2019-2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

JENNIFER COFFMAN

PRESIDENT

Jennifer Coffman, JD, MSN, APRN, CPNP-AC, CNRN, is the Clinical Practice Specialist for the Neuroscience Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado where she works collaboratively with Neurology, Neurosurgery and the Divisions of Nursing.  Jennifer received her BSN from the University of Tennessee, her Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis, and MSN from the University of Colorado.  She has over 24 years of experience as a pediatric neuroscience nurse with a special interest in epileptic encephalopathies such as Infantile Spasms and FIRES.  Jennifer has specialized training in Sig Sigma process improvement methodology, evidence-based practice, and research.  She is also a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse and current DNP candidate in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado.  Jennifer has served on the Board of Directors for ACNN for two years.

Specialty: Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery with a special interest in Infantile Spasms 
Goal: Increase membership of registered nurses by providing relevant educational content on new and innovative platforms.
Fun Fact: Jennifer runs a small business renting out teardrop campers in her spare time.

Tara Pezzuto

Past President

I am a clinically practicing DNP in the division of child neurology at Nemours in Wilmington, Delaware. I am the Director of our Nemours Neurology Headache Program and I have a passion for improved care for all children with migraine headaches. I also have great respect for all Neurology providers and hope to improve autonomy in practice for our nurses as well as greater outreach to the pediatric communities that need neurological care. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as president and look forward to my role as past president this year to continue working with our ACNN group to encourage full scope of practice for APRN’s in specialty practice and greater confidence in all nurses in care of pediatric neurology patients. My hope is that through example, education and the establishment of certification exams within specialties we will all learn to have the confidence, competence and strength to function independently within our roles.

Luz Galeano

Secretary

Luz Galeano, RN is a certified pediatric nurse currently practicing nursing in the Neurology Department at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri since 2014. She serves as a nurse facilitator for the Spanish speaking families as a certified bilingual staff member at Children’s Mercy. As a result of her bilingual abilities and her advocacy for the Spanish- Speaking population, she helped launch the first Spanish-Epilepsy clinic in the Neurology Department with the Spanish-speaking epileptologist. As a new ACNN board member, she hopes to increase the nursing professional presence at ACNN and improve ways of communicating with current and new incoming members.
 
Specialty: General Pediatric Neurology; serves Spanish Speaking Population
Goal: Increase the nursing professional presence at ACNN. 
Fun Fact: I am a great salsa dancer.

Tristen Dinkel

Treasurer

Tristen Dinkel, BSN, RN, CPN, CNRN is the Rett Program Clinic Coordinator for the Neuroscience Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She has worked with the pediatric Neuroscience population for over 12 years both in inpatient and outpatient settings. She worked to start a Neurofibromatosis Multi-disciplinary program within Neurology which has grown to successfully serve many families. The last 7 years she has run the Rett Clinic and had the chance to serve the amazing families that live making the best of this neuro-genetic disorder. Her heart lives to care for those with a Neuro-based diagnosis and give them the best life possible.

Specialty
: Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy, Rett Syndrome and Rett-Like Disorders, Neurofibromatosis, Palliative Care
Goal: My goal to the best of my ability, would be to use my Neuroscience experience and skill to manage a spreadsheet full of patients- to managing financials for the organization. I hope that my passion for serving and being a part of something that serves our pediatric neuroscience population will drive energy in to the group. I hope that our joy for this population brings others in to the organization.
Fun Fact: I have ridden my bike from San Francisco to LA, along highway 1.

LIZ RENDE

DIRECTOR

Email: rende001@mc.duke.edu

I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certified in primary care, with 18 years of experience in Pediatric Neurology- headaches.  I completed my DNP capstone project focusing on the innovation, A Migraine Action Plan © to help children treat their headaches at school. I also serve as a resource about children’s headaches for many of our pediatric subspecialists, pediatricians and primary care providers in the area. I also partner with primary care pediatricians in the initial management of children with headache.  I am active in my community, working closely with school nurses in the care of children with neurological disorders.

I am currently a regular rank faculty member at the Duke School of Nursing, with a joint appointment in both the school and the division of pediatric neurology.  I have over 17 years of experience as an instructor and as a preceptor for FNP and PNP students in individual clinical experiences, including an FNP student residency in Pediatric Neurology. I have been awarded the Faculty Excellence in Clinical Practice in 2017, the Innovative Practice Award from ACNN in 2017, and was inducted as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2018.

I speak about pediatric headache-related topics at the bi-annual Duke- sponsored national Pediatric Neurology Symposium, as well as national meetings of AANP, NAPNAP and ACNN. I also speak to community and parent groups about a myriad of topics related to children’s headaches.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing piano, both solo and accompanying a violist.  I “track” with my dog, following aged scent trails, and thoroughly enjoy my 5 grand kids!!!!

  1. Specialty: Pediatric Headache
  2. Goal: Find that perfect balance in life- family, work and play!
  3. Fun Fact: I LOVE cold weather! Seriously, my furry Labrador can’t wait to play in snow.

Michelle Mills

DIRECTOR

I have been a Pediatric Neuro-critical Care APN at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital for the past 11 years. In this role I provide direct care to patients with primary or secondary neurologic injury in the pediatric, cardiac, and neonatal intensive care units. I also have an independent clinic where I follow ICU patients with neurologic complications long term. Over the last eleven years, I have implemented quality improvement projects, participated in research studies, and have contributed to book chapters and peer reviewed articles. One of my main priorities is nursing education and I have spoken regionally and nationally on a variety of neurology topics. In order to further expand neuro-critical care nursing, I developed the Neuro-Critical Care APN Fellowship program which trains APNs on neuro-critical care. This program promotes the development of the Neuro-Critical Care throughout the country with trained and confident APN representatives.

Specialty:Pediatric Neuro-Critical Care

Goal:I look forward to meeting and working with other neurology nurses throughout the organization. Currently, my role is primarily focused on inpatient neuro-critical care with two outpatient clinics a month. I often find the outpatient care overwhelming since there is such a wide range of long-term complications from acute neurologic disease. Coming to the ACNN conferences has been an eye opening experience and I have learned so much about migraines, seizures, movement disorders, etc. from the other presenters. My hope is that we can find a way to share our neurology expertise throughout the year, not only at the conference. One of my visions would be to have a link on ACNN connect where we could post presentations that we give throughout the year. That way if a colleague wants additional education on a topic there would be an avenue to share our expertise.

Fun Fact:I am a huge Olympics fan and plan on attending Paris 2024.

Scott Turner

Director

Scott is family nurse practitioner and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He has more than 15 years of advanced practice experience in pediatric neurology. He has been an active member of ACNN for the past five years, is a contributing author in the Child Neurology Encounter Guide (2014), the ACNN Caregiver Resource Guide (2018), and currently serves as the chair of the Quality, Research and Scholarship Committee.

Specialty:
General neurology, headache, tics and Tourette Disorder
Goal: My goal is to partner with likeminded organizations to improve the understanding and the care of children with neurological disorders at home, at school and in their communities.