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2024 MONA adovcacy institute fellowship cohort.


Callie Ballenger

Callie Ballenger is a Nurse Practitioner at the University Health On the Go Clinics in Independence, MO. She also serves as Adjunct Faculty for Ottawa University and West Region Chair for the Missouri Nurses Association. Ballenger loves sharing her passion for nursing with the current and future generations of nurses. She believe that as nurses they are the largest part of the healthcare industry and need to use their voices to inform legislators about how they support the health of the nation and build relationships with them to develop legislation that will support both the profession of nursing and healthcare in general.

Gregg Bush

Gregg Bush is the Coordinator for Professional Development and Patient Education for MU Healthcare. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar for New Careers in Nursing at the Sinclair School of Nursing BSN-Accel Class of 2012. Bush also has a Fine Arts Degree.

Gregg’s health care career began in 2006 when he was a janitor in an ICU at MU Health Care.

Bush is a member of LiUNA local 955.

JoAnn Chunn-Wilson

JoAnn has been in the healthcare industry for over two decades, first as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative with Merck & Company and now as a nurse on an Integrated Spine Unit. Her job includes delivering safe, quality care, educating patients and their families, and always being readily available as a patient advocate. She values every life she encounters, hoping to make a difference, emotionally and physically. She sees each day as a new opportunity to be a change agent.

She holds her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Goldfarb School of Nursing, Masters in Health Administration from Webster University, MBA from Fontbonne University, and B. A. in Sociology from McKendree University. She is also a continuous learner, setting goals and grasping knowledge, such as obtaining her real estate, broker licenses, and Green Six Sigma certification.

JoAnn believes in work-life balance. She enjoys extracurricular activities that have proven to be pleasurable and offer an environment that is competitive, challenging, and an opportunity to remain healthy.

Alexis Curran

Alexis Curran is a Missouri native, born and raised in the Waynesville area. She graduated with her BSN from Missouri State University in 2016. After graduation, Curran worked in labor and delivery at Mercy Hospital in Springfield for five years. In 2022, she left full-time bedside care to teach at her alma mater. Alexis is currently a visiting clinical instructor in the undergraduate nursing program at Missouri State University, where she teaches obstetric nursing and co-coordinates simulations for the nursing department. She still works at the hospital per diem, as well, to help stay relevant to practice. Curran is currently working on her MSN with an emphasis in nursing education at Arkansas State University. Her long-term career goals are to obtain her doctorate in nursing practice, become a certified nurse educator, and continue teaching at MSU. Curran’s professional interests include maternal-child health, women’s health, and nursing education, especially at the undergraduate level. Her hope is to use the knowledge and skills gained from the Advocacy Institute to empower her students to actively participate in healthcare advocacy and the legislative process.

Cambria Davis

Cambira Davis is doing an accelerated BSN program and will graduate in December. She plans on getting her masters but also would like to find a way to incorporate advocacy and the behind the scenes work into her career. She has been involved with advocacy since she was a young adult and participated in programs that promoted such! Davis was involved in Wyman Teen Leadership program and several others but this one really focused on the importance of acceptance and inclusion. She believes this is where her firm belief and passion for advocacy was cultivated. It is a belief to her core and something she will always fight for. One of Davis’ passions is helping people and nursing creates a healthy way to do that and actually see the difference you’re making. That is why she is so excited and honored to be apart of this opportunity, gives her a chance to do something she hasn’t been able to do for a while because of the demands of school and working full time!

Jessica Giddens

Dr. Jessica Giddens is an INTJ-Asπ (Aspie) doctorate of nursing practice and has extensive experience in the mental health field and has served as a speaker and advisory board member in the areas of nursing leadership, psychopharmacology, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, tardive dyskinesia, pseudobulbar affect, binge eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders, psychopharmacogenomics, epigenetics as well as genetic testing, to name a few. Dr. Giddens is a scientific director at Knowfully Learning Group a part of CME Outfitters, and Healthcare consultant, in addition to being a neuroscience nerd and mom. As a nurse she has worked in multiple areas including community mental health, inpatient psychiatric units including adult, acute adult, geriatric, and child and adolescents. In addition to her extensive experience in psychiatry, she has also worked as a nursing supervisor and as part of an acute care float team gaining experience in multiple inpatient medical units. Despite her own struggles with Autism and juggling work-life balance with single motherhood, throughout her training and career, she has received several scholarships, honors, and awards. Jessica also is recognized as an industry and national thought leader and has been invited to be an advisory board member for psychiatric research and development companies such as Otsuka, Sunovion, Allergan, Abbvie, Teva, and Avanir. As an advocate for neurosicence nomenclature and routine use of psychopharmacogenomics in practice, she has spoken for Genomind. She has also taken part in industry publications and has participated as a co-host on a local health radio show. She has also developed more interest in brain-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence, and digital therapeutics. Jessica feels she has a diverse experience and passion in neuropsychiatry and strives to decrease stigma and promote education and research in the field.

Dawn Graczyk

Dawn Graczyk graduated with her BSN in 2008 from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She spent the next four years raising her children in Okinawa, Japan where her husband was stationed with the US Air Force. Upon return to the United States Dawn learned two of her six children had a rare, genetic, neurodegenerative disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia. She devoted her nursing education and energy to building a strong, multidisciplinary care team to meet the needs of her children.

