NPHF/Astellas Promoting Heart Health Across the Age Span Award Program 


2018-2019 Award Winners

Adult Award

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Allison Pratt, BSN, is a second year Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student within the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty at the University of Minnesota.  She also works as a staff nurse on the Solid Organ Transplant Unit at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.  Allison loves being a nurse and having the ability to positively impact lives.  Her community service work includes providing healthcare to underserved children through Head Start.  

Allison's project, "CLiMB" (I Care and Love my Body) aims to increase the health and well-being of women at the Pearls of Hope Community Center, an Islamic-based organization.  She will be assisting women to meet their nutritional and weight loss goals, leading to long-term heart health and other benefits for its participants.  


Gerontology Award

Cook headshot 5 10 2019.jpg Courtney Cook, DNP, ACNP-BC, BSN, is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in the MSN program (AG-ACNP Specialty).  She received her MSN and Acute Care NP from Yale University in 2010 and her DNP from Vanderbilt in 2013.  Her academic interests include Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology, Advanced Health Assessment Lab/Simulation, and Advanced Critical Care Concepts for the AGACNP Intensivist.  Her clinical background includes work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, North Carolina Healthcare System and Centennial Medical Center (current).

Dr. Cook's project, "Creation of an Inter-Disciplinary Mock Code Team" focuses on an innovative program for training students in a simulation lab to improve retention, efficiency and leadership skills when responding to life-threatening cardiac conditions that are commonly encountered in clinical practice.


Adult Award

Jennifer Orshak, MA, BSN, PhD(c) and Diane Lauver, PhD, RN, FAAN

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Jennifer Orshak is a PhD candidate in the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She also has a Master's Degree in Women's Studies from San Diego State University.  As an experienced nurse, she works on a Medical/Surgical/Neurology unit at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.  The overarching goals of her program of research are to design, implement, and evaluate nursing interventions to improve women's health, especially the cardiovascular health of young women veterans who are eligible to receive care in the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Her dissertation study, "Women Veterans' Barriers to Seeking Care for Cardiovascular Disease Control," is a first step to identify and describe young women veterans' reasons for, and barriers to, seeking care for services that can control cardiovascular disease.  Her research aligns with the national priorities of the American Heart Association, American Academy of Nursing, and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

Diane Lauver is currently a Professor and PhD Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing.  Prepared as a family nurse practitioner, she has worked in primary care settings for over two decades.  With a long-standing interest in women's health, she has most often worked as an NP with female clients.  Dr. Lauver has conducted research that has been inspired by her experience as an NP, focusing her studies on preventative health behaviors such as asymptomatic breast screening, symptomatic care seeking for breast and menopausal symptoms, eating behaviors, and physical activity. Guided by two complementary motivational theories, one of her current studies is designed to skillfully support young adults in adopting health behaviors to control their hypertension.  In a second study, she is examining relationships among sex, stress, health behaviors and cardiovascular disease.  

Their project, entitled "Describing Women Veterans' Barriers and Facilitators about Seeking Care to Control Cardiovascular Disease," aims to describe participants' identified reasons for care-seeking and their ratings of importance to each reason, and to identify reasons for, and barriers to, seeking CVD control.  By understanding women veterans' care-seeking for CVD control, they could revise VA educational materials and address obstacles, tailored to women veterans' heart health behaviors.


Gerontology Award

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Mary Granholm, MSN, ANP-BC, is Chief Nurse Practitioner at Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, a healthcare facility that provides free primary care to an uninsured, underserved, diverse adult population in Bergen County, New Jersey.  In addition to providing direct patient care, she is active on several committees and also orients and audits the care provided by the other nurse practitioners.  Prior experience includes roles in both inpatient and outpatient areas, as well as being a clinical instructor for nurse practitioner programs at Felician University and Rutgers University.  She was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Adult Primary Care from New York University.  

Mary's project, "Nurse Led Hypertension Initiative" targets the uninsured, low income patients she serves in her clinic, with a goal of achieving controlled hypertension in at least 80% of her patient population.


