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Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation Announces Annual Alumni Awardees

Group of medical professionals

The 2018 Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation Annual Alumni Award has been awarded to two colleagues at Louisiana Tech University: Tara Haskins, DNP, RN, Associate Professor, and Donna Hood, PhD, RN, CNE, Professor and Nursing Director. Drs. Haskins and Hood attended the 2017 program hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Drs. Haskins and Hood became interested in Parkinson’s disease (PD) when they were introduced to a local Rock Steady Boxing class. Their Edmond J. Safra project was to develop a phenomenological (study of experience) research study of care partners at the Rock Steady Boxing program.

Their study showed a need for more education and support for those facing the uncertainty of physical, emotional and cognitive PD symptoms. In searching for resources in their area, Drs. Haskins and Hood found only five resources or medical communities in the entire state of Louisiana that addressed PD and very limited access to these resources in rural northeast and central Louisiana. To addresses their findings, Drs. Haskins and Hood have developed a four-year plan funded by a Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Grant. 

Dr. Haskins is a certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and has been recognized for her excellence with the 2018 Louisiana Tech University Foundation Professorship Award for Research, Teaching and Service. She holds a DNP from the University of Tennessee at Memphis, a MSN from the University of Texas at Tyler and a BSN from Northwestern State University.

Dr. Hood is a certified nurse educator and has been recognized for her leadership with the 2018 Louisiana Nursing School Administrator of the Year award. She is a certified qualitative researcher, holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Tyler and a MSN and BSN from Northwestern State University.

Drs. Haskins and Hood will receive their awards at the 2019 World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto, Japan,  during a reunion of Edmond J. Safra Nurse Scholars.

Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Grant Awardees, 2018

In 2018, the Parkinson’s Foundation initiated grant funding for nurse scholar alumni of the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faulty Program. Designed to provide support to nurse scholars to extend their independent projects or create a new project to benefit nursing education or patient care, four grants were awarded: 

Margaret McCormick, MSN, RN, CNE, of Towson University (Nurse Scholar Alumni, 2010) was awarded a grant to develop her study “Measuring the impact of student learning during a senior seminar in Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study.” Her project will investigate active teaching and learning strategies based on the theory of multiple intelligences by Gardner in groups of students learning about Parkinson’s. Research team includes: Ingrid Aboff-Pretzer, PhD, RN, Senior Research Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University (Nurse Scholar Alumni, 2009), Donna Hood, PhD, RN, Professor, Louisiana Tech University (Nurse Scholar, 2017) and Gwyn M. Vernon, MSN, RN, CRNP, National Director, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation. Following the pilot, a subsequent study will be developed and involve several other Nurse Scholar Alumni.

Diane Ellis, MSN, RN, CCRN, Villanova University (Nurse Scholar 2009) received a Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Grant for her proposal “An Interprofessional Mock Code:  A case study of the impact of Parkinson’s disease missed/omitted/delayed medication for Nursed Anesthesia and Baccalaureate Nursing Students.” Medication errors when people with PD are hospitalized results in significant complication rates. Her project will help students develop collaborative professional skills, understand Parkinson’s and the complexities of medication management, along with the importance of precise medication reconciliation.  Project research team includes: Shelley Hickey, MSN, RN, Melissa O’Connor, PhD, MBA, RN, and Charlene McLaughlin, PhD, CRNA, all of Villanova University School of Nursing. 

Stephanie DeSantiago, MS, RN, Grand Canyon University (Nurse Scholar, 2017) received a Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Grant to develop a nurse navigation program at an established Parkinson’s Disease Wellness Center and evaluate its effects on quality of life of those with PD accessing the nurse navigator.  Although the concept of nurse navigation specific to Parkinson’s is relatively new, positive benefits have been shown in the areas of oncology and diabetes. It is hypothesized that having a Parkinson’s disease nurse navigator will enhance the physical and social functioning for those with PD, while improving quality of life. 

Donna Hood, PhD, RN, CNE and Tara Haskins, DNP, RN, of Louisana Tech University (Nurse Scholars 2017) received a Parkinson’s Foundation Nurse Grant for their proposal to develop a “Parkinson’s Resource Center at Louisiana Tech University.” This four-year plan will harness interprofessional university resources to develop a center to connect people with Parkinson’s and their families to resources to enhance self-efficacy. The center will train nursing students and leverage multiple disciplines including speech/audiology, kinesiology, nutrition, dietetics and biomedical engineering, developing future leaders while providing resources and interventions for the PD community.

