Dr. Melissa Batchelor-Aselage, who joined the DUSON faculty in July, 2011 earned a BSN (1996) and then an MSN in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty (2000) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). From 2005 to 2011, she served as a full-time lecturer at the UNCW SON while maintaining a clinical practice as an FNP in geriatric primary care and nursing home settings. In 2011, she received the UNCW SON Faculty of the Year Award. She is board certified as both a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Gerontological Registered Nurse.
Dr. Batchelor-Aselage was a 2009-2011 National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Patricia G. Archbold (a program previously known as the John A. Hartford Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Scholars program). She completed her PhD in nursing and a Post-Master’s Certificate in nurse education at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing in August 2011. Her dissertation, which focused on alleviating mealtime difficulties in older adults with dementia through development of a web-based dementia feeding skills training program for nursing home staff, received Distinguished Dissertation Award from the 2011 Southern Research Nursing Society/Aging Research Interest Group.
Since joining the DUSON faculty, Dr. Batchelor-Aselage has been awarded the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Claire M. Fagin Fellowship for 2012-2014 to support her post-doctoral program of study. With this funding, she is conducting the first study to compare different careful hand feeding techniques, which can be used to provide feeding assistance to persons with dementia in the nursing home setting.
Dr. Batchelor-Aselage has also received funding as a Project Director for a study funded through the Adaptive Leadership for Cognitive Affective Symptom Science (ADAPT) Center, a Center of Excellence grant funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research P30NR014139. This study will be conducted 2014-2017, and will develop a careful hand feeding dementia skills training program for nursing home staff. Dr. Batchelor-Aselage currently maintains her clinical practice in the Duke Medicine Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment (GET) clinic.