Spotlight on NPs

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

In a statement last week, AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick addressed actions recently taken by the AMA and said, “The American Medical Association has asserted, once again, its commitment to put the profit of its physician membership ahead of patients and their access to high-quality healthcare.” AANP’s press release was reported on by Fierce HealthcareHealthcareDive, and others.

AANP Immediate Past President Dr. Cindy Cooke wrote an article about diabetes awareness that appeared in the Huffington Post. Cooke also wrote an article about why busy moms need nurse practitioners to survive parenting sick kids, which was published by SheKnows. Finally, Cooke published a blog about diabetes symptoms on 30 Seconds.

AANP Region 2 Director Dr. Stephen Ferrara wrote an article about ways that nurse practitioners help combat opioid use disorder was published by Medpage Today. Ferrara wrote, “Last year, the opioid epidemic claimed 64,000 American lives. Today, there are more than two hundred thousand nurse practitioners in the country who are prepared to help. Perhaps, this is one of our greatest assets. We offer access to quality and patient-centric care, especially in underserved and underinsured communities across the United States. As we recognize Nurse Practitioner Week, November 12-18, it is important to remember our role in combating this escalating health crisis.”

An AARP article about ways nurse practitioners increase access to care featured AANP Utah State Representative Dr. Danielle Pendergrass. Although NPs do far more than fill gaps, the article points to NPs as a solution for patients who live in areas where access to care is limited. “Patients and families won’t get the care they need if we don’t take steps to maximize the use of all qualified health care providers,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute. Pendergrass was also featured in an article about the fifth anniversary of her clinic, which was the “first woman owned and operated women’s health care practice” in her area.

AANP South Dakota State Representative Robin Arends was featured in a local news article about ways nurse practitioners expand access to health care using telehealth technology. Regarding benefits seen by seniors, Arends said, “They could be fairly healthy with maybe just a urinary tract infection, but they go to the ER and they get exposed to pneumonia. They get exposed to the flu now that it’s winter. They get exposed to a lot of things that when they come back to the facility that they have more opportunity for illness.”

In his latest article for the Black Voices column in the Huffington Post, AANP Fellow Capt. James LaVelle Dickens shared four reasons why diabetes rates are on the rise for African Americans. According to Dickens, “One third of Americans are on their way to developing diabetes. Ironically, lifestyle choices are by far the biggest risk factor or prevention tactic.”

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Mary Lee Barron, who was among the recipients of the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award. Honored in the advanced practice category, a press release indicated that Barron’s clinical areas of expertise include obstetrics and gynecology, natural family planning and fertility health.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and AANP Fellow Dr. Margaret “Peg” O’Donnell was quoted in an article about free programs, including a music class, to help caregivers and community members understand Alzheimer’s disease. O’Donnell said, “Your music memory is one of your last memories to leave you. Engaging with familiar music can help people retain other memories.” O’Donnell stressed the importance of early detection and intervention, since there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and medication only helps manage symptoms.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Tammy Austin Ketch, who was recently named Dean of the College of Nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University. According to a press release, “Dr. Austin-Ketch has been a member of the nursing faculty at the University of Buffalo (UB) for nearly 20 years, where her work—supported by a $1.7 million Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) grant—has been focused on preparing Family Nurse Practitioners for work in Native American, underserved and rural settings. Additionally, she served as co-investigator on a HRSA grant to increase the number of advanced practice nurses trained to meet the unique needs of veterans.”

AANP Fellow Dr. Susan Van Cleve was quoted in a local news article about a program that brings nursing and theater students together to simulate clinical office visits.

Congratulations to AANP Nurse Practitioner Education Specialist Cindy Harris, who contributed to Prevention Magazine‘s December 2017 issue. Harris shared information about the importance of reading labels carefully when caring for the common cold. Pictures are below.