2017-2018 Award Winners

Pediatric Award 

NPHF is proud to announce that this Pediatric Award-Winning project has been selected to be displayed at the Smithsonian National African-American History Museum

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Sandra Davis, PhD, DPM, ACNP-BC, Adriana Glenn, PhD, FNP-BC, and Karen Dawn, DNP, PHCNS-BC, CDE

Dr. Davis has been in academia for the past eighteen years serving in both faculty and administrative roles. She is currently Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the George Washington University School of Nursing and is board certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.   Her research interests are health equity, social determinants of health, and healthcare simulation.  Recently Dr. Davis co-published an article in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners entitled Social Determinates of Health: Knowledge to Action and has presented her work on Teaching Graduate Nursing Students Social Determinants of Health with Simulation Based Learning at national interprofessional conferences.  Dr. Davis is Past President of the Nurse Practitioner Association of the District of Columbia.  She is a fellow of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) – Wharton Executive Leadership Program and AACN’s Leadership for Academic Nursing Program.  

Dr. Glenn is currently Assistant Professor at the George Washington University School of Nursing. She has almost 30 years of experience as a family nurse practitioner and over 10 years of experience in higher education. Her primary research interest consists of using qualitative methods to study how families of children with rare diseases use the internet for communications, information seeking behaviors, and finding online support. Additionally, she has interests in addressing issues regarding culture and health. Dr. Glenn has extensive experience teaching in a variety of academic environments including: clinical instruction, precepting and lab instructor at community college, undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Glenn lends her expertise as a legal nurse consultant rendering opinions related to the delivery of nursing and other healthcare services.

Dr. Dawn is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at George Washington University, teaching in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science program. She has over 30 years’ experience in diabetes management, chronic disease prevention, health promotion and is the developer of hundreds of creative health education tools to assist people with chronic disease. A Certified Diabetes Educator and Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist, Dr. Dawn has extensive experience working with undergraduate nursing students in community settings, including international trips to Haiti, public health departments, community service boards, free clinics, homeless shelters, summer camps with vulnerable populations, environment protection, and prison nursing.

Their project, "The Social Determinants of a Heart Healthy Community: A Participatory Action Research," engaged middle school students from an underserved community of Washington, D.C. in a participatory action research project.  The purpose of the project was to provide the students with an early understanding of the connections between the social environment, policy, and a heart-healthy community.  The students received digital cameras and went out into their neighborhoods and photographed the facilitators and barriers to heart health.  They then used the photographs, analysis, collaborative investigation, and group dialogue to identify the social determinants that promoted or impeded a heart health community.  Equipped with this vital information, they learned how to frame an issue and write a letter to the governor, their congress person or community leader as a powerful message of how the heart health of citizens are being affected both positively and negatively by the social determinants of health within their community.  The project culminated in an exhibit where students displayed their photographs and shared their stories.  Their letters to the governor, congress and community leaders were also on display.  This Pediatric Award-Winning project has been selected to be displayed at the Smithsonian National African-American History Museum.


Adult Award

NPHF is proud to announce that Dr. Jennifer Timm has been accepted to present via oral presentation at the Global Forum of Nursing and Patient Care 2019 Conference in Rome, Italy (September 12-14, 2019)

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Jennifer Timm, MS, RN, PHN

Jennifer is a full-time nursing faculty at Winona State University.  Her experience includes over 14 years in nursing practice, leadership, and education.  Jennifer received a BSN, MSN, and DNP at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota.  Implementing innovation to improve patient outcomes fuels Jennifer.  Her work has included leading (1) an interprofessional team's redesign of an outpatient mental health clinic's access model through implementation of an interprofessional triage clinic, (2) the development of an integrated outpatient mental health and substance use clinic, (3) the implementation of a Health in All policy in a poverty-stricken, rural county facing significant poor health indicators, (4) the design of a regional, three-county model for providing outpatient mental health and substance use services through use of psychiatric nurse practitioners, an interprofessional team, and telehealth services, and (5) implementation of an interprofessional clinical education model serving faculty, students, and community.  Jennifer enjoys the process of system change, rapid quality improvement, and innovation.  Sharing these processes with students is the center of her work.  

Jennifer's project, "Promoting Heart Health through an Interprofessional Student-led Clinic" implemented a heart health program into an existing student-led, faculty-guided free health clinic.  Students involved in the program developed patient education materials the provide talking points to guide their health promotion in physical activity, but also in other areas equally important to heart health, including tobacco cessation, stress reduction, and healthy nutrition.  


