Heaton, Karen

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Assistant Professor

NB 422
1720 2nd Ave. S.
Birmingham, AL 35294-1210

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Other information

PhD University of Kentucky
Post-Master’s University of Louisville
Post-Master’s George Washington University
MSN University of Louisville
BSN University of Alabama at Birmingham Biography
Karen Heaton, RN, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health, Outcomes, and Systems. She is the Occupational Health Nursing Program Director for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funded Deep South Center for Occupational Safety and Health. In her faculty practice role, Dr. Heaton serves as a Nurse Practitioner at the City of Birmingham Occupational Health Clinic, and has experience as a staff nurse and nurse practitioner in emergency nursing and as a nurse practitioner in a facility providing occupational health services to more than 20 businesses in the Louisville, KY area. Dr. Heaton received her BSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an MSN degree from the University of Louisville, a post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner certificate from George Washington University, and a PhD degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Heaton’s program of research on obstructive sleep apnea indicators and risk factors for injury and cardiovascular disease in workers has resulted in opportunities as invited participant to NIOSH’s Public Meeting on Survey of Truck Driver Injury and Health, and as Consultant for the American College of Chest Physicians’ Sleep Educator Program.

Research/Clinical Interest
Relationships between sleep restriction and injury risk in long haul truck drivers; obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular risk in workers; evaluating interventions that may reduce the risks of injury and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Heaton, K. (In Press). Sleep and motor vehicle crash. Journal of Emergency Nursing.

Heaton, K., Browning, S. & Anderson, D. (2008). Identifying variables that predict falling asleep at the wheel in long-haul truck drivers. AAOHN Journal.Heaton, K. & Anderson, D. (2007). A Psychometric analysis of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 15, 177-188.

Heaton, K. (2005). Truck driver hours of service regulations: The collision of policy and public health. Policy, Politics and Nursing Practice, 6, 277-284.

2008 Pilot research in truck driver sleep. Deep South Center for Occupational Health
& Safety Annual Research Day. Auburn University. October 31, 2008.

2008 Feedback actigraphy and sleep in long-haul truck drivers. Southern Nursing Research Society Birmingham, AL

2006 Variables predicting falling asleep at the wheel in long-haul truckers. Associated Professional Sleep Societies Salt Lake City, UT

Agrinursing Fellowship (2009), University of Kentucky College of Nursing Principal Investigator: Obstructive sleep apnea indicators and injury in farmers.

Ruth Kirchenstein National Research Service Award (2004-2007) - predoctoral fellowship for dissertation research study entitled Performance actigraphy and sleep in long-haul truck drivers. National Institute of Nursing Research, F31NR08979.


Scholar, Health Disparities Research Training Award (2009), Minority Health & Health
Disparities Research Center (MHRC), University of Alabama at Birmingham