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Scholar Spotlight: Wendy Wilson

Wendy Wilson is one of the 2020-2021 de Tornyay Center Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholars. A PhD in Nursing Science student, Wilson’s mentor is Donna Berry, and research areas of interest include personalized end of life care focused on patient dignity and health disparities in access to specialized end of life care.

Why did you choose nursing?

My mom is a cancer survivor. She had a bone marrow transplant when I was very young, and I adored her nurses, so I went to nursing school. I have been an oncology nurse for 18 years. My oncology nursing experience led me to my interest with end-of-life care and terminal illness.

Why did you decide to go into nursing research?

I was a research nurse at Fred Hutch for almost 10 years, and it is by far my favorite nursing experience. To become a content expert and feel like you’re on that cutting edge creating something that helps people is really fulfilling.

What interests you about healthy aging?

My work in oncology has mostly been all adults. I feel like I’ve become a better person from my experiences at the bedside and from the relationships that I’ve had with patients I treated. I really value the life lessons I’ve learned from my patients when talking with them during their treatment. I have a high respect for elderly people and the lives that they’ve lived. I always want people to feel like what they did in their time was worthwhile and that people appreciate what they’ve contributed. I feel like I’m wiser than my years because of those shared stories and what I’ve learned through their life lessons.

What’s your research project for the de Tornyay Center?

I’m looking at patient dignity and how that affects patient experience at the end of life. The first part is defining the concept of dignity for a patient at the end of life. Then I’ll go into a meta-analysis to further support the importance of acknowledging patient dignity at end of life.

I think it’s important to recognize that end of life is part of healthy aging. Allowing a person to reflect on themselves, to share their pride in their joys and sorrows, and honoring what is important to them as they transition, I think that’s the finishing touch of healthy aging.

How did you first get involved in the work?

In Oregon, we were the first state to approve death with dignity and offer that to patients. That happened early in my nursing career, and I’ve followed it along the years. I feel like it’s an option that everyone should have access to. That program of helping a patient end their life on their terms is what got me interested in the bigger picture and the concept of dignity in dying, and how we ensure that every individual gets what they need and not a generalized approach.

Why is this research important?

Healthcare has been this pendulum that has swung between individualized patient care and this revolving door where everybody goes through the system. I think we need to come back more to individualized patient care and recognize what makes that individual who they are. What their fears and their accomplishments are, what their life has been about, and honor that at the end of life. I am interested in how we get that access to everybody to ensure they get the type of specialized care they deserve.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the school of nursing?

The two most significant would be acceptance to the PhD Program and getting the de Tornyay scholarship. Both accomplishments are really an honor.

How has your experience at the school of nursing helped you with your career trajectory?

It’s helped a lot, in addition to having wonderful experiences with my professors, I have an outstanding advisor, Donna Barry. She’s an extremely motivated and accomplished person. I really respect and look up to her. She sets a precedent for what I hope to achieve.

What are your plans after graduation?

I want to come back to academia as a faculty member to continue my research and help other nurses understand the concepts that I’m researching.

Scholar Spotlight: Wonkyung Jung

Wonkyung Jung is one of the 2020-2021 de Tornyay Center Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholars. A PhD in Nursing Science student, Jung’s research is in social integration and traumatic brain injury in older adults. Jung’s faculty mentor is Hilaire Thompson.

Why did you choose nursing?

My grandfather was a medical student, but because of the Korean war he couldn’t complete his dream. He always told me that the medical profession could be valuable, and I wanted to follow his dream. I thought being a nurse and taking care of patients could benefit my life.

What’s been an unforgettable experience during your time at the School of Nursing?

After COVID-19, I’ve appreciated the technology that allows us to take virtual classes and continue our education. I’m also working as a TA in the simulation center and I enjoy sharing my experience with nursing students.

What do you like about teaching?

I really enjoy interacting with the students, learning the different ways they think, and the discussions we have afterwards.

