Elizabeth Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

Name: Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

USU Department of Primary Appointment: 
Ph.D in Nursing Science Program
Title: 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar Alumna
Faculty Rank: 
Assistant Professor
Location: 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

Research Interests:
Women's Health
HPV-associated Infection, Disease, & Cancer

Office Phone: 
(301) 295-1531

Education

2009 Postdoctoral Training, Human Molecular Genetics, Genomics, & Molecular Biology; National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Summer Genetics Institute, Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA); Bethesda, Maryland.

2007 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Nursing Research; Loyola University Chicago; Chicago, Illinois.

1997 Postgraduate Colposcopy Training; MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas; Houston, Texas.

1996 Master of Science, Nursing (MSN); Specialty in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Primary Care of Women; The University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida.

1985 Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN); Arizona State University; Tempe, Arizona.

Biography

Dr. Kostas-Polston’s national and international leadership in research, practice, and policy occur at the intersection of her roles as scholar, scientist, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. As scientist, Dr. Kostas-Polston’s scholarship is focused on: 1) military women's health and readiness; and 2) the development of health promotion and disease prevention strategies, evidence-based clinical guidelines, and policy focused on HPV-related cancer prevention; and 3) assuring the effective translation of knowledge for new approaches related to health promotion and disease prevention; and diagnosis, treatment, and management of HPV-associated cancers. Specifically, her research goals include: 1) exploring the impact of availability and access to water and sanitation resources in austere environments on military women's personal hygiene practices and associated risk for developing urogenital infections; 2) educating parents and school-aged children and adolescents about HPV infection and disease burden; health promotion (behavioral risk factor reduction); and prevention (HPV vaccination) strategies; 3) developing tools for the detection of persistent HPV infection of the oropharynx; and 4) identifying strategies which may be used to inhibit the oncogenic activity of high-risk HPV genotypes.

Dr. Kostas-Polston’s sustained commitment to improving sexual and reproductive health led to the creation of an innovative body of knowledge regarding Human Papillomavirus (HPV) oropharyngeal (OP) cancer screening, detection, and prevention (HPV vaccination); leading to improved clinical practice outcomes. One major fundamental practice change was to support the use of HPV vaccines in males. Committed to reducing HPV-related cancer morbidity and mortality, Dr. Kostas-Polston served as Invited Scientific Delegate on three American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) task forces; two of which were co-sponsored by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSF) and American Cancer Society (ACS). Each task force produced recommendations for significant national and international clinical practice changes for cervical cancer screening, treatment, and management. Dr. Kostas-Polston is recognized by interdisciplinary colleagues as an expert as evidenced, for example, by national and international invitations to present at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2018 National Conference, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology’s (USCAP) 2015 Annual International Meeting, and the 2015 Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) 26th International Nursing Research Congress. Peer-reviewed podium presentations include, for example, topics related to incidence in HPV infection and reinfection rates, and interventions targeted at health promotion and disease prevention (behavioral risk factor reduction and HPV vaccine uptake) in school-aged children and adolescents; and HPV vaccination as a means of primary prevention. This year, Dr. Kostas-Polston’s presentations, for example, will highlight HPV vaccination and the new Gardasil 9 vaccine, as well as the changing landscape for diagnosis and management of anogenital HPV-disease (the state of the science related to the role of molecular testing as a means of primary cervical screening). In recognition of her many contributions to the science of HPV, Dr. Kostas-Polston was selected as a 2009 Fellow of the NIH/NINR and completed post-doctoral studies in Genetics, Genomics and Molecular Biology. Dr. Kostas-Polston’s research has been consistently funded by the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Nursing Research (NINR), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She serves as a Scientific Reviewer for multiple scholarly and high impact nursing and interprofessional journals.

An expert clinician, Dr. Kostas-Polston has practiced as a nationally, board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner for over 22 years while caring for the obstetric, gynecological, and primary care needs of those whom she serves (beneficiaries of the military health system; and rural and underserved, and urban and health despaired civilian women across the lifespan). She maintains her women's health practice and works interprofessionally with both civilian an military colleagues at Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown, Maryland.

