Spotlight on NPs

Spotlight on NPs highlights exciting achievements and activities of American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) members.

AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick was featured in several articles this week that increased awareness of the importance of immunizations. Read her “Healthy Habits: Ask a Nurse Practitioner” column on Motherhood Moments, and articles on that explained why vaccines are helpful and provided five reasons why parents should have their children immunized.

Dr. Sheldon Fields, an AANP Fellow, wrote an article published by The Hill that encouraged lawmakers to work together to find a solution to “America’s looming nurse shortage. Fields indicated that there is “ample precedent for rolling back” regulations that are outdated and prevent nurse practitioners from practicing at the top of their education and clinical preparation.

In the Huffington Post‘s Black Voices column, AANP Fellow Capt. James Dickens offered readers four ways to tackle mental illness. Eliminating stigmas associated with mental health was at the top of Dickens’ list. Read more.

A new protocol developed by AANP member Adria Whiting “has resulted in an astounding 71 percent drop in hospital readmission rates for congestive heart failure (CHF) patients at Fairmont nursing home.” In a local news article about the success of this protocol, Whiting said, “It was a glaring opportunity for improvement. Staff education is the key.”

Nurse practitioners increase access to care for patients who desperately need it. For example, AANP member Denise Lucas works for a clinic in Ohio that provides care to uninsured and underinsured patients. In an article about the clinic’s expansion, Lucas said, “We are in need of providers who care about the patients. I have a Medicaid patient who told me she doesn’t want to go anywhere else because we care about her. We know them as a person. We know our community and our community resources. The need in the Ohio Valley is so significant and we are seeing a growing number of patients.”

Toxic shock syndrome can affect anyone, according to AANP member Dr. Joanne Brown. “When poisonous toxins are released into the bloodstream, they can damage tissue skin and harm vital organ functions, such as lung, liver, and renal,” said Brown. “Risk factors for TSS are recent childbirth, skin infections, cuts and burns, wound infection after surgery, viral infections, like flu or chickenpox, using foreign body items such as contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, super absorbent tampons and nasal packings.” Learn more

“Last year, nearly 20 out of 100,000 people in Chester County [Pennsylvania] died of a drug-related overdose, according to recently released figures by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency… and 78% of Pennsylvania counties had overdose death rates higher than the national average,” reported Southern Chester County Weeklies. Fentanyl was associated with approximately half of those deaths. AANP member Patricia Allen, indicated that fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than heroin and costs less. Allen said, “People really have to understand what’s out there right now.  This is only going to get worse before it gets better.”

Congratulations to AANP Fellows Dr. Teresa Gardner Tyson and Dr. Paula E.S. Hill of the Health Wagon, recipients of the 2017 Advanced Primary Care Leadership award presented by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Organization. “The Health Wagon is highly honored to receive such a prestigious award that recognizes our commitment to rural and public health,” said Tyson. “Primary care is essential to the health and well-being of any community.” Read the press release.

In an article about the passing of Millie Fincke who helped found LifeFlight, AANP Fellow Denise Ramponi describes how Fincke mentored and encouraged Ramponi to become a nurse practitioner and write a chapter in a book on advanced nursing practices. Our condolences are extended to those whose lives were touched by Fincke. Read more.

AANP member Barbra Bachmeier was quoted in an article about nurses who are furthering their education in the area of forensic nursing to help those who have suffered from sexual abuse and assault. According to Bachmeier, “Research in this area of sexual assault is evolving and how we collect evidence, what is best for the patient, and really the outcome is what is going to give us the greatest patient outcome and what is going to be healthy for the patient so that is our ultimate goal.”

Approximately 35,000 eclipse viewers in Casper, WY, had convenient access to first-aid thanks to health care providers staffing clinics set up in tents for the event. AANP member Monica Janssen ran one of the tents, and she was quoted in a Casper Star Tribune article about the temporary clinics.

AANP member Dr. Victoria Britson is the principal investigator of a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will help improve access to rural health care in South Dakota. Britson said, “This project is intentionally designed to address the gap in primary care providers for rural and underserved areas, by providing education and clinical experiences for our family nurse practitioner students that focuses on the unique role and skill set of the rural provider.” Learn more.

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