How has your experience with the School of Nursing helped your career trajectory?

Initially, working as a nurse in Seoul for 10 years, all that I knew was the practice of nursing. After coming to the School of Nursing, my eyes have been opened to new experiences and opportunities. Working with Dr. Hilaire Thompson and other professors, they have helped lay my groundwork for how to conduct research which will be very helpful for my future career.

What’s your project for the de Tornyay Center?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an unexpected event. No one expects to have an accident on any given day. Even though a TBI can happen at a moment’s notice, it can take a long time to recover and integrate socially, depending on the severity. Older adults are more vulnerable to the difficulties of returning to everyday life because of slower recovery trajectories, and worse functional and cognitive outcomes compared to younger adults. This project is aimed at identifying the factors that influence social integration after TBI in older adults at 1, 5, and 10 years post-injury. I’m considering social integration factors as productive work, community involvement, social relationships, and leisure activities.

Why is this research important?

Traumatic brain injury is one of the leading causes of disability and death. It has been defined as a “silent epidemic”.  The incidence of TBI in older adults has been increasing and outcomes in this population are worse compared to younger groups. Because of the developments in medicine, they may live longer than they would have a long time ago. The ultimate goal for this project is to improve the quality of life for those individuals after suffering from TBI.

How did you first find this project and get involved?

During my tenure as a nurse in Korea, I cared for patients with brain injuries. Almost half of them were over 65 years old. I wondered how the older patients live after being discharged, and that led me to want to do this research.

What are your plans after graduation?

I want to be a valuable asset to the nursing community by devoting myself to researching and educating present and future nurses.

Scholar Spotlight: Lisa Neisinger

Lisa Neisinger is one of the 2020-2021 de Tornyay Center Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholars. An Adult Gerontology Acute Care DNP student, Neisinger’s areas of interest are adult acute and intensive care. Neisinger’s faculty mentor is Hilarie Thompson.

Why did you choose nursing?

I had a long road to becoming a nurse. Initially, I thought that I wanted to pursue business. I finished three years towards my business degree and then decided it wasn’t for me. I ended up managing a gym for maybe seven or eight years. It was focused on helping people be healthier, but I didn’t like the sales aspect and pushing people to buy supplements. I wanted to pursue something that would still help take care of people, help them lead healthier lifestyles, but without a focus on sales.

How did you transition from managing a gym to working in a hospital?

I had been managing the gym for maybe six years at that point, and I was burned out, dealing with staffing problems and sales goals. I wanted a similar job where I could still impact people to lead healthier lifestyles. So I decided to pursue nursing and completed my prerequisites while working full time. I took a class to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and moved over to Port Angeles to attend nursing school. After nursing school, I got a job working in the ICU. Even though I have since moved closer to Seattle, I still commute back to work there a few days out of the month.

Why did you choose the adult gerontology acute care DNP specialty?

I’ve always worked in a hospital setting in an ICU or telemetry step-down unit, and the majority of the patients I care for are older adults. I feel like I can learn as much from them about life as they can learn from me about how to manage their illness. I enjoy taking care of people when they’re in the hospital, facing some of the worst times of their life, when they’re feeling the sickest that they’ve felt.

That ties into my project. My DNP project is working with Harborview, and I’m looking at post-discharge outcomes for older adults hospitalized for a burn or a trauma and who live in rural areas. Having taken care of a lot of similar patients in the hospital and having lived in a more rural area, I was really interested in the barriers or challenges that they had accessing healthcare after they were discharged from a big urban hospital. I want to see, are there gaps where things are missing in their care, or they’re not able to access care? How can we keep them out of the hospital and healthy?

How did you find your study participants?

I was given the 2019 registry of all the patients admitted to Harborview for a burn or trauma and sorted it to only include adults 65 and up, and then further sorted it to only include patients living in a rural zip code. I called through the list and was able to complete 18 patient interviews.

