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WSU nursing student pinch-hits as a butcher for Union Gospel Mission

Mike Mosier with a knife and piece of deer meat.
Mike Mosier with a knife and piece of deer meat.
Mike Mosier, a senior WSU College of Nursing student, volunteered to butcher a road-kill deer and moose for the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Union Gospel Mission. 

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing

The call went out to the day room at the Union Gospel Mission men’s shelter in Spokane on Wednesday morning: “Hey, we need somebody who can butcher up some animals.”

WSU College of Nursing student Mike Mosier was in the day room checking on shelter residents as part of his clinical rotation at Union Gospel Mission. None of the about 30 men in the day room raised their hands, Mosier said. “I’ve been hunting my whole life, so I said, ‘If you really need someone, I can do it for you.’”

That’s how the senior nursing student ended up butchering a deer – and part of a moose – on Wednesday.

The game was road-kill, donated to the mission by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, said Lynn Yount, spokeswoman for UGM. The mission is a regular recipient of such donations, but the person who regularly butchers game for UGM wasn’t available that day.

Mosier said he’s butchered both deer and moose before. “I’ve been hunting since I was 7,” the Spokane Valley native explained. “I got the deer zipped up for them, then started on the moose. I got the two front shoulders done on the moose,” then had to leave for another clinical site, he said.

Was he surprised to be doing that as part of his nursing education?

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Mosier said, and one that complemented his nursing studies because he took the opportunity to give his clinical partner and a handful of others at the shelter a tutorial. “I showed anatomically where the muscles are on an animal, which is obviously different than a person. It was neat.”

Mosier graduates from nursing school in December, as does his wife Kelsey Mosier. The two received bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Washington University, then several years later returned to school to study nursing at Washington State University. “We both decided we want to do something to help people,” Mike Mosier said.

Said Yount, at Union Gospel Mission, “Mike was in the right place at the right time, as far as we’re concerned.”

For information on Union Gospel Mission, visit the nonprofit’s website, at

Grant will create fellowships for researchers with disabilities at WSU

Portrait of Dr. Jae Kennedy
Portrait of Dr. Jae Kennedy
Dr. Jae Kennedy, chair and professor of the College of Nursing’s Department of Health Policy and Administration.

Research scientists with disabilities are underrepresented in the health sciences, yet such scholars bring needed perspective to understanding and improving health policies and services for people with disabilities.

A new federal grant will help WSU hire three post-doctoral students with disabilities to become academic researchers, with the goal of having them go on to faculty positions at major universities or leadership roles in federal research agencies and nonprofit foundations.

The five-year, $750,000 award from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research will provide a competitive salary, full benefits, and support for any needed workplace assistance or adaptive technologies.

Called the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living Fellowship (CHRIL-F), the positions “will bring new scholars with disabilities to the table, and provide them the skills and support they will need to enlarge the policy debate,” said Jae Kennedy, principal investigator, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the WSU College of Nursing.

The three fellows will be hired by WSU in staggered terms over the five-year grant, and will spend 18 months taking graduate courses, working on research grant proposals and journal manuscripts, and developing individual plans of research. They can spend three to six months of the fellowship at one or more affiliate sites, including Washington DC, Houston, or Lawrence, Kansas.

Grant funding can also be used for conference travel, which typically is more difficult and costly for people with disabilities, but which is critical for networking and presenting research work.  The specific uses of support funds will depend on the needs of the fellows hired, but could include office space reconfiguration, or hiring a personal aide or interpreter.

With this grant, “We propose building a small but sturdy pipeline for disability researchers with disabilities by designing postdoc positions specific to their needs,” Kennedy said.

Besides Kennedy, the project team includes Roberta Carlin, director of the American Association on Health and Disability; Lex Frieden, a professor of bioinformatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas in Houston; Jean Hall, a professor and director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy at the University of Kansas; and Elizabeth Wood, a research associate in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at WSU.

The same team makes up the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), established by Kennedy under a $2.5 million federal grant to bring together disability advocates and researchers to investigate how the Affordable Care Act and related legislation affects the lives of adults with disabilities.

“The members of the CHRIL have personal, professional, and political experience with disability, and many contacts throughout the research and disability communities,” Kennedy said. “We are not just advocates and researchers who happen to have disabilities: disability is central to what we do and why we do it.”

Study: Can an online program help reduce opioid use by patients with chronic pain?

Dr. Marian Wilson

Dr. Marian Wilson

Marian Wilson, an assistant professor at the WSU College of Nursing, is joining a team of scientists who’ll lead a federally funded, $2.5 million study investigating whether an online pain management program can help patients with chronic pain reduce or eliminate the amount of prescription opioids they take.

Wilson, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a co-investigator on the EMPOWER study with lead investigator Theresa Winhusen, Ph.D., director of the Addiction Sciences Division in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The five-year study will involve 400 non-cancer patients who are being treated for chronic pain with long-term opioid therapy at University of Cincinnati Health and Duke Health.

A web-based pain management tool, called Goalistics Chronic Pain Management Program, has been found in small previous trials to decrease patients’ pain and reduce opioid use. The EMPOWER study will expand the sample size and researchers will have access to patients’ clinical records to accurately measure opioid use.

Goalistics teaches relaxation exercises and psychological approaches to managing pain, and encourages goal-setting and physical activity – the kind of comprehensive, holistic pain-management care patients might get through a multidisciplinary pain clinic in an urban area. Wilson, who has used Goalistics in previous research, said many patients with chronic pain don’t have access to that level of care, and instead are treated by primary care providers who have had little training in pain management.

The EMPOWER study hopes to give primary care providers another tool to use in helping patients manage chronic pain, while also responding to soaring opioid addiction rates and overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended decreasing the use of opioids for treating pain.

“It’s a really difficult situation telling people, ‘Sorry, you can’t have your opioids but we’re not really giving you an alternative,’” Wilson said. An online pain management program could be “a lifeline extended to patients, another tool to help manage pain. It’s something that can give them some hope and show that people understand what they’re going through.”

The research is being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Wilson said she’ll function as the study’s pain and online-program expert, while Winhusen, the lead investigator, will oversee the clinical trial.

The study is the third announced in recent weeks involving WSU College of Nursing faculty receiving significant funding from federal agencies:

  • Assistant Professor Roschelle “Shelly” Fritz, of the College of Nursing in Vancouver, is one of three WSU scientists who landed a $1.77 million grant from NIH to research how “smart home” technology can help monitor the health and safety of senior citizens.
  • Associate Professor Janet Purath received a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration to address a critical shortage of primary-care providers across Eastern Washington through nurse-practitioner training.

Both NIH awards are Research Project Grants (R01), the original grant mechanism used by the agency. R01 and R01-equivalent grants are highly competitive: NIH says that in 2016, for example, just 20 percent of such grant applications were funded, and the average size of the award was about $458,000.

Dr. Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, the College of Nursing’s interim associate dean for research, praised faculty for their success in bringing research dollars to the College of Nursing. “We’re seeing more of the College of Nursing faculty who were successful a couple years ago getting seed grants now writing larger and larger grants,” she said. She also called called the EMPOWER research “a critical study” because of the issue of opioid addiction in the country.

Wilson credited colleagues with valuable help on her work in addiction science, including Drs. John Roll and Matt Layton of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; Barbosa-Leiker; College of Nursing doctoral students Mary Lee Roberts and Teresa Bigand, and Dr. Michele Shaw, associate professor at the College of Nursing.

Said Wilson, “I think we were fortunate that we had the right topic for the times. The nation is focused on the pain and opioid addiction issue.”

Emilie Kimball, BSN ’11, to volunteer aboard Mercy Ships

Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships' fleet, with 8 operating suites and a crew of 450.
Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships' fleet, with 8 operating suites and a crew of 450.
Africa Mercy is the largest ship in Mercy Ships’ fleet. Photo courtesy Mercy Ships.

Emilie Kimball’s nursing degree will take her across the globe later this month to volunteer for Mercy Ships in Africa.

Kimball said she views it as her third “career” in nursing in the six years since she graduated from the WSU College of Nursing. She worked in the surgical unit at Seattle Children’s, then in the pediatric intensive care unit there.

Emilie Kimball, BSN '11, will volunteer for 10 weeks in Africa with Mercy Ships.
Emilie Kimball, BSN ’11, will volunteer for 10 weeks in Africa with Mercy Ships.

She’ll be a ward nurse on the Africa Mercy, the largest civilian hospital ship in the world with five operating rooms and 80 patient beds, docked for 10 months in Douala, Cameroon. Mercy Ships, a faith-based nonprofit, provides surgery and dental care and trains local doctors and nurses in specific areas of expertise.

Kimball heard about Mercy Ships a few years ago and was intrigued, she said. Then she discovered her employer, Seattle Children’s, offers sabbaticals after just five years of service.

“I decided it was time, applied for sabbatical, applied for Mercy Ships, and here I am one month out” from her Sept. 30 departure, she said recently. She’ll work on the ship for 10 weeks, then plans to travel before returning to Seattle.

That’s the kind of flexibility and adventure a nursing career can offer, said Kimball, 28.

“Nursing is such a great career,” she said. “It fits my personality to a T. I love the science behind it, I like the critical thinking, I like caring for people. It’s fun to see how nursing can be used in different ways.”

Kimball came by the profession naturally. She jokes that she graduated nursing school twice, since her mother was pregnant with Emilie in 1988 when she graduated from the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education. ICNE eventually became the WSU College of Nursing.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was 3,” Kimball said, and she always knew she wanted to attend WSU for nursing school. She spent her first two years at Whitworth University.

She added, “I don’t know who I would be if I wasn’t a nurse. My roommate works for (a major Seattle-area employer), and being in the business world is not who she is. But for most nurses, being a nurse is who you are.”

For information on Mercy Ships, visit the organization’s website at 

Jarah Nordin, an American volunteer nurse, works with an orthopedic patient onboard Mercy Ships. Photo by Katie Keegan, courtesy of Mercy Ships.
Jarah Nordin, an American volunteer nurse, works with an orthopedic patient on board Mercy Ships. Photo by Katie Keegan, courtesy of Mercy Ships.

Two WSU nurse cadets take top honors at ROTC summer training

Photo of marching regiment
The 10th Regiment Advanced Camp of ROTC Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Photo by Amber Vincent.


Two ROTC nurse cadets from the WSU College of Nursing took top honors at Cadet Summer Training in Kentucky.

Koby Binks, BSN ’17, and Candace Madriaga, a junior in the nursing program, were both honored with the Norton Healthcare Award during different sessions of the summer training program. The Norton Award is given to the nurse cadet who best demonstrates the ability to perform under stress and to apply critical thinking skills when making decisions.

(Left) Cadet Koby Binks, an ROTC graduate of the WSU College of Nursing, receives the Norton Healthcare Award for nurse cadets at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Mattie Cook. (Right) Candace Madriaga, an ROTC student at the WSU College of Nursing, was honored with the Norton Healthcare Award at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Madison Thompson.


Both Binks and Madriaga entered the WSU College of Nursing from Eastern Washington University’s ROTC program. The College of Nursing reserves seats in each new class for Army ROTC nurses from WSU and EWU.

Binks said the lessons he learned at the WSU College of Nursing helped him help his platoon during the month-long summer training program at Fort Knox.

He told them, “Let’s talk about how important it is to change socks” as they went through training exercises in 95-degree heat with 100 percent humidity, he said. “I talked about the science of electrolytes, I talked about hydration and what that means to the body,” said Binks, 28.

After completing a nine-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, Binks hopes to work in Spokane and fulfill his military service through the Army Reserves.

Madriaga, 22, said she’s “97 percent certain” she’ll become active-duty military after she graduates from the College of Nursing.

“I want to care for those who are fighting for our country,” she said.

Some 8,200 cadets went through basic and advanced camp at Fort Knox this summer, events designed to help ROTC cadets improve their skills and leadership qualities.

WSU College of Nursing family mourns the passing of one of its founders

Portrait of Betty Anderson

On Sunday, the WSU College of Nursing lost one of our founders and an influential figure in nursing in the Pacific Northwest, when Betty Anderson passed away at the age of 99.

Anderson was one of the remarkable nurse leaders whose vision and drive established the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education in 1968, and her legacy is the WSU College of Nursing.

She once said of the College of Nursing, “We were all pioneers back then. And they’re still pioneering today.”

Anderson was the Director of Nursing Service & Education at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane when she began discussions with others in the nursing profession about the need for additional nursing instruction in the region. At the time, there were no four-year nursing programs in Eastern Washington.

She was an early proponent of the intercollegiate model, and went personally to WSU in Pullman with Betty Harrington to enlist the support of then-President Glenn Terrell for a baccalaureate nursing program. She was also instrumental in expanding the College of Nursing’s statewide reach. 

Anderson was the truest definition of “nurse leader,” say people who worked with her – kind, caring, strong and principled.

Janet Holloway, WSU Associate Professor Emeritus, said of her friend and mentor, “Early on she modeled many of the nursing values and standards I would later incorporate into my own practice.” In the late 1960s, when Holloway was asked to join the faculty at the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education, “Betty mentored me in many aspects of my new role. I will forever be indebted to her for her assistance,” she said.

There will be no services at Anderson’s request, but Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel of the WSU College of Nursing asks that we keep Anderson’s children, Erik and Signe, along with their families, and all who knew and respected Betty Anderson, in our thoughts today.

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Betty Anderson’s legacy please write a check to the WSU Foundation and note it’s for the Earl & Betty Anderson Nursing Scholarship. Checks can be mailed to WSU College of Nursing, PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210, Attn: Development 443. Alternately, to make an online gift visit and type “Anderson” in the Search function in the middle of the page. Select the “Earl & Betty Anderson Nursing Scholarship” from the drop-down of funds that appears. Finally, you can reach Brooke Ledeboer, Development Director, with any inquiries at (509) 324-7202 or

Anita Hunter’s passion to help others took her around the world

A sign for Holy Innocents Children's Hospital in Mbarara, Uganda
Dr. Anita Hunter feeds a giraffe at an animal sanctuary in Uganda, Africa.
Dr. Anita Hunter with a giraffe at an animal sanctuary in Uganda.

By Addy Hatch

Anita Hunter has traveled the globe, but the pediatric nurse practitioner, professor and academic leader didn’t hit the tourist spots. Instead, she chose destinations where people were suffering and she believed she could help: Ghana, Belfast, Tijuana, Uganda.

But that traveling is over for WSU College of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Accreditation. Hunter, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN, said a recent trip to Uganda was her last.

“After 22 years I’ve got to call a stop,” said the 71-year-old. “I can’t physically sustain the stress of those trips.” Getting to Mbarara, Uganda, for example, takes 24 to 36 hours each way, including multiple flights and a 6-hour drive once she lands in the East African country.

She made the decision that her recent trip to Uganda would be her last several days before she left the country. “It was a very emotional time,” Hunter said. Bringing health care and improved public health to communities internationally “has been a passion of mine for a very long time.”  » More …

Dr. Janet Katz named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

portrait of Dr. Janet Katz

Janet Katz

Dr. Janet Katz, Professor at the WSU College of Nursing, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Katz will be inducted into the Academy in a ceremony in October.

She is one of 173 nurse leaders worldwide selected for induction as an Academy fellow. Selection criteria includes evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, and sponsorship by two current Academy fellows. Applicants are judged based in part on how their nursing career has influenced health policies and public health.

Dr. Katz has worked extensively to increase the diversity of the nursing workforce, and is currently principle investigator on a federal grant to increase the number of disadvantaged, Native American and Hispanic students from rural areas in health sciences professions. She also is principle investigator for a project focusing on preventing substance abuse and suicide among young members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Her research has included academic-practice partnerships with Native American tribes in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. She coordinates nursing programs for the Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute held annually at WSU Spokane, and teaches community health. She holds a PhD in Education, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

With the induction of the latest group of fellows in October, the American Academy of Nursing will have more than 2,500 fellows in all 50 states and 29 countries around the world.

“The fellows are nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research,” the American Academy of Nursing said in a news release. “Academy fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans, and renowned scientific researchers.”

For more information on the WSU College of Nursing, visit

For more information on the American Academy of Nursing, visit

Na-ha-shnee Health Sciences Institute under way at WSU Spokane

A counselor shows a teenage participant in Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute how to measure blood pressure.
A counselor shows a teenage participant in Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute how to measure blood pressure.
A counselor shows a teenage participant in Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute how to measure blood pressure.

By Addy Hatch

For more than two decades, Native American and Alaska Native teenagers have headed to Washington State University in the summer to learn about careers in the health sciences. This year, 24 young women and men representing 20 tribal nations arrived on Sunday for 11 days of workshops, field trips, personal wellness and exercise sessions – all part of the Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute.

Sarah Burke once was one of those students. The member of the Lummi Nation, near Bellingham, attended Na-ha-shnee three times. She’s back as a counselor this summer, after finishing her first semester at the WSU College of Nursing. She wants to go on to get a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“I want to go back to my reservation and work at a clinic there,” she said.

Na-ha-shnee participants learn about careers in nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy and more. They take classes in writing for college scholarships and in CPR. They learn yoga and Zumba, and take part in circle times, a talent show and counseling sessions.

Talon, 17, is a Na-ha-shnee camper for the second time. He wants to be a biomedical engineer, and said the camp has been “a great experience to learn more about the medical field and what we need to do to get to our goal.”

A male student looks at a human skull.
A student takes part in the Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute on the WSU Spokane campus.

Auriel, 15, wants to be a pediatric nurse or nurse anesthetist. She also is a second-time participant.

Emma Noyes, Interim Director of Native American Health Sciences at WSU, said there are many success stories of campers going on to careers in the health sciences.

The Native American Health Sciences Institute is paid for by sponsors, so participants arrange only for transportation to and from WSU Spokane. The program is open to Native American and Alaska Native students in the 9th-11th grades, who have a GPA of 3.0 or above and an interest in health sciences as a profession.

Noyes said Native American communities in both rural and urban areas are facing health-provider workforce shortages. “Na-ha-shnee aims to inspire the Native American health leaders of the future, who will be committed to improving health and wellness in high-need areas,” she said.

See WSU Spokane staff photographer Cori Kogan’s images of the event on flickr


Thank you to our generous sponsors:

WSU College of Nursing Trude Smith Endowment; WSU College of Medicine; Muckleshoot Indian Tribe; Snoqualmie Tribe; David and Dorothy Pierce Trust; Tulalip Tribes; STCU; Numerica Credit Union; Wells Fargo; and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Camas Path Behavioral Health Program and Camas Center Recreation & Fitness Program.

WSU nursing students who are ROTC cadets training in Germany

WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.


What did you do during summer break?

WSU College of Nursing students Brianne Harder and Nick Castro worked in the largest military hospital outside the United States – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany – learning clinical skills and getting an idea of the responsibilities they’ll take on as Army Nurse Corps Officers.

Harder and Castro are ROTC cadets. After they graduate from the College of Nursing in May they’ll be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army, where both envision careers as Army nurses.

They were chosen to participate in the month-long Nurse Summer Training Program at Landstuhl with cadets from around the country. They work with preceptors on 12-hour shifts, Harder in labor and delivery and Castro in the ICU. One of their mentors at Landstuhl is 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison, a 2016 BSN graduate from the WSU College of Nursing. All the cadets will produce a group project at the end of the internship. “Then we can spend the rest of our time traveling and seeing Germany,” Harder said via email.

After they’re commissioned and pass the NCLEX exam, they’ll be sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for the Army’s Basic Officer Leader Course. They’ll work for two years in Med/Surg before moving on to their specialties of choice – ICU for Castro and either Peds or ER for Harder.

Both Harder and Castro said being involved in ROTC has been gratifying.

Said Castro, “ROTC has provided me with opportunities to grow as a person and as a future nurse for the United States Army.”