Grant Recipients

Grant Recipients

With the number of people living with Parkinson's increasing and the shortage of neurologists specializing in the disease, the Parkinson’s Foundation supports the training of more nurses through professional education and now supports their research through the Nurse Faculty Award.

The following Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholars have received nearly $10,000 in grant funding from the Parkinson’s Foundation to launch individual projects to help make life better for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The two Scholar awardees for 2022 include:

Diane M. Ellis, MSN, RN, CCRN
Research Scholar, Villanova University
Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholar, University of Pennsylvania 2009

Ellis’ project will further her prior works on Medication Safety in PD during transitions. She has been conducting research on this topic within nursing student groups, interprofessional groups and will now study hospital care staff nurses. Prior research indicates hospitalized patients with PD often do not receive their medications on time, experience an abrupt stoppage, have medications omitted or inappropriately prescribed such as antidopaminergic medication, with 61 percent of patients suffering poor outcomes. These adverse events during hospitalization contribute to overall decline in patients with PD and even death. To improve quality and safety among this population, a study focusing on the omission of time sensitive medications will be conducted at two to three large academic healthcare institutions. Pre- and post-test results will be compared before and after an educational intervention among approximately 600 clinical nurses. This study holds great potential for dissemination among clinical nurses for improvement of quality and safety for those living with PD.

Carey Heck, PhD
Director, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, Thomas Jefferson University
Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholar, Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center 2020

Heck’s project will focus on discussing difficult news in PD. Receiving the initial diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is a significant life event for many individuals. Studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of skillful provide communication around this event, often termed discussing difficult news or “breaking bad news.” Conversely, negative impacts are experienced by both patient and provider with inept communication. Nurse practitioners (NPs) scope of practice includes the diagnosis and management of acute, chronic, and complex health conditions. Diagnosis and prognosis discussions are often new skill sets for nurses transitioning to an NP role. Current NP curricula offer little formal training on this essential skill. As a result, NP students often feel ill-prepared to discuss new diagnosis with patients causing distress and potentially negatively impacting patient experiences. The SPIKES protocol is a validated framework for discussing difficult news with patients and families. This project serves as the first of a three-part series consisting of a learning module and simulation session for training NP students. This project offers learners a robust experience in the safety of a simulated environment with faculty support and oversight.

The three Scholar recipients for the 2019 Nurse Faculty Grant included:

Char Miller, DNP
Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholar, University of Toledo 2018

Ju Young Shin, PhD, APRN, ANP-C
Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholar, John’s Hopkins 2013

Lori Cooke, DNP, Med, RN-BC
Edmond J. Safra Nurse Faculty Scholar, University of Toledo 2018


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