Has there been anything that surprised you while working on the project?

It’s not really surprising, but COVID came up quite a bit. Many patients were concerned about going to their physical therapy or follow-up appointments once COVID started. I think that will be an area that could be improved upon for connecting people with care, such as with telemedicine.

What interests you about healthy aging?

The older adult population is growing, and all of my nursing experience has been in the ICU, so I take care of a lot of hospitalized older adults. A lot of the hospitalizations are due to complications from a chronic disease or illness. It’s important to try to shift the thinking toward quality of life and focus more on living a healthy lifestyle and preventative care. The population of older adults is increasing. We have all these medical advances to keep people alive. But I think it’s important to not just keep people alive. Age is not just a number, it’s about quality of life and we can help these people to have healthier lives, so they can enjoy their time.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the school of nursing?

I feel so fortunate to be going to UW. We have amazing instructors with amazing careers and experiences. My track has been very close-knit, and I feel so fortunate for all the experiences that we had together in the skills lab pre-COVID. It’s been hard transitioning to a Zoom learning environment and not seeing my classmates every week.

How has your experience at the school of nursing help with your career trajectory?

I value all of the connections that I’ve made from professors to my faculty clinical advisor. All these people are willing to put in the time if you need a letter of recommendation or a reference. I think that will help me as I search for a job.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am starting my job hunt. I’m hoping to find a job as a hospitalist, get a broad sense of caring for everything for a couple years, and then narrow it down to something that really interests me.

Engaging with Aging Book

Faculty emeritus Doris Carnevali recently published an ebook based on her Engaging with Aging blog, titled “Engaging With Aging: Gems from Doris Carnevali’s blog”.

“Growing old can be a lonely process because your family and care-givers have no experience of what you’re going through. In Doris Carnevali, 99 at publication time, emerita professor of nursing, we find a companion and an inspiring guide for the ultimate developmental tasks, those of very old age. She discusses the realities of her own daily life and explains her ingenious system for dealing with the inevitable problems. She tackles formidable barriers with courage, humour, warmth and ingenuity. Engaging With Aging was adapted from Mrs Carnevali’s blog by Rachel McAlpine. Invaluable for caregivers, health practitioners, and everyone facing their own future frailty. Comments from readers show they regard the original blog as an encouraging example of positive aging and creative aging, with practical tips and insights about caring for the elderly. The book is intended to expand the reach of this brilliant and compassionate writer.”

Find the ebook here.

Nursing Students Help Vaccinate Healthcare Workers

Reposted from UW School of Nursing.

Since December 17, 2020, more than 40 UW nursing students have been on the frontlines vaccinating hundreds of healthcare workers across the Puget Sound. From Tukwila to Seattle, students have volunteered to help with COVID-19 vaccination efforts during what would normally be their winter break.

“Being part of the vaccine rollout has been incredible!” said Liam Malpass, a third year DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) student. “It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It has re-emphasized my belief in the power of public health and made me feel hopeful again that we, as a global community, can make it through this pandemic if we work together.”

UW School of Nursing students have joined with students from pharmacy, medicine and dentistry to help with the UW Medicine vaccination program and the vaccination of emergency responders. Others, like Malpass, have been volunteering with Public Health—Seattle & King County for COVID-19 vaccination events. The students are participants in the medical school’s Service Learning Program.

Karmin Taylor, ABSN, gets ready to administer a COVID-19 vaccine

DNP Nursing Students Liam Malpass, Luann Majeed, and Ashley-Skluzacek at a Public Health – Seattle King County vaccination site

Students from nursing, pharmacy and medicine at a vaccination site

COVID-19 vaccine

2020 ABSN Projects with Older Adults

Promoting Resilience in Senior Public Housing

ABSN students Terri Tran, Nadia Krishnan, and Gelsomina Chioino worked with Full Life Care to promote mental health and resilience by delivering houseplants and wellness tips to residents. Read about their work in the ‘Planting seeds of wellness’ Full Life Care blog post or find the Promoting Resilience in Senior Public Housing poster pdf here.

South Park Senior Citizens Community Connection Programs

ABSN students Rachel Buchmeier, Sydney Coffey, Zoe Iida, Kristin Swenson, Sarah Tivoli connected seniors at South Park Senior Center to help fight isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The students set up Pen Pal and Phone-a-Friend programs, matching participants up by language and gender who could exchange letters or talk over the phone. Read more about their work in their ‘South Park Senior Citizens Community Connection Programs’ poster.

Promoting Peer Learning on Nutrition through Cognitive and Social Interaction via

ABSN students Rié Nakasato, Nina Zhang, Kevin Fitzpatrick, and Lisa Banks worked with the Full Life Care Adult Day Health program to teach the programs’ clients about nutrition, using trivia and an interactive “Build-A-Plate” game, based on the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion’s My Plate nutrition framework. Read more about their project in their Promoting Peer Learning on Nutrition through Cognitive and Social Interaction via Telehealth poster.

Increasing Food Availability and Technology Access at St. Martin’s on Westlake

ABSN students Alex Hill, Christine Lee, and Andre Mattus worked with St. Martin’s on Westlake to develop partnerships in the community to improve residents food security and access to technology to connect with friends and family. They were able to establish weekly food donations for residents, and secure a donation for St. Martin’s that will go towards a number of the residents’ needs including technology, kitchen and exercise equipment, and winter clothing. Read more about their project in their Increasing Food Availability and Technology Access at St. Martin’s on Westlake poster.

Scholar Spotlight: Derick Welsh

Derick Welsh is the de Tornyay Center’s Germaine Krysan Undergraduate Scholar. An ABSN student, his project is ‘Learning about the Engaging with Aging (EWA) Experience among Older Adults’. His faculty mentor is Basia Belza.

All interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

Find more scholar spotlight interviews here

Why did you choose nursing?

My first interest has always been health and wellness. I received my first undergraduate degree in sports medicine. I worked in a hospital with a Tier II trauma center for a few years, first as a medical scribe, and then as a cardiovascular technician. I thought that I wanted to be a doctor, took more classes, then decided that I did not want to spend another four years plus in school. But I still wanted to be in medicine. I started delving into nursing and realized this is flexible and I’m making a huge impact on the well-being of people.

I will mention what got me into health. Growing up in middle school, I was not really interested in sports or activity in general. I started playing football and the importance of health started to become apparent to me. Then during my high school years, my dad had cancer, and he passed away when I was in high school. I learned there are certain things he could have done differently with environmental and nutritional habits. Knowing I could help other people lower the risk of this happening in their own lives, that was the start of it. Also, helping my grandparents with healthy habits and lifestyle choices inspired me to do more for the aging population.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the School of Nursing?

I think the biggest thing that UW has that I haven’t seen in my previous education is a lot of anti-racist views, making sure that nurses are coming out with perspectives on social justice and equity. I think that’s very important. It’s the first step to being able to come with a perspective of non-judgment to any person.

How has your experience at the School of Nursing helped you with your career trajectory?

Being able to work in the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging, which aligns with what I believe. I found the opportunity to work with the center through emailing them and it progressed from there. That turned into a specific project where I’m working with aging over the lifespan. I only have one year in the ABSN program, so I want to gain as much experience as I can within the UW community.

Could you briefly describe the Engaging with Aging (EWA) project you’re working on and your role in it?

I will be helping interview those who are 65 and older and asking them about challenges that they’ve experienced, how they’ve navigated through the process of aging and what are their concerns. We will be analyzing data, compiling everything together, then looking for opportunities for further research. It’s all virtual. We’re not doing this in person because of the COVID risks involved.

What interests you about healthy aging?

