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Assistant Professor joins Betty Irene Moore fellowship program at UC Davis nursing school Fellowship program recognizes nursing innovators

Atlanta – Assistant Professor Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FAAN of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, is one of 12 nurse scientists accepted to the third cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. This fellowship program, funded by a $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, recognizes early- to mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy, and entrepreneurship. 

“I applied for this fellowship because I wanted to acquire new and advanced skills to accelerate my leadership journey while making a significant difference on a larger scale nationally and internationally for disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities,” said Epps. “I envision the fellowship program contributing to my continued evolution as a visionary leader whose work has revolutionary effects. This fellowship opportunity will contribute to and expand the skills and perspectives I will bring in advocating for programs and paradigm shifts that foster health equity. I plan to use the experiences in and the national network of the fellowship program to engage with legislators to inform policy for long-term change in my areas of focus.”

As part of the three-year fellowship program, fellows receive $450,000 to conduct an innovative project or study with the potential to address a knowledge gap, meet a vital need, alter care delivery or design a new solution to advance health. Epp’s project focuses on enhancing Black caregivers’ competence and confidence in addressing challenges encountered in navigating the social and health care systems on behalf of persons living with dementia through an education program, ‘Caregiving while black.’ This project will prepare Black dementia caregivers to interact effectively with larger care systems, make better-informed care decisions, and function effectively as co-producers of care and healthcare system navigators for their care recipients. The education program is expected to reduce caregiver stress and improve the quality of life for families and care recipients by providing culturally salient strategies and non-discriminating resources.

“I’m excited to see where this program will take Dr. Epps,” said Dean Linda McCauley, PhD., RN, FAAN. “I’m sure the lessons she learns from this fellowship and the impact it will surely have will be of great value to the other nursing leaders and students that work with her.”

In addition to the project, the fellowship program features a hybrid online and classroom curriculum designed and taught in partnership with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management to enhance leadership and innovation capacity, strengthen strategic thinking and collaborative skills, expand professional networks, develop entrepreneurial skills, and propel innovative ideas to fruition. A mentor selected by the fellow and an additional mentor provided by the national program office round out the educational experience.  

“Our fellows undertake a unique journey in which they get to explore and better understand their roles as leaders and how they can influence health systems to include more equitable and higher quality care for all the populations they serve,” said Heather M. Young, professor, as well as dean emerita of the school, who now serves as national program director for the fellowship. “This next generation of nursing leaders has great potential to have a nationwide impact on health equity and health care delivery.”

The fellowship program is made possible by Betty Irene Moore’s passion for advancing nursing with the goal of better outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. The foundation seeks to prepare nurses as collaborative leaders with the skills and confidence to inspire others, enact change and challenge the status quo. With the creation of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators, the foundation supports nurse leaders who take ideas to scale that advance high-quality, high-value care and optimal health outcomes. 

Applications for the 2023 cohort of nurse leader fellows open Sept. 23 with a submission deadline of 5 p.m. PST Dec. 1. To learn more, visit the School of Nursing website.

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