Tessa Hamilton grew up in Blackfoot, Idaho where she enjoyed viewing life from the back of a horse. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with her BSN. She spent four years working as an Oncology nurse. She noticed many patients’ and family members’ mental health needs were going unmet. During that time she was nominated to be a physician coach during her hospital’s EMR transition. This opportunity led her to develop strong interprofessional relationships with the physicians; their encouragement in conjunction with her desire to improve mental health resources for her patients led her to pursue a degree as a PMHNP. She accepted a position working as a research assistant alongside Dr. Gwen Latendresse, the director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program. This research project, funded by the Utah Department of Health, increases access to mental health services for childbearing women in rural Utah. Currently, she co-facilitates suicide grief groups through Caring Connections at the University of Utah. She also facilitates mindfulness-based cognitive therapy group sessions via telehealth for women in Utah. Her current research and life experiences have laid the groundwork for many areas of interest including the following: reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, veterans mental health, women’s mental health, PTSD, suicide prevention, telehealth and community health. She is particularly interested in bridging the gap for pregnant or postpartum veterans. As a full-time PMHNP-DNP student, Tessa is honored and humbled to be a Jonas Veterans Scholar and looks forward to the leadership and networking that will occur through this program.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar – Psych-Mental Health
Dissertation: Proposed Capstone project: Evidence-based practice seminar for community providers caring for female veterans of childbearing age.