Spring 2014 Nursing Highlights

Local Alternative Healers and Practitioners Share Practice with Students

On January 17 and 18, 2014, N431 Alternative and Complementary Therapies instructor Genell Mikkalson hosted panel discussions with local alternative healers and practitioners to share insights into their practices with nursing students. Over the course of two days, 25 practitioners met with students and reviewed the many different alternative ways people can address their health issues. Guest speakers explained their specific practices and demonstrated their mode of healing and how it works.

 Genell Mikkalson poses for group photo

Specialties included practitioners of acupuncture, Hawaiian healing, sound therapy, shaman practice, massage school owner, homeopathy, herbalogy, reflexology, lomilomi, energy healing, introduction to vision boards, Braingym, and chiropractic. Students participated in a qi gong, meditation, and yoga class. Students enjoyed learning from and interacting with the guest speakers. One of the highlights of the weekend was when a sound healer use her crystal bowls so the students could experience the healing energy of sound vibration.


Nursing Faculty and Students Work Together to Improve Health Outcomes

Valisa Saunders MN, APRN, GNP-BC, UHM Nursing clinical faculty at Leahi and Maluhia Hospitals, is working with Doctor of Nursing Practice student Pua Gandall-Yamamoto (also a UHM Nursing instructor) on a Scholarly Improvement Project (SIP) to improve Diabetes Care at Leahi Hospital, one of the two State Long Term Care (LTC) Hospitals on Oahu.

The frail elderly diabetes patients are at high risk for poor patient outcomes and more than 25% of the Leahi LTC residents with diabetes are on a variety of regimens. Gandall-Yamamoto is conducting reviews of current practice and will perform a subsequent educational program for staff based on current evidence and guidelines. The goals of this SIP are to improve the quality of care delivered to the diabetic LTC residents and provide the staff with evidence-based guidelines focused on diabetes management in the LTC setting. Estimated completion of the SIP is Summer 2015.

Valisa Saunders smiles for photo

Saunders routinely interacts with part-time RN Sian Smowton, a member of UHM Nursing’s Master’s Entry Program in Nursing Cohort 5 and is currently completing her MSN degree in the dual FNP/APHN program. Together Saunders and Smowton review patient progress for diabetic residents at Leahi.

For more information about the Doctor of Nursing Practice scholarly improvement project, contact Deb Mark at

Back To Top