A Wall Street Journal article described the health care challenges Puerto Rico faces two months after Hurricane Maria hit. The storm caused significant damage and power outages that have yet to be resolved. AANP member Catherine Trossello spent two weeks volunteering in Puerto Rico, working with a local health care provider who was attempting to locate patients he had not seen since the storm. Trossello set up a walk-in clinic to help patients who had difficulty accessing care.  “People are on foot, going door to door, doing the best they can, but the whole network is so disrupted,” Trossello said.  “Everybody’s trying so hard.  But you can only walk so many miles in a day and knock on so many doors at a time.”

A Freakonomics podcast titled “Nurses to the Rescue” featured AANP members Alexandra Hobson and Surani Hayre-Kwan. The piece considered practice restrictions in California and challenges to modernizing regulations.

Congratulations to AANP member Eileen Flaherty, who received the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award from the Community Health Association of the Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS.)  According to a press release, the award recognizes individuals “who have dedicated their careers to solving the problems of health, poverty and human rights and who have contributed toward the mission and recognition of community and migrant health centers in the Mountain/Plains States.”

AANP member Lynne Kline is setting a healthy example for her patients by competing in her first JFK 50 Mile run. Kline tells her patients that “an active, healthy lifestyle can help them as they age.” Read an article about her decision to participate, and another congratulating her for completing the ultra marathon.

Congratulations to AANP member Cassie Banks, who recently received the American Health Council’s “Best in Nursing” award. According to a press release, “the award program honors individuals and institutions that have contributed significantly to medicine and nursing, as well as the training and education of physicians and nurses. Ms. Banks has used her 13 years of health care experience to better the lives of rural and underserved populations in Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota. Her passion for increasing access to quality health care is rooted in a strong work ethic and a commitment to equitable healthcare, seeking to guarantee the struggles of vulnerable individuals are not overlooked.”

Jessica Divanno, an AANP member, was mentioned in an article about a house call service where she serves as clinical manager. The business connects patients in need of preventive or urgent care with its network of nurse practitioners who work as independent contractors.

How did you celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week? Watch this fun clip of the Maryland Nurse Practitioner Association (MNPA) singing on their local news network’s Manic Monday segment during NP Week. MNPA is an AANP NP Organization member.

AANP member Sean L’Huillier wrote an article about treatment of hepatitis C in primary care that appeared in The Clinical Advisor. He discussed how telemedicine has helped increase access to care for patients in rural areas.

Congratulations to AANP member Crystal Moore, who was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve on the North Carolina Council for Women Advisory Board.  “I am honored to have been appointed to serve on such an important council,” Moore said in a press release. “Success of women is integral to a healthy society, and I look forward to engaging and supporting community partners on behalf of women and families.”

November is also National Diabetes Month. AANP member Debbie Pacheco was quoted in an article that offered quick tips for managing diabetes during the holiday season. She encouraged readers to be vigilant, and she offered tips to help people with diabetes make healthy dietary choices.

AANP member Dr. Barbara Shaw wrote an article published by The Lily about the need to protect elders from sexual abuse. Shaw shared her mother’s experience as a survivor of rape in an independent living facility and asked readers, “Do you have a mother?”

Congratulations to AANP member Chantel Collier, who was featured in an NP Week article about recognition she received from her employer for her “hard work and dedication to care for patients.”

We were inspired by all the nurse practitioners recognized during NP Week. AANP member Heather Bowen was among those recognized for their work as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Learn more.

AANP member Christian Tanner was featured in an article that encouraged men to be screened for cancer. According to the article, “Cancer screenings for men aren’t as invasive as many think.” Tanner said, “The earlier you catch it the higher your likelihood of having a successful outcome. A lot of these cancers are very easily treated, and so the sooner we know about them, the sooner we can get you to the right specialist, the sooner they can start a treatment plan for you and the better outcome you’re going to have.”

Ruthie Morrow, an AANP member, was pictured in an article about a church-based volunteer clinic that offers health care, counseling and prayer to uninsured people in Virginia. The report indicated that “More than three-fourths of Virginia’s uninsured adults are part of working families, according to the foundation. Without health insurance, they have lower five-year survival rates, higher likelihoods of being diagnosed with late-stage cancers and far lower rates of receiving important screening tests, the foundation states.”

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