University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing student Brooke Tamble has been selected as the first United States recipient of the UW Queen Silvia Nursing Award (QSNA) for dementia care. Tamble’s winning idea involves developing an interactive app that would address the daily needs, memory loss, isolation from family, and the need for mental stimulation during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be designed with the overall goal to improve the care and well-being of people who are living with dementia and support their care partners and healthcare providers.
“This was an incredibly competitive process. Each of the three finalists displayed such passion and dedication, not just for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s but also for their caregivers. Each of them has a personal connection to this challenging disease, and this compassion is a trait all nurses should possess,” said Azita Emami, Executive Dean of the UW School of Nursing. “I’m delighted for Brooke and her accomplishment, and I expect she will do amazing things with this opportunity.”
“This award is a tremendous honor, and I am thrilled to be selected as the winner,” said Tamble. “I look forward to representing the UW QSNA in the future as we work towards developing tools for people who have dementia, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The other two top finalists were Michael Quiggle, a first-year BSN student, and Jeremiah Nordstrom, second-year BSN student at UW Seattle. Quiggle’s proposal was to connect individuals with disabilities who participate in supportive employment programs with people living with dementia and their care partners to help with care tasks and provide new socialization opportunities. Nordstrom’s proposal was to provide smart tablets for caregivers and cognitively impaired residents of long-term care facilities to allow for virtual face-to-face interaction with family during meals.
The panel of jurors who selected the inaugural award recipient included: Joycelyn Thomas, Medical Director with Catholic Health Initiatives; Petra Hilleberg, Honorary Consul of Sweden to Washington and Oregon and President and CEO of Hilleberg the Tentmaker; Kristine Leander, Executive Director of Swedish Club and President of the Jane Isakson Lea Foundation; Eric Nelson, Executive Director/CEO of the National Nordic Museum; and Dean and Professor Emerita at Columbia University, School of Nursing Bobbie Berkowitz.
ABOUT THE AWARD
The QSNA was established in 2013 as a birthday gift for Her Majesty (HM) Queen Silvia in recognition of her long-term commitment and dedication to elderly care and the quality of nursing for people with dementia. The award featured innovative ideas and solutions for people living with dementia and addressing COVID-19 challenges in healthcare environments.
QSNA is given annually in Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany, and Lithuania.
For the first time, this year’s award was open to UW nursing students, and UW-graduate registered nurses. The launch of the UWQSNA in the US in 2020 coincides with the World Health Organization’s celebration of International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, a global effort to promote the two professions in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
DEMENTIA AND IMPACTS OF COVID-19
Dementia is a profoundly challenging health care issue that affects an estimated 5 million people in the US, cared for by 15 million family and/or friend care partners. There is no known cure. The impact of dementia is personal, emotional, economic, and systemic.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults with dementia, especially those in memory or other care facilities, has drawn increasing concern from healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members. Those who live with dementia suffer acutely from isolation, disruption to their daily routines, and confusion when care and communication are moved online. Additionally, this population is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as they tend to be older adults and often have severe underlying medical conditions.
UW TIES TO SWEDEN
The UW School of Nursing has long ties to Sweden. Before joining UW, Executive Dean Azita Emami was an endowed professor in elderly care research at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (KI). In 2019, UW and KI signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration in teaching and research areas impacting population health. The five-year agreement details a range of possible collaborative projects and activities to explore, including faculty and student exchanges, joint research activities, and individual faculty partnerships.
Contact: Shari Ireton, Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications, School of Nursing, email@example.com, 206.351.6058