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Student Spotlights 2021

Date Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Please join me in congratulating Patty Meza, PhD student, on the successful defense of her dissertation, “Life Transitions of Children with Idiopathic Childhood Apraxia of Speech” on April 30, 2021.
The focus of her study on the challenges associated with transitions during school years for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech will make a significant contribution to the literature - we look forward to seeing it in print!  Identifying the challenges these children encounter growing up is important work; results of this study may propel future work with school nurses in particular to address some of the identified concerns. I would like to acknowledge the Dissertation Committee Members Dr. Jessica Pagano-Therrien and Dr. Donna Perry for their efforts and help in guiding Patty through the dissertation process.

The 33rd Induction Ceremony for Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Iota Phi-at-Large Chapter was held April 21st. The Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing had 21 inductees: Vanessa Alves; Rita Amoah; Heidi Boland; Alexandra Cole; Samantha Creamer;  Michael Daniell; Maria Danna; Julie Darcy; Karina Dela Cruz-Mundo; Sarah Fixon-Owoo; Casey Gallagher; Courtney Gannon; Amanda Hazeltine; Victoria Johnson; Kathryn Liziewski; Sophia Mirageas; Francis Sabas; Helen Tsiagras; Christine Tuohy; Danielle Urella; Kathryn Walker.  PhD student Rita Amoah received a scholarship and our PhD alum Cynthia Bechtel is the guest speaker.

WATCH: UMass Chan students bring COVID-19 vaccine to underserved downtown Worcester  Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing student Reginald Sarpong was one of nine UMass Chan Medical School students who spent their Patriots Day at the YWCA. to learn why it was important for him to give back.

First year PhD students Saisha Cintron, Heather Kennedy, Angela Latter, Shaun L'Esperance, Bill Mar, Lauri Toohey created this beautiful nature relaxation video as part of their theory class.

Dominican Republic Batey Health Initiative continues addressing health care needs of Haitian migrant communities. UMass Chan interprofessional team working remotely to address social determinants of health. Read more here:

Casandra Gale and Maria Davila, GEP students, worked at the Worcester Health and Human Services mobile vaccination clinic at the Polar Corporation on Friday April 9th. They vaccinated and provided education to a large number of employees at the onsite clinic. On that same day, 7 GEP students administered vaccines and provided  education to patients at Community Health Link in Worcester. 

Mother of two and former educator leads quality improvement project while pursuing Doctor of Nursing Practice degree Amanda Hazeltine, DNP Student honors her late mother’s caregivers by following in their footsteps.  Read more here:

Congratulations to DNP year 3 students on successfully completing their Scholarly Project Presentation April 27th.  Their presentations were exceptional this year. Thank you to faculty advisors and stakeholders for their mentorship and guidance. We are launching a group of wonderful APRN and Nurse Administrator practice leaders who will make a positive difference in quality patient care. Now on to graduation! Presentations varied from Policy Analysis on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Screening in Primary Care”; to “Developing a Virtual Companionship Wellness Program for Socially Isolated Adults with COVID-19”; to “Tracheostomy “Go-Bag” Standardization: A Quality Improvement Initiative”; to “Increasing Hospice Utilization for Elders at the End of Life”; to “Pedal to the Metal: Nurse-Led Early Mobility Protocol Using Cycle Ergometry for Adult Surgical ICU Patients”

Dr. Everlyne Njoroge (DNP Class of 2021) has had her abstract accepted for the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Sigma Region 15 Nursing Research Symposium to be held in October 2021 as a virtual event.  Dr Njoroge will be presenting her DNP project work on Cancer Related Fatigue.

The 2020-2021 Interprofessional Trainee Quality Council (ITQC) final presentations took place at the end of May.  This year was the most successful with 16 Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing participants from both the GEP, AGRN, and DNP and the first Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing led team project.  They worked inter-professionally with not only medical and pharmacy students but with the staffs in each area addressing various health care issues.
Team 1: Enhancing Palliative Care Consultation Workflow on an Inpatient Oncology Unit
Team 2: Improving Follow-Up Clinic Appointment Scheduling for Heart Failure Inpatients
Team 3: Improving Timeliness of Methadone Administration in hospitalized Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
Team 4: Improving Pediatric Gastroenterology Clinic myChart Activation Percentage
Team 5: Improving Turnaround in Home Care Documentation at the Family Health Center of Worcester
Team 6: Decreasing Gynecologic Surgery Cancellation Rates
Team 7: Optimizing Inpatient Physical Therapy Consult Completion

Incoming Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing student, Samantha Ellis, RN, shares her personal experience as a nurse caring for COVID-19 patients:

Amanda Hazeltine, mother of two, changed careers and enrolled in our GEP program, designed for people who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing.

Nursing student Oscar de la Rosa was influenced by his mom, who switched medical careers when they moved from the DR. Learn how he went from setting up a covid19 field hospital to joining our vaccine corps.

Reginald Sarpong is one of the many Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing students who have joined UMass Chan Medical School's vaccine corps. acting as advocates to ensure access to the COVID19 vaccine.

