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DNP students receive funding support to aid an aging population


Date: November 27, 2013
Media Contact: Ashley Wiggin,, 206-221-2456

With a rise in the average age of our population, training a workforce knowledgeable in the care of older adults is critically important. The UW School of Nursing (SoN) is taking an active role in preparing students and professionals to provide that care. Now in its second year, the Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program (CGEP) supports students in the Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A/G PCNP) track of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a special interest in working with the older adult population. The grant is currently supporting four DNP students.

The three-year grant kicked-off in July 2012, with the first four scholars appointed in Autumn 2012: Winnie Deeckakawan, Josh Epworth, Desiree Wood and Rachel Ostrander. The grant has now selected a new round of scholars for the current academic year. In addition to providing support to these trainees, the grant will also create an online inventory for gerontology resources- many online gerontology resources exist, and the grant will compile and provide access all in one place. Bond noted that this will become a valuable resource for health care providers and educators.

Meet the Scholars

CGEP trainees 2013CGEP trainees 2013The grant is providing aid to these students for the current academic year, giving each full time scholar $30,000 to support his or her education; the part-time scholar receives $15,000. The four A/G PCNP students, Kindra Clark-Snustad, Ann Pedack, Ibrahima Touray and Sunny Rockom, are thankful for the support this program is providing to them and describe its impact on their education.

Kindra Clark-Snustad is an A/G PCNP, currently in her 3rd year of the DNP program. Her interests are in primary care in rural and underserved populations and older adults, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic disease management. Her experience is in clinical research, and she is currently working on a project relating to an inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly. During her career as an A/G PCNP, she plans to focus on providing primary care to rural and underserved populations with a focus on providing care to older adults. She will integrate clinical research into her practice.

Ann Pedack is a DNP-A/G PCNP student in her second year of the program. She has worked as an RN for the past 6 years in the medical cardiac ICU. She returned to school to become an A/G PCNP. Her main interests are geriatric primary care, frail elder care, advance care planning and expanding models for home-based primary care. For her master capstone, she is currently working with Group Health in their Continuing Care Division to help analyze and expand their current medical house call program that provides in-home- nurse-practitioner assessments and care coordination for clients unable to make it to primary care clinic appointments. She is also receiving clinical training at the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center primary care clinic as an A/G PCNP student in their Center of Excellence in primary care program. Her primary areas of interest include long-term care and community primary care of the elderly.

Ibrahima Touray’s goal is to continue working with the older adult population either in long-term care/skilled nursing or at a primary care facility. For the past four years, he has worked at a long-term care facility. This summer, he had clinical rotations at two different community health clinics and he has since then gained the interest of starting his A/G PCNP career working with underserved populations at a community health clinic.

Sunny Rockom currently works at Virginia Mason Medical Center on a pulmonary medicine/thoracic surgery acute care floor. They specialize in surgery for cancers of the lung, esophagus, airways, oral and breast, as well as plastic reconstruction after various cancer surgeries. Her job has given her a wide variety of experiences with patient populations and she had become very interested in working with patients and families surrounding end of life care. She has found great value in working with patients and their families assisting them to find meaning and comfort in an otherwise difficult and sometimes scary transition. Her other interests include geriatric primary care and pulmonology with pet/animal therapy.

For more information about the program and about applying for funding for the 2014-2015 academic year, visit the CGEP traineeship website. Future applicants must be matriculated in the A/G PCNP track of DNP program in the School of Nursing, with preference given to newly enrolling students.

This project is supported by funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Health Resources and Services Administration, the Bureau of Health Professions (BHPr), Division of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Education (DPHIE), under grant number D62HP24194 Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program for $808,663.00. The information or content, and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as an endorsement of or the official position or policy of the U.S. Government, DHHS, HRSA, BHPr or the DPHIE.


The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-rated nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit www.nursin