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Dr. Christina Mukon will bring her healthcare policy and healthcare quality expertise to the role of AANP state Liaison. At the core of Dr. Mukon’s work is the belief that patient advocacy is the central role of the NP. As patient advocates, NPs must advocate for access to high-quality NP care. She has a broad background to help achieve this goal with skillsets in healthcare leadership, quality, education, and policy. Dr. Mukon has worked as NP faculty, director of quality for a large complex healthcare system, and health policy chair for the Connecticut APRN Society. She has led numerous initiatives and aims to foster new leadership in NPs. She works to advocate for patients and elevate the nurse practitioner profession. Her background in leadership, quality, and regulation also informs her knowledge of process change and project management.
Assistant Professor at the University of Saint Joseph
I have served as the Connecticut NP Society Health Policy Chair in which I have worked closely with state and national entities on key health policy issues related to NP practice and public health. This position has given me additional insight into the broadness of health policy topics that affect NPs and our patients. In this position, I oversaw the Health Policy Committee and facilitated inter-professional groups to work collaboratively on mutual issues. I have also served as the Director of Quality for an organization that provides primary care, substance use services, and behavioral health services and is a local mental health authority. In this position, I have worked to ensure compliance with federal and state standards of practice as well as compliance with outside accrediting bodies such as the Joint Commission. I also oversaw the quality department and training department and worked to build cohesion and a team environment. These positions have helped me develop skills to foster leadership in others, to lead diverse professional teams, and to understand the issues that underpin numerous NP practice concerns.
The biggest issue facing NP delivery of health care is the patchwork approach to APRN training and regulation. As many training programs continue in MSN tracks while others switch to DNP tracks, we have a disparate level of training across the country. Likewise, each state sets its own law regarding NP or APRN practice. Many states license and regulate the various APRN professions and certifications differently as well. This piecemeal approach to legislation and lack of uniformity of training makes standardization of practice on a state level or national level very difficult. Payors have a difficult time making sense of the patchwork. Regulators also have a difficult time making sense of the patchwork. Legislators have a difficult time understanding the lack of uniformity. We are then left with random regulations or memorandums at state and national levels that limit NP practice which limits the care of patients. AANP can address this issue by facilitating model legislation and requiring uniform standards in NP education. AANP can also increase public awareness campaigns of NP practice standards and the impact on public health when these standards are not followed by national, state, or organizational policies.
My leadership skills include the ability to foster the mobilization of groups of people in a team environment and to take actionable steps toward improvement. One example of this is the implementation of Connie in Connecticut for behavioral health organizations and independent providers. Connie is the state's health information exchange and all healthcare providers are required to connect to it. This has posed a significant challenge regarding cost, liability, and privacy for behavioral health providers as well as independent practice providers. Seeing that this was not an NP-specific issue, I worked with the state's other professional groups that shared similar practice experiences (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, LPCs, and others) to work directly with the Office of Health Strategy to address these concerns. This effort has directly led to a larger inter-professional initiative with the Office of Health Strategy to address these concerns.
AP and the general public regarding health policy issues. NPsRN must learn about the importance of professional membership from the time that they are students and can help be the voice of professional change. One of the elements of the strategic plan focuses on increasing presence in state and federal legislation issues with legislators. While I plan to continue working closely with legislators myself, I also intend to help develop the next generation of leaders to step into this role. We as NPs must be actively involved with our legislators so that they think of us with any health policy topics. In developing new leaders and involvement in state and local issues, we will promote legislators to think "what is the NP perspective" on any health policy topics as they arise. Involvement of NPs at a state and federal level also helps to meet the other strategic goals of promoting NP expertise and provides the opportunity to address any misinformation. In order to effectively promote policy or payment changes, we must also educate the public and legislators on our care and address misinformation.