Advisory Board

Name: Cheryl A. Krause-Parello PhD, RN, FAAN

Background: As the wife of a Marine veteran and a doctorally prepared nurse researcher I wanted to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for my freedom so I blended my passion for animals and my nursing education. In 2013, I founded Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors -C-P.A.W.W. a health research initiative for veterans. C-P.A.W.W. helps expand the efforts of improving military and veteran health and well-being through research and community engagement projects investigating and uncovering how to reduce the risk factors for suicide in the military population and improve our understanding of palliative effects of animal-assisted interventions. Please explore my website to learn more about me and C-P.A.W.W. www.nursing.fau.edu/c-paww.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am Operation PCOR’s Project Lead

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am involved in Operation PCORI because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research needs to be conducted in collaboration with veterans as full partners in order to design and conduct studies that are relevant and meaningful to the veteran population.”

Name: Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN

Background: I’m a Professor and Director of the PhD in Nursing Program at Rutgers University School of Nursing. I’ve been teaching university students for about 25 years and am considered an expert educator and researcher. My research is focused on making healthcare systems better and safer and the results have been published in journals and the media and have influenced federal policy. But most importantly, I’m the wife of a Viet Nam veteran.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am the Co-Lead of the project. Specifically, I use my expertise in education to assist in the development of the educational models, and am using my research skills to evaluate the effectiveness of the modules.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I think that the Operation PCOR project is really important because we owe it to our veterans to teach them how to be full partners in research projects. Because veterans’ health needs are special, we need more veteran-focused research that will find effective solutions and treatments that are acceptable and specific to veterans. So, I am using my expertise as an educator and researcher to help develop modules that teach veterans about the research process, how research participants are protected, how they can participate, and how they can help other veterans find results that may be important to them.”

Name: Ralph Presciutti

Background: I served as an Infantry Airborne Soldier in The US Army from 1983 to 1987 and I have been working for Veterans since. I became a member of The American Legion and I was elected as Post Commander in 2014 and again in 2015. I have organized several successful events to raise money and awareness for veterans and Veterans Service Agencies. I am currently serving on the Board of NY Warrior Alliance 501(c)(3), where I help to address a wide range of needs for veterans and enhance the quality of life for wounded military members, their family and caregivers. I am also serving as The NY Veteran leader with The Veterans Action League where we address the needs of Veterans accessing essential services like health care and earned benefits! I have received many awards and recognitions for my work with veterans. Most Notably, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, recognized me for my work with Veterans and in 2017 I was inducted into The New York State Veterans Hall of fame.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: Board Member/Veteran

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “They Fight for us I will fight for them! Our veterans deserve to have all of their issues addressed in a timely and effective manner. I hope that my leadership and involvement helps to achieve that level of care.”

Name: Jennifer Dillon MPA, RN-BC

Background: I’m an Air Force veteran and served as a Survey Team Member for the 2nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team for New York State. I also responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. After my military service, I went to nursing school. I wasn’t ready to stop serving my country, so I became a VA nurse where I could continue to interact with my fellow veterans. I am now a PhD candidate at Rutgers University and am interested in researching how healthcare delivery systems can improve chronic disease care to help patients live successfully with their illness.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I serve as a veteran advisor for Operation PCOR’s national advisory board. I use my experience as a veteran and a researcher to help develop training goals and strategies for other veterans participating in patient-centered research and comparative effectiveness research.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “As a VA nurse and a veteran with PTSD, I know all too well how PTSD affects us. I think that it’s important that veterans are full partners in research that identifies, develops, and tests patient-centered treatment options. We need to make our needs and treatment preferences known so that our voices are heard when treatment options are designed and evaluated.”

Name: David A. Hibler Sgt, BS, BS, PhD Candidate

Background: As a Veteran and a researcher I wanted to give back to my brothers and sisters in arms, who have given so much to me and sacrificed so much for our nation. I severed as an Army Combat Medic from 2005 – 2013, and began my PhD in Public Health in 2017. I have worked in several different areas of research and now I also help to examine ways in which we can help improve the health and wellness of our Veteran and larger communities as a whole.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am an Operation PCOR Board Member

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am involved in Operation PCOR because there is a stark need for Veterans to be intimately involved in research. Not just as participants, but also as developers and conductors of research. Veterans give so very much, and often times after their service Veterans’ contributions and experiences are marginalized. I believe that We are a strong underutilized resource, that can accomplish incredible things for bettering the world around us, and I aim to do my part in empowering that force for change. “

