Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Professor

Sharon Hewner.

School of Nursing
University at Buffalo
311 Wende Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-3079

PHONE: 716-829-2092

My experience in a wide variety of health care settings, ranging from intensive and coronary care to long-term care and home care, led me to employ systems thinking about how to improve care transitions, and to consider the role that technology could play in improving care across settings.

Sharon Hewner is a research professor in the School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the interaction between nurse care coordinators, patients and their caregivers at the time of hospital discharge. Hewner’s team, which includes primary care physicians, nurse researchers, and engineers, examines how technology and health information exchange can improve the delivery of person-centered care during the transition to post-discharge settings.

Hewner recently completed the Coordinating Transitions project (AHRQ funded). The work utilized a health information exchange to alert nurse care coordinators in primary care when the patient is discharged to ensure an outreach phone call within 72 hours of discharge. The technology that the team developed is now used in an eight county region of WNY. Through avoided hospitalization and emergency department visits, this has resulted in a $1,300 reduction in cost of care per adult Medicaid recipient with pre-existing chronic conditions.

Hewner’s current research compares the efficacy of community-based care coordination models for complex and high-need patients. An additional focus is using data mining, cognitive work analysis and natural language processing to develop a conversational assistant to support nurse care coordinators in the development of a comprehensive shared care plan that follows the patient throughout the health care system.


  • PhD, Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
    • Dissertation: Elder Care in an Amish and an English Rural Community: A Comparative Medical Anthropological Study
  • MS, Gerontological Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
    • Thesis: Changes in Physical and Psychological Functioning in Elderly Patients in the Acute Hospital Waiting Nursing Home Placement
  • BS, Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Areas of Research

  • Informatics
  • Transitions of Care  

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NGC 502 Applied Informatics to Evaluate Healthcare Outcomes
  • NGC 634 Organizational and Leadership Concepts in Healthcare
  • NUR 708 Research Practicum

Recent Publications

Hewner, S., Chen, C., Anderson, L., Pasek, L., Anderson, A., & Popejoy, L. (2020). Transitional care models for high-need, high-cost adults in the United States: A scoping review and gap analysis. Professional Case Management. Advance online publication.

Jeffery, A. D., Hewner, S., Pruinelli, L., Lekan, D., Lee, M., Gao, G., … Sylvia, M. (2019). Risk prediction and segmentation models used in the U.S. for assessing risk in whole populations: A critical literature review with implications for population health nursing. JAMIA Open, 2(1), 205-214.

McLean E., Bagchi-Sen, S., Atkinson, J., Ravenscroft, J., Hewner, S., & Schindel, A. (2019). Country-level analysis of household fuel transitions. World Development, 114(2), 267-280.

Casucci, S., Hewner, S., Lin, L., & Nikolev, A. (2018). Estimating the causal effects of chronic disease combinations on 30-day readmissions based on observational Medicaid data. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 25(6), 670-678.

Seo, J., Kim, W., Hewner, S., & Dickerson, S. (2018). Lived experience of health seeking and healthcare utilization among Korean immigrant women living in suburban communities. Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal, 3(1), 8-20.

Hewner, S., Sullivan, S. S., & Yu, G. (2018). Reducing emergency room visits and in-hospitalizations by implementing best practice for transitional care using innovative technology and big data. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/wvn.12286

Sullivan. S., Li, J. X., Wu, Y. W., & Hewner, S. (2017). Complexity of chronic conditions' impact on end-of-life expense trajectories of Medicare decedents. Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(11), 545-550. doi:10.1097/NNA.0000000000000541

Sullivan, S. S., Mistretta, F., Casucci, S., & Hewner, S. (2017) Integrating social context into comprehensive shared care planning: A scoping review. Nursing Outlook, 65(5), 597- 606. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2017.01.014

Hewner, S., Casucci, S., Sullivan, S. S., Mistretta, F., Xue, Y., Johnson, B., … Fox, C. (2017). Integrating social determinants of health into primary care clinical and informational workflow during care transitions. eGEMs: Generating Evidence & Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes, 5(2). doi:10.13063/2327-9214.1282

