Spotlight on NPs

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

Congratulations to AANP member Jason Gleason, who was recently recognized on the floor of the U.S. Senate by Senator Steve Daines and designated Montanan of the Week for his work in stroke care as an NP for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. According to a press release, Gleason “spent 20 years in the Montana Air National Guard, retiring as lieutenant colonel. He regularly speaks to health care providers across the country about stroke prevention and treatment and received the Montana State Department of Health and Human Services Stroke Hero of the Year Award.”

People with chronic diseases like diabetes need to take special precautions during flu season, according to a U.S. News & World Report article by AANP member Edwin Torres. “The best way to stay safe is to get your flu vaccination as soon as possible from your health care provider or local pharmacy,” said Torres. “This is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. Remember, the flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses.” Read several other things Torres wants people with diabetes to know about the flu.

Kidney failure is one of many complications that can result from improper management of diabetes, according to an article that quoted AANP member Mary Shick, who recently conducted a diabetes education seminar. Shick said, “When you are diabetic, too much or too little sugar can cause damage to other organs. If you manage your sugars, you can live to be 90 with diabetes. This doesn’t have to happen.”

Diabetic foot disease, and the importance of preventing it, was discussed by AANP member Dr. Kristen Marjama in an article for Contemporary Clinic’s Pharmacy Times. According to Marjama, “Not only does diabetic foot disease have an impact clinically and socially, but the economic burden is great. In the United States, medical costs for managing diabetic foot disease range from $9 billion to $13 billion.” Marjama encouraged health care providers to conduct foot exams.

AANP President Dr. Joyce Knestrick wrote a blog for 30 Seconds on diabetes prevention. Read Worried About Your High Blood Sugar? Do These 4 Things to Help Prevent Diabetes!

Congratulations to AANP Fellows Dr. Christopher Blackwell, Dr. Mimi Secor and Dr. Wendy Wright and AANP members Dr. Wendy Fletcher, Elvisa Kurtovic and Christina Treppendahl, who recently received 2018 America’s Top Nurse Practitioner Awards from Point of Care Network. A press release about the awards quoted Blackwell, who said, “NPs are invaluable to our healthcare system because they are bridging a major gap in care delivery in both primary and acute settings. NPs, which are all educated at the graduate level, are meeting patient needs across the lifespan, making major impacts in the lives of patients through evidence-based practice.”

Wright also received the Advanced Practice Nurses of the Ozarks (APNO) 2018 William David LaFevers Memorial Lectureship. The Lectureship honors advance practice nurses who embody the ideals demonstrated in the professional and personal life of former AANP Missouri State Representative Dave LaFevers.

Wendy Wright LaFevers Award

Congratulations to AANP Colorado State Representative Dr. Michelle Edwards, who was recently named a 2019 Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program Scholar by the American College of Healthcare Executives. Learn more.

AANP Fellow Dr. Dawn Garzon Maaks currently serves as president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and was recently interviewed by Nurse.com regarding adolescent developmental, mental and behavioral health. Garzon Maaks said, “We need to assess for adverse childhood experiences and all children, especially those older than 11, must be screened for anxiety and depression. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 24 years of age and, in some states like Utah, it is the leading cause of death. We lose thousands of children each year to suicide.”

A recent article about epidemic teen suicide rates quoted AANP member Aaron Garcia, who expressed concern about the amount of information that adolescents can access. Garcia said, “I’ve been reading articles that found children are now so fully stimulated (with information) that their brains can’t catch up to what’s going on, so that increases stress, anxiety and depression.”

AANP member Nikki Hunter-Greenaway co-founded the first freestanding breastfeeding clinic in Louisiana. According to a press release, the center was established “to provide accessible and evidence-based lactation support to families in the greater New Orleans area, with a special emphasis on women of color. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black infants are 21 percent less likely to have ever been breast feed than white infants. In addition, one in four infants is exclusively breastfeed by the age of six months old.”

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Sheri Carson, who recently received the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award from the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. According to an article about the honor, Carson said, “I absolutely love being a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and having the chance to advocate for children, provide quality care for them and their families, and help educate future nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians about pediatric health care.  To receive an award that recognizes my hard work and passion solidifies for me that I chose the right path and that I really am making a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

Are you a people-pleaser? On Good Morning Washington, AANP member Dr. Eileen O’Grady recently discussed the harm people-pleasing can cause and how you can regain control. Watch the discussion.

