Leigha has been awarded the Edith M. Pritchard Fund Scholarship. She received her BSN from Carroll College in Montana in 2012, and is currently in the DNP-FNP program at Arizona State University. As an RN, she has worked primarily in cardiology and more recently in intensive care. She is advancing her education so that she may live out the nursing model to its fullest with individual patients. Ms Shilhanek is making education and preventative care the forefront of her practice by guiding patients to make smart health and lifestyle choices.
She is passionate about both the underserved and rural health. She has assisted with a mission trip to Colombia, provided healthcare to Migrant workers in western Montana and most recently volunteered with a local organization that provides free ‘pop-up’ clinics serving the working poor.
Leigha’s graduate project will be on reducing high-risk readmissions by implementing a transitional care program in local primary care offices. She is doing her clinical rotations in remote locations of Arizona as a scholar in a rural health professional’s program. She hopes to one-day work in a rural area of Montana, building a rapport with individuals living in small communities and addressing their needs across their lifespan.
With a doctorate in nursing practice, Leigha hopes to affect change in the healthcare scene; improving access to affordable care, removing barriers to practice, aiming for better patient outcomes, and shifting focus to evidence based practice.