Nurse of the Week: Seattle Nurse Karin Huster Says Battling Ebola Outbreaks in Africa Is “The Best Job in the World”

Nurse of the Week: Seattle Nurse Karin Huster Says Battling Ebola Outbreaks in Africa Is “The Best Job in the World”

Our Nurse of the Week is Karin Huster, a Seattle-based nurse and field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders. Huster spends six to 12 weeks at a time away from home, helping the world’s most vulnerable populations. Most recently she was in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) helping battle Ebola outbreaks.

Even though she regularly encounters dying patients, Huster tells seattletimes.com, “It’s the best job in the world. And I don’t mean this lightly…My goal in life is nothing else but to try to improve people’s lives.”

Ebola has killed over 2,000 individuals and sickened almost 3,000 individuals in the DRC since August 2018. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency in July 2019 while Huster was on her fourth trip there.

Helping those in need has been Huster’s dream since she was a child. She grew up on Réunion Island, a French island in the Indian Ocean, and in 1991 she moved to Seattle for a job translating English to French for Microsoft. Feeling unfulfilled, she left her job at Microsoft to enroll in nursing school at the University of Washington (UW). She spent eight years as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center before going back to UW to earn her master’s degree in global health. In 2012, Huster went to Lebanon on a trip with UW to work with Syrian refugees. It was there that she found her passion for traveling to help the world’s most vulnerable populations.

To learn more about Karin Huster, a Seattle-based nurse and field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders who considers her job battling Ebola outbreaks in Africa the “best job in the world,” visit here.  

Frontier Nursing University Makes its Impact on Diversity

Frontier Nursing University Makes its Impact on Diversity

Under the aegis of the Diversity Impact (DI) Program at Frontier Nursing University, faculty and students are the vanguard of the movement to diversify the ranks of nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives and improve health care conditions among the underserved and marginalized.

Frontier’s current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch, takes great pride in the students’ achievements during and after their participation in the DI program, and says: “they are applying what is taught here in regard to diversity, inclusion, and equity, not only within their new areas of employment as graduates but across their communities. Some have established underserved programs, birth centers, and international programs. These students are passionate advocates for the underserved and disenfranchised people. They are the future catalyst of change.”

In addition to distributing some $300,000 in scholarship funds received through their Health Resources and Services Administration’s Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant, the program has implemented diversity training sessions for all faculty and staff and added diversity discussions to student orientation sessions. DI participants are also encouraged to attend annual conferences dedicated to fostering a more diverse, culturally aware health care workforce—where, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students explore the benefits of active participation in professional nursing organizations.

The thriving program at Frontier received a 2018 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, and was cited as a “Top College for Diversity.” In addition, the magazine added Dr. Valentin-Welch herself to their Top 25 Women in Higher Education roster of standout diversity advocates at US colleges and universities.

For an experienced professional proponent of diversity and inclusion, the most daunting challenge, according to Valentin-Welch, is maintaining belief in the goal of “uniting folks while our nation is receiving messages of division and promoting actions of division and lack of compassion… However, I feel midwifery and nursing have always held an important role in not only listening to people, but also advocating for what is right.”

For further details on the Diversity Impact Program at Frontier Nursing University, visit here.

University of Virginia Nursing Dean Emerita Dorrie K. Fontaine Selected for 2019 Leadership Award

University of Virginia Nursing Dean Emerita Dorrie K. Fontaine Selected for 2019 Leadership Award

University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing Dean Emerita Dorrie K. Fontaine was recently selected for the 2019 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award. Fontaine will be honored at a reception on October 15. She is known for her focus on creating a healthy work environment, fostering interprofessional education, and furthering efforts of inclusion and diversity in nursing. 

The award was first given in 1998 to honor the memory of Zintl, an accomplished writer and journalist who served as chief of staff to the UVA president until her untimely death in 1997 at age 45. According to news.virginia.edu, the award recognizes a female employee who has given an “unusually high degree of service to the University, within and beyond the expectations of the position” and “whose excellence in work makes a direct and significant impact on the core academic enterprise.”

Fontaine retired from her position as Dean on July 31. She is taking a sabbatical this year and helping colleagues co-edit a book titled, “Caring for Ourselves, Caring for Others: A Self-Care Handbook for the Student Nurse.”

Fontaine is a former trauma and critical care nurse. She founded UVA’s Compassionate Care Initiative in 2009 with a mission of alleviating human suffering through developing compassionate caregivers and systems. The initiative nurtures students, faculty, staff, and clinicians to become resilient and know that caring for themselves provides a foundation for the safe and exceptional care of others. Fontaine is also a past president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, and past president of the Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing.

