Sheriedan Grannan, student in the accelerated "BRAND" nursing program at the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, recently received the Wyoming Public Health Association (WPHA) Memorial Student Scholarship for Outstanding Student In Public Health. This award was established in 2005 to honor those individuals who are pursuing higher education, and who have distinguished themselves through their leadership, commitment, and contributions to the field of public health.
Robert Johnston, Wyoming Department of Health HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Manager and WPHA board member nominated Grannan for the award. Says Johnston, "I have had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Sheriedan Grannan for several years. She was hired as one the Communicable Disease Section's Disease Intervention Specialists to provide partner services for persons infected with a sexually transmitted disease including HIV. Sheriedan developed the Section's Protocol for Internet-based Partner Services, which will assist us in reaching persons who are difficult to track though traditional channels, and who may have initially connected with their partner online. Sheriedan also coordinated most of the outreach HIV testing events in the Cheyenne area during her tenure with the Department of Health. Sheriedan decided to return to school to pursue a nursing degree from the University of Wyoming, and she has continued to provided HIV testing services for those at risk and to mentor those providing services. I am honored to nominate Sheriedan for the Memorial Student Scholarship for her contributions and dedication to improving public health in Wyoming."
Grannan earned an associates of science degree in pre-medicine at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, WY in 2001. She then studied at the University of Wyoming and received her bachelors of science degree in 2003 with a major in health sciences and a minor in psychology. In 2005, she earned her masters of science degree in kinesiology and health with a focus in health promotion, also at the University of Wyoming. Grannan then spent four years working as a field epidemiologist for the state of Wyoming. She worked with patients and providers on clinical symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment; with individuals on risk reduction and behavior modification; and with companies and clinics on testing technologies. Says Grannan, "In doing this work, I realized that I enjoyed working with patients and wanted to have more one-on-one time in the medical setting with them."
So she found herself drawn to "BRAND" (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree) at the University of Wyoming, "because of the format," Sheriedan notes. "I liked that the program was accelerated and that I would have a BSN degree in 15 months. As a Wyoming native and previous UW graduate, I valued that this program was offered at UW and I could stay in my home state while obtaining my degree."
Once Grannan completes the BRAND program in August 2012 and becomes a registered nurse, she plans to continue on to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. "I firmly believe," states Grannan, "that many aspects of public health and private practice can and should marry to promote the best health possible for all patients. I will use my public health skills in my future endeavors and plan to remain a forceful public health advocate."
The Wyoming Public Health Association Memorial Student Scholarship for Outstanding Student in Public Health was formerly known as the Raella Gustafson Award. Raella Gustafson spent a career in public health service. She was employed by Fremont County Public Health for 13 years and served as the County Nurse Manager. Raella was a lifelong supporter and advocate for public health, and always encouraged people to pursue careers and higher education in that field. Raella lost a long battle with cancer on August 5, 2005, at the age of 51.