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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing
 

C-P.A.W.W. Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors

Health Research Initiative for Veterans


​Welcome to C-P.A.W.W., Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors: a Health Research Initiative for Veterans in the College of Nursing, University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. The C-P.A.W.W. initiative was established in October 2013 to advance the health and well-being of members of the armed forces. At C-P.A.W.W., we are committed to the evolution of nursing knowledge within the context of research, education and practice in order to better assist the military population. We invite you to explore our site, which is aimed at advancing the standards of care for our military veterans in our region and beyond. 

 

Mission

The mission of C-P.A.W.W. is to advance interdisciplinary research, education and practice protocols for wounded warriors and veterans through the development of evidence-based and restorative interventions, to support military-related health initiatives by building community partnerships, to investigate therapeutic interventions that positively influence health outcomes and to emphasize system planning and protocols of care development for the armed forces.

Significance

C-P.A.W.W. joins with community partners who provide support for our military, advance evidence-based practice protocols in military-related clinical settings and promote the delivery of culturally-congruent and competent care for the military members.

What's going on?


June 12, 2014

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Dr. Krause-Parello was recently honored by the American Nurses Association at the National Honorary Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. Dr. Krause-Parello received the 2014 Jessie M. Scott Award, recognizing demonstration of the interdependent relationships among nursing education, practice and research.

RADM Kerry Paige Nesseler, M.S., R.N., accepted the Hall of Fame Inductee award on behalf of RADM Jessie M. Scott.









Pictured (left to right): RADM Kerry Paige Nesseler, M.S., R.N.

and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello

May 7-8, 2014

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Pictured (left to right): Colonel Mona Pearl, Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and Dr. Kate Trujillo


Dr. Krause-Parello was invited to be a speaker at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC) at University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. The focus of the conference was the application of and research about animal-assisted therapy. Dr. Krause-Parello's presentation was well-received and she was thrilled to be involved. For more information, visit the conference website.



Pictured (left to right): Research assistants, Sarah Sarni, Paula Lewis and Jessica Grey, with Steve Mumford's painting, "We Could be Heroes" 


April 10, 2014

The C-P.A.W.W. team attended the grand opening of an exhibition of artwork from wounded warriors entitled, "The Joe Bonham Project: Drawing the Stories of America's Wounded Veterans." The team had the opportunity to interact with the community, view the exhibition and share some of the work with which the C-P.A.W.W. team is involved. The curation and artwork for this exhibit is quite moving and the team recommends this exhibit to anyone with an interest in this important topic. The exhibit will continue until June 12, 2014, and will also feature an ongoing film festival that is free of charge and open to the public. Please visit the The Joe Bonham Project website for more information.


March 10, 2014

Dr. Krause-Parello was asked to present at Kempe Grand Rounds. The title of her presentation was: "Child Sexual Abuse and Animal-Assisted Intervention: An Innovative Stress-Reducing Approach for Children Undergoing Forensic Interview."


February 13, 2014

The C-P.A.W.W. team was invited to present a booth at the 7th Annual Donor Recognition Dinner, an event put on by the University of Colorado Denver. The event was created in order to honor those individuals who have made a significant contribution to research at the University. The C-P.A.W.W. team was the only research team from the College of Nursing asked to attend this event. The team had a great time learning about other research going on in the University and sharing our vision with the community.



 

 


February 13, 2014


The C-P.A.W.W. team hosted a talk given by Colonel Mona Pearl. The title of Col. Pearl's
presentation was: "Mom Goes to War: The Effect of Deployment on Military Women and Adolescent Children" and it was well-received by the community.

Pictured: Colonel Mona Pearl and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello



 

January 24, 2014

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Pictured (left to right): U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, Dean Sarah Thompson and Dr. Cheryl A. Krause-Parello.


C-PAWW discussion.jpgDr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and Dean Sarah Thompson met with U.S. Representative Mike Coffman on January 24th, 2014 to discuss the goals of the C-P.A.W.W. Health Research Initiative for Veterans. To learn more, read the CU Connections article.




November 9, 2013

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Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and her research team paired up with Pets for Vets in a Veteran's Day 5k run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The team had a wonderful time running in the event. On top of that, the C-P.A.W.W. team had incredible fundraising support for the veterans, coming in at the top of the fundraising leader board!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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​The C-P.A.W.W. Team


Pictured (left to right): Paula Lewis, Jessica Grey, Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and Sarah Sarni



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Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD, RN (Director)  

Dr. Krause-Parello is currently researching canine interaction as a stress-reducing mechanism in the wounded warrior and veteran populations. She began her research in the field of animal-assisted intervention during her doctoral studies. Her academic advisor told her that she needed to find a topic about which she was passionate in order to construct a successful dissertation. While lying out in the sun, looking down at her beloved dachshund, Samantha, she thought, “You are the one who is going to get me through my PhD program.”

Dr. Krause-Parello’s program of research was inspired by her husband, a Marine Veteran. She wanted to give back, and states that she was “too old to serve,” so she decided to build upon her passion for canines and her research experience as a nurse scientist.

She believes that these projects represent a small token of her gratitude and are a way to give back to the military community who has sacrificed for our freedom. Dr. Krause-Parello is expanding her research in the Denver area with community partners that support the mission of C-P.A.W.W. To read more, click the link above to view her faculty page.

 


 

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Jessica Grey, BA (PRA)

Pictured: Jessica and her dog, T.

Jessica received her BA in neuroscience (with an emphasis in behavioral neuropharmacology) and a minor in Italian studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She plans to attend medical school and is currently finishing her required courses and studying for the MCAT. She has always been interested in neuroscience. "In the future, I would love to investigate the neurochemical or neuroscientific effects of canines on humans."

When Jessica was quite young, her family dog, a golden retriever, passed away. She campaigned her parents to get another dog, which involved the writing and producing her one and only single, entitled "Puppy Fever," which was successful several years later when her family adopted another dog: a German Shepherd named Blizzy.

When she saw the research assistant job posting, Jessica knew she had to be a part of Dr. Krause-Parello's research in some way. "I truly believe that canines are therapeutic for humans." Jessica hopes that C-P.A.W.W. research will eventually help veterans suffering from PTSD, victims of child abuse and others who are suffering.


 


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Sarah Sarni, BA (RA)

Pictured: Sarah and her dog, Staley 

Sarah received her BA in psychology, and her first professional position was working as a research coordinator. After spending eight years in the pharmaceutical industry, Sarah decided to pursue her passion for medical science and enrolled in the BSN program at the University of Colorado College of Nursing. Sarah has a strong interest in research and immediately sought involvement via the Office of Research and Scholarship. As a lifelong animal lover with a background in psychology, a position with C-P.A.W.W. was an ideal fit.

“I feel tremendously fortunate to be a part of such an elite institution that values research to this degree. I am very excited to be a part of the C-P.A.W.W. team. We are working on novel, powerful initiatives and Dr. Krause-Parello is a dynamic, dedicated researcher who constantly inspires and challenges us to do our best.”

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains and spending time with her husband, young daughter, German Shepherd-Husky mix, and two grumpy, old cats. Sarah plans on continuing her education beyond her BSN and is interested in oncology, autoimmunity, and the effects of nutrition on disease prevention.

 



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Nora Mund, USMC Veteran (RA)

Pictured: Nora and her dog, Grizzy

Nora is a Colorado native currently pursuing a degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, who served in Afghanistan as a Female Engagement Team member. While she was a part of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, in Camp Pendleton, California, she had the opportunity to volunteer for an organization called FreedomDogs based in Southern California, she learned the importance of service dogs on rehabilitation of service members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Nora spends her free time in the outdoors and enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, and has a goal to hike all of the 14ers in Colorado. When she first saw the posting of the C-PAWW program through the Veterans Student Organization, she immediately desired to be apart of the team and have the opportunity to learn more about the goals and aims of the program.



 

Our Dogs and Handlers


Lulu

Lulu is an Indirect Psychiatric Service dog who assists her handler, Gillian Wilschke, in her work with student veterans in need of mental health services. She is a black Labrador Retriever.

 Pictured: Lulu and handler, Gillian "Jill" Wilschke, LMFT






Butler

Butler is the canine member of C-P.A.W.W.’s Professional Clinician-Canine Team (PCCT). Butler specializes in the reduction of stress and trauma in children. He is a yellow Labrador Retriever.

 Pictured: Butler and handler, Dr. Kate Trujillo

 

 


 

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Waffle 

Waffle works with the palliative care team as a facility dog at the Denver VA to bring comfort and support to veterans and their families. She is a Labrador/Golden Retriever Cross.

Pictured: Waffle and handler, Dr. Elizabeth Holman

 


 

 

 

 

Pecos

Pecos is an expertly trained facility canine at the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters Child Advocacy Center in Norfolk, VA. He works with children of alleged sexual abuse during the forensic interview process. He is a Labrador/Golden Retriever Cross.

Pictured: Pecos and handler, Forensic Interviewer Michele Thames

The C-P.A.W.W. team is committed to bringing together community resources that support our military. We are partnered with:


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Colorado

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​"The Colorado Chapter of [American Foundation for Suicide Prevention] AFSP was chartered in June 2012. The Chapter serves Colorado by bringing suicide prevention [...], awareness programs and survivor support initiatives to communities across the state. " -AFSP- Colorado​



Freedom Service D​ogs

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​"Freedom Service Dogs is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs. We provide lifetime support to our client-dog partners and we need your help to continue our mission." -Freedom Service Dogs




CU Denver Office of Veteran Student Services


Screen shot 2014-03-11 at 3.16.45 PM.png"With the newly-created program, CU Denver Boots to Suits [...aims] to assist highly trained and educated veterans as they move from the classroom to a career." -Boots to Suits



 

Pets for Vets

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"The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance to shelter pets by rescuing, training, and pairing them with America's veterans who could benefit from a companion animal." -Pets for Vets

Find out more about Pets for Vets' inspirational message in this video 

 

 



Warrior Canine Connection 



"Where Service Members and Veterans with combat stress take on the critical mission of training service dogs for fellow Wounded Warriors." -Warrior Canine Connection

 
 
 

 

​Military-Focused AAI Research

The C-P.A.W.W. team is studying the effect of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) in the military population.

Dr. Krause-Parello has an extensive background in this field and is currently expanding her work in Denver and the greater community:

Canine Visitation and Hospitalized Older Veterans: An Innovative Approach to Impacting Stress Indicators

This study investigates the effects of canine interaction on stress responses (salivary cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase, immunoglobulin A, blood pressure, and heart rate) in senior veterans receiving palliative care at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System in Denver, CO.


Working Dogs for Wounded Warriors: Effects of animal-assisted therapy on PTSD

Dr. Krause-Parello is the associate investigator of this study investigating the biobehavioral and psychobiologic interface among animal-assisted therapy and stress indicators, salivary cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase, and IgA, blood pressure, and pulse, in wounded warriors being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

 


AAI Research

Dr. Krause-Parello has many AAI initiatives. Below are some of her funded projects involving AAI:

 

Behavioral and Psychobiologic Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Traumatic Stress Disorder in Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse 

Dr. Krause-Parello is the principal investigator of this study dealing with canine companionship for children who have suffered from sexual abuse. 

 

The Effects of Canines Visitation on Older Adults and their Caregivers Living in the Community

This study examined the effect of pet visitation on blood pressure and pulse in older adults and their caregivers with Dr. Krause-Parello as principal investigator.

 

Measuring Cortisol and Immunoglobulin A in Human Saliva

As principal investigator, Dr. Krause-Parello aimed to examine the relationship among stress, pet interaction, and health (using in vivo and in vitro measurements).

 

Relationships Among Loneliness, Human Social Support, Pet Attachment Support, and Subjective Well-being in Older Adults

The goal of this project was to study the relationships among loneliness, social support, pet attachment support, and subjective well-being in older adults. Dr. Krause-Parello was the principal investigator.

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This program of research is dedicated to Dr. Krause-Parello's dachshund, Samantha who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

 

 

Animal-assisted intervention (AAI) is an interesting and innovative approach to well-being and health across the lifespan. Below are some samples  of the media attention Dr. Krause-Parello’s work has received.

CU Connections: Man's best friend may actually help heal

"Animals have been serving humans for thousands of years, but scientific research indicates that they may also play a key role in healing, especially for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Imagine hearing this from your provider: 'Play with your dog for two hours and call me in the morning.' Research by Associate Professor Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD, RN, may lead to just that."


Orange County Register: Keeping stress on a leash

"There is evidence that interacting with and owning an animal can decrease certain stress markers. But there has not been much research about the effects of service dogs in improving the mental health of veterans with PTSD, nor enough research to define what a service dog is versus a companion dog, said Cheryl Krause-Parello, an associate professor in nursing at the University of Colorado."


ReadTheSpirit Online Magazine: Dogs, Bees and Us: Does "Lassie" reduce stress?

"If a lab analyzes your saliva for stress biomarkers, you'll find that they have fallen after watching the canine clip. Watching Lassie reduces stress. That's the conclusion of research conducted by Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, currently an associate professor at the University of Colorado [Denver] College of Nursing and Director of Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors- C-P.A.W.W."

 

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University of Colorado Denver: A Veteran's Best Friend: Therapy and research with dogs help returning service members

"'Our instincts tell us that animals make a difference, that they have an effect on people they visit,' Krause-Parello said. 'But it's not enough to just say it happens. You need research and you need to measure the difference animals make.'"


 

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USA Weekend:
Why pets are good for us

"In recent years, research has demonstrated the healthful benefits of pets. Now, investigators are trying to figure out why pets are good for us. Krause-Parello, assistant professor and director of the Center for Nursing Research at Kean University in Union, N.J., learned that people feel better after watching a Lassie flick because their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, take a free fall."

 

 

 
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Esperanza: Hope to cope with anxiety and depression
: The Power of Pets

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the company of a pet can help people who are living with depression. Maybe it’s because cats, dogs and other companion creatures offer unlimited affection and nonjudgmental companionship. They lift our spirits and lower our stress. They counteract symptoms such as isolation, rumination and lethargy."

 

 

 

Living Media: People On The Move: Cheryl A. Krause-Parello

"Their innovative two-year study, commencing at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD this summer, will explore how  animal-assisted therapy may reduce the stress biomarkers present in saliva, such as cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA), in combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and combat-related traumatic brain injury. 'We will be looking to see if their stress indicators reduce, if blood  pressure falls, if they look forward to the dog coming, and if there’s a lasting effect from the canine visitation. We will take the physiologic  measurements before, after and 30 minutes after the canine’s visit, and compare the results to routine care. This is an investigation to see where  this type of research can lead to,' Dr. Krause-Parello says."