2021 Queen Silvia Nursing Award Winner

UW STUDENT SELECTED AS 2021 QUEEN SILVIA NURSING SCHOLAR 

UW School of Nursing student Michael Drake has been selected as the second United States recipient of the UW Queen Silvia Nursing Award (UWQSNA) for dementia care.   

Drake’s winning idea is the development of QRx, a safe and secure mobile platform that patients can use to share important information to medical providers and/or caregivers via an individualized QR code—a barcode that can be scanned by a digital device. 

“With QRx, patients can manage, coordinate, and transition their care to whomever they like, wherever they are, and whenever they need to do so,” said Drake.  

The idea came to Drake after struggling to coordinate care for his mother, who had significant memory care needs.  

“Countless hours were spent repeating the same information to different providers because there was no framework or system that stored or connected her information,” he said. “QRx is designed to be a patient-centered health information service that will save time for both patients and providers.” 

“This innovative idea has tremendous potential for improving communication for all who care for people with dementia. It holds the promise of reducing errors, miscommunication, delays, and frustration by making information always accessible and always current,” said Azita Emami, Executive Dean of the UW School of Nursing. 

Drake, a second-year student in the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program at the UW Seattle campus, will receive an award of 6000 euros ($6,500 USD) and, circumstances permitting, an award presented by HM Queen Silvia next spring. He will also receive support and mentoring from UW School of Nursing faculty to assist him in applying for additional funding to develop and implement his winning idea. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected for the Queen Silvia Nursing Award,” said Drake. “I would like to recognize and thank the semifinalists and finalists for this year’s award. Their ideas demonstrated the creativity, innovation, and impact nurses have on our healthcare system. It is my belief that ideas like ours and those of future Queen Silvia Nursing Award participants will greatly improve patient care for people with dementia. I look forward to representing the UWQSNA as we work collectively to implement these ideas.”   

ABOUT THE AWARD 

The QSNA was established by Swedish Care International in 2013 as a birthday gift for Her Majesty (HM) Queen Silvia in recognition of her long-term commitment and dedication to elderly care and the quality of nursing for people with dementia. The award featured innovative ideas and solutions to improve quality of care for older adults and people living with dementia. 

Last year was the first time the award was open to nursing students in the United States. The launch of the UWQSNA in the US in 2020 coincided with the World Health Organization’s celebration of International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Last year’s winning idea by Brooke Tamble involved developing an interactive app to address the daily needs, memory loss, isolation from family, and the need for mental stimulation during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

DEMENTIA AND IMPACTS OF COVID-19 

Dementia is a profoundly challenging health care issue that affects an estimated 5 million people in the US, cared for by 15 million family and/or friend care partners. There is no known cure. The impact of dementia is personal, emotional, economic, and systemic. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults with dementia, especially those in memory or other care facilities, has drawn increasing concern from healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members. Those who live with dementia suffer acutely from isolation, disruption to their daily routines, and confusion when care and communication are moved online. Additionally, this population is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as they tend to be older adults and often have severe underlying medical conditions. 

UW TIES TO SWEDEN 

The UW School of Nursing has long ties to Sweden. Before joining UW, Executive Dean Azita Emami was an endowed professor in elderly care research at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (KI). In 2019, UW and KI signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration in teaching and research areas impacting population health. The five-year agreement details a range of possible collaborative projects and activities to explore, including faculty and student exchanges, joint research activities, and individual faculty partnerships. 

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Contact: Shari Ireton, Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications, slireton@uw.edu, 206.351.6058