AANP Member Spotlight: Spearheading Hepatitis C Research With AANP Grant Funding

Humberto Reinoso

Hear from a 2020 AANP Grant recipient on what being a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) means to him.

Driven by a desire to help and give back to others — particularly after the events of September 11, 2001 — Humberto Reinoso, PhD, RN, FNP, ENP-BC, first entered the health care field as a nurse in the emergency department (ED).

“I worked with a number of PAs and nurse practitioners (NPs), and I thought the NP role would be an ideal work environment. NPs are not just caring for patients; we partner with patients to address their health care needs,” he explained.

“Stemming from my emergency nursing background, I wanted to help prevent patients from needing the ED. So often, we see patients in the ED who are experiencing exacerbations of chronic conditions. NPs spend a lot of time educating patients on treatment and prevention so these conditions remain under control and so patients don’t need to visit the hospital.”

Dr. Reinoso received his PhD in nursing from Barry University and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Miami and Barry University. Now, with both family nurse practitioner (FNP) and emergency nurse practitioner (ENP) certifications, he is an assistant professor and nurse practitioner coordinator at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University.

In 2020, he applied for and was awarded a grant from AANP: “I was ecstatic to be selected. With any approved grant application, it’s validation that the work you’re presenting and aspiring to complete is worthwhile.”

Passion Project Becomes a Fully Funded Reality

Dr. Reinoso’s doctoral studies focused on the hepatitis C virus (HCV), particularly among the baby-boom generation. “Around the time that I was continuing my education and seeking doctoral studies, there were a lot of changes to HCV screening and treatment. Several of my family members were diagnosed, and I lost my dad to HCV,” he said. “Ultimately, this became the focus of my doctoral and post-doctoral studies.”

During his time in Miami, Dr. Reinoso worked with local organizations on screening and educating newly diagnosed patients. After moving to Georgia, he saw a gap in HCV screening and treatment in rural communities: “I wanted to address this need by educating health care providers, mainly NPs in rural areas, on HCV guidelines and practice so patients do not have that fear of needing to see a specialist instead of their primary care provider.”

Now, with the help of his AANP Grant, Dr. Reinoso plans to establish screening and treatment of HCV at local health clinics. In rural communities, he noted, some providers aren’t screening and don’t have resources available for patients. His goal is to educate these providers and establish minimum screening guidelines as a stepping stone for establishing HCV treatment.

“There is a lot of need out there in the health care field. At times, though you may feel a particular topic is important, the state or local community might not feel the same. This has been a personal project interest of mine. When an organization that I value, AANP, also saw value in this topic and found it important to address, that was a great feeling,” Dr. Reinoso shared.

“I look forward to completing the project and then seeing how it improves the care of patients. I hope to find a partner in the state of Georgia, make some connections in these communities and, with the resources available, initiate and implement a program to make a positive, long-term impact. Ultimately, I would like to be the HCV advocate for the state."

As a member of both AANP and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), he encourages his colleagues to apply for grant opportunities like the AANP Grant program.

“Every time you submit an application, you receive feedback, allowing you to tweak your application and make it stronger. Keep at it, and believe in the value of your work,” he said. “I’m grateful that AANP offers this opportunity, and I look forward to presenting this data. My passion is hepatitis, but there are a lot of other patients and conditions that warrant the focus, as well.”

Dr. Reinoso is also a proud AANP member. Through his role at Mercer University, Dr. Reinoso invites an AANP State Representative to present to students on current NP legislation and on the importance of using their NP voice.

“As the national organization for NPs, AANP is the ideal advocate for the NP community because it has the interests of the practicing NP at heart — NPs anywhere in the country and of any specialty,” he said. “There are great conferences, great continuing education (CE) activities and great updates on day-to-day practice. AANP is one of those well-rounded organizations that I use on a daily basis because it keeps me updated on what I need to know for my patients and in the NP world.”

Financial Support: For NPs, From AANP

AANP is honored to be able to provide financial support to members. With many inspirational recipients like Dr. Reinoso, the AANP Grant program awards up to $5,000 in funding to applicants each year. In 2020, this amounted to $37,500 in total!

The 2021 AANP Grant Program is now accepting applications. Grants are currently available to members who are practicing in an NP role. Applicants must be certified NPs, and graduate students are welcome to apply if their project is expected to be completed in 2022.

In addition, AANP Scholarships are available to members who are currently enrolled in an accredited graduate school in pursuit of an advanced degree. Applicants must be licensed as a registered nurse (RN), have at least one semester of classes completed and be scheduled to complete an eligible NP program between fall (August) 2021 and summer (July) 2022. In 2020, scholarship awardees received a total of $82,500 in funding.

Applications for 2021 AANP Grants and Scholarships are due by 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT) on March 24. Don’t wait — apply today!

Apply for an AANP Grant

Apply for an AANP Scholarship