Who we help

Who We Help

Your support of the AAPACN Education Foundation provides academic scholarships and nursing research grants. Meet some of the nurses who we’ve helped achieve their professional goals. 

Caryn Dufresne, RN, RAC-CT
2019 Scholarship Recipient

Caryn is an MDS Coordinator at Countryside Healthcare of Milford in Milford, Massachusetts. Caryn is enrolled in an RN-to-BSN program at Fitchburg State University. In her recommendation for Caryn, Beverly Ballou, wrote: “Our residents and their well-being are first and foremost in her mind when she is at work. She is an integral part of our team in providing quality care to our residents and education to our staff regarding assessment and the MDS process. Receiving this scholarship will provide financial support that will allow Caryn to meet her educational goals.”

Anna Christenson, RN, RAC-CT
2019 Scholarship Recipient

Anna is an MDS Coordinator at Eventide Senior Living Communities in Fargo, North Dakota. Anna is enrolled in the Chamberlain University RN-to-BSN program. In her personal essay, Anna says “My goal is to become a nurse practitioner and serve the elderly population in all clinical aspects of nursing. Earning my BSN is just one step in this journey that I have embarked upon.” With this scholarship, Anna seeks to continue her education that will assist her in helping older adults thrive in their homes, as well as to show her children the achievements possible through hard work.  

Kim Philips, RN
2018 Scholarship Recipient

In her position as the ADON, Kim rounds with the physicians, floats between floors, and works where needed. She assists with care plans, MDSs, and new doctor orders. She is also responsible for tracking quality measures and is a member of the corporate compliance team. 

Kim’s passion for long-term care was seen throughout her application. She states “With my experiences in long-term care and earning my degree, I believe I can contribute to long-term care by mentoring new nurses. I believe working in long-term care is very rewarding and I love working with the elderly. Most of the elderly residents are very appreciative of any small thing you can do for them, and they love seeing you every day. Being able to care for the elderly during their last few years/months/days is truly a blessing.” 

Kim is working on her BSN at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, where she hopes to gain the leadership skills necessary to improve quality of care for residents in long-term care.

Gina Faye Stevens, BSN, RN, RAC-CT
2018 Scholarship Recipient

Gina is an MDS coordinator and has worked in the long-term care field for 11 years. Her responsibilities include working as a member of the facility management, as well as timely scheduling and completion of MDSs, care plans, and coordination of care. When she’s not working, she’s in progress on earning her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Systems Leadership from Shenandoah University, specifically focusing on long-term care and sustainable interventions to help improve the quality of care and life for geriatric residents. In earning this degree, she hopes to gain the knowledge and skillset to better serve the community and facility. Gina is a true believer in the Eden Alternative care model and strives to interact with her peers and residents as if they were her family. As a member of the leadership team, Gina says, “I strive to lead as a servant leader. My mindset remains as, “What can I do for you, to help make your experience here today better?”

Stacey Poldervaart, RN, RAC-CT
2017 Scholarship Recipient

Stacey is the staff development coordinator at Friendship Haven. In her position, she is responsible for the onboarding and orientation of new team members as well as coordinating a skills fair. She works closely with the direct caregivers and their supervisors to ensure that quality care is provided in all areas of the campus. A strong supporter of person-directed care, Stacey feels that it is important to ensure team members understand that we are guests in our residents’ homes and that the art of compromise is necessary to find the balance between regulatory demands and the needs of the person. Stacey is pursuing an MSN in Nursing Education. Her goal is to assist others in the learning process, meeting them where they are at in their journey. She hopes to help long-term care build stronger relationships with local community colleges and to attract students to work in the long-term care field.

Stacy shared her hopes and vision in her scholarship application: “My personal goal after graduation would encompass several different things. The first thing would be to continue to learn and grow in my nursing career. Another goal would be to appreciate others’ perspectives in nursing. The most important goal to me, however, would be to have a positive influence on future health science students. The lives that they will touch every day, and the impact students will have on the health of others is incredible. This is something that every nurse should not take for granted.”

Stacie Howe, RN, RAC-CT
2016 Scholarship Recipient

Stacie is an MDS coordinator at Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason, Ohio. According to her nominator, her “facility improved from a one-star to a four-star rating, in no small part due to Stacie’s focus on improvement in clinical outcomes and Quality Measures. In addition, Stacie was instrumental in implementing Quality Initiatives that helped the facility provide accurate coding for Medicaid reimbursement and improve resident and family satisfaction scores.” Stacie is currently working towards her bachelors in nursing. Committed to furthering her own education, she sees her biggest strength in her ability to build strong, knowledgeable teams that take pride in their work and furthering their education.


"The scholarship has allowed me to continue my education toward my BSN. This award has also been a highlight of discussion on my current career path as an educator and Quality/Risk Coordinator for a rehabilitation hospital. It has allowed growth and opportunities that otherwise would have been limited." 

LaCreesha Louis, RN, RAC-CT
2016 Scholarship Recipient

LaCreesha is an MDS coordinator at Bria Health Services in Palos Hills, Illinois. She began her career in long-term care ten years ago as a CNA, later becoming an LPN, and just recently an RN, overcoming many personal obstacles. According to her administrator, “Lacreesha is truly a compassionate person. She challenges the status quo to initiate positive change. She leads by example to show others that continuous improvement is possible and her passion for elder care is exemplary.” Currently working on her bachelors, she looks forward to furthering her education and increasing her capacity to positively impact residents and colleagues.

LaCreesha’s willingness to go above and beyond was highlighted in her scholarship application: “There was a resident who was placed in my facility as a result of a blood infection. She was scheduled to be there for two weeks. When I interviewed her, she revealed to me she was not only sexually assaulted by someone in her house but was robbed of everything she owned. She had no clothes, only the hospital gown and blankets she was transferred with. I was so heartbroken for her. I went home that night and went through my entire wardrobe. The next day I went into my administrator’s office and let him know that I was going to give the resident the clothes and shoes I had gathered the night before from my closet. He gave me the approval to give them to her. I went to the resident’s room and gave her the bags. She started crying. Finally, through her tears, she thanked me. That was such a fulfilling day for me. I was so happy that I was able to help someone.”