Casey Shillam is working to improve the nation’s healthcare system through nursing.
Casey Shillam was drawn to the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis because of the school’s vision to develop health care leaders. Little did she know just how quickly she would get immersed into that philosophy.
Starting in her first year as a postdoctoral fellow at the school, Shillam conducted and published leading research in the field of pain management for older people. She also began serving on the executive committee of the California Action Coalition for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action — one of 36 statewide groups working to implement the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for improving the U.S. health care system through nursing leadership. In this role, Shillam helps represent the nation’s more than three million nurses and is leading the 600-member coalition’s efforts to create a statewide structure to enhance healthcare through the contributions of nursing.
“It’s easy to talk about how great the fellowship is for me personally,” said Shillam, whose work is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s $100 million commitment to establish the nursing school. “But the really great thing is the impact that the support of my work has had on others.”
Shillam said she is inspired to be a leader because of the support and mentorship she’s received from the nursing school’s administration and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
“There really is an amazing environment of mentorship, support and interdisciplinary collaboration at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and that culture absolutely trickles down into my personal experience in this fellowship,” said Shillam, whose research goal is to develop standards for pain management in older adults. “And because of the fellowship I’ve received I really feel like I have a once-in-a-lifetime-chance to figure out how I’m going to make a difference in the world with my career.”