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DNP Alumna headed to Mayo Clinic


Lauren Adams-Sanantonio’s journey to Rochester, MN, holds many puzzle pieces. From finding her passion for nursing at a young age to battling her own health scares during her academic career, all paths led to Adams-Sanantonio landing the first Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology and Hepatology (GIH) Fellowship in the college’s history.

Adams-Sanantonio felt a calling to help people when she was a child. Her mother fostered her love of science by involving her in her medical assistant career. It seemed natural to enter healthcare after high school, and the versatility of nursing caught her attention.

“There’s so much versatility in nursing overall. I liked that I had the opportunity to go back to school if I ever wanted to,” said Adams-Sanantonio.

Adams-Sanantonio completed a 12-month residency in the Mayo Clinic’s ICU after completing her BSN. Her research team evaluated post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). Through coordination with physical therapy, the team promoted a toolkit called the ABCDEF bundle that prevents patients from developing physical and mental impairments from ICU stays.

It was her residency that encouraged Adams-Sanantonio to pursue nursing practice “There were so many cases, very severe cases, where I wondered, ‘What could have been done to prevent this person from getting to this point?’”

After being exposed to severe cases in the ICU, Adams-Sanantonio found her passion in health promotion. Becoming a nurse practitioner and preventing disease through education and communication would be a worthwhile endeavor.

Adams-Sanantonio chose to specialize in gastroenterology after battling with personal chronic conditions. Before starting the DNP program, she developed gastroparesis, or partial to complete paralysis of the stomach. The slew of symptoms it caused forced her to seek treatment from multiple facilities during the program. However, it offered an opportunity to see care through a patient’s lens.

“I’m hopeful that my experiences, although it was a rocky road, will be impactful long-term,” said Adams-Sanantonio. “It will allow me to be more compassionate and develop different approaches to my care process."

The GIH Fellowship will take Adams-Sanantonio through several inpatient and outpatient rotations, including a rotation in the ICU she worked in during her experience with Mayo. The fellowship also requires her to complete didactic, GIH curriculum, a 12-month research project, skills training, etc.

Adams-Sanantonio is most excited about the opportunity the fellowship offers for research. Aside from the international recognition Mayo Clinic has in medical research, Adams-Sanantonio will be sent to conferences and offered roles in clinical research unique to Mayo.

Adams-Sanantonio believes MSU prepared her for success throughout her studies. She took advantage of opportunities for travel, networking, and developing her passion for research with support from all over the college. She will continue to maintain contact with her MSU network, including her advisor Dr. Linda Keilman. Adams-Sanantonio’s DNP project was selected to be presented at the 2023 ANA-MI Conference and Membership Assembly. However, the GIH Fellowship will prevent her from attending.