Adult Award

DiGiulio head shot Astellas 2018 4 17 18.jpg Mary DiGiulio, DNP, APN, FAANP  Dr. DiGiulio has been a primary care provider for 2 decades.  Since 2011, she has been practicing at Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI), providing primary care for working, uninsured patients who often have difficulty accessing affordable medications and equipment necessary for self-monitoring of chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes.  She is also a member of BVMI's Medical Services Committee and Strategic Planning Task Force. Dr. DiGiulio is board certified as an adult and gerontological nurse practitioner and is on the faculty at Rutgers School of Nursing.  

Her project, “Monitor to Control,” focused on whether or not blood pressure control is improved by providing patients with education and personal blood pressure equipment for at-home monitoring.  Blood pressure cuffs were provided to patients diagnosed with either hypertension or elevated blood pressure.  They were instructed on the proper use of the cuff and documentation of the home readings on a BP log that was developed in English and Spanish.  Findings concluded that there was  a significant decrease in the percentage of patients who had stage 2 hypertension as well as an increase in those with normal, elevated and stage 1 hypertention after they were given blood pressure cuffs for home monitoring. 

Pediatric Award 

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Kristin Haglund, PhD, FNP, PPCNP, BC

Dr. Haglund is a certified nurse practitioner with over two decades of experience as a primary care provider.  She is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Marquette University where she is the coordinator for the pediatric primary care nurse practitioner option.  She maintains clinical practice in several NP managed workplace clinics and at a pediatric primary care clinic in Milwaukee.  Her nursing research generates knowledge and interventions to facilitate optimal health and psychosocial outcomes for children and adolescents at risk due to poverty, discrimination and/ or chronic conditions. Specifically, she has conducted research regarding healthy interpersonal relationships and prevention of dating violence, sexual risk reduction, religiosity and spirituality among adolescents, and improving health of children and adolescents with chronic conditions. 

The goal of her project  "Mindfulness Practices to Promote Heart Health Among Afro-Latino Youth," was to improve and promote heart health in children of Afro-Latino heritage through mindfulness practices that changed how their minds and bodies respond to stressors to increase resiliency, mitigate the effects of stress, improve immediate heart health, and decrease future cardiovascular risk factors.  To accomplish their goal, the staff of Bembe Drum & Dance were trained to utilize play-based strategies and percussion-based mindfulness techniques and incorporated them into an eight-session after-school program.  They received specific training in mental health and stress of children, and the techniques they incorporated in the classroom were meant to carry over to the children's personal lives. The play-based interactions with students were very effective and resulted in increasing attention, following directions, and decreased distruptions in the classroom.  The students enjoyed the interactions and, in the process, learned how to assess their feelings of stress and articulate what they were feeling.  The children learned percussion-based exercises they can incorporate at home to cope with stress, calm themselves down, or release pent-up energy.  Compared to the previous year, the implementation of the stress and mindfulness training led to advanced accomplishments in percussion and dance for the children.

Geriatric Award

John Diane Photo Astellas 2018 3 31 18.jpg Diane Y. John PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC  Dr. John is an Associate Professor with Frontier Nursing University and is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC).  Her clinical practice as an FNP includes working with populations across the lifespan, as well as community work with diverse populations. She was the recipient of Frontier Nursing University’s Faculty Innovation Award in 2015 and has presented at national and international nursing conferences.  

Her project, “Nurse Practitioners’ Influence on Heart Healthy Behaviors,” was conducted from May 2017 to November 2018.  It integrated Motivational Interviewing into a community education initiative in Broward County, Florida, with the goal of helping patients change behaviors associated with heart disease.  

Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based technique of change-talk useful as an intervention for lifestyle problems where healthcare providers become the helper in the change process for clients. Volunteer nurse practitioners, NP students, and community advocates were taught Motivational Interviewing techniques via an online course.  Participants were accessed via community events.  

After the dialogue between volunteer NPs and community dwellers a heart-healthy behavior scale was used to collect self-reported informaiton from participants about their commitment to change lifestyle behaviors associated with heart health.  Seventy-six percent of responses from community dwellers indicated a commitment to change behaviors associated with heart disease, indicating a high success rate using the technique of Motivational Interviewing.  

Ms. John's intruiging project had a positive outcome and influenced her fellow community members to intitiate positive changes in their heart health.