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Tatiana Sadak, Ph.D., P.M.H.N.P. Selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

NEWS  RELEASE                                                                                             Contact: Gretchen Wright September 19, 2013                                                                                                        202/371-1999

                                                  University of Washington’s Tatiana Sadak                                          Named a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar

                               Dementia Health Services Researcher Selected for Prestigious Program to                                         Advance Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty

Seattle, WA – Tatiana Sadak, PhD, PMHNP, RN, an assistant professor at the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing, is one of just 12 outstanding nurse educators to win a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Sadak will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote her academic career and support her research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.   “This fellowship is a very timely, incredible opportunity,” said Sadak, who works in the department of psychosocial and community health nursing. “Support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will allow me to complete the development of the Caregiver Activation for Dementia Dyad Interventions Questionnaire (CADDI-Q), an index that assesses the knowledge and readiness of dementia family caregivers to take on active caregiving roles and allows clinicians to identify how to best partner with caregivers to maintain dementia patient/caregiver health, safety, and quality of life.” Almost half of caregivers regularly perform medical or nursing tasks for people with multiple chronic physical, cognitive, and neuropsychiatric conditions. Caregivers have different degrees of knowledge, readiness, and willingness to perform caregiving tasks and do so with various degrees of success. Sadak notes that the CADDI-Q index will enable caregivers to better understand their evolving caregiving roles while helping clinicians identify the needs of each caregiver. “One of the greatest recent innovations in health care involves focus on improving patients’ knowledge, skills, and confidence in mastering self-management and partnering with clinicians,” said Sadak. “Patient activation has shown better chronic disease outcomes, reduced emergency department visits, stress, and hospitalizations, as well as increased medication adherence and quality of life.” Sadak’s project will focus on operationalizing the concept of “caregiver activation,” the process of engaging caregivers to become ready for, and then progressively assume the multiple roles involved in, managing the needs of a loved one with dementia while caring for themselves. The CADDI-Q is an index for assessing caregiver activation, offering a method to systematically assess caregivers’ needs, tailor activation interventions, and monitor progress in caregiving through partnership with clinical teams. The RWJF funding will help Sadak and her team test the CADDI-Q with more than 350 dementia family caregivers from diverse ethnical, cultural, and socio-demographic backgrounds and pilot a CADDI-Q – based intervention designed to increase dementia caregiver activation through relevant information, systematic behavioral coaching, and support. Sadak notes that activated caregivers will be better equipped to manage the complexities of providing care to their care recipients and to partner with clinicians to meet shared patient-centered goals. “Dr. Sadak has an exciting and compelling combination of commitment, compassion, and competence coupled with a current research focus on a problem with enormous public policy implications,” said Dean Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, RNT, RN, FAAN, who is also serving as Sadak’s nursing mentor. Sadak is part of the sixth cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars. Andrea Landis, Joachim Voss, and Betty Bekemeier, also assistant professors in the UW School of Nursing and RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars, have received numerous grants and awards since being selected for the program. In 2010, Voss, whose promotion to associate professor is effective Sept. 16, received one of only five UW Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards, and was the first professor from the School of Nursing ever to receive this honor. Bekemeier received a two-year grant from RWJF to study how budget cuts in local health departments impact the health of communities. Landis is in her final year of the Nurse Faculty Scholars program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses and faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to educate them. The new Nurse Faculty Scholars also will support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and others in a nationwide effort to implement recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  

The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.  

To learn more about the program, visit

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