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Alumnus accepts Veterans Affairs Quality Scholar Fellowship

A photo of Ph.D alumni of the College of Nursing Dr. Tamara Tasseff

Dr. Tamara Tasseff, a PhD alumnus of the College of Nursing, has been accepted into the 2019 post-doctoral Veterans Affairs Quality Scholars (VAQS) Fellowship Program. Tamara will be doing her research on rural dwelling veterans and improving access to concurrent palliative care.  This care method focuses mainly on the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual symptoms and stressors that can result in a low quality of life, affecting both the patient and their loved ones.

Tamara is the proud wife of a disabled veteran who served in the Navy for 20 years. Because of this and other factors, such as living in a rural area, Tamara is very passionate about this research. She is excited to be part of the VAQS fellowship, and says “it is an amazing opportunity to work with researchers and leaders to improve education and research that improves the safety and quality of healthcare for our veterans.” Tamara and her husband currently live on a small piece of land in a remote part of South Dakota. She has had a lot of interaction with military and veterans for most of her life and will be moving to Sioux City, Iowa to begin her research. She hopes to show how improvements to care accessibility for veterans living with serious chronic conditions in rural areas can impact their quality of life.

“I have been fortunate to work and learn within organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Western Governors University, and the Department of Defense. I also have a Master’s degree in organizational management.  Many different experiences, combined with many military-related moves, helps me to think differently about research and finding innovative solutions to interesting problems.  As a natural systems-thinker, I am always looking for ways to connect the dots and use research and best-practices found in other industries to improve the quality and safety of healthcare,” says Tamara.

Dr. Tasseff believes her specific research is important because there are many veterans in rural areas that aren’t getting the care they need and deserve because the services aren’t readily available to them. There are also many family and friends that want to make sure their loved ones have the correct resources to be taken care of properly. Her Dissertation Chair, Dr. Susan Tavernier, states, "The VAQ is a natural next step for Dr. Tasseff. While a student at ISU, she was a Jonas Scholar, presented nationally and published on rural veteran health. The fellowship will provide her with additional skills and mentoring to further her program of research."

Tamara’s research holds the potential to impact many lives. The highly sought after VAQS fellowship is an amazing opportunity that will lead to many life changing experiences and research. For more information on the VA Quality Scholar programs please visit www.vaqs.org.

Written by: Lindsay Taylor, College of Nursing Career Path Intern

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact