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Faculty & Staff

* (Nursing Faculty Profile)

Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, RN, MCH, ACNP, FAAN, FAANP, FHFSA 0000-0001-6824-8115

Ponrathi Athilingam, PhD, RN, MCH, ACNP, FAAN, FAANP, FHFSA

Associate Professor, College of Nursing

Critical thinking, life-long learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, technology in research and education and perseverance are key attributes to be a successful researcher.


  • PhD, Health Practice Research, University of Rochester, 2008
  • MS, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, University of Rochester, 2004
  • MCH, Community Health, Liverpool University, 1988
  • BSc, Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Science, 1982
  • RN, Nursing, Catherine Booth Hospital, 1972

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Cardiovascular Sciences

Research Interests

  • Dr. Athilingam, tenured associate professor is an ANCC certified Acute care NP, and research faculty, who works with heart failure patients. Her research is focused on technology-based interventions to improve self-care of patients with heart failure and thus reduce readmissions and "TussisWatch" for self-care of patients with COPD. Dr. Athilingam received funding from National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation-Corps award and Florida Hi-Tech Corridor in developing a mobile app called "HeartMapp" and a SBIR grant from NIH to test the feasibility and potential efficacy of HeartMapp. Received Fulbright Scholar award to establish research and teaching collaboration in Singapore.
  • She has received the "Nurse Investigator of the year 2008 from Heart Failure Society of America. She was named Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP), Fellow of the Heart failure Society of America (FHFSA) and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN).


  • Fulbright Scholar Award (Fulbright - 2023)
  • Faculty Leadership Award (USF College of Nursing - 2021)
  • FAAN (American Academy of Nursing - 2020)
  • Fellow FHFSA (Heart Failure Society of America - 2016)
  • mHealth Scholar 2015 (National Institute of Health - 2015)
  • Fellow FAANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioner - 2012)
  • Service for Humanity Leadership Award (Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. - 2010)
  • Dissertation Award (Sigma Theta Tau International Epsilon xi Chapter - 2008)
  • Nurse Investigator Award (HFSA - 2008)
  • First place Paper Presentation (American Association for Heart Failure Nurses - 2008)
  • Research Award (Sigma Theta Tau International Epsilon Xi chapter - 2007)
  • Outstanding Adult Student Award (Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education, Rochester, NY - 2007)
  • Katharine Donohoe Scholarly Practitioner Award (University of Rochester, NY - 2007)
  • First place for Doctoral Student Poster (ENRS - 2007)
  • Graduate Scholarship (Sigma Theta Tau International Epsilon xi Chapter - 2005)


  • Member (Southern Nursing Research Society, 2011 - Present)
  • Member (American Association for Heart Failure Nurses, 2008 - Present)
  • Member (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 2008 - Present)
  • Member (Heart Failure Society of America, 2006 - Present)
  • Member (American Heart Association, 2005 - Present)
  • Member (Eastern Nursing Research Society, 2004 - Present)
  • Member (Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, 2003 - Present)