Name: Maria Danet Lapiz Bluhm, PhD, RN, MSCI

Background: I am a registered nurse of Asia-Pacific and Hispanic heritage with graduate degrees in neuroscience and clinical investigation. Having been raised in the Philippines and educated in different parts of the world (Australia, Thailand, Sweden, England, USA), I have seen how stress and trauma transcend social boundaries and affect health. This has influenced my program of science which involves biopsychosocial studies of the effects of stress and trauma in vulnerable populations. I have been engaged in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental health, education-based, and community service-based diversity research. I have worked with Dr. Krause-Parello on projects to improve health and research engagement of veterans. My life’s goal is to improve the health of vulnerable populations and help promote a culture of health in communities.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am a member of the Operation PCOR Advisory Board

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “Many veterans experience health issues during their reintegration into civilian life. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a significant health issue among veterans. Strategies to address significant veteran health issues need to be relevant, culturally-congruent, and acceptable to the veteran population. Research on these strategies needs the active engagement and collaboration of veterans with the research community.”

Name: Alan Peterson, PhD, ABPP

Background: I am a retired U.S. Air Force Lt Col and a clinical health psychologist. I served 21 years on active duty including deployments in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. I joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2005 and am currently an endowed professor and the Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine. I also serve as the Director of the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD. These two consortia include over 150 research collaborators and 40 institutions worldwide. I have over 30 years’ experience in conducting clinical research with active duty military personnel and veterans.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I serve as a member of the National Advisory Board for the project.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am interested learning more from veterans that might help guide my future research projects.”

Name: Melissa Jean Miller, MSN, CNOR

Background: I am an Army brat turned Army officer. I attended nursing school on a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship for nursing and commissioned in December 2009 as a 2LT, Army Nurse Corps officer. Initially, I served as a medical-surgical nurse prior to attending the 66E Perioperative Nurse Course. I am a Certified Nurse in the Operating Room (CNOR) and earned my Master of Science degree in Nursing Education. In 2016, I was accepted for the Army Medical Department’s Long-Term Health Education and Training (LTHET) Program. Currently, I am attending Rutgers University School of Nursing, full-time and fully funded, in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Research Program. Most importantly, I have an Army-strong husband, Tyler, and two beautiful Army brats, Daisy and Amy that diligently serve alongside me.
Role on the Operation PCOR Team: Narrator, Module 3

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am honored to have been invited to participate in Operation PCOR. As an active duty Army nurse and aspiring nurse scientist, my goal is the best evidence-based care for our military, military families, veterans, and beneficiaries.”

Name: C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

Background: As a researcher interested in assuring that every patient’s voice matters, I work to assure that research answers the questions that patients living with a disease have about how best to manage their condition.  In 2013, I started The PATient-centered Involvement in Evaluating effectiveness of TreatmentS (PATIENTS) Program at the University of Maryland.  The PATIENTS Program supports a variety of community-engaged research projects and is committed to being a permanent presence in the West Baltimore community.  Our hope is to transform the perception of research to enhance trust and help people to not only see the value of research but how it can help all of us make more informed health care choices. To learn more about The PATIENTS Program, visit our website at http://patients.umaryland.edu/

My Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am a researcher who has experience connecting patients and researchers and facilitating shared decision making so that future studies are more patient-centered

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am involved in Operation PCOR because the veteran population has unique health care needs and questions.  By hearing directly from veterans, we can make future research more relevant to to the veteran population and their loved ones.”

Name: Linda S. Weglicki, PhD, RN

Background: Current position, Dean, Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. In my previous position, at Florida Atlantic University, College of Nursing, I participated on the PCORI multi-state funded project ‘Veterans Action League’ as a Collaborative Academic Research Member responsible for leading a dynamic two-year conversation empowering veterans from the State of Florida (one of the six participating states) to have an active voice in developing ideas to guide veteran healthcare delivery.

My Role on the Operation PCOR Team: Advisory Board member; primarily been responsible for reviewing and providing recommendations for the training modules.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I am committed to participating in the development of programs designed to assist veterans and their formal and informal caregivers in understanding the importance of participation in research studies that may result in promoting their health, well-being, and quality of life.”

