The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions is comprised of diverse health care disciplines, including nursing, health care administration, athletic training, public health and health care informatics. We are united by the common goal of training the next generation of health care professionals and leaders to effectively address health care challenges. The content of this blog includes perspectives on current health care topics, discussion about health care trends, a showcase of successful alumni and faculty and posts about our passion for our respective fields.
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A. Veronica Perez, MPH

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Veronica Perez headshotVeronica is a knowledgeable public health professional with 18 years of experience in the nonprofit, government and academic sectors. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to issues of health promotion, disease prevention and health equity. Her professional and volunteer experiences have addressed tobacco education and prevention; chronic disease prevention and management; program implementation and evaluation; grant writing and grant management; strategic planning; community mobilization; and community-based participatory research.

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Brandon J. Warner, MEd, AT, ATC

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Brandon Warner headshotBrandon Warner is the director of athletic training at Grand Canyon University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and his master’s degree from the University of Virginia. After his studies at Virginia, he was employed by GCU as the associate head athletic trainer. In this position, he oversaw numerous collegiate athletes and was a preceptor in the athletic training program. He was also an adjunct professor in both the athletic training and exercise science departments. Currently, Brandon has a passion for academic research with interests in therapeutic modalities, arthrogenic muscle inhibition and environmental studies. He is a published author in the “Journal of Sports Rehabilitation” and is working on many more articles. His hobbies include hiking, anthropology, treasure hunting, biking and basketball.

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Kathryn Turk, DNP, FNP-BC

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Kay Turk headshotKathryn Turk’s nursing career trajectory has provided her with a wealth of experiences and opened many doors. Dr. Turk has been a nurse for over 30 years. She obtained an associate degree in nursing in the early 80’s, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) immediately afterward. Her registered nurse (RN) background is in acute care settings, mainly in emergency departments, intensive care units and cardiovascular intensive care units. After receiving her BSN in 1987, Dr. Turk moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and practiced nursing in that magical country for seven years. In doing so, she was able to travel this world and experience people of all cultures, ethnic groups and religions. Dr. Turk has traveled to almost every country during those seven years, so she is a lifelong traveler now! Her worldview of nursing aligns well with her personal philosophy of nursing as a global concern. She returned to the U.S. and began working on her master’s degree, graduating from Texas A&M University in 2000 as a family nurse practitioner. Dr. Turk began practicing in that advanced practice nursing role in an urgent care setting. She also began teaching nursing at her alma mater. Dr. Turk has a post-master’s degree in nursing education from Grand Canyon University and she graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Colorado in 2009. She is enrolled in a PhD program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh now.

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Lisa G. Smith, PhD, RN, CNE

Assistant Dean, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Lisa Smith headshotLisa Smith, PhD, has been a registered nurse for 30 years and quickly became a cardiovascular nurse right out of school. She realized in those early years something significant – if she wanted her patients to believe that a healthy lifestyle was important for their own overall health and well-being, then she also had to believe it. She needed to incorporate those same principles into her own life. How could she expect her patients to listen to instructions, if she was not practicing them herself? This has led to a journey of practicing a healthy lifestyle both physically and spiritually. Dr. Smith has also recently been named assistant dean of graduate studies for the GCU College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, after briefly serving as associate professor in the Master of Science in Nursing programs.

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Michael McKenney, MS, AT, CSCS

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Michael McKenney headshotMichael McKenney has a master’s degree in sports health care from A.T. Still University. He has worked as a licensed athletic trainer since 1997 and a strength and conditioning specialist since 2000. During this tenure, he has presented at multiple continuing education symposiums on topics such as “the evaluation of the overhead throwing shoulder” and “lower extremity injuries and treatment options.” In addition, he currently serves as the professional education committee chair for the Arizona Athletic Trainer’s Association and has recently authored a chapter in a clinical textbook on the shoulder.

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Pascale Lee, MHA

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Pascale LeePascale Lee has worked for Grand Canyon University since 2009 in many different capacities and joined the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions in 2013. Pascale is the lead faculty for the undergraduate health care administration program, bringing to the table health care experience along with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a master’s degree in health care administration. She is currently completing her PhD in health care administration.

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Steve Peterson, MEd, MAIS

Faculty Training and Development Specialist, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Steve Peterson headshotSteve Peterson’s belief is that whole person health includes mindfulness, diet, exercise, stress-management and an understanding of the mental and physiological processes that can inspire or drain wellness. Steve has taught in nursing, pharmacy and integrative health care programs for more than a few years. Additionally, he has served as the dean of education for two proprietary schools during his career. His passion for health care spread into being a contributing author and co-author to two textbooks being utilized at the university-level in the Integrated Nursing & Health Studies Initiative. When not focusing on helping others discover their path to wellness, Steve is challenging his own by nurturing his love of riding motorcycles.

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Lanie Kosik, RN, MSN

Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Lanie Kosik headshotLanie Kosik was born and raised in a tiny coal mine town of Archbald, PA. Her career started in the early 1970’s as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). She moved on and became an emergency medical technician (EMT). She worked both volunteer for her hometown and paid ambulance and rescue for 15 years. Lanie next became a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and worked for 12 years in geriatrics. She continued her education and obtained her associate degree, registered nurse. She began working on her BSN after she moved to Arizona in 2000. In 2011, Lanie received her master’s degree in nursing education and began her career at Grand Canyon University. As you may have guessed, Lanie loves being a nurse! Her goal is to instill the desire to be the very best nurse possible and for each student to reach as far as they desire in the profession.

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Abimbola Farinde, PhD, PharmD

Adjunct Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professionals

Abimbola Farinde headshotAbimbola Farinde, PhD, PharmD, has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and practice of psychopharmacology and mental health. Dr. Farinde has also worked with mentally impaired and developmentally disabled individuals at a state-supported living center and military installation, as well as veterans administrations and detention centers. Her various practice experiences have allowed her to develop and enhance her clinical skills over the years. Dr. Farinde always strives to maintain a commitment towards achieving professional growth as she transitions from one phase of her career to the next.

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Jennifer Billingsley, FNP-BC, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions 

Jennifer.Billingsley.002Jennifer has been teaching full time at Grand Canyon University in the family nurse practitioner program for more than three years. She enjoys watching graduate students progress through the program to gain confidence, critical thinking skills and clinical competence. She is also a dedicated patient advocate that has been practicing in the nursing field since 1997. Jennifer currently cares for patients with chronic disease in their homes as their primary care provider.  She is also pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from GCU, with anticipated graduation in 2016.

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