Leilani is an FNP-BC. She received her BSN at Widener University where she was awarded a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship. She was commissioned into the U.S. Army as an Army Nurse Corps officer. Leilani worked as a critical care nurse in the Army with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan; pediatric home care in rural settings; and surgical trauma critical care in a major urban setting. After receiving an MPH at the University of Texas at El Paso, she worked as a public health nurse for a non-profit in North Carolina. In 2014, Leilani successfully lobbied for one of the most comprehensive drug overdose prevention laws and the first of its kind in the US South. Leilani organized one of the largest naloxone access programs in the country combining fixed-site and mobile distribution in North Carolina. After witnessing the stigma of addiction in health care, Leilani applied to George Washington University’s post-baccalaureate FNP DNP program. Her goals are to improve health care delivery, publish its findings, and to educate future NPs on how to be change agents. Leilani was nominated for Outstanding Graduate Thesis in Public Health at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her thesis investigated the correlates of hepatitis C virus transmission among sex partners in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Leilani is a Tillman Scholar. Leilani was invited into the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. The DNP focus will be on harm reduction among people who use drugs and how to re-engage them in their health care needs.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Psych-Mental Health
Dissertation: Title: Overdose Prevention Education and Naloxone Access in a Primary Care Clinic in Washington DC Brief description: The opioid epidemic is seizing the United States and DC is no exception. Opioid overdose fatalities are preventable with timely administration of naloxone—a cheap, safe, and effective prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose and only an opioid overdose. However, there are significant gaps in implementation of community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) throughout DC. The DNP project will seek to implement a community-based OEND in a primary care clinic in Washington DC.