Student and Faculty Scholarship

College of Nursing students and faculty working together
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Student and Clinician Projects and Scholarship

Current Student Projects
  • Central West Regional Senior Center: Melanie Glander “Stroke Education Program in a Senior Center”
    • Stroke Warriors was implemented in October 2018 at Central West Regional Senior Center. It involved four education sessions (1st session: 90 min.; 2-4: 60 min.) that focused on types of stroke/treatment, stroke recognition, stroke risk factors and lifestyle modification. The sessions were interactive and included PowerPoint presentations, discussion groups and games. Participants received education binders and made weekly healthy eating and exercise goals during the program.
  • Flying Foods: Katherine Janezic “Reducing Hypertension in the Workplace”
    • According to the newly released ACC/AHA Guidelines, an estimated 45.6% of U.S. adults have hypertension. The purpose of this project is to reduce blood pressure in employees with hypertension at Flying Food Group through the implementation of an evidence-based Heart Healthy Program which includes Home Blood Pressure Monitoring.
  • Mercy High School: Maria Pirotte Obesity in Adolescence: A Needs Assessment  at Phillips
    • This project will be focusing on obesity in adolescents at a school based health center. With input from the students, the hope is to design an intervention that can be carried into the future.
  • St. Leonard’s House: Ella Mathieson “Understanding the Medical Needs and disease burden of Previously Incarcerated Chicagoans”
    • Formerly incarcerated persons (FIPs) are disproportionally affected by chronic conditions and have higher rates of mortality associated with these diseases. St. Leonard’s Ministries (SLM) aims to address the many barriers this population faces but feel underprepared to address the complex health conditions of the residents. The purpose of this project is to improve FIPs self-efficacy in disease self-management at SLM by implementing the “Take Charge of Your Health” program.
  • St. Leonard’s House: Patty LuevanoEvaluation of a Recently Developed APN Health Space”
  • Sue Gin Clinic: Jaime DeSantiago Financial Stability of the Sue Gin Clinic
    • Financial sustainability of clinics serving vulnerable populations is a challenge. Rush University College of Nursing’s Sue Gin Health Clinic is funded in part by a gift from Exelon Corporation. The College of Nursing pays faculty clinician salary and students are paid through the federal work study program. The issue the clinic faces is that the gift money donated by the Exelon Corporation will eventually run out. The purpose of this project is to determine if financial sustainability of the Rush University College of Nursing’s Sue Gin Health Clinic is feasible for the next 2 years.
  • Trilogy Behavioral Health: Elise Pesch Screening and Care Coordination for Intimate Partner Violence Victims”
    • This program’s purpose is to create a process to screen people with serious mental illnesses for intimate partner violence (IPV) and provide the assistance necessary to ensure their safety, help them heal emotionally, improve their sense of autonomy, and promote healthy relationships going forward. The program will work toward these aims by screening all clients deemed to be at risk for IPV, using an IPV Action Plan as a guide to the type of services that staff should offer clients experiencing IPV, and improving the process of following up with clients who have positive screens for IPV.
  • Trilogy Behavioral Health: Lauren Keny The Development of a Nutrition Program for Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses and Elevated BMIs”
  • Wesley Place Rehab: Colleen Beckler “Non-pharmacological Treatment of Depression in Older Adults with Dementia”
    • Depression occurs in 30% of individuals with vascular dementia as well as Alzheimer’s dementia (Kitching, 2015).  Depression has been suggested as both a risk factor for dementia and a result of dementia (Muliyala & Varghese, 2010). The purpose of this quality improvement project is to decrease the symptoms of depression among older adults with dementia at Wesley Place, a long-term care facility, through the use of a structured pet therapy program.
Past Student Projects
  • Chicago Lighthouse: Ashley Funk and Krysten Thompson “Implementing Life’s Simple 7 at the Chicago Lighthouse”
  • Dunbar-Mercy SBHC: Tomi Akinfe “Healthy Relationships Matter Group Counseling Program: A Strategy to Promote Positive Relationships Among Adolescent Clinic Users at Dunbar-Mercy SBHC”
  • Flying Food: Tracey Hosack-Bartnick “Addressing Obesity among a Worksite Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Patient Population”
  • Flying Food: Yu Wang“A Diabetes Screening and Education Program Delivered in Chinese/Mandarin for Chinese American Food Service Employees”
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago: Sonam Pattel, Kamaria Price “Assessing Civility and Designing a Plan for Staff Engagement at the Rehabilitation Institute ofChicago”
  • Sue Gin Health Center: Govinder Gill, Linea Karlson, Krystal Walker , Blaire Williams “Improving Access to Primary Services at the Sue Gin Health Center”
  • Sue Gin Health Clinic at Oakley Square: Tricia Kierny, MFNP, DNP, “Increasing Adolescent Utilization of Preventative Care Services”
  • Trilogy Behavioral Health: Abigail Thomas “Trilogy Behavioral Health: Managing Diabetes for People Living with Mental Illness”
  • Wesley Place: Katie Kluga, AGNP, DNP Improving Orthopedic Related Post-operative edema management in a rehabilitation setting”
  • Wesley Place: Susanna Miranda “Addressing Sleep Patterns in a Post-acute Care Setting”
  • Wesley Place: Rima Patel “ A Multifaceted Falls Management Program in a Sub-Acute Rehab”
  • Winwood Apartments: Kim North “Chronic Disease Self-Management Program”
Student Scholarship


