Professional Involvement

  • Director, Gynecologic Oncology Family CARE Center Magee Women’s-Hospital of UPMC
  • Professor of Nursing & Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

Current Project(s)

Research Contribution(s)