Recent Publications

  • Athilingam, P., & Adorno Nieves, J. Self-Care Data Sharing to Improve Patient-Provider Communication and Patient Outcomes. International Journal of Nursing and Health Care Research. 5(8) : 1329, 2022.
  • Mack L, Athilingam P, & Adorno Nieves J, . Health Literacy Impacts Knowledge and Use of Education App in Heart Failure: A Pilot Study. Journal of Cardiology & Vascular Research. 5(5) : 1-5, 2021.
  • Athilingam P, Labrador M, A, & Redding B, A, . Enhanced Self Care with Mobile Technology to Reduce Heart Failure Readmission: A Pilot Study. Journal of Cardiology & Vascular Research. 5(3) : 1-7, 2021.
  • Windmon A, Chellappan S, & Athilingam . Evaluating the Effectiveness of Inhaler Use Among COPD Patients via Recording and Processing Cough & Breath Sounds from Smartphones. MobiCase. 102: 102-120, 2020.
  • Athilingam P, Bugajski A, & Menon U, . Screening of Highrisk Patients for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Primary Care. A Narrative Review. Journal of Pulmonary and Respiratory Care,. 1(1) : 102, 2020.
  • Athilingam P. Clinical Value of Audio Signal Processing and Machine Learning to Detect Cough Patterns: An Opinion Review. SF Internal Medicine. 1(1) : 1007, 2020.
  • Johansson, M., & Athilingam, P. A Dual-Pronged Approach to Improving Heart Failure Outcomes: A Quality Improvement Project. JMIR Aging. 3(2) : e13513, 2020.
  • Athilingam, P., Jenkins , B., & Redding, B.A. Reading Level and Suitability Assessment of Heart Failure Education in a Mobile App “CHF Info App JMIR Aging. 2(1) : e10057, 2019.
  • Jenkins, B.A, Athilingam, P., & Jenkins, R. Symptom Clusters in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review. Applied Nursing Research. 45: 23-29, 2019.
  • Windmon, A., Minakshi, M., Chellappan, S., Johansson, M., Jenkins, B., & Athilingam, P. TussisWatch: A Smartphone System to Identify Cough Episodes as early Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. IEEE. Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics,. 1(1) : 11, 2018.
  • Athilingam, P., & Jenkins, B.A. Mobile Phone Apps to Support Heart Failure Self-Care Management: An Integrative Review JMIR Cardio. 2(2) : e10057, 2018.
  • Athilingam, P., Clochesy J., & Labrador, M. A. Intervention Mapping Approach in the Design of an Interactive Mobile Health Application to Improve Self-care in Heart Failure. Computer Informatics, Nursing. 32(2) : 90-97, 2018.
  • Athilingam P, Jenkins B, A, Zumpano H, & Labrador M, A, . Mobile Technology to Improve Heart Failure Outcomes: A Proof of Concept Paper. Applied Nursing research. 39: 26-33., 2018.
  • Athilingam P, Jenkins B, Johansson M, & Labrador M, A, . A Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Self-Care in Patients with Heart Failure: Pilot Randomized Control Trial. JMIR Cardio. 1(2) : e3, 2017.
  • Fausto B, A, Badana A, N, S, Valdes O, M, Athilingam P, & Edwards J, D, . Examination of heart failure as a predictor of driving cessation. Journal of Transport and Health,. 7: 202-208, 2017.
  • Athilingam P, Labrador M, A, Remo E, F, Mack L, San Juan A, B, & Elliott A, F. Features and Usability Assessment of a Patient-centered Mobile Application (HeartMapp) for Self-management of Heart Failure Applied Nursing Research. (32) : 156-163, 2016.
  • Athilingam P, Osorio R, E, Oliver D, KaplanH, Neachtai T, O, Labrador M, & Rogal P, J, . Embedding Patient Education in Mobile App for Patients with Heart Failure: Theory-based Development and Beta Testing. Computers, Informatics, Nursing,. , 2016.
  • Di Sano M, Perez A, Labrador M, A, Athilingam P, & Giovanetti F. HeartMapp: A mobile application to improve CHF outcomes and reduce hospital readmission. Demonstration paper. Wireless Health. 2015: 145-151, 2015.
  • Chen, J., Athilingam, P., Saloum, Y., & Brady, P. Enhancing Bowel Preparation for Screening Colonoscopy: An Evidence-based Literature Review The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 10: 519-525, 2015.
  • Athilingam, P., Visovsky, C., Elliott, A., & Rogal, P.J. Cognitive Screening in Persons with Chronic Diseases in Primary Care: Challenges and Recommendations For Practice. American Journal of Alzheimer''s Disease and Other Dementia.. 1: 1-12, 2015.
  • Athilingam, P., Edwards, J.D., Valdes, E., Ji, M. & Guglin, M. Computerized Auditory Cognitive Training to Improve Memory, Quality of life and self-care in Persons With Heart Failure: Report from a Pilot Study. Heart and Lung. 44(2) : 120-128, 2015.
  • Ellis, M., Edwards, J.D, Peterson, L., Roker, R., & Athilingam, P. Effects of Cognitive Speed of Processing Training among Older Adults with Heart Failure. Journal of Aging and Health. , 2014.
  • Athilingam, P., D’Aoust, R.F. Miller, L., & Chen,. Cognitive Profile Varies in Persons with Systolic and Diastolic Heart Failure. Journal of Congestive Heart failure. 19(1) : 45-50, 2013.
  • Athilingam, P., D’Aoust, R.F., Zambroski, C., McMillan, S., & Sahebzamani, F. Predictive Validity and Utility of NYHA and ACC/AHA classification of Physical and Cognitive Functioning in Heart Failure. International Journal of Nursing Science. 3: 22-32, 2013.
  • Alwerdt, J., Edwards, J., Athilingam, P., O’ Connor, M., & Valdes, E. Longitudinal Differences in Cognitive functioning among Older Adults with and with out Heart Failure. Journal of Aging and Health. 15: 1284-1290, 2013.
  • Hudak, E., Edwards, J., Athilingam, P., & McEvoy, C. Effects of Hypertension and Antihypertensive Medications on Cognitive Function and Everyday Cognitive Performance Clinical Gerontologist. 36: 113-131, 2013.
  • Athilingam, P., Moynihan, J., Chen, L., D’Aoust, R.F., Groer, M., & Kip, K. Elevated Levels of Interleukin-6 and C-Reactive Protein Associated with Cognitive Impairment in Heart Failure Journal of Congestive Heart failure. 19(2) : 92-98, 2012.
  • Athilingam, P., Munro, C., D’Aoust, R.F., Karch, A.M., & Chen, L. Cognitive Protection by Angio-tensin Converting Enzyme in Heart Failure. International Journal of Nursing Science. 2(3) : 14-22, 2012.
  • Athilingam, P., King, K. B., Burgin, W. S., Ackerman, M., Cushman, L. A., & Chen. L. Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Mini Mental Status Examination compared as cognitive screening tools in HF. Heart and Lung. 40: 521-529, 2011.
  • Athilingam, P. Cognitive dysfunction in heart failure may have different or multiple etiologies: Not cerebral hypoperfusion alone. Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing. 23(2) : 102, 2008.
  • Athilingam, P., Chen, L., King, K., & Ackerman, M. Montreal Cognitive Assessment may be an Appropriate Tool to Assess Cognitive Dysfunction in Heart Failure. Journal of Cradiac Failure. 14(6) : S5-S6, 2008.
  • Athilingam, P & King. Heart and brain matter in heart failure: A Literature review. Journal of the New York State Nurses Association,. 38: 13-19, 2008.
  • Ackerman, M., Graves, B., Giuliano, K., Athilingam, P., & Yeager, C. Comparison of oxygen saturation values between two new generation pulse oximeters in patients following cardiac surgery. American Journal of Critical Care. 13(3) : 265-266, 2004.
  • Ackerman, M. H., Graves, B. T., Athilingam, P., Yeager, C., & Giuliano, K. A comparison of the Philips FAST and Masimo Set pulse oximeter following cardiac surgery. Critical Care Medicine. 31(12) : A135, 2003.
  • Athilingam, P.R. Selectivity--a new trend within primary health care Nursing Journal of India. 81: 322, 1990.