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Center for Research on Health Disparities

Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners

Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners

The Clemson University School of Nursing and the Center for Research on Health Disparities are building a professional network for Appalachian nurse practitioners. The Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners (AAANP) will provide resources for clinical practice, continuing professional education, professional advocacy, and networking for nurse practitioners in the Appalachian region.

More information about our fall conference below!

  • Where is Appalachia?

    Appalachia is all of West Virginia and parts of 12 states along the Appalachian Mountains (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). Check out this map of Appalachia from the Appalachian Regional Commission. If you live in one of these colored areas, this survey and alliance is for you!

    Map of Appalachia

  • Survey

    Who should take this survey? Any nurse practitioner who lives in Appalachia or is planning to relocate anywhere in that area. We’re also interested in hearing from our NPs working in rural areas outside Appalachia as well!

    Take The Survey

  • Updates

    Thank you for signing up to be on our listserv, attending our educations series or participating in our networking events. As we gear up for another year of education and networking, we want to make sure we are catering to your needs. We ask that you take this short survey to help us better understand how best to provide valuable opportunities for you.

    Previous Clinical Conversations webinars can be accessed through Canvas. For help logging into Canvas, please email

    Webinars from the Inaugural Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners Virtual Education Series, “Challenges, Strategies, and Innovative Practice for Today’s Interculturally Sensitive Nurse Practitioner," can still be accessed through Canvas. For help logging into Canvas, please email

    We look forward to working alongside you as, together, we address health disparities in Appalachia. Sign up for more information using our interest form below.

  • Interest Form

    To learn more about the alliance, sign up to be on our email list:

Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners Virtual Fall Conference


We are excited to announce our Fall Education Conference, "A Primary Care Nurse Practitioner's Guide to Chornic Illnesses."

Join us Oct. 28 & Nov. 4 for this free event. You will be sent information prior to the start of the live sessions. Please ensure you have the correct email entered into our system when completing the registration process.

This education series focuses on practice issues of rural/Appalachian nurse practitioners and includes Pharmacology, The Rural NP Role in Policy and Advocacy, Integrating Nurse Coaching into Practice, Health Equity, Poverty, and Rural Resilience, Post-COVID sequala focusing on the long term effects impacting the cardiac, pulmonary, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems, Genomics, Telehealth, Human trafficking, and Appalachia and Health.

Synchronous Sessions that will be recorded and available for 60 days. Participants will earn 8.5 CEUs, which are approved by Upstate AHEC.

This education series is a joint providership between Upstate AHEC and the Appalachian American Alliance of Nurse Practitioners sponsored by Clemson University’s School of Nursing.

  • Schedule

    Oct. 28

    • 1-2:30 p.m. – You are using what? Never Heard of it: Novel psychoactive substances by Mary Ellen Wright, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, East Tennessee State University
    • 2:30-4 p.m. – Chronic pelvic pain in women: Current recommendations for management by Casey Hopkins, PhD, WHNP, Assistant Professor, Clemson University School of Nursing
    • 4-5 p.m. – Congestive heart failure: Pharmacological update for outpatient management by Jenna Seawright, MS, RN, CNS, FNP-BC, Lecturer, Clemson University School of Nursing

    Nov. 4

    • 1-2:30 p.m. – The A, B, C’s of symptom management – Expanding primary palliative care by Tracy Fasolino, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, ACHPN, Associate Professor, Clemson University School of Nursing
    • 2:30-4 p.m. – Diabetes management by Kim Pickett, PhD, APRN, BC-ADM, Assistant Professor, Clemson University School of Nursing
    • 4-5 p.m. – Weight loss tips and tricks for the primary care provider by Stephanie Davis, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, Professor, Clemson University School of Nursing
    • 5-5:30 p.m. – Mobile services by Anne Koci, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, WHNP, FAAN, Clinical Professor, Distinguished Scholar in Center for Research on Health Disparities, Clemson University School of Nursing
  • Speakers

    Stephanie Davis, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC

    Dr. Davis is a Professor in the Clemson University School of Nursing. She has been awarded over $3.2 million in funding and is the current Project Director for a $2.7 million HRSA funded ANEW grant and was co-investigator of a $410,000 funded grant from the Greenville Health Authority. Both grants gave preference to students from diverse and/or disadvantaged ethnocultural and/or socioeconomic backgrounds. As the former Director of Graduate Programs, she led the development of the post-baccalaureate and post-masters Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs and had oversight for the master’s, DNP and PhD programs. She serves on the SC Nurse’s Association Board of Directors as the Educator Chapter Member-at-large, and served as an appointed member of the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Resource Coordination Center Committee from 2013-2021. She has served on the Volunteers in Medical Missions (VIMM) Board of Directors for over 10 years holding positions as Board Vice-Chair and Chair of the Personnel/Nominating Committee. She has co-led 12 medical mission trips to Central and South America taking nursing, nurse practitioner and construction science students. Dr. Davis is a practicing family nurse practitioner in a clinic for the medical management of weight loss.