To learn more about Dorrie K. Fontaine, Nursing Dean Emerita for the University of Virginia School of Nursing who was recently selected for the 2019 Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, visit here

Nurse of the Week: Registered Nurse Czarino Cecilio Treats Cancer Patients at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Multiple Myeloma Center

Nurse of the Week: Registered Nurse Czarino Cecilio Treats Cancer Patients at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Multiple Myeloma Center

Our Nurse of the Week is Czarina Cecilio, a 33-year-old registered nurse (RN) at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Multiple Myeloma Center in New York City. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a type of bone marrow cancer and in addition to performing her nursing duties, Cecilio is also responsible for a lot of paperwork because the medication administered to many MM patients is experiencing a national drug shortage.

Cecilio works 10-hour shifts on a regular basis, helping keep her patients comfortable in the midst of this drug shortage. Cecilio’s role at the Multiple Myeloma Center is Clinical Nurse Liaison. She serves as head RN of the practice and her responsibilities include educating patients on their therapy regimen and helping them get medication, supervising medical technicians, and keeping the clinic workflow organized.

However, she also spends a lot of time on the phone with manufacturers and drug providers in an effort to secure treatment for her patients. Many MM patients are treated with an intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), but production for the medication has slowed, causing increased demand.

Cecilio tells businessinsider.com, “With myeloma, it’s an incurable disease, [but] it’s treatable, so that’s why we see these patients all the time. You get to build a relationship with these patients.”

Cecilio didn’t always want to be a nurse. She received her undergraduate degree in anthropology and then decided to go into medical research. She eventually ended up in an entry level nursing job as a medical technician, but found herself unable to answer many of her patients’ questions regarding their care, so she decided to go to nursing school. Now, she loves her work as a nurse in the multiple myeloma clinic because it allows her to form bonds with patients who are typically receiving long-term treatment.

To learn more about Czarina Cecilio, a registered nurse at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Multiple Myeloma Center in New York City, read Business Insider’s coverage of their day spent shadowing her here.

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Appoints New Assistant Dean to Focus on Hiring and Staff Success

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Appoints New Assistant Dean to Focus on Hiring and Staff Success

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) recently announced the appointment of Bobbie Tchopev, MBA, MScED, to serve as the inaugural Assistant Dean for Organizational Improvement. Tchopev’s new role will focus on operational integration and project management specific to staff while driving organizational improvement, and staff development and success at JHSON.

Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of JHSON, tells newswise.com, “This appointment is a demonstration of our strong commitment to integrated staff operations, engagement, and growth. Staff play a tremendous role in achieving the mission of our school. Bobbie’s strengths in strategic planning and data analysis will be key to providing vital organizational structure, processes and pathways for staff to exercise leadership and innovation.”

Tchopev is joining JHSON from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. She brings broad experience in business, marketing, design thinking, conflict resolution, and strategic team management. Tchopev has held a wide variety of positions throughout her career including Executive Director of Student Services at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Academic Program Manager at Johns Hopkins University, Business faculty and an academic advisor for Mott Community College, and a recruiter for Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. She is also certified as an MBA Career Coach and has extensive experience in positive psychology coaching, questionnaire design for social surveys, and strengths-based mentoring. 

Tchopev began her new position on August 19. To learn more about Bobbie Tchopev, MBA, MScED, who was appointed by the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing to serve as the inaugural Assistant Dean for Organizational Improvement, visit here.

Nationally Recognized Researcher Annette B. Wysocki Named Dean of Stony Brook Nursing

Nationally Recognized Researcher Annette B. Wysocki Named Dean of Stony Brook Nursing

Stony Brook University has named Annette B. Wysocki, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, effective August 1. Dr. Wysocki is a nursing educator, scholar, and researcher with over 30 years of experience. She joins Stony Brook from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst College of Nursing, where she served as Professor and Associate Dean for Research since 2012.

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President of Health Sciences and Dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, tells news.stonybrook.edu, “Annette was chosen from an incredibly talented pool of national candidates, yet stood out because of her clear vision about the future of our school of nursing and her impressive nursing career on many levels. This includes Annette’s many leadership and advisory roles at higher educational institutions and societies and her scholarly and research work on a national and international scale.”

Dr. Wysocki began her academic career by joining the faculty of the New York University Medical Center where she was Director of Nursing Research and a faculty member in the Department of Dermatology in the School of Medicine.  She then joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and served as Scientific Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and Chief of the Wound Healing Laboratory. After leaving the NIH, Dr. Wysocki became Professor of Nursing and Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, before joining UMass Amherst.

Dr. Wysocki’s past research has helped develop the science of symptom self-management, studying the wound environment in patients with spinal cord injury, and studying the basic biology of chronic wounds. She is a lead researcher in wound healing and other topics in nursing research.

In her new role as dean of Stony Brook Nursing, Dr. Wysocki intends to continue building the school’s mission of advancing the science and practice of nursing to improve the lives of individuals, families, and the community.

To learn more about Annette B. Wysocki, PhD, RN, FAAN, who was recently named dean of the Stony Brook University School of Nursing, visit here.

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