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[VIRTUAL] Fall 2020 GRASP Seminar: Pamela Z. Cacchione, Penn Nursing, “Interprofessional Research: What a Nurse Scientist Can Bring to the Grasp Lab”

December 7, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Engineering is already a team sport with different specialties within engineering working together to solve today’s most pressing problems.  Why add a Nurse Scientist to the team?  Particularly, why add a Gerontological Nurse Scientist.  The globe is aging despite the recent decimation of nursing home populations by Covid-19, less then 4 % of older adults reside in nursing homes. Leaving 96% living in the community independently or with the support of loved ones. These older adults need nurses and engineers to collaborate to design technologies, innovations, environments to keep them living in their homes with their loved ones.  Mercy West Philadelphia Living Independently for Elders (LIFE) is a clinical site where over 400 impoverished nursing home eligible older adults receive care in a community center to maintain their independence and stay living at home with their loved ones. Dr. Yim, Johnson and I have completed 2 robotics studies here for socially assistive robots.  As a Gerontological Nurse Scientist, I help translate the research being done in the Grasp Lab to the community to identify design elements for a technology in older adults, to test technologies with older adults and to assist with rapid prototyping.  I have been very fortunate to work with Drs Yim, Pikul and Johnson in advancing their work and infusing some of my own creativity and innovation. For example, we needed to test a reach task with the Savioke robot.  I knew from the LIFE Council of Elders that the older adults wanted to participate in research that was fun and competitive.  We had the older adults interact with the Savioke robot while playing a bean bag toss game. It met both the research teams’ needs and engaged older adults in research.  Interprofessional research to solve the world’s problems is essential.


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Dr. Cacchione is the Ralston House Term Chair in Gerontological Nursing and an Associate Professor of Geropsychiatric Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing (Penn Nursing). She completed a Penn Nursing Center for Health Care Innovation Fellowship where she focused on two projects: harm reduction in persons with Opioid use disorder with the newly created Center for Opioid Recovery and Engagement and THRIVE a comprehensive discharge process for persons with Medicaid or Dually eligible to address social determinants of health. Prior to this she completed an Atlantic Philanthropies and The John A. Hartford Foundation, Health and Aging Policy Fellowship where she worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the implementation of the PACE Innovation Act (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), and with Community Catalyst on the roll out of Pennsylvania’s Community HealthChoices, a managed care long term services and supports program.
An expert in Aging including Sensory, Cognitive and Physical Function she has engaged in interprofessional research with Drs. Yim, Pikul and Johnson in social robotics and soft robotics. Dr. Cacchione is always identifying potential inventions and innovations to improve lives of older adults. She is currently funded to develop and test a prototype of Heart Failure Sensing Socks. She has access to groups of community dwelling in hospitalized older adults interested in participating in research.
For the last three years her clinical practice has been as a Nurse Scientist at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. She is currently working on several projects: Multimodal intervention to decrease violence and aggression in the ED; a Debriefing Project; a Sepsis Escape Room and a PARO Robot Study on the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit.
Dr. Cacchione is the Editor of Clinical Nursing Research, An International Journal. She also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing and Research in Gerontological Nursing.
Dr. Cacchione received her BSN from Villanova University College of Nursing, MSN as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from Marymount University School of Nursing, and her PhD from Saint Louis University School of Nursing. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at The University of Iowa College of Nursing, focused on delirium in sensory impaired rural older adults in long-term care. She completed a National Institute of Nursing Research funded study titled ‘Nursing intervention for sensory impaired LTC Elders.”


December 7, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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