Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs is a weekly article that highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow and Alaska State Senator Cathy Giessel, who received a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion Award.  Learn more about this prestigious award, which recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization, and learn more about Sen. Giessel.

AANP member Cindy Robertson and her daughter Amber Robertson, are both nurse practitioners, and the both have cancer.  “My advice to anyone facing cancer would be to talk to someone who knows where you are in your own journey — they have walked your path,” Amber said. Cindy’s mother, a cancer survivor now in her 80s, represents “a picture of hope” for both her daughter and granddaughter. The Robertsons want their story to help others facing cancer.  “If one person gets their overdue mammogram, asks questions about their family history, or has a little more hope for whatever they are facing,” Amber said, “then our story is a success.”

Emi Spivey, an AANP member, was recently recognized for coming to the aid of victims in two separate motorcycle accidents.  Read her remarkable story.  Well done!

AANP Fellow Capt. James LaVelle Dickens wrote an article for Huffington Post about four cancer screening tools that can save lives.  Capt. Dickens was also interviewed by WAUG radio for Minority Health Week.  Listen to learn more about the intersection between patients’ health care needs and the high quality, patient-centered care that nurse practitioners provide.

In an article for the Oskaloosa Herald, Tonya Johannes, an AANP member, educated the public on aging skin.  “There are many factors that play a role in the condition of your skin as you progress through life,” Johannes explained. “Exposure to sun, genetics, diet and other habits such as smoking can greatly affect how your skin ages.” She shared tips to help patients keep skin as healthy as possible.

AANP Fellow Dr. Kathy Wheeler recently completed a mission to vaccinate hundreds of children in Ecuador against life-threatening disease, and AANP member Dr. Deborah Gray led a delegation of undergraduate and graduate students from Old Dominion University to Guatemala, administering vaccines and delivering healthcare services to hundreds of children in need. Learn more about their work as Shot@Life Champions.‪#‎NPsLead‬

Kudos to AANP member Dr. Tammy Haley, who will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service at the University of Pittsburg.  “Dr. Haley epitomizes what we had in mind when we established an award to recognize all-around faculty excellence,” said Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford.  Read more.

“My goal is to improve access to quality care for all people,” AANP member and 2015 AANP Leadership Program participant Laura Markwick told the Democrat & Chronicle. She went into private practice last year to personalize her approach to patient care. “It’s about treating people like people. Most people have multiple medical illnesses that they are trying to manage. You can’t do that in 15 minutes,” Marwick said.

AANP member Bonnie Freeman developed the CARES tool, a pocket-sized booklet providing guidelines and suggestions for nurses to treat the five most common needs of the dying: Comfort, Airway, Restlessness, Emotional support, and Self-care. The tool offers procedures to manage symptoms as well as simple actions to provide comfort, including music, aromatherapy, physical touch, reassuring words, and sitting in quiet solidarity. “Every year, medicine grows more technical, but our humanity and compassion remain our greatest tools as nurses,” said Freeman.  Read more.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Deborah Hopla, who received a National Health Policy Award by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) at its annual meeting in Seattle. She earned the award for her work on two pieces of South Carolina legislation pertaining to practice changes.  Read more.

Congratulations are also extended to AANP member Dr. Janet Hale, who was received the (NONPF) Outstanding Poster Award along with Linda Cragin for their poster on veterans health. “Since 75 percent of veterans do not seek care through the Veterans Health Administration, it is important that our health professions students learn to include the question ‘Have you or someone close to you served in the military?’ as part of taking a routine health history,” said Dr. Hale.

NPs lead, and they inspire! For example, AANP member Tim Mosher has traveled to Haiti 13 times to care for patients in critical need. Now, he has enlisted the support of others to purchase an ambulance and deliver it to Haiti. Medical care “is almost nonexistent there,” Mosher said. “They basically have nothing as far as ambulances and EMS trucks, so people would end up going by taxi or in the back of a truck, and they would die on the way there.” Read more.

According to Heidi Zuber, an AANP member, “Constipation affects 20% to 40% of older adults who live at home.” Read her article in Advance for NPs & PAs to learn more about conservative management of nonpharmacologic evidence-based interventions to treat constipation in older adults.

Congratulations to AANP member June Halper, who is CEO of the Consortium for Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and will become its executive director on June 1. According to Halper, The biggest challenges faced by the MS patient are to:

  1. Accept the diagnosis and make it a part of a new normalcy
  2. Integrate chronic illness into one’s life plan
  3. Adhere to prescribed treatments, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic
  4. Stay healthy and well, remain active, don’t make MS your career

“Advanced care planning, in which a patient’s values, goals for care and understanding of current health condition are discussed, can increase surrogate decision maker confidence to accurately represent the patient in end-of-life decision making,” AANP member Paula Schimdt told Advance for NPs and PAs readers. Read her article on improving advance directive completion rates.

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