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ASU nursing alum creates online community to fight pediatric misinformation

November 2, 2017

Passion for accurate, accessible medical information led alum to create KidNurse

A passion for accurate and accessible medical information led Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation alumna Danielle Stringer to come up with a unique solution.

The pediatric nurse practitioner found that her patients' parents were often turning to the internet in order to get questions answered outside the exam room. The problem was that a lot of what they came across online was inaccurate, contradictory or both.

“I honestly thought the best way to fix the confusion my parents were suffering while reading blogs online was to simply start writing the truth and publishing it myself,” Stringer said.

That’s how KidNurse.org was born.

The content on the site, which has had well over 2 million readers, is timely, easy to understand and reliable.

KidNurse.org
ASU nursing alum Danielle Stringer launched KidNurse.org to provide parents with accurate, accessible information outside the exam room.

“It has always been founded with the vision of delivering pediatric, evidence-based medicine to parents in a highly accessible format online,” Stringer said.

The name of her website was inspired by her own journey — Stringer became a nurse when she was still a kid herself.

Stringer started taking college classes when she was only 12 years old, first at community college and later transferring to ASU as a teenager.

In 2009, she graduated from ASU's College of Nursing with her BSN at just 17. A year later, she completed her MSN and became a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner, earning the distinction of youngest nurse practitioner in the country at 18.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse, and I didn’t see any reason to wait,” said Stringer, who live in metro Phoenix.

One of her nursing professors, Therese Speer, said Stringer was a standout student but it had nothing to do with her age.

“She was an extremely hard worker who challenged herself in everything she did, and she loved every minute of learning. Her patients and families are very blessed to have such a dedicated and caring provider,” Speer said. “I am so proud of her.”

Now, seven years into her career, Stringer is about the same age as most of the parents she works with. She says she can relate to the stage of life the parents are in, adding that it has been an asset in more ways than one in her practice.

“This has allowed me to be highly innovative with my perspective on pediatrics and the development of online pediatric education,” she said.

“She was not one to accept things as they were, but always asked why, what if, could we and how about,” 
— ASU Professor Therese Speer

The success of the website inspired another creation.

This summer, Stringer added to her online repertoire creating the KidNurse community, a private Facebook group specifically for moms and medical professionals.

Stringer said the idea behind the private group is to further community and relationships for readers of KidNurse.

“Members are welcome to ask basic pediatric questions and get feedback and encouragement from moms and nurses that have likely been through the exact same thing,” she said.

Even though she has reached success in launching her health-care solutions, Stringer said that doesn’t mean the process was always easy.

Early-on in her career she encountered some serious pushback. First, to the idea of sharing so much information online, and also to her use of social media to reach parents.

Stringer was not expecting that kind of resistance.

“I was surprised to find the amount of health-care providers that are stuck in their ways," she said. "Sometimes innovation makes people uncomfortable."

Stringer said she is grateful for her foundation at ASU, which prepares students to face these challenges by promoting and encouraging innovation. She said that helped her persevere.

Her advice to others is to be prepared for that struggle and don’t give up.

“Resistance to innovative ideas doesn’t mean that innovation isn’t necessary, it just means you’ll have to passionately advocate for it,” Stringer said. “We are at a time in our nation when cutting-edge health-care solutions are desperately needed. Our patients need it. So just be ready to fight for it.”

 

Top photo: Danielle Stringer interacts with a patient.

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer , College of Nursing and Health Innovation

602-496-0983

 
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Planting seeds of change

Defend Our Food event Nov. 7 to talk about local agriculture, home gardening.
ASU's seed library makes it easy for Sun Devils to start their own gardens.
November 2, 2017

ASU librarian who runs university's free seed library helps organize 'Defend Our Food' panel to help people rethink their view of food

How does one eat part of a mesquite tree or a cactus?

That’s the question that one panelist will be addressing at the Nov. 7 “Defend Our Food” panel at Arizona State University, focusing on how to ensure diversity in our food and access to it in the future.

“The Sonoran Desert really is a massive grocery store of stuff,” said Melissa Kruse-Peeples, an educator with Native Seeds/SEARCHNative Seeds/SEARCH is a nonprofit that, according to its mission statement, “seeks to find, protect, and preserve the seeds of the people of the Greater Southwest so that these arid adapted crops may benefit all peoples and nourish a changing world.” and an ASU alumna. “Where campus is, is ancient farm land and people have been growing food along the Salt River for nearly 4,000 years, and many of those same varieties still exist today.”

Kruse-Peeples will be one of four panelists talking about everything from urban agriculture to climate adaption of crops. Other panelists are Kenny Barrett, owner and manager of the Roosevelt Growhouse, and Netra Chhetri and Christopher Wharton of ASU's Food Systems Transformation Initiative. ASU Library, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and Defend Our Future, a nonprofit focused on environmental defense, helped organize the panel.

For Rene Tanner, Noble Science Library life sciences librarian and unofficial keeper of ASU’s first seed library, organizing the panel was an opportunity to connect experts with those students interested in change. 

“It’s not like we’re going to put our capes on and figure out how to solve this whole thing,” said Tanner, “but there are things that we can do that improve the world, improve our health and improve local communities.” 

Tanner started the seed library — which officially began in 2014 — as a way to make it easier and affordable for students and staff to start their own gardens.

“I thought it would be a really nice thing to bring here to ASU because we have students who are doing gardening, and there are gardening clubs on campus,” she said. “This was a way for them to get seeds for free, and if they have a bountiful harvest they can bring seeds back — but I’m really focused on providing seeds so people can grow things.”

At any given time, the seed library contains dozens of varieties that are ready to go into the ground immediately. Tanner keeps it updated to what’s in season, including pollinators, vegetables and some fruits.

She keeps the seed library in her office; those interested should email her at Rene.Tanner@asu.edu to set up a time to visit.

One of the library’s most regular users? The Barrett Sustainability Club for its members and for any Barrett student that uses the honors college’s rooftop garden. Global health sophomore Syeda Umar is one of these students, using the seeds in her family’s garden plots in South Phoenix.

“The area of Phoenix that we’re in is a food desertThe USDA defines food deserts as parts of the country lacking fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful wholefoods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers.,” said Umar as she shares pictures of her knee-high corn on her phone. “I wanted to know where the food that I’m getting is coming from because I’m growing it.”

Umar and other club members have compiled a list of seeds the club will collect for spring 2018 planting since the garden is currently dormant. The list contains more than 25 seed varieties, from snow peas to spinach to sunflowers.

“We’re hoping to encourage a love of gardening as a pastime and a connection with nature for the students because it’s a really great stress reliever,” Umar said.

Librarian Tanner hopes the panel will help connect interested students like Umar with experts so they can ask questions and decide how they will use and grow food in the future.

For Kruse-Peeples, who graduated from ASU in 2013 after researching the agricultural processes of ancient Arizona, value lies in revisiting the past.  

“All people were farmers and gatherers and were very connected to their food, but today very few people have any idea of how the food actually gets to your plate,” she said. “So we’re sort of relearning what has really been a part of our history of who we are as humans for most of our existence.”

‘Defend Our Food’

What: Lunch and conversation with local food experts to learn about how to make local agriculture and community and home gardening part of your life.

When: noon-2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Where: Hayden Library, room C55, Tempe campus.

Details: Free. Garden seeds from ASU’s seed library will also be available. Find more information, as well as how to RSVP, on ASU Events.

 

Top photo: Jalapeño seeds on a fingertip. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Deanna Dent

Photographer , ASU Now

480-727-5972