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Scholars Highlights and Year in Review

Alumni awardee

In 2018, the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation welcomed two new host sites and coordinators. The University of Toledo, Ohio was hosted by Mary Scott, MSN, RN, FNP-BC and Weill-Cornell Medicine at New York Presbyterian, was hosted by Natalie Hellmers, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC joined our efforts in nursing education. We welcome Natalie and Mary and thank them for their efforts in our mission.

Alumni awardee

Eight Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Programs were held in 2018, bringing the total number of programs held to date to 52. Two hundred sixty-five nurse scholars are now bringing evidenced based, up-to-date information to an estimated 23,000 nursing students per year, preparing these students to better care for those with Parkinson’s and their families. In addition to the university-based teaching, these nurse scholars are creating a wave of available nursing literature in peer reviewed publications and presenting to professional organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Additionally, many of the nurse scholars are bringing community-based programs and educational opportunities directly to patients in need.

Recent publications by nurse scholars:

Shin, J.Y., Pohlig, R., & Habermann, B. (2018). Self-reported health status of individuals with advanced Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers: A pilot study. Research in Gerontological Nursing.

Shin, J., Pohlig, R., Habermann, B. (2018). Feasibility of Using PROMIS® in Individuals with Advanced Parkinson's Disease and Their Caregivers. Research in Gerontological Nursing. 11, (3), pp. 129-136.

Bailey DeJong, J. Hayes, S., Maurer, B., Trager, T. & Zutz, M. (August – October 2018). A Systematic Review of Parkinson’s Disease Research in the United States. The North Dakota Nurse, Bismarck, ND. Volume 87, Number 3.

See the complete list of nursing journal articles now.

Recent presentations:

Kuljeerung, O. (2018). “Extrinsic circumstances of falls among community dwelling older adults with Parkinson’s disease.” Presented at the Mid-west Nursing Research Society, Cleveland, OH, and Busch Student Center Graduate Research Symposium, St. Louis University, MO. Research study is underway.

Beitz, J. (2018). “Of all the nerve: Neurological disorders and the skin.” Presented at the National Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses’ Society Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. 

Weikel, C. (2018). “Parkinson’s Disease: Update for nurses.” Nursing Research Conference, Trinity College, Ireland. 

Rex-Smith, A. (2018) “The art and science of spiritual care in PD.” Presented at the University of Taipei, Taiwan.

Recent innovative projects:

Normadeane Armstrong, PhD, RN (Molloy College, NY) worked with local HS STEM students to develop a glove simulating tremor which she now uses in her nursing classroom to sensitize nurses to tremor.

Denise Dawkins, DNP, MSN, RN (California State University) created a program whereby nursing students learned about PD by interviewing  patients from the local support group on the telephone.

Mary DiBartolo, PhD, RN (Salisbury State, MD) arranged for PD expert, Dr. Weiss to visit Salisbury State University where over 200 students, faculty and community members were able to learn more about PD.

Stephanie Stewart, MSN, RN, BC (Missouri Western State University) created a patient/caregiver blog for students to learn about PD communication skills with patients.

Madetric Wood, MSN, APRN, GNP (NOVA Southeastern University, FL) worked with a local health care pharmacy corporation serving nursing homes to get commonly used PD medications into an “emergency kit” so newly admitted patients to the corporate’s nursing homes do not suffer a delay while medication is being ordered for them.

Upcoming programs:

The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Programs at the Parkinson’s Foundation is now accepting applications for the January 28-29, 2019, program in San Francisco, CA.

Additional programs will be held at:

  • Struthers’ Parkinson’s Center, Minneapolis, MN – June 11-12, 2019
  • Swedish Neuroscience Center, Seattle, WA – September 9-10, 2019
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA – date pending
  • University of Toledo, OH – date pending
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL – date pending

Nursing Solutions: Webinar Series

On May 7, 2019, at 1 p.m. EST join us for “Transitions in Parkinson’s Disease Care” featuring Diane Ellis, MSN, RN, Melissa O’Connor, PhD, RN and Shelley Hickey, MSN, RN, all from Villanova University, PA.

Mark your calendars for March 26, 2019, at 1 p.m. EST for our nursing webinar “Autonomic and Skin Issues in Parkinson’s Disease” featuring Janice Beitz, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF of Rutgers University, NJ, and Joan Gardner, BSN, RN, Clinical Supervisor at Struthers’ Parkinson Center, Minneapolis, MN. 

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