Throughout her Nursing career, Dr. Kostas-Polston has served in many leadership positions at the national, regional, state, and local levels. Early in her career, she served as a United States Air Force commissioned officer-nurse and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Dr. Kostas-Polston was competitively selected as one of only few named RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars from across the U.S. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, as well as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. In 2016, Dr. Kostas-Polston completed a 3-year term as Primary Grant Reviewer for the American Nurses Foundation (ANF); the research arm for the American Nurses Association (ANA). As a Women’s Health Subject Matter Expert Reviewer, Dr. Kostas-Polston also serves on the TriService Nursing Research Program Grant Review Committee. Always interested in quality and safety, Dr. Kostas-Polston serves as a member of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) National Conference Planning Committee and is a Teaching Strategy Reviewer for the QSEN Institute. Over a period of six years, Dr. Kostas-Polston dedicated her service and leadership to the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH). During this time, she served as: 1) a member of the Board of Directors; 2) Chair of the Health Policy, Education, Research, and Long-Range Planning Committees; 3) member of the Executive Board of Directors; and 4) was elected and served as Chair of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH). Committed to reducing HPV-related cancer morbidity and mortality, Dr. Kostas-Polston served as Invited Scientific Delegate on three American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) task forces; two of which were co-sponsored by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSF) and American Cancer Society (ACS). Each task force produced recommendations for significant national and international clinical practice changes for cervical cancer screening, treatment, and management. Her leadership contributions in this effort are exemplified by her co-authorship of the 2012 US Cervical Cancer Management Consensus Guidelines. At the regional, state, and local levels, she served two terms as the Chair of the Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Women’s Health Research Section and Executive Secretary/Treasurer of Sigma Theta Tau International, Delta Lambda Chapter. An advocate for the delivery of family planning services to uninsured and underserved women and communities, Dr. Kostas-Polston served as member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Family Health Council (MFHC). In this capacity, she was involved in critical health policy and financial decision-making regarding the distribution and use of federal family planning funding issued to the State of Missouri. Dr. Kostas-Polston secured federal funding for rural and underserved Howell County, Missouri to improve comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services where no such funding had ever existed (to include a free, statewide HPV vaccination program for school-aged children and adolescents). As RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar, Dr. Kostas-Polston drives the implementation of the IOM/RWJF Future of Nursing Report recommendations to assist with preparing nurse leaders to address our nation’s health care challenges—access, quality, and cost.

Dr. Kostas-Polston is in federal service as an Assistant Professor and Nurse Scientist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, in Bethesda, Maryland. She is expanding her research to include the impact of military women’s health and readiness.

Representative publications, projects, and/or deployments

  • BOOK EDITOR: Alexander, Johnson-Mallard, Kostas-Polston, Fogel, & Woods (2017). Women’s Health Care in Advanced Practice Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC. CHAPTER AUTHORSHIP: 1) Human Papillomavirus; 2) Well Women’s Health; 3) Genetics & Women’s Health; 4) Preconceptional Health Promotion; 5) Perimenstrual Symptoms & Syndromes; and 6) Infertility.
  • Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences: 1) Member, Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects; 2) Lead, Military Women’s Health Research Consortium (USU Office of Research); 3) Co-Lead, USU Defense Health Horizons, Women’s Health Project; 4) Co-Lead, 2016 USU Military Women’s Health Research Conference; 5) Faculty Senator, Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing.
  • TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP): 1) Scientific Reviewer; 2) Subject Matter Expert; 3) Member, Military Women’s Health Research Interest Group.
  • Murtha Cancer Center (MCC) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC): 1) Member, Murtha Cancer Center.
  • United States Air Force Nurse Corps (1986-1991): 1) National Defense Service Medal in Support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm; 2) US Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; 3) US Air Force Health Service Military Hospital Inspection (HSMI), Iraklion Air Station; Crete, Greece: Excellent Rating Obstetric Clinic and Installation-wide Health Promotion Program.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar
  • American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP): 1) Delegate, NIH Scientific Meeting: Cervical Cancer Screening & Management of Cervical Abnormalities in Adolescents and Young Women (2009); 2) Delegate, NIH Scientific Meeting: Cervical Cancer Screening & Prevention—Role of Molecular Testing (2011); 3) Delegate and Co-Author: Update to 2006 ASCCP Consensus Conference on Management of Cytological Abnormalities and Cervical Cancer Precursors (2012); 4) Member, Education Committee.
  • American Cancer Society/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1) Member, National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Roundtable; 2) Member, School-Based Parent Education Working Group; 3) Member, Empowering Parents & Allies Working Group.
  • American Academy of Nursing (AAN): 1) Fellow; 2) Co-Lead, Women’s Health Expert Panel; 3) Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar In-Residence.
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP): 1) Fellow; 2) Co-Lead, Women’s Health Interest Forum; 3) Member, AANP Research Advisory Group; 4) Member, 2018 FAANP Winter Meeting Planning Committee; 5) Scientific Reviewer; 6) Delegate, FAANP Research Agenda Roundtable.