Hannah Mills, FNP, is a DNP student who co-led a companionship wellness initiative to emotionally support COVID19 patients 65 and  older at two Worcester hospitals.

Fernelle Leandre's presence at the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing is a tour de force. Only being here for a short time, Fernelle has exhibited brilliance, leadership, and solidarity for other students on a level that would take most     students months to demonstrate. Student's like Fernelle make us hopeful about the future field of nursing, as well as the future of nursing leadership. It is truly a pleasure to witness a student of this caliber. May the T.H. Chan School of     Medicine take note of how lucky they are to have her! Sent in by her classmate Nepantla Canizzo. Fernelle Leandre is a current GEP student.

The vaccine corps is about to get bigger: All 162 of our new med students have learned how to give COVID 19 shots thanks to the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing & T.H. Chan School of Medicine students who ran today's training.

UMass Chan Medical School students tell us why they joined the army of volunteer vaccinators when Central Massachusetts needed them the most:

“We have a clinical skill that we can go out into the community and help people.” WATCH as second-year med students & nursing students train Alexander Lo & his classmates how to give COVID 19 shots:

UMass Chan Medical students from all three schools filled backpacks for elementary students in the North Quadrant, ensuring about 600 Worcester students will have school supplies when school starts next week.

Amanda Hazeltine, DNP 2 - Abstract she submitted for the virtual International Conference on Communication in Healthcare (ICCH) titled Enhancing Palliative Care Consultation Workflow on an Inpatient Oncology Unit: A Quality Improvement Project was accepted for an oral presentation. Amanda will also be presenting a poster entitled “Enhancing Palliative Care Consultation Workflow on an Inpatient Oncology Unit” at the ASCO Quality Care Symposium in September along with Kathryn Liziewski, Ashley Lin, Samantha Creamer, Kathryn Walker, Colin Flannelly, Linh Nguyen, Kelsea Lyver, Tania Baigi, Jennifer Reidy & Vandana Nagpal.

Tara Tehan, PhD student, contributed to an article in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing intitled “Intensive care nurse-family engagement from a global perspective: A qualitative multi-site exploration”

Nursing PhD student Saisha Cintron saw as an undergrad how she could make a big impact as a nurse scientist. Discover how she's helping local teens overcome challenges: #StudentSpotlight

Her first degree was in biochemistry, but DNP student Emily Everett's true  calling was as a nurse. She describes why she made the career switch and the important role she's played in the vaccine rollout:

Romain, S. (2021) presented “Leaders at the bedside– What it takes to be an Ethics Champion in the U.S.” as a   podium presentation at the Virtual Open Forum Day, European Clinical Ethics Network, September 8, 2021.

Cintron, S., Kennedy, H. M., Toohey, L.,  Mar, W., Latter, A., L’Esperance, S., & Perry, D. (2021) presented “Linking Nature Contact and Health Benefits through Artistic Expression of Nature.” An oral presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau, Sigma Region 15 Annual Symposium: Nursing Between the Lines, October 1, 2021.

Hannah Boorstein RN, MS, FNP-C, DNP class of 2022 and SOM student Kaan Apaydin received the William Thomas O’Byrne Scholarship from the office of diversity and inclusion for being an active and productive member of the QMass group. This scholarship fund was established by anonymous donors in honor of William Thomas O’Byrne, MD, a physician and faculty member at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and LGBTQ advocate who died in 2018.

Students from the Oral Health PHC wrote an opinion piece that was published in the    Worcester Telegram and Gazette, “Oral Health in Worcester: Why it’s important and how we can improve it”. Isabella DiMare – DNP 1 student in the AGPCNP track – was one of the   authors along with 5 SOM 2nd year students! Read more here:

The PhD program is this hidden gem.” Learn about Zareen Barry's journey to becoming a nurse & why she wants to become nursing faculty, helping English language learner students succeed:

Amanda Hazeltine, DNP Acute Care Track student at the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing presented a poster at the ASCO Quality Care Symposium, entitled “Enhancing Palliative Care Consultation Workflow on an Inpatient Oncology Unit”

Amanda Hazeltine and Kathryn Liziewski   presented their ITQC project at the  International Conference on Communication in Healthcare.

Congratulate Dr. Thin (Aung) Malatesta on the successful defense of her dissertation, “ Moral challenges, moral distress, and moral   resilience in critical care nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic” 9/24/21. Thin’s inquiry into the experience of critical care nurses    during the COVID-19 pandemic gave voice to those who experiences were the first for many. The dissemination of her findings will acknowledge the challenges encountered by many nurses and provide data that may be of help in similar situations in the future. I would like to acknowledge the Chair of her Dissertation Committee, Dr. Carol Bova, and Committee members Dr. Donna Perry and Dr. Susan Sullivan-Boylai for their efforts and help in guiding Thin through the dissertation process.

UMass Chan students present Island youths’ problems - The Martha's Vineyard Times. A group of UMass Chan Medical School students, known as Rural Health Scholars, studied ways to support the Island’s young people in overall well-being and in educational and occupational endeavors.