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Seattle University


Serving an Aging Population

Written by Mike Thee
February 14, 2012

As our nation's healthcare system stretches to serve a growing population of older adults, the demand is rising for nurse educators specializing in geriatric care. Associate Professor of Nursing Jean Tang is helping to meet this need as one of just seven scholars who are serving as 2011-2013 Claire M. Fagin Fellows.

A partnership between the John A. Hartford Foundation and the American Academy of Nursing, the prestigious Fagin Fellows program seeks to build academic geriatric nursing capacity by developing leaders in gerontological nursing. In addition to the fellowship, Tang has also been awarded a National Institute of Nursing Research post-doctoral research fellowship with University of Pennsylvania, which focuses on individualized care for at-risk older adults.

Tang is currently in Philadelphia, partnering with faculty at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. She is exploring how sound can modify brainwave activity to reduce blood pressure, improve sleep and increase cardiac health among older adults. Tang is also developing along with Associate Professor of Nursing Karen Feldt a geropsychiatric curriculum, which she said is "a much needed but currently not widely available program."

Tang expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with world-class scholars, adding: "This partnership between Seattle University and University of Pennsylvania is only possible with the support from Dean (Azita) Emami and Provost (Isiaah) Crawford. I sincerely appreciate their support in faculty development and commitment in promoting research."

 "Dr. Jean Tang is the picture I have in mind when the phrase 'teacher-scholar' is used to describe the College of Nursing's model of scholarship," said colleague Toni Vezeau, associate professor of nursing. "She is deeply passionate about her work and succeeds in integrating her research, teaching and service."