Bibliography

  • Kostas-Polston, E. A., Rawlett, K., & Miedema, J. (Accepted March 2018). Gap analysis addressing nurse practitioner education models: Review three of a 4-part series on critical topics identified by the 2015 Nurse Practitioner Research Agenda. The Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP).
  • Johnson-Mallard, V., Kostas-Polston, E. A., Fugate Woods, N., Simmonds, K., Alexander, I., & Taylor, D. (2017). Unintended pregnancy: A framework for prevention and options for midlife women in the US. Women’s Midlife Health, 3(8), 1-15. doi: 10.1186/s40695-017-0027-5
  • Campbell, J., Ladden, M.D., McBride, A.B., Cimino, A., Kostas-Polston, E. A., & Deming, K. (2017). Overview of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. Nursing Outlook: The Journal of the American Academy of Nursing, 65, 254-264. (Data-based). http://www.nursingoutlook.org/article/S0029-6554(16)30203-2/pdf
  • Groer, M.W., Kostas-Polston, E.A., Dillahunt-Aspilliga, C., Beckie, T.M., Johnson-Mallard, V., Duffy, A, & Evans, M.E. (2016, June). Allostatic perspectives in women veterans with a history of childhood sexual assault. Biological Research for Nursing, 18(4), 454-464. doi: 10.1177/1099800416638442. (Data-based).
  • Kostas-Polston, E. A. (2016, May). Prenatal screening and diagnosis: Key clues to antepartum surveillance. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(5), e239-e242. doi: 10.1016/j.nupra.2016.02.003
  • Kostas-Polston, E. A., Thanavaro, J., Arvidson, C., Taub, L.-F. M., and on behalf of the FAANP Health Policy Work Group (2015, January). Advanced practice nursing: Shaping health through policy. The Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27: 11–20. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12192
  • Massad, L. S., Einstein, M. H., Huh, W. K., Katki, H. K., Kinney, W. K., Schiffman, M., Solomon, D., Wentzensen, N., & Lawson, H….Kostas-Polston, E.A….(2013, April). 2012 updated consensus guidelines for the management of abnormal cervical cancer screening tests and cancer precursors. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 121(4), 829-846. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182883a34 (Data-based).
  • Kuppuswamy, M., Subramanian, T., Kostas-Polston, E.A., Vijayalingam, S. Zhao, L.., Varvares, M. & Chinnadurai, G. (2013). Functional similarity between E6 proteins of cutaneous Human Papillomaviruses and adenovirus E1A tumor-restraining module. The Journal of Virology, 87(113), 7781-7786. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00037-13. (Data-based).
  • DeVon, H. A., Block, M. E., Moyle-Wright, P., Ernst, D., Hayden, S. J., Lazzara, D. J., Savoy, S. M., & Kostas-Polston, E. A. (2007). A psychometric toolbox for testing validity and reliability. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 39(2), 155-164.
  • Kostas-Polston, E. A., Johnson-Mallard, V., & Jay, N. (2017). Human Papillomavirus. In Alexander, I., Johnson-Mallard, V., Kostas-Polston, E. A., Fogel, C. I., & Woods, N. F. (Eds.), Women’s Health Care in Advanced Practice Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.