When I started working as a personal trainer, a lot of the people I saw were over 65. After someone would go through physical therapy, if they wanted to do more, that’s when I would work with them. I would help them get moving and continue their progress. I enjoyed troubleshooting problems that they had with mobility.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that we have a large population of adults over the age of 65. There’s a need for information on how to better care for that group. We don’t want to just extend life. We want to increase quality of life. I know that sometimes, people who are younger may not be as empathetic because they’re not that age yet, so they don’t understand.

What made you realize that you wanted to get involved in research?

My freshman year of college, there was an opportunity to work with younger kids. We developed physical education programming and compared it to physical education programs set up by the school or the state. We tested baseline data: mile run time, how many push or pull ups, how well they can control and catch a ball. The programming actually turned out to be very beneficial and was implemented in certain schools.

The most recent research I assisted with was at my previous job at Cedars Sinai, a hospital in Los Angeles. I had the opportunity to do research directly with the Smidt Heart Institute alongside my mentor and research supervisor, who is one of the cardiologists in the clinic. I was the main data collector, I even contributed in writing the research paper. I had more responsibility in this research which allowed me to learn a lot more. To be brief, the research was on testing a single lead ECG device that measured the heart’s electrical activity and was interpreted by a secondary device such as iPad. If effective, this device would be used by the patient instead of the healthcare worker, limiting the number of times the healthcare worker would have to enter the room, reducing potential exposure to COVID-19. The experience working at this hospital was invaluable and I was grateful for the opportunity.

Research is not the only thing I want to do, but I like doing it when I can. I, like many other healthcare workers, enjoy problem solving.

What are your after graduation?

I want to start in the ER, where I can get a myriad of everything and gain more knowledge on emergency preparedness, then I would work my way into specializing after that. I would like to continue advocating and working with older adults in my practice and continue implementing my background in exercise science.

Scholar Spotlight: Shih-Yin Yu

Shih-Yin Yu is a PhD in Nursing Science student, with research interests in gerontology and rural health care. She recently published an editorial in the Journal of Gerontological nursing, ‘Let’s Build a New Normal: Transitioning in Hope‘.

All interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

Find more scholar spotlight interviews here

Why did you choose to go into nursing?

When I was little, my parents worked out of town, so I was raised by my grandmother. She is one of the reasons why I’m interested in older adult populations. She passed away when I was 16 years old. I learned to treat patients with dignity from the nurse who cared for my grandmother. For me, nursing is not only a career, but a pathway to cultivate being a person who can help others in need. Nursing completes my life.

Why are you interested in healthy aging?

When I was an oncology nurse in the hospital, one in 10 patients were older adults. I still remember one of them was 100 years old. She lost her hearing; however, we had good conversations through sign language. She patiently showed me her creative sign language when I didn’t know what she meant. We both laughed when we tried to understand each others’ sign language. Although she couldn’t hear anything, she shared her experiences with me. Sometimes older adults teach me more than what I learn from books. They help me discover new perspectives about life.

Have you had other experience working with older adults?

I had a volunteer experience in Taiwan doing home visits with older adults. I got research ideas from that experience.

What’s your current research topic?

My current research is working on reducing health disparities to improve health care access equity in older adults. There’s an urgent need for health care access in rural settings. I hope the gap between rural and urban healthcare can be minimized, and I hope my research can bridge that gap.

What interested you about that topic?

When I see barriers to health care in rural settings, I ask myself: what can I do differently to overcome those barriers? I want to make changes and be part of the solution for these issues.

I found insufficient information in the current scientific literature for rural older adults. After a conversation with one of the older adults who live in rural areas in the United States, I realize many of them wanted to stay on their land after they retired from their work. The country’s population is aging and that comes with increased healthcare needs in rural areas. Healthcare professionals should be well prepared for these urgent needs across countries and different languages.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the School of Nursing?

I won’t forget the warm environment that faculty create for students at School of Nursing. Many encouragements keep me hanging in there and moving forward. I will never forget the School of Nursing support system, which provides me with practical and emotional support.

How was your experience at the School of Nursing helps with your career trajectory?

In the School of Nursing, I’ve learned how to conduct research thoroughly as a student. I’ve also considered joining a medical team in Taiwan to serve as a volunteer in rural or underserved communities during summer in Taiwan, Nepal, Cambodia, or other countries. I think social service will be part of my career, and those experiences will help me be able to serve others.

Could you briefly summarize the editorial you wrote for the Journal of Gerontological Nursing?

This editorial’s main point is to draw attention back to older adults in nursing homes, who may not be able to speak up for themselves. Many people want to go back to their new normal; what about those older adults, if they have no choice but to stay in nursing homes, waiting for their children or grandchild to come to visit? Health care professionals and health care systems need to find new ways to keep older adults connected and minimize the negative outcomes of mental health.

What inspired you to write on this particular topic?

I got the idea at midnight. When COVID-19 hit, I felt a little bit of social isolation. I was thinking of some older adults I knew in nursing homes in the United States. One question came to my mind: Is the new vaccine our way back to normality?  I don’t have an answer for this question at this moment, but I know their lives aren’t waiting for this resolution forever. Instead of waiting for this uncertain answer, we must think of solutions to continue providing quality care for them.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to do a post-doc after I graduate. Then I would like to return to Taiwan to teach and do research.

Scholar Spotlight: Hillary Frey

Hillary Frey is the de Tornyay Center’s Myrene C. McAninch Undergraduate Scholar. A BSN student, her project is ‘Identification of Triggers that Alert Older Adults to Prepare for Age-related Changes’. Her faculty mentor is Shaoqing Ge.

All interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

Find more scholar spotlight interviews here

Why did you choose nursing?

I landed on nursing mostly from bits and pieces that I liked from previous jobs. It’s a good fit for my skills and interests. I like the hands-on care, the focus on disease management from a social and a scientific perspective. I like to have a role in community and public health. Especially with advanced degrees, there’s opportunities and training to participate in leadership and systems change.

What were those things in other jobs that you found that you liked?

I worked as an anesthesia technician in a hospital which was hands on and fast paced, and I liked that. After that I worked as a research coordinator in a neurology clinic with patients with multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, so I was mostly working with an older population. I saw how chronic conditions can make it difficult for people to age with health and dignity. I became interested in the systems that were preventing them from aging how they wanted to or weren’t supporting them in aging how they wanted to. I realized that there’s a lot more to helping people achieve health than hands on care. Nursing seemed it would incorporate both of those things.

What has been an unforgettable experience during your time at the School of Nursing?

My ambulatory care clinicals this year have been really memorable. I’ve seen a lot of nurse-led visits for managing chronic conditions. The visits are pretty long and interesting because the patients open up to the nurses about their medical conditions and a lot of other social, economic, and lifestyle concerns.  I used to think that the nursing role in outpatient care was simple and straightforward, but my clinical showed me that nurses get involved in so many different aspects of a patient’s life. These visits incorporated all the aspects of nursing care that I’m interested in.

How has your experience at the School of Nursing helped you with your career trajectory?

A big reason that I picked the School of Nursing at UW was because they had an honors research program and the healthy aging center. Those are two things that I knew that I wanted mentored experience in. I am participating in the honors program and I’m doing a project on healthy aging. I’m happy that the honors program worked out because that was something that I had to apply to. Having a research mentor in that field, I can see that it’s going to help guide my career path.

What interested you about the healthy aging field?

I’ve always preferred communicating with older and aging populations. I think they have a lot of wisdom to share and not necessarily the support that they need to age in a healthy way. That’s where healthy aging research comes in!

What made you realize you wanted to get involved in research?

