What's going on?
October 22, 2014
A CU Town Hall Meeting on Veteran and Military Health will take place on October 22, 2014 from 9:00-12:00 with a breakfast provided. This meeting will take place on Anschutz Medical Campus at the Health Science Library on the 3rd floor reading room. If you are interested in attending this event, RSVP by Friday, October 17 to Marissa Ayres (email@example.com).
September 12, 2014
The C-P.A.W.W. team participated in the second annual Anschutz Medical Campus Block Party. The event was a great opportunity for the C-P.A.W.W. team to spread the word about our research and learn what other investigators are accomplishing on the campus. Though the weather was unseasonably chilly, the Block Party was a great success and the team hopes to participate in the future.
(left to right): Nora Mund, Lulu, Jill Wilschke and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello.
August 20, 2014
Dr. Krause-Parello and Colonel Mona Pearl attended an event by one of our partner organizations, Freedom Service Dogs of America. The event featured a keynote address by former U.S. Army Captain, Luis Carlos Montalvan who is the author of the book, Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him. Captain Montalvan and his service dog, Tuesday, are a great example of the healing power of the human-canine relationship, and our researchers were glad to have met this team.
(left to right): Colonel Mona Pearl, Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan, Tuesday and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello
July 20, 2014
Dr. Krause-Parello and Dr. Erika Friedmann from the University of Maryland presented a poster: "Physiologic Effect of a Canine Intervention during Forensic Interviews in Child Sexual Abuse Cases" at a conference in Vienna, Austria. The meeting, Animals and Humans together: Integration in Society, was the 23rd Annual International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) Conference, emphasized "the role that human-animal interactions play in society, including basic understanding of human-animal interactions and relationships and their effects on both the human and the animal based on empirical evidence" (ISAZ 2014)
(left to right): Dr. Erika Friedmann and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello
June 12, 2014
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.
(left to right): RADM Kerry Paige Nesseler, M.S., R.N.
and Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello
May 7-8, 2014
(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
Pictured (left to right): U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, Dean Sarah Thompson and Dr. Cheryl A. Krause-Parello.
Dr. 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
Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and her research team paired up with Pets for Vets in a Veteran's Day 5k run.
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!
The C-P.A.W.W. Team
Pictured: Jessica Grey, Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello and Sarah Sarni
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.
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 in the application process. 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.
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.
Nora Mund, USMC Veteran (RA)
Pictured: Nora and her dog, Freyja
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 also has experience in training service dogs and is pursuing certification.
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.
Kristie Morales (RA)
Pictured: Kristie and her dog, Mufasa
Kristie is currently pursuing her BA in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU). She is beginning her senior year and plans to apply to clinical PhD programs next fall.
Kristie developed a strong research interest in human-animal interactions through the mentoring of a professor at MSU. She has always been an animal lover and advocate, but it was through this research that she became a proponent of the healing power of animals and the human-animal bond. After learning about C-P.A.W.W., she knew she wanted to get involved with this organization because it stands for everything about which she feels passionate.
Kristie hopes to continue researching human-animal interactions, and believes in an integrative therapeutic approach to mental health; she plans to incorporate animal-assisted therapy into her treatment protocol. "I'm very excited, and feel extremely fortunate to work with Dr. Krause-Parello and the C-P.A.W.W. team. I feel strongly that canines can provide psychosocial support and greatly help individuals achieve therapeutic gains."
Our Dogs and Handlers
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 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
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 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:
The Colorado Correctional Industries, Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program
"The Colorado Correctional Industries (CCI), Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program (PTKCP) is a program which provides the outside community with pre-trained dogs. Dogs graduating from the program fill many roles: everything from a wonderfully trained basic family pet, to a nursing home dog, to very sophisticated assistance dogs whihc perform a variety of tasks for their masters." -CCI, PTKCP
Lindhunde Dog Training
"Kathy Haley began Lindhunde Dog Training to help Veterans and others find and train their service dogs and to help people train their dogs, whether for competition or to be family pets." Lindhunde Dog Training
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Colorado
"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 Dogs
"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
"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
"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
"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.
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.
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 Newsroom: Cheryl Krause-Parello: Recognized nationally by nursing colleagues
"Krause-Parello is widely known for improving the health of wounded warriors through animal-assisted interventions. She has built a portfolio of scholarship and advanced research measuring psychobiological outcomes of animal interaction among military veterans, culminating in October 2013 when she founded C-P.A.W.W. [...] Through this program, she has created a network of veterans' organizations and health care facilities to partner in her research and, based on her findings, to implement animal-assisted interaction to improve military health."
The American Nurse: Her innovative projects to improve health of veterans, wounded warriors.pdf
"Then as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued [...] I wanted to do something to give back, especially to those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. I expanded my research to see if animal-assisted interventions can improve the health of military veterans. I'm really trying to build the science around the therapeutic use of animals, because once that happens, we can change public policy and make it an evidence-based, reimbursable treatment."
Pets in the City Magazine: Helping Our Heroes: Can Dogs Aid Returned Veterans?
"'Plenty of anecdotal evidence indicates that dogs help. Dogs are nonjudgmental and supremely compassionate,' says [Research Assistant, Jessica] Grey. 'The goals of the research are to provide objective data that indicate how canines relieve stress and to find the cases in which canines can be a reliable source of stress relief. Ultimately, we hope the data will make it easier for those need this kind of assistance to get it.'" (pg 16-17)
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."
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."
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."