UMass Boston

Lisa Heelan-Fancher

Associate Professor
Associate Professor, PhD, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, CNE
Quinn Administration Floor 02


Dr. Heelan-Fancher is a board-certified family and adult nurse practitioner whose program of research seeks to improve childbirth outcomes. In collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines, her research focuses on decreasing the high number of unnecessary cesarean deliveries, advancing birth equity, and examining the impact of climate change and environmental stressors on maternal and infant health outcomes. She is the recipient of the American Nurses Association 2020 Excellence in Nursing Research award and the 2018 Pearl Rosendahl Teaching Excellence award.

Area of Expertise

Maternal and Infant Health, Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health, Mixed-methods


PhD: Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

Post Master's Certificate Nursing Education: College of Mount St. Vincent, Riverdale, NY

Post Master's Certificate (Family Nurse Practitioner): Columbia University, New York, NY

MSN/Adult Nurse Practitioner: Columbia University, New York, NY

BSN: William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, Nursing

Professional Publications & Contributions

  • Heelan-Fancher, L., & Nsiah-Jefferson, L. (April 2024). Advancing climate justice to achieve birth equity: An intersectionality-based policy approach. In R. Srikanth & L. Thompson (Eds.), Climate justice and public health: Realities, responses, and reimagining’s for a better future. University of Massachusetts Press.
  • Heelan-Fancher, L., Moore Simas, T., Mazzawi, J., Dumont, T., & Edmonds, J. (2024). Nulliparous women’s expectations and experiences of early labor. Maternal Child Nursing, 49(1):22-28. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000972
  • Zhang, Y., Heelan-Fancher, L., Leveille, & Shi, L. (2023). Health disparities in the use of primary cesarean delivery among Asian American women. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20, 6860.
  • Nguyen, H., & Heelan-Fancher, L. (2022). Female relatives as lay doulas and birth outcomes. Journal of Perinatal Education, 31 (2), 111-123.
  • Cuccovia, B. A., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Aronowitz, T. (2021). A policy analysis of nurse practitioner scope of practice in Massachusetts. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 34 (2):410-417. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000657.
  • Heelan-Fancher, L., & Edmonds, J. (2021). Intrapartum nurses’ beliefs regarding birth, birth practices, and labor support. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. doi: on JOGNN website
  • Heelan-Fancher, L., Edmonds, J., Moore Simas, T.A., & Fawcett, J. (2021). Early labor support:  A systematic scoping review guided by Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings. Visions, 27 (2).
  • Muchira, J. M., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Hayman, L. L. (2021). Maternal cardiovascular health and adverse childbirth outcomes in the United States. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 36(4), E51-E59. DOI:. 10.1097/jcn.0000000000000813
  • McCloskey, L., Bernstein, J., & Bridging the Chasm Collaborative. (2021). Bridging the chasm between pregnancy and women’s health over the life course: A national agenda for research and action. Journal of Women’s Health Issues. DOI:. 10.1016/j.whi.2021.01.002
  • Gazarian, P., Ballout, S., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Sundean, L. (2020). Theories, models, and frameworks used in nursing health policy dissertations: A scoping review. Applied Nursing Research. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151234
  • Heelan-Fancher, L., Ling, L., Zhang, Y., Cai, Y., Nawai, A., & Leveille, S. (2019). Impact of continuous electronic fetal monitoring on birth outcomes in low-risk pregnancies. Birth, 46(20), 1-7. doi #: 10.1111/birt.12422
  • Heelan-Fancher, L., Edmonds, J., & Jones, E. (2019). The importance of time in decreasing barriers to research utilization among labor and delivery nurses. Nursing Research, 68 (6), E1-E7.  doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000388
  • Heelan-Fancher, L. (2016). Patient advocacy in childbirth.  Nursing Science Quarterly 29(4), 316-327.
  • Fortier, M.E., Fountain, D.M., Vargas, M., Heelan-Fancher, L.,.Swan, B.A. (2015).  Healthcare in the community:  Developing academic/practice partnerships for care coordination and managing transitions.  Nursing Economics, 33(3), 167-175.
  • Heelan, L. (2013).  Fetal monitoring:  Creating a culture of safety with informed choice. Journal of Perinatal Education, 22(3), 156-165.  doi:  10.1892/1058-1243.22.3.156
  • Cimiotti, J.P., Johansen, M.L, Heelan, L.M., & Moosvi, K. (2013).  It’s about time:  An analysis of the aging New Jersey nurse workforce.  A report to Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey State Legislature. 

Additional Information

Teaching Expertise

Evidence-based practice & research

Philosophy of Nursing Science

Nurse Educator in the Academic Setting
Maternity and Women’s Health
Ethics and health policy