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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Smith Heavner

Adjunct Assistant Professor




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Educational Background

2021 Clemson University - Doctor of Philosophy, Applied Health Research and Evaluation

2019 Clemson University - Master of Science, Applied Health Research and Evaluation 2017 Clemson University - Graduate Certificate, Clinical and Translational Science

2014 Clemson University - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
2012 Tri-County Technical College - Associate in Applied Science, Nursing 2010 Tri-County Technical College - Diploma, Practical Nursing

Courses Taught

Health 8420 - Applied Evaluation Methods in Health
Health 8410 - Foundations of Evaluation in Health Research


Dr. Smith Heavner, PhD, RN, (he/they) is adjunct faculty in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. As a nurse, Dr. Heavner specializes in critical care and emergency medicine with more than ten years of clinical experience. He serves as Scientific Director of the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory, a private-public partnership of the Critical Path Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Dr. Heavner is an active member of the Society for Critical Care Medicine including serving on the core committee of the Discovery Network VIRUS COVID-19 Registry. Dr. Heavner is a member of the 2022-2023 cohort of Global Clinical Scholars at Harvard Medical School.

Research Interests

Dr. Heavner is a mixed-methods evaluation scientist with expertise in dissemination and implementation science, informatics, real world data, and regulatory science. Dr. Heavner’s research interests include drug repurposing, COVID-19, pandemic preparedness, disaster management, evaluation theory, healthcare systems, burnout and compassion fatigue, and gender and sexual minority (LGBTQ2+) health disparities.

Research Publications

* indicates individual is a mentee
1. Moschella P, Heavner S, *Cordero-Romero S, *Knapp J, Roth P, Litwin AH. Leveraging public and private funding to implement opt-out HIV screening programs in one rural and one urban emergency department in South Carolina increased screening and discovered a higher rate of HIV-infected Black patients. Accepted 2021
2. Wilson, C.A., *Metwally, H., Heavner, S., Kennedy, A.B. and Britt, T.W. (2021), Chronicling moral distress among healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal analysis of mental health strain, burnout, and maladaptive coping behaviours. Int J Mental Health Nurs.
3. Bhalala US, et al. Characterization and Outcomes of Hospitalized Children With Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Report From a Multicenter, Viral Infection and Respiratory Illness Universal Study (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Registry. Crit Care Med. 2022 Jan 1;50(1):e40-e51. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000005232. PMID: 34387240; PMCID: PMC8670078.
4. *Johnson J, Gormley MA, Bentley S, Baldwin C, Bublitz M, Heavner SF, Roth P, Litwin AH. HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis Care Continuum Among Individuals Receiving Medication for Opioid Use Disorder, South Carolina, 2020-2021. Am J Public Health. 2022 Jan;112(1):34-37. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2021.306566. PMID: 34936400; PMCID: PMC8713624.
5. Denson JL, Gillet AS, Zu Y, et al. Metabolic Syndrome and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(12):e2140568. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.40568
6. Tripathi S, et al. The Impact of Obesity on Disease Severity and Outcomes Among Hospitalized Children With COVID-19. Hosp Pediatr. 2021 Nov;11(11):e297-e316. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2021-006087. Epub 2021 Jun 24. PMID: 34168067.
7. Tripathi S, Sayed IA, Dapul H, et al. Risk Factors for Critical Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Mortality in Hospitalized Young Adults: An Analysis of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Discovery Viral Infection and Respiratory Illness Universal Study (VIRUS) Coronavirus Disease 2019 Registry. Crit Care Explor. 2021;3(8):e0514. Published 2021 Aug 20. doi:10.1097/CCE.0000000000000514
8. *Joudeh L, Harris OO, Johnstone E, Heavner S, Propst SK. "Little Red Flags": Barriers to Accessing Health Care as a Sexual or Gender Minority Individual in the Rural Southern United States-A Qualitative Intersectional Approach. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2021 Apr 22. doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000271. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33935190.
9. Domecq, J et al. Outcomes of Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Receiving Organ Support Therapies, Critical Care Medicine: January 28, 2021 - Volume Online First - Issue - doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004879
10. Charron E, Mayo RM, Heavner-Sullivan SF, Eichelberger KY, Dickes L, Truong KD, Rennert L. "It's a very nuanced discussion with every woman": Health care providers' communication practices during contraceptive counseling for patients with substance use disorders. Contraception. 2020 Sep 14:S0010-7824(20)30342-5. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.09.002.
11. Hudson J, Charron E, Maple, Krom, Heavner-Sullivan S, Mayo R, Dickes L, Rennert L. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Is Associated with Lower Rates of Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia. Breastfeeding Medicine. 15 (3) 2020
12. Charron E, Francis E, Heavner-Sullivan S, and Truong K. Disparities in receipt of mental health services among patients hospitalized for deliberate drug overdose. Psychiatric Services. 2019
13. Leahy A, Bethel S, Summey J, and Heavner S. Patients’ Perceptions of Clinical Scribe Use in Outpatient Physician Practices. GHS Proceedings. November 2017; 2 (2): 131-136

Honors and Awards

Dec 2021 Graduate Student Highlight. College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Clemson University. Clemson, SC
Oct 2021 Featured Team Member – Research Update. Prisma Health. Greenville, SC
Oct 2021 Alumni Spotlight – Annual Report. Tri-County Technical College. Pendleton, SC
May 2021 Award for Excellence, Nursing Specialty – Research. Greenville Memorial Campus Nurses’ Week. Prisma Health. Greenville, SC
Feb 2020 Minorities in Medicine Honoree, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine: Carolinas Campus. Spartanburg, SC
Jan 2019 Martin Luther King Diversity Leadership Award Nominee, Prisma Health Upstate Affiliate. Greenville, SC


Long Road Paved Way to Success

Clinical Spotlight: The Future of Critical Care. ‘What the VIRUS COVID-19 Registry Can Teach About the Future of EHRs.’

An Upstate Collaborative Chronicles Moral Distress in ‘Non-Essential’ Healthcare Workers

Update on Project COPE: Share your story

864Pride - Board of Directors

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
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