Assistant Clinical Professor

Hannah Spero Hannah Spero is an assistant clinical professor for the Master of Science — Family Nurse Practitioner and Master of Health Services — Physician Assistant Studies degree programs at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. In addition to her educational duties, she works as an adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner at the UC Davis Health Healthy Aging Clinic. 

As a provider, Spero endeavors to apply primary palliative care concepts in her geriatric primary care practice. She focuses on exploring goals of care to maximize patient autonomy and wellness for older adults. Her time at multiple VA medical facilities has also prepared her to address mental health concerns in the primary care setting. As an educator, she emphasizes the importance of critical thinking in health care.  Her research interests include geriatric quality of life, communication in advanced care planning, care of aging homeless individuals, and support for caregivers of elderly individuals with comorbid medical and psychiatric diagnoses.

Spero’s passion for patient care arose out of her work on her Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies at UCLA.  She spent a semester at the University of Ghana and it was through her volunteer work at the Osu Maternity Home in Ghana that she decided to pursue a nursing career. After graduation, she became a certified nursing assistant, working in hospice and long-term care at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Spero returned to school to become a nurse and nurse practitioner at the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing Program at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. She served as a Fuld Palliative Care Fellow and VA Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) Scholar while at Emory. As a Fuld Fellow, she trained in multiple palliative care settings and authored scholarly work on Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form variation as well as the use methadone for cancer pain management. As a VANAP Scholar, Spero completed the majority of her clinical training at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, caring for medically and socially complex veterans. 

Spero also used her nursing skills in the service of Atlanta’s underserved populations. She volunteered with the Mercy Care Street Medicine Team and multiple local homeless foot clinics, utilizing her experience caring for homeless veterans to provide primary care to unsheltered individuals. She also co-directed the Atlanta Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Program at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta’s public hospital. The program aimed to provide high need, high cost patients with additional social support to better their health and connect them to care. She was the principal investigator on the program’s main grant through the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Association’s 2019 Healthcare Innovation Program Seed Grant.

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