Spotlight on NPs

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

Congratulations to AANP Region 11 Director Dr. Tracy Klein, who was recently inducted into the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon Hall of Fame. In an article about the award, Klein said, “I was able to see nurse practitioners successfully expand their prescriptive authority to include a range of controlled substances and the removal of a restrictive formulary. I also implemented a number of legislative accomplishments including having nurse practitioners be able to sign and authorize most services for their patients, such as death certificates.” Klein added, “Oregon was the first and still is the only state to have payment parity for nurse practitioners, and I helped develop and implement that legislative achievement.”

Watch AANP Fellow Dr. Richard Ricciardi discuss silent killers in a recent Armstrong Williams panel discussion for the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Regarding modifiable conditions that affect health, Ricciardi explained, his universal prescription includes “reducing your tobacco intake …, having a healthy diet, exercising, minimizing your stress, finding your purpose in life to help drive what makes you feel good and how you can help your environment, but those only get you so far.”

AANP Fellow Dr. Kathleen Schachman presented High-Tech, High-Touch Solutions to the Opioid Crisis in Rural Michigan to a local audience in order to raise awareness of substance use disorder and the work Saginaw Valley State University is doing to address it, thanks to a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health’s Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant will help prepare 100 nurse practitioners (NPs) to “… combat the opioid epidemic — and other mental health care conditions — in those rural communities.” Learn more.

Watch AANP Fellow Dr. Wendy Wright discuss How to Treat Binge Eating Disorder on during the Advanced Practice Collaborative. According to Wright, “We know that there are two neurotransmitters that are really believed to be involved in people with binge eating disorder and that is norepinephrine and dopamine. So, once we’ve identified it, certainly non-pharmacological treatments are essential. They need good education on diet, on exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy. Working with someone who is really interested in helping people with eating disorders is really essential.”

AANP President Dr. Sophia Thomas wrote several timely blogs for Thirty Seconds.

Registration is required to access the following Pain Medicine News (PMN) interviews with Thomas. In Treating With Opioids and With Opioid Use Disorder, Thomas said, “… nurse practitioners (NPs) are fully trained to treat chronic pain with opioids or without, or treating the repercussions of opioid use.” In earlier interviews for PMN, Thomas explained that NPs are already on the front lines of pain management and discussed pain treatment in primary care.

Congratulations to AANP Fellow Dr. Imelda Reyes, who will be the new Treasurer for the United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia; AANP member Dr. Desiree Clement, who will be their new Director-at-Large; and AANP member Ashley Blackmon, who will serve as their new Vice President. Learn more.

AANP New York North State Representative Dr. Laura Markwick represented AANP at the annual Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State’s conference October 18-19. Markwick is pictured below.


AANP Fellow Dr. Adele Caruso wrote an article published by Urology Times, urging advanced practice providers to make advocacy part of their personal lives. According to Caruso, “Nurse practitioners and physician assistants have health policy initiatives, and being familiar with these initiatives is imperative when called upon to articulate these agendas. Become familiar with current legislative objectives both regionally and nationally. If you are not already a member, join your professional association.”

AANP Florida South State Representative Dr. Arlene Wright and AANP Fellow Dr. Jean Aertker are pictured below representing AANP at the Nurse Practitioner Council of Palm Beach County Annual Conference.

Arlene Wright

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently received a four-year, $1.67 million federal grant to fund a residency program for NPs and increase access to health care in rural areas, according to a local news article that quoted AANP Fellow Dr. LeAnn Holmes. “This is geared for the medically underserved, the socially underserved and rural populations. That’s really where we see the shortage, so that’s what this residency is geared towards,” Holmes said.

In preparation for her retirement, AANP Fellow Dr. Lucy Marion is reflecting on her career as the longest-serving dean in the history of Augusta University’s College of Nursing. According to a press release, “Marion … plans to serve on a national task force to revise standards for nurse practitioner education and will continue to advise some students.”

AANP members Charlotte Stephenson and Dena Kamman-Rasche shared their breast cancer survival stories with readers of a local newspaper. According to Stephenson, there are many types of breast cancer, “…each with many treatment options. And, despite popular assumption, it doesn’t only affect older women. Women under 40 can get the disease. So can men.”

After being diagnosed with colon cancer and given two years to live, AANP member Elizabeth Love went back to school to become an NP. During the past five years, Love has served as a missionary, and her cancer has been “held in check.” “I keep in the moment, in the day, and I try to live for today as best as I can,” Love said. Read her inspirational story.

AANP member Jani Lerback is an AANP member who has battled cancer twice. Shortly before she turned 70, Lerback graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. “I am blessed every day and I’m especially blessed now as I look forward to getting a job as a nurse practitioner and going out every day and taking care of people,” Lerback said. Read more.

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Tracey Graham who was profiled by the Colorado Real Estate Journal because of her new role as a senior health care consultant for Hord Coplan Macht. According to the press release, “As a former operational and clinical strategist, advanced clinician and prior hospital and health system administrator, Graham appreciates the operational and safety needs, infrastructure, digital and technology demands required to provide effective and efficient care, as well as the academic environment’s requirements for interprofessional collaboration and practice.”

Sarah Aiken, an NP and AANP member, was a nursing student when she was tested to see if she might be a match to donate bone marrow. In 2012, Aiken found out she was a match and donated bone marrow to a six-year-old girl. Aiken was recently married and had the opportunity to meet the bone marrow recipient at Aiken’s wedding. “When I saw her holding my ribbon bouquet we both started crying,” Aiken said. “I ran over and hugged her. It was the most amazing moment of my life.” Learn more.

NPs hold a wide variety of professional roles. For example, AANP member Caroline Mullen Gerughty is an occupational health NP for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). According to an article by Purdue University, patient education is only part of what Mullen Gerughty does for NASA —“Her job includes reviewing electronic medical records, electrocardiograms, audiograms, spirometry and vision testing, as well as completing health and occupational histories and physical examinations.”

Congratulations to AANP member Dr. Alicia Fields, who was the first NP in Indiana to successfully complete a certificate in endocrinology program from Duke University. According to a press release about the achievement, “The endocrinology specialty offers nurse practitioners the opportunity to have advanced training in the care of individuals with diabetes and other endocrine conditions.”

AANP member, Dr. Debra Kosko, serves as Chair of the North Carolina Immunization Coalition. As an interprofessional education and practice advocate, she has brought together stakeholders from around North Carolina to improve immunization uptake. Since becoming Chair, she has doubled membership in the coalition and was highlighted on Spectrum TV to promote National Immunization Month. “As a nurse practitioner, I know it takes all healthcare providers, stakeholders and the community coming to the table in order to improve the health of our population”.

Congratulations to AANP member Jessica Wilson, who recently received the Texas Nurse Practitioners Community Impact Award. Visit YouTube to watch a local news report about Wilson and her work.

A Stop The Stigma forum in Montana focused on the neuroscience of addiction. An article about the forum quoted AANP member Shelley Andrus, who presented at the event. According to Andrus, “The whole idea to stop the stigma on how addictive disorders are viewed, one of the main ways is through education. And that we can help people walk away and tell others this is what’s really going on in the brain this isn’t willful misconduct or moral failing.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and AANP member Ellen Spinner was mentioned in a local news report about a patient she referred for breast cancer treatment. The patient reports being thankful for her journey and her current cancer-free status. Please join us in wishing them both the best.

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