Graduate students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing come from diverse professional backgrounds and are united in their passion to improve health and transform health care. Students conduct research, sharpen their leadership skills and implement system-improvement projects to address complex health-care issues within regional organizations. The stories below highlight just a few of the school's exceptional students.
From Peru to UC Davis: A graduate student’s heart for the underserved Growing up in Lima, Peru, Yael Saavedra recognized her passion to care for the underserved and her drive to achieve a rewarding profession within the health-care community. It was not until she pursued a master’s degree in physician assistant studies at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis that her perspective on both her home country and her role in health care would change profoundly.
Delivering big ideas in primary care to small communities often forgotten Sara Marchessault moved from the east coast to Canby, a small, remote community in Northern California with a population of 317 and continued her career as a nurse practitioner. In hopes of enhancing her leadership skills to create change in the health-care system, Marchessault chose the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis to thrive in her profession and deliver better quality care to her community.
Nursing students improve veterans care with innovative dog kennel When nurses Emmanuel Besa, Michael Dion and Lori Jagoda enrolled in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, they never imagined that canines would play a role in their coursework aimed at improving human health. Focused on the collaborative vision of the nursing school and partnered with the surrounding community, these students in the Master of Science —Leadership Degree Program soon learned that the answer to a health-care problem plaguing veterans could be found in a container for four-pawed companions.
Veteran seeks new career creating healthy communities Christopher Morales wasn’t sure what to do with his life after high school, so he enlisted in the U.S. Army to “grow up and figure it out.” Serving as a medic for four and a half years, Morales worked with health-care professionals who made sure people who needed care received it, regardless of their environment or circumstance. He was especially inspired by the level of care provided by physician assistants and realized he’d found his life purpose. He now plans his future as a physician assistant providing community health care.
Pediatric nurse conducts research to help tackle childhood obesity As a pediatric nurse, Christy Solorio witnesses the effects of the obesity crisis among youth on a daily basis. Now, through her study in the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Master’s Degree Program at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, Solorio conducts research that could help address some of the causes of the obesity epidemic.
Graduates of the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Program at the School of Nursing utilize their enhanced education and training to affect the interconnected health-care challenges of quality, cost and access, as leaders in their workplaces and in their communities. Read the stories below for a sampling of the impact of the school's alumni.
Inaugural Class of Doctoral Students Graduates The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis awarded degrees to eight, inaugural doctoral students from the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program in June 2014. From serving in academic arenas to providing care in local communities, these health-care leaders illustrate how their graduate studies prepared them to make a real difference in health care for all.
Health-policy executive returns to nursing roots at the UC Davis School of Nursing Leah Morris felt at a loss when her mother’s grave illness escalated. Although she was a nurse, she was unprepared as she and her father watched her mother slowly die. It was then that Morris, now an alumna of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, decided to refocus her career and serve as a hospice provider to guide chronically ill patients and their families through the stages of dying.
Doctoral student analyzes the impact of body temperature after traumatic brain injury Lori Kennedy Madden, a doctoral student at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, received a prestigious fellowship from the National Institute of Nursing Research to hone her skills as a nurse scientist as she conducts doctoral research on traumatic brain injury. Madden, a member of the school’s inaugural class of doctoral students, is the first School of Nursing student to receive this competitive award.
An inaugural graduate champions health-care quality and safety at UC Davis Medical Center In his new job, Charley Johnston—an inaugural graduate of the School of Nursing—has shifted his focus from providing high-quality care to individuals to improving the quality and safety of care for everyone in his hospital unit. As a quality and safety nurse champion in UC Davis Medical Center’s burn intensive care unit, he works to prevent hospital-acquired infections among a population that, due to burn injuries, is extremely vulnerable to infections.
Lead by example: doctoral candidate creates opportunities in rural Northern California As an educator at a Northern California nursing school, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing doctoral candidate Perry Gee recognized his role as a leader within his rural community. He says his experience at the UC Davis nursing school helped him further understand the many ways he can serve his community as a health-care leader to advance health and improve care.