  • Tomi Akinfe: Healthy Relationships Matter Group Counseling Program: A Strategy to Promote Positive Relationships Among Adolescent Clinic Users at Dunbar-Mercy SBHC. Poster presented at the tenth annual DePaul University conference on Health Disparities and Social Justice.
  • Patricia Huerta: Strengthening Clinic Staff Awareness to Support Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth. Accepted for a poster presentation at the eleventh annual Health Disparities & Social Justice Conference
  • Katie Kluga: Stop the Swelling: Improving Edema Management in Post-operative Orthopedic Patients. Manuscript published and presented at MNRS in Spring 2018.
  • Iryna Leno: Healthy Weight Loss in Community Living Older Adults. Abstract accepted for a poster presentation at the national Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association meeting for April 2019 (Central West Senior Center)
  • Katie Puleo: Fall Risk Reduction among urban community dwelling older adults. Podium Presentation at the Gerontological Advanced Nurses Practice Association 2018
  • Rima Thakkar: A Multifaceted Falls Program in a Sub-acute Rehabilitation Unit. Poster presentation at the RUMC/UIC fall symposium in Fall 2018. Also accepted for a poster presentation at MNRS in March 2019 (CMSS).
  • Yu Wang: Diabetes Screening and Prevention in Chinese Population. Workplace Health and Safety Journal 2019


  • Kim Blanchard and Eleanor Whelan: Culturally Sensitive Diabetes Self-Management Program in Older Adult in a Community Setting. Podium presentation. Gerontological Advanced Nurses Practice association
Clinician Work
  • Buchholz, S. (2017, November 3). 8 tips on walking to avoid winter weight gain. Next Avenue.
  • Ferry-Rooney, R. (2017, December 6). Compromise is possible in the Gun Control Debate. Huff Post.
  • Gallagher, T. C., Swider, S.M., & Swartwout, K.D. (March 2017) Empowering Adolescents to Take Control of their Health. Poster presented at the 34th Annual Rush University Forum for Research and Clinical Investigation, Chicago, IL.
  • Gallagher, T. C. (April 2017) Adolescent Empowerment Program. Presenting at the 2017 Conference on Adolescent
  • Dr. Terry Gallagher featured: Janes, B. (2017). How to help Chicago’s most vulnerable youth? One answer. The Chicago Tribune
  • Kalensky, M. (2017, September 28). Death or debt — this is why we need health insurance guarantees. The Hill.
  • Kalensky, M., & Hande, K. (2017, July 5). Transition From Expert Clinician to Novice Faculty: A Blueprint for Success. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.
  • Dr. Melissa Kalensky was interviewed on 88.5 WMNF radio about the Affordable Care Act and health care policy.
  • Moss, A., Miller, A., Fogg, L. (March 2017). The impact of worksite access to primary care services among low-income foodservice workers. Podium and poster presentation at the Rush Research Forum, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Moss, A., Miller, A., Fogg, L. (April 2017). The impact of worksite access to primary care services among low-income foodservice workers. Poster presented at the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Moss, A. (2017, September 7). We need to talk about suicide. Garnet News.
  • Robinson, J., Coke, L., Reed, J., Watts, M., McKenna, M. (April 2017) “Development of a Wellness Center to Improve Cardiovascular Risk at Facing Forward: A Housing First Organization” Health in Ypsilanti, MI.
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