Castner, J., Loomis, D., Yin, Y., & Hewner, S. (2016). Medical Mondays: Emergency department utilization for Medicaid recipients depends on the day of the week, season, and holidays. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 42(4), 317-324. doi:10.1016/j.jen.2015.12.010

Hewner, S., Casucci, S., & Castner, J. (2016) The roles of chronic disease complexity, health system integration, and care management in post-discharge healthcare utilization in a low-income population. Research in Nursing and Health, 39, 215-228. doi:10.1002/nur.21731

Raines, D. A., Grinslade, S., Fabry, D., Hewner, S., & Steeg, L. (2016). Knowledge and attitudes of RN to BSN students before and after a patient safety course. Nursing Education Perspectives, 37(6), 317-319. doi:10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000057

Castner, J., Wu, Y.W., Mehrok, N., & Hewner, S. (2015). Frequent Emergency Department Utilization and Behavioral Health Comorbidities. Nursing Research 64(1):3-12. DOI: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000065 

Hewner, S. J. (2015). Getting HIE ‘Just Right’ for Population-Level Clinical Decision Support. Invited testimony to the Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator, Health IT Policy Committee, Advanced Health Models and Meaningful Use Workgroup. June 2, 2015 in Washington, DC. 

Hewner, S., Wu, Y.W., & Castner, J. (2015) Comparative Effectiveness of Risk-stratified Care Management in Reducing Readmissions in Medicaid Adults with Chronic Disease. Journal for Healthcare Quality 03/2015; doi:10.1097/01.JHQ.0000462683.70630.d7

Raines, D., Grinslade, M. S., Fabry, D., Steeg, L., Hewner, S. (2015). Knowledge and Attitudes of RN to BSN Students Before and After a Patient Safety Course. Accepted by Nursing Education Perspectives March 19, 2015.

Hewner, S. J. (2014). A population-based care transition model for chronically ill elders. Nursing Economic$, 32(2), 109-116, 141.

Hewner, S. J., & Seo, J. Y. (2014). Informatics role in integrating population and patient centered knowledge to improve care transitions in complex chronic disease. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 18(2).

Hewner, S. J., Seo, J. Y., Gothard, S. E., &  Johnson, B.J. (2014). Aligning Population-specific Care Management with Chronic Disease Complexity. Nursing Outlook 62, 250-258

Foels, T., & Hewner, S. J. (2009). Integrating pay for performance with educational strategies to improve diabetes care. Population Health Management, 12 (3), 121-129.

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2018
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Nursing Research, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY, 2015
  • Mecca S. Cranley Nursing Research Mentorship Award, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY
  • Milton Plesur Teaching Excellence Award, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 2013
  • Elsevier Exceptional Nursing Educator Award, Elsevier Faculty Development Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2013
  • Teaching Innovation Award, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 2012
  • Nurse of the Year in Performance Management, Quality and Improvement, March of Dimes, Rochester, NY, 2012
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Lockport Senior High School, Lockport, NY
  • Patricia H. Garman Behavioral Health Nursing Endowment Fund Award, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY
  • Quality and Safety Education in Nursing, Education Consortium Institute, selected representative of University at Buffalo, School of Nursing, Charleston, NC
  • Improving Care Transitions and Care Coordination in Frail Elders at the End-of-Life, Second Place Scientific Abstract at the Science of Compassion: Future Directions in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, National Institute of Nursing Research.
  • Mecca S. Cranley Nursing Research Mentorship Award, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Nursing, Buffalo, NY
  • Research Careers in Anthropology Graduate Fellowship, US Department of Education, Fund for Improvement for Post-secondary Education

Professional Activities

  • Board Member, Niagara Hospice
  • Board Member, HEALTHeLINK
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
  • Participant in Nursing Knowledge Big Data Science Care Coordination
  • Participant in American Nurses Association/Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT Care Planning Workgroup
  • Member, American Nurse Association
  • Member, American Medical Informatics Association
  • Member, Academy of Health

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