Friday, February 5, 2016

An Inspirational Nursing Program Story Makes the News!

The flexible, fast paced, adult centered education at National University is reaping rewards beyond getting that quality degree fast. You can get well and get that degree as reported by NBC 7 San Diego:



Monday, December 28, 2015

Faculty Complete a Second Offering of the Heart of Horsemanship Program for Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD)

Wranglers and Horses Help Veterans Heal

Many veterans face problems associated with transitioning from military to civilian life. There is a need for more integrative health approaches that treat the psychosocial and embodied aspects of combat veterans “re-booting” into civilian life. One approach includes horsemanship training to help veterans better empower themselves both physically and mentally.  This approach was developed into the Heart of Horsemanship (HOH), an eight-week horsemanship program with combat veterans living in a residential treatment facility.  The hope is that the program could improve quality of life indicators and the stress response of participants. The program is the focus of SHHS faculty member Dr. Ellen Kaye Gehrke's current research and community outreach featured before in the school's blog.

Dr. Kaye Gehrke was joined this fall by fellow SHHS faculty members Peggy Ranke and Michael Myers and College of Letters and Sciences (COLS) faculty member Jessica Jimenez to wrap up work running and analyzing the effectiveness of a second offering of the Heart of Horsemanship (HOH) program.  The eight week program worked with veterans from Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) and was run at the Rolling Horse Ranch in Ramona, California.  

The first run of the HOH program was a great success and was featured in the Ramona Sentinel. That program and part of the second were presented in November at the 143rd APHA Annual Meeting and at the annual meeting of the AIHM.  That work also involved faculty member Suzanne Evans from the Sanford College of Education (SCOE). The work reached across the community, the school (Dr. Myers and Dr. Kaye Gehrke are in the department of health sciences while Instructor Ranke is in the community health department) and the University (Dr. Jimenez is in the psychology department in COLS and Dr. Evans is in the SCOE ).   

The inter-professional team found a significant increase in self-esteem and a reduction in irritability after the horsemanship sessions. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis showed a clear increase in HRV during and immediately after the sessions further indicating that the program improved overall health.  The research presentation was made possible in part by a Presidential Scholars Award and is available here.  

Dr. Kaye Gehrke is head of the SHHS Center of Excellence Integrative Health core and is also launching a new master’s program in Complementary and Integrative Healthcare.  You can follow the new program here on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Another Federal Grant is Awarded to the School to Fund a Nurse Managed Clinic!

The SHHS Gets to Work on a Mobile Health Clinic as it Wins its Second Million Dollar U.S. Department of Health &Human Services Grant!


Winter may have just started, but the SHHS has had a busy fall with the announcement of another large grant from the Federal Government.  Details were released to the community in a National University Press Release.  The initiative is led by the Dean, Dr. Gloria McNeal, with a team from all over the school.  The clinic will be based out of Los Angeles and will serve some of the most undeserved patients in the country. The clinic will have virtual components and will move to where it is needed in the community.  Patient care is changing across the U.S., and our school will be part of that change.  Nursing is at the center of the clinic, but the approach will be inter-professional, utilizing all three SHHS departments and nearly a dozen different programs.  The first class of SHHS students are meeting now to help design and implement the clinic, so stay tuned for more updates!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2nd Annual SHHS Holiday Cheer Event is Another Success!

The Elf (Makaya, daughter of Deanna Stevens, Assistant to the Dean) helps to hand out presents to community families at our Spectrum Campus in San Diego.

2015 started off a little brighter for several California families thanks to the SHHS.  The now annual event linking the SHHS and the community was held at the Spectrum campus on Friday, December 5th, 2014 and was hosted by nursing students. Six economically challenged families from the community were chosen to receive toys, school supplies and clothing donated by nursing students, faculty and staff. The Elf in the room was 16-year old Makaya Stevens from Jamul, who was a big hit along with Santa as they handed out gifts to happy smiling boys and girls. Parents received gifts as well.  Each year National University's nursing program adopts families who have fallen on hard economic times, but who also give back to their own community as volunteers. Parents were moved to tears as they watched their children unwrap presents while they thanked National University for spreading the holiday "spirit of giving".  A total of 11 families in 3 cities were helped this year as the event was expanded to our Fresno and Los Angeles campuses.   The Fresno event was covered by the local news.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Healing the Warrior Spirit with the Wisdom of Horses



A holiday gift from SHHS to our veterans and their loved ones



Veterans and their families, along with current and perspective students and SHHS faculty and staff experienced a unique event on December 6 at the Rolling Horse Ranch in Ramona, California.  The horse training event featured horseman Brad Myers from Operation Silver Spurs (OSS).  Attendees were introduced to OSS's horse training approach to connect with their warrior spirit, renew their leadership roles, and learn that horses and fellow humans “will have their six” (have their back).  A lecture and demonstration of working with horses was given with Rolling Horse Ranch horse Rusty.  Participants learned a new “CODE” of how to handle the challenges and opportunities that life as a veteran or those who support them can use to better their journey in life.  After the presentation, participants interacted with the horses at the ranch and enjoyed lunch provided by the university.  SHHS attendees included Dean Dr. Gloria McNeal, Health Sciences Chair Dr. Michael Myers, Health Sciences Assistant Professor Linda Macomber, Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Alice Noquez, and Deanna Stevens, Assistant to the Dean.  Members of the leadership team of the Veterans Village of San Diego including Executive Vice President Andre Simpson and Shellie Brown, Director of Programs were in attendance as well.

The event was graciously hosted by SHHS faculty member Ellen Kaye Gehrke at her Rolling Horse Ranch.  Ellen is a Professor of Health Sciences in the SHHS and is the human herd leader at Rolling Horse Ranch.

Founded by Ellen and her late husband Carsten, Rolling Horse Ranch’s initial focus was to provide a safe home for a growing herd of horses after an incident at a boarding facility motivated them to find a place to care for their horses themselves. Their vision was to design the ranch so it could accommodate intimate horsemanship clinics and be a beacon in the horse community for establishing healthy and safe partnerships with horses.  Since its founding in 1999, the ranch has continued through the years to host leadership workshops, therapeutic riding events, and one on one coaching.  All involve partnerships with horses.  Dr. Gehrke also has an active and ongoing interest in research with horses and humans in the integrative and complementary health community.  She has published numerous articles and presentations on her research, and recently presented a paper with her colleagues at National University at the142nd Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in New Orleans.  Plans are under way in the SHHS to continue research and grant writing in this area of healing and supporting veterans and their loved ones with horses.  Click on the pics below to see the full photo.

Horseman Brad Myers gives a lecture with Rusty.

Linda Macomber (in blue at left) talks with an attendee as Dean McNeal (center at right) talks to Ellen Gehrke and Veterans Village VP Andre Simpson.

Ellen introduces Shilo to the group.

Veterans and their families interact with Rusty.


Dr. Alice Noquez talks to attendees near the feeding horses.

Linda Macomber and Veterans Village Andre Simpson watch Brad in the ring.

Attendees interact with the horses at the end of the presentation.


Monday, December 8, 2014

SHHS well represented at APHA 2014!



The end of November was a busy time for faculty and students in the Departments of Community Health and Health Sciences in regards to research.  Several research papers were presented at the 142nd Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in New Orleans.  SHHS Faculty members Marie Boman-Davis, Gina Piane, Brandon Eggleston, Ellen Kaye Gehrke, and Michael Myers all made presentations at the prestigious conference. 

 
Dr. Gehrke talks research at the integrative, complementary and traditional health practices poster session at APHA 2014.  Dr. Eggleston can be seen in the upper left talking to conference attendees as well.

Dr. Gehrke and Dr. Myers pose in front of their APHA poster on Heart Rate Variability.