Name: Noel T. Dillon MPA, MS

Background: I’m an Air Force veteran who has served on active duty and with the Air National Guard in New York State. I was a military responder after the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, and I have served on multiple overseas tours including Afghanistan and Iraq. I retired from the military in 2017, after over 20 years of service. During my military service, I have also worked and continue to work in the nuclear security field. I am currently pursuing my third Masters degree in Emergency Management.

My Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I am a volunteer in support of veteran-centered research programs, which requires the input of veterans to be effective and accepted by the veteran community.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “As a Masters student, I understand that the purpose of research is to inform action. Well-conducted research is vital to the success of any project, and research must be of high quality in order to produce knowledge that is applicable outside of the research setting. Research is an opportunity to make a difference, and veteran participation in research can have significant implications for policy and future projects, turning research into practice. Participation in research allows individuals the opportunity to shape the direction and focus of future policies and programs that may potentially affect them personally. “

Name: S. Julianna Moreno

Background: I am a student currently enrolled at Florida Atlantic University pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse by attaining my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in the Freshmen Direct Admit Program. I have lived in South Florida my whole life and have always been interested in helping others through acts of service, especially in areas of health and wellness. Since 2015, I have volunteered to help raise funds and speak for childhood cancer awareness in the Ft. Lauderdale area for a variety of organizations. I am now working as a research assistant for Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.), which is based in the College of Nursing. Having seen my brother work for the military, I understand the hard work he has put in serve our country. I feel very humbled to have the opportunity of working with C-P.A.W.W. to give back to the veteran community- of people like my brother- that chose to give their service to us.

My Role on the Operation PCOR Team: Project Manager

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “Having a desire to work in health care, I recently learned that our veteran population is often underserved and lack access to quality care. The needs of veterans are different than other populations and not very well understood. In order to improve the system meant to help the veterans who have served us, I believe it is necessary that veterans work in partnership with researchers, health care workers, and other stakeholders that can provide them with a platform to voice their needs. Progress towards the betterment of care given to veterans can only be made by involving them in the processes to change health care for veterans. The focus of Operation PCOR is to assist veterans in collaborating with researchers and other stakeholders, which can help create more effective results that meets the needs of our veterans in the community. With a veteran-centered approach to care, their concerns can be addressed and help other veterans across the nation.”

Name: Marla G. Mygatt MSN, RN

Background: I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Vermont and Master of Science in Nursing Education from Kean University in New Jersey. I moved to Florida 4 years ago, where I worked as an Associate Director in the Medical Affairs Division at Merck, focusing on population health and implementation science. In January 2018, I decided to follow my passion and enrolled in the PhD Nursing program at the Christine E Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. I am currently working as a research assistant for Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.) which is housed in the College of Nursing. Growing up with a father who served in World War II, I am so proud of his commitment to honor and serve our country. Being a part of this project provides an opportunity to give to back to our veterans and honor my father’s memory.

My Role on the Operation PCOR Team: Former Project Manager, primary responsible for coordination of team project activities, meetings, and documentation.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “Having experience in population health, implementation science, and an understanding of the health issue that impact our nation’s veterans, I feel it is critical that we find a better way to provide care for our veterans. I believe, to truly improve care, it is essential that veterans have access to and collaborate with research teams, clinicians, policymakers and other stakeholders to give them a voice in the research and outcomes that are important to them. This project, Operation PCOR, will assist our veterans in engaging with researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and stakeholders to help create a more veteran centric approach to care, addressing the issues that matter most to our veterans.”

Name: Mike Stemple

Background: Mike Stemple has built 20 technology companies that have grown to be worth a combined $100+ Million, a Director-emeritus at the Founder Institute  a mentor at Techstars  a past Governor appointee to the CO Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, a recognizable sports artist in Denver, a sponsored endurance athlete, and a proud veteran of the US Army.  Mike is considered an expert at ideation, innovation, startups, and product creation.

Role on the Operation PCOR Team: I serve as a veteran & technical advisor for Operation PCOR’s national advisory board.

Why I am involved in Operation PCOR: “I try and help Veterans in any way possible. At a personal level I have a hard time dealing with anxiety and PTSD and rely heavily on my emotional support dog Ever. The research Cheryl and Linda do is very important as is helping Vets understand better the research process and why it is so important to participate.”