Eileen Flavin, an AANP member, started Anywhere Urgent Care after she took her son to a traditional Urgent Care and felt that she was charged too much. “Everything was great until I got the bill. It was $660, and because it was so outrageously expensive, I decided to open my own practice as a mobile Urgent Care,” Flavin said. Learn more about Flavin’s experience and her new business.

“Patients needing hospitalization in the hurricane affected Florida Panhandle have fewer options these days,” according to an article that quoted AANP member Stan Whittaker. The hospital in Blountsville has not reopened since it was damaged during the storm. “This hospital is here to help out this rural population, and statistically a rural population has more healthcare needs,” Whittaker. “They’re not as healthy.”

AANP member Dr. Donna Rolin was quoted in a Health Leaders article that discussed using robots to teach NP students about telehealth. According to the article, the program is designed “to familiarize students with telehealth and to improve patient access to mental health care, especially for patients who live in remote areas and may not have access to a mental health care provider.” Rolin said, “In a rural state like this [Texas], where there is such a lack of mental health providers, I think we have to be innovative and creative and figure out what we can do without being face-to-face.”

Measles is a risk for those who are not vaccinated, according to an article that quoted AANP member Valerie King. “The more we can immunize people, the better we can prevent outbreaks in the community,” said King. Read more.

AANP member Elizabeth Weissbart Wasik also encouraged people to vaccinate their children. According to Wasik, “…our collective memory is fading and this is increasing our individual and associated communitywide vulnerability to communicable diseases. The truth is, every legitimate shred of scientific evidence points toward the safety and efficacy of vaccines.” Learn more.

Choose an NP to be your health care provider, AANP member Dr. Brenda Strysko urged readers of the Bennington Banner. Strysko said, “As clinicians that blend clinical skill in diagnosing and treating health conditions with consideration for disease prevention and health management, NPs provide comprehensive care to patients every day.” Read more reasons to choose an NP at the We Choose NPs website.

A diabetes education event was recently held for patients, according to an article that quoted AANP member Rosary Munoz. In addition to sharing patients’ concerns about changing their diets, Munoz encouraged people to take advantage of the free diabetes screening.

The Arlington Catholic Herald recently highlighted a free clinic that cares for underserved patients. AANP member Barbara Vassallo volunteers at the clinic and was quoted in the article.

AANP member Amy Johnson recently opened a new NP-led clinic in Montana. According to a press release, Johnson said, “My philosophy is I am there as a part of your team, if you’re a patient of mine,” Johnson said. “We’re a team, and my job is to tell you what my knowledge base is, to educate you and then you’re your own boss.” AANP member Geof Rohrlach also cares for patients at the clinic and said, “We aren’t just thinking on the pathological side or the pharmaceutical side. We’re looking at how everything works.”

Congratulations to AANP member Rand Pennington, who was among the health care providers recently recognized as Health Care Heroes by Wilmington Biz. According to a press release, “Rand’s desire to provide the best care possible leads him to continuously look for ways to improve processes that lead to improved patient outcomes.”

Nurse practitioners play a pivotal role in the treatment of lung cancer patients, according to a recent article published by OncLive®. The article quoted AANP member Mary Pasquinelli, who said, “Often, as a nurse practitioner, I will see that patient throughout their course of treatment and then the oncologist and I work with that patient together to see the patient when they have scans or if they have progression of disease. Otherwise, I do a lot of the symptom management and diagnose, prescribe, and treat for any of the side effects.”

AANP member KC Arnold was quoted in a press release about recent FDA approval to expand certification to NPs and PAs for implantation of a specific continuous glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes. Arnold said, “Many health care providers are ready and willing to learn and perfect these types of in-office procedures with the goal of helping more patients in their practice manage their diabetes with the latest technology available on the market.”

NPs are increasing access to health care for patients in Grays Harbor, Washington, according to a recent article that quoted AANP members Ron Oman and Katha Gazda. “I worked in the ER for ten years as a nurse, and I saw patients at their worst,” explained Gazda. “I decided I’d rather work on preventative care to try to keep patients out of the ER, so I went to graduate school to become a family nurse practitioner.”

A teddy bear clinic was recently held to help familiarize children with health care visits. AANP member Theresa Hurley was quoted in an article about the event and said, “We can work through their questions if they have any fear of needles we can explain why it’s important for the vaccinations.” Hurley expressed hope that the clinic would remind parents to schedule annual physicals for their children to help clinicians diagnose diseases earlier and improve both health management and patient education.

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