Dawn currently works as an RN on a medical-intermediate care unit that serves the Kansas City area. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and volunteering in the rare disease community and with patient advocacy organizations.

Jessica Hoehne

Jessica Hoehne graduated from Columbia College in 2007 with her associate degree in nursing. She is a three-time graduate of the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MUSSON) RN-BSN ’11, MSN ’17 and DNP ’23. Dr. Hoehne joined MU Health Care in 2008 where she has been in a leadership role for the last 10 years and is currently the clinical manager for the Neurosciences Service Line. She is certified as a Medical Surgical Registered Nurse and was an adjunct clinical instructor with MUSSON from 2017 to 2022. Dr. Hoehne was awarded the 2023 Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Iota Chapter Evidence-Based Practice Award for her project titled Nurse Resident Job Satisfaction with a Formal Mentorship Program. Her project has since been published in the Missouri Nurse Magazine and she has presented her work at both the local level and the national level most recently presenting at the Academy of Med-Surg Nursing Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. She recently joined the Missouri Nurses Association’s Nurse Liaison Program which aligns with her passion for nurse advocacy.

Karen Murray

Karen Murray has been an RN for over 35 years. She is a pediatric critical care nurse at Children’s Mercy Kansas City for the last 30 years. Murray currently works as an Apheresis nurse. Her passion is giving nurses a voice. She has been actively involved in bring a shared governance structure to nurse committees at her organization.

Karen has been married 30 years and has two children and a grandmother of a beautiful granddaughter. In her spare time she and her husband love to travel especially cruising.

Erika Pogue

Erika L. Pogue is a dedicated and experienced Registered Nurse with a 21-year career in healthcare. She currently serves as a Staff Educator RN for BJC Medical Group, where her passion for quality, safety, and patient education shines.

Erika’s journey in nursing has been marked by a steadfast commitment to process improvement and policy change. She actively engages in identifying areas for enhancement, advocating for necessary adjustments, and interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues to implement meaningful changes that benefit both patients and healthcare providers.

Erika’s educational journey includes an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) from Jewish Hospital College of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management from Lindenwood University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Aspen University. Currently, Erika is diligently pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at Webster University, demonstrating her commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth.

Erika’s unwavering dedication to quality, safety, education, process improvement, and policy change makes her a valuable asset to the nursing community.

Shekinah Roe

Shekinah Roe is from the Midwest and proud to share her hometown with the Kansas City Chiefs! For the past 14 years, she has been a registered nurse. Shekinah has master’s degrees in nursing and business administration and is enrolled in a doctoral (DNP) program. For the past decade, she has been in the industry on pharmaceutical and medical device projects in commercial and non-commercial roles.

Shekinah works on an international team in the Medical Device industry focusing on risk with intravenous infusion products, infusion preparation, and medication delivery. Though she is no longer at the bedside, she strongly supports nurses in clinical settings, and beyond. Shekinah looks forward to networking and making new connections.

Carla A. Roeper

Driven Leader in Nursing with 14+ years of experience in nursing. Carla’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Greenville University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College and a Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Management from Walden University. She will soon be embarking on her certification in Nursing Organizational Leadership. She is currently working PRN for Mercy Hospitals in their Regional GIG department floating to 4 hospitals in various medical and behavioral health units and will soon be starting a new remote tele-nursing roll for the Veteran’s Administration Atlanta Hospital. She is a proud member of ANA, MONA (Political Action Committee, Educational Committee, and Advocacy Committee Member), and AONL. She has volunteered with JDRF and MDA and will soon be embarking on helping the Children’s Advocacy Center. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 4 children and 1 grandchild as well as her 3 dogs. Hobbies including boating, dancing, traveling, cooking, and trying new restaurants!

Laura Slamp

Laura Slamp, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, AE-C, is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner for the pulmonology team at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. She received her both her Bachelor of Science in nursing and her Master of Science in nursing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

Laura sees patients from birth to 21 years old and practices at the main hospital campus and the specialty clinics in north county, south county and in Lake St. Louis. She specializes in asthma and high-risk asthma. Laura enjoys treating children with a multitude of pulmonary diseases and enjoys building relationships with her patients and helping improve their quality of life.

“I am committed to providing in depth education and recommendations which assist patients and families gain control of their child’s asthma. Through trust and collaboration, my goal is to provide the skills and knowledge needed to improve a child’s quality of life.”- Laura Slamp

Trevor Wolfe

Trevor Wolfe, BSN, RN has over 20 years in Emergency/Trauma/Flight nursing with broad experience in both hospital and prehospital care and 8 years of combined leadership experience, not including 10 years as a Navy officer in the Navy nurse corps. He is a graduate of Bradley University and is a recent gubernatorial appointment to Missouri State Board of Nursing.

He has extensive experience in government affairs in healthcare with the focus on reducing workplace violence, especially in the healthcare setting. Trevor was awarded the Missouri Legislative Advocacy Award from the Missouri Nurses Association in 2022. He Currently works an ED nurse and is a national speaker on both workplace violence and legislative advocacy.