    Tracy Fasolino, PhD, FNP-BC, ACHPN

    Dr. Fasolino, strives to advance nursing research and evidence based practice throughout the Appalachia region by partnering with academic settings and health systems. She was selected for the 2021 Cambia Sojourn’s Scholar Leadership Cohort to build a national platform on Appalachia and rural health needs for providers and their teams as well as educating policy makers on key aspects related to rural health. She is a board certified Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner with over 25 years of experience working with inpatient and outpatient teams. As an educator and advocate, she focuses on sharing her knowledge and skills at all levels of the interdisciplinary team on the value of palliative care using her embedded Palliative Care (ePC) model. Her area of research is rural health symptom management for patients with chronic, non-cancer illness with a focus on end-stage pulmonary conditions.

    Casey S. Hopkins, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC

    Casey S. Hopkins is an assistant professor of nursing at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. She has been a women’s health nurse practitioner since 2010 and keeps an active clinical practice in the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina. Research interests broadly center on women’s and female adolescent health and more narrowly include menstrual management, puberty and sexual health education, physical activity, health behaviors, and health-related quality of life. Dr. Hopkins holds appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville and Faculty Associate in the Center for Research on Health Disparities of Clemson University School of Nursing. She is a trained “girlologist” with Girlology, a national organization providing puberty and sexual health education to girls. Her research has been supported by grant funding and has been published in Women’s Healthcare and the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

    Anne Koci, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, WHNP, FAAN,

    Dr. Koci, Clinical Professor in Clemson School of Nursing and Distinguished Scholar in the Center for Research in Health Disparities, is a Family Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health Researcher with a special interest in rural health, marginalization, and health outcomes of women with a history of abuse. Currently she is the rural health faculty scholar on the $4 million HRSA GoMobile grant to expand nurse-led mobile units with outreach to rural Appalachian (Oconee) and Midlands (Orangeburg) SC to address the community health needs of at-risk regions of South Carolina (SC) to further health equity and health care equity.

    Kim Pickett, PhD, APRN, BC-ADM

    Dr. Pickett is an Assistant Professor in the Clemson University School of Nursing. A Family Nurse Practitioner with 25 years of clinical nursing experience, Dr. Pickett also holds a board certification in Advanced Diabetes Management through the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She currently maintains an active clinical practice working with patients in skilled nursing facilities and with patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Endocrine Society.

    Mary Ellen Wright, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC

    Dr. Mary Ellen Wright is currently an Associate Professor at East Tennessee State University College of Nursing.  Dr. Wright was the former Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Nursing at Clemson University School of Nursing.  While at Clemson she was a Clemson University Scholar in Health Research and was awarded the Clemson University Research Foundation Innovation Award.  She was a faculty associate in the Center for Research in Health Disparity at Clemson. Dr. Wright earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University School of Nursing, graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America and doctorate from the Christine E Lynne College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. Wright also served on faculty at Florida Atlantic University and was a faculty administrator and interim Director of Undergraduate Nursing.  Dr. Wright is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and also obstetric/gynecologic nurse practitioner.  Dr. Wright’s current trajectory of research is perinatal substance exposure from the theoretical lens of the science of human caring.  She is the President-Elect of the International Association for Human Caring and the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human Caring.  Dr. Wright has presented at multiple international and national conferences, is well published on topics involving maternal and child health.

  • Continuing Education

    Continuing Education Credit: Upstate AHEC is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credential Center's Commission on Accreditation. Upon successful completion of this program, attendees will receive 8.5 nursing continuing professional development hours. Attendees will also receive 5 pharmacology hours.

    Successful completion of the module requires attendance for at least 90 percent of the module and/or live session and a completed online evaluation by the participant. A certificate of completion will not be made available for you if the evaluation is not completed.

  • Disclosure Statements

    ANCC Disclosure Statement: Upstate AHEC’s conflict of interest policy requires faculty to disclose any real or apparent commercial financial affiliations related to the content of their presentations/materials. The speakers have signed a vested interest form declaring no conflict of interest in education activity. Provisions of this educational activity by Upstate AHEC does not imply endorsement by Upstate AHEC or ANCC of any commercial prod­ucts displayed in conjunction with this activity.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Upstate AHEC is committed to equality of educa­tional opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or veteran’s status. If you require reasonable accommodations for a disability in order to participate fully in a continuing education activity, call 864-349-1160 no later than one week before the date of the activity.

  • Questions

    Please email with any questions you may have.

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