I was transitioning from working as an anesthesia technician where I had a very clinical role, and I was searching for a role that was distinctly different. I wasn’t ready to commit to a certain career path yet and I was just looking for a job that would help inform my future career choices. I landed in research and I enjoyed it. Once I started doing research, I realized that there was so much knowledge and conversation happening behind the scenes of clinical care. We need people doing this research to change and inform how care is provided. I like thinking of the big picture and that’s the biggest driving factor for why I like to engage in research. The day to day work also taps into my detail-oriented side that likes to make lists and keep things organized.

What is your research project and your role in the project?

My project will look at what prompts people to prepare for age related changes, which are the normal developments and changes associated with aging. It’s in the really early stages right now, but it’s a satellite project of my research mentor’s larger study that explores a concept called Engaging with Aging. The concept comes from an interesting blog written by a woman who is 97, was previously a nurse, and currently publishes a lot of thought pieces on her own aging process.

I think there are six people working on the main project and my mentor is involving all of us each step of the way. We are all currently conducting interviews with study participants. I’m learning a lot. I’ll be able to use data from the interviews for my own satellite project as well.

Why is this work important?

I think the studies that work within the Engaging with Aging framework are promoting a proactive involvement in the aging process. Hopefully, a proactive approach will help older adults remain more independent even when age-related changes happen.

There’s a lack of research to define the aging process and therefore have some evidence-based interventions that promote healthy aging. There’s a lot of work to be done in the field of healthy aging.  If there’s one thing that I personally learned from working in research, it’s that it takes a really long time to conduct research and then translate that research into evidence-based practice.

What are your plans after graduation?

I want to apply to work on an intensive care unit that has a population that is generally older. Hopefully working with patients with neurological conditions. I want to do that for a couple of years, and then apply to a doctorate program for acute care gerontology. I see research coming into my career more after I pursue the doctorate, where I can participate in studies as a doctorate level nurse.

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 dTC Scholars

The de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Healthy Aging Scholarship recipients.

We extend our thanks and high regard to all who applied. Scholarship recipients receive funds and support for research projects related to healthy aging and older adults.

Please join us in congratulating these exceptional scholars and their faculty mentors!

The 2020-2021 doctoral scholars and their mentors


Susie Cho, Myrene C. McAninch Doctoral Scholar

Topic:  A Qualitative Thematic Analysis of the Facilitators and Barriers to Self-care Practices in Care Partners of People Living with Dementia

Faculty Mentor:  Tatiana Sadak PhD, PMHNP, RN, FAAN


Wonkyung Jung, Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholar

Topic:  Social Integration after Traumatic Brain Injury in Older Adults

Faculty Mentor:  Hilaire Thompson, PhD, RN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, FAAN


Wendy Wilson, Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholar

Topic:  Significance of Dignity in End-of-Life

Faculty Mentor:  Donna Berry, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN-DF/HCC



Claire Han, Germaine Krysan Doctoral Scholar

Topic:  Tailoring Chronic Disease Management Care Pathways to Older Adults and their Caregivers in Adults Family Homes

Faculty Mentor:  Hilaire Thompson, PhD, RN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, FAAN


Lisa Neisinger, Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholar

Topic:  Home ZIP Code Outcomes in Older Burn and Trauma Patients

Faculty Mentor:  Hilaire Thompson, PhD, RN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, FAAN


Olga Yudich, Healthy Aging Doctoral Scholarship

Topic:  Improving Coordination of Care of Highly Complex Geriatric Patients

Faculty Mentor:  Hilaire Thompson, PhD, RN, CNRN, ACNP-BC, FAAN



Hillary Frey, Myrene C. McAninch Undergraduate Scholar

Topic:  Identification of Triggers that Alert Older Adults to Prepare for Age-related Changes

Faculty Mentor:  Shaoqing Ge PhD, MPH


Derick Welsh, Germaine Krysan Undergraduate Scholar

Topic:  Learning about the Engaging with Aging (EWA) Experience among Older Adults

Faculty Mentor:  Basia Belza PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA