From Trauma Nurse to CEO

John Stevens - Alumni Awardee

School of Nursing and Health Studies selects John Stevens to receive Alumni Award

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is honoring John Stevens (D.N.P. ’12) with their Alumni Achievement Award.

From serving as a trauma nurse in the U.S. Army to his current role as CEO and clinical director of deNovo Health, a multi-discipline healthcare practice, John Stevens has held nearly every position in nursing. He recently took a moment to reflect on his career path.

You’ve started several successful businesses. Where does your entrepreneurial spirit stem from?

I am not a nurse that became an entrepreneur, I am an entrepreneur that just happens to be a nurse. I think entrepreneurship was intrinsic to my nature. People often think that a successful business is a straight line from point A to point B but it’s really a constant process of assessment, intervention and response.

Of all your nursing positions, which ones did you love? Which were challenging?

I honestly cannot think of a position or assignment that I did not like but the place where I felt most effective was my years spent in hospice. The dying process can be such a beautiful and peaceful time if all the chess pieces are in the right order.

What are your favorite books?

Getting Real, Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life by Susan Campbell

Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche

What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Be ready for school. Be in the right mental place and be prepared to make the sacrifices to accomplish the goal of education.

About the UMKC Alumni Awards

Stevens will be honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards events have raised more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.

Nursing and Health Studies Students Recognized at Awards Reception

Graduate Assistance Fund

Fifteen School of Nursing and Health Studies students were honored at the 2019 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund (GAF) Awards Reception held on March 7.

Across UMKC, 70 women received support gifts totaling $72,241.

The nursing awardees and their respective projects were:

Kristina Collins (DNP)
Project: Using Education to Improve Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake Among Adolescents

Carol Crisp (Ph.D.)
Project: MoCHI: An RCT. MBSR for military women’s chronic pelvic pain

Julia Crouch (DNP)
Project: Disseminate the results of my DNP project at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners annual conference in March of 2019

Kelly Dickerson (Ph.D.)
Project: Exploring MicroRNA as a Biomarker for Multiple Sclerosis (EMBleMS) Study

Tria Doner (DNP)
Project: Present DNP project which involves educational care binders or caregivers of infants with prenatal exposure to methadone

Patricia Endsley (DNP)
Project: School nurse workload.

Megan Gibbons (Ph.D.)
Project: Advanced Directive Community Education Initiative

Mary Gregory (Ph.D.)
Project: Parental perceptions of impact on self and family functioning when having a child with congenital heart defect.

Nicole Mandacina (DNP)
Project: Implementation of Home Monitoring in the Elderly to Decrease Blood Pressure

Eunice Mutisya (DNP)
Project: Carry out a Doctorate Nursing Practice evidence based project on the use of Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH diet and exercise to lower blood pressure

Paula Prouhet (Ph.D.)
Project: The Influence of Nurses’ Attitudes, Beliefs, and Biases of Families on Family-Centered Care Delivery in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Grounded Theory Approach

Michele Santilhano (DNP)
Project: Support my feasibility study for an online intervention to reduce youth anxiety

Carly Shaw (DNP)
Project: Phone Call Reminders for Pediatric Influenza Vaccination

Anna Short (DNP)
Project: Impact of Self-Management on Disability and Self-Efficacy in Adults with Chronic Migraine

Debra Sims (Ph.D.)
Project: The ADEPT Study: A randomized pilot study of the effect of adolescent dads’ education & parenting training on parenting self-efficacy & participation in parenting cares

Heath Sciences students take part in IPE healthcare reasoning competition

IPE HCR Winners
Winners of the 2019 UMKC Interprofessional Education Healthcare Reasoning Competition (front row) Anthony Spalitto, School of Pharmacy; Dylan Schwindt, School of Medicine; Becca Stockhausen, School of Nursing and Health Sciences; Louis Sand, School of Medicine, with School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. Back row are event organizers Jordann Dhuse, School of Medicine, Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine IPE coordinator, Paig Charboneau, School of Medicine, and Michael Scott, School of Pharmacy.

Four teams of students from the UMKC health sciences schools took part in the third-annual UMKC Interprofessional Education (IPE) Healthcare Reasoning competition on March 2 on the health sciences campus.

The team of nursing student Becca Stockhausen, medical students Louis Sand and Dylan Schwindt, and pharmacy student Anthony Spallito took home the first-place award. The second-place team was made up of medical students Diana Jung and Sahaja Atluri and pharmacy students Ashley Ragan and Andrew Yates.

It was a tremendously worthwhile event for Stockhausen. “This event was by far one of my favorite IPE events,” she said. “I had such a wonderful experience and I hope to spread the word on how much you can learn from it.”IPE Competition

Stockhausen said she tapped in to what she learned in her Critical Care class to help her team secure a victory. Her knowledge of lactate levels was critical to her group’s successful diagnosis of their patient.

This year’s event had teams manage a patient case in which they had to decide what tests to order, then use the test results to answer clinical questions. The teams were judged on interprofessional teamwork, communication, case progression/problem-solving, diagnosis and treatment.

“It was a close competition and every team did very well,” said Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine IPE coordinator. “I was impressed with their ability to manage the patient case interprofessionally.”

Deans from the UMKC health sciences schools, Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., School of Medicine, and Russ Melchert, School of Pharmacy, served as judges in the final round. Faculty members from the health sciences schools also served as judges throughout the competition.

The event is planned each year by a group of UMKC medical and pharmacy students. School of Medicine students Jordann Dhuse and Paige Charboneau, and School of Pharmacy students Michael Scott and Joseph Bredeck planned this year’s event and the patient cases.

Organizers work to modify the competition each year to improve the overall experience for students. The group modified this year’s cases and developed Google Classroom as an electronic medical record for students to receive test results and images.

At least two different schools were represented on each team in the two-round, case-based competition. Eight medical students, seven pharmacy students, one nursing and one dental student took part in the competition.

One team from Washington University in St. Louis withdrew at the last minute because of weather concerns. Ellison said event organizers hope to expand the competition into a local and even a regional event in the future with local teams from outside of UMKC as well as beyond Kansas City.

Harmony Gala supports scholarships for underrepresented minority students

Music and a festive atmosphere filled Pierson Auditorium in the UMKC Atterbruy Student Success Center  on Saturday night, Feb. 16, when nearly 200 people enjoyed the fifth annual UMKC Health Sciences Harmony Gala.

The event is sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Council. It serves as a scholarship fundraiser to support underrepresented minority students enrolled in the UMKC health sciences schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy.

In addition to dinner and dancing, the event included a presentation of the 2019 Health Care Provider Diversity Awards. This year’s awards were presented to Children’s Mercy, the Sojourner Health Clinic, Saint Luke’s Health System and Truman Medical Centers.

The award acknowledges and honors health care professionals of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds for their outstanding commitment to provide health care to underserved populations in the Kansas City metro area.

Apply Today: Largest Ever-Nurse Faculty Loan Program Award

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies was awarded $676,000 to distribute to nursing students pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees who plan to be future nurse faculty. Priority is given to doctoral students in the award.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) 2018-2019 award amount is the largest in UMKC history. The program, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers who graduate and serve as full-time nursing faculty for the prescribed time period. The loan recipients can cancel 85 percent of the loan over four years in return for serving full time equivalents as faculty in any accredited school of nursing.

Dean Ann Cary is the principal investigator on the grant.  For more information please contact Ms. Deidre Ashley (816-235-1723 or