Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD '07
2016 – 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award Winner
Dr. Krause-Parello is an associate professor and the founder and director of C-P.A.W.W. (Canine Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors), an initiative dedicated to improving veterans’ health through funded research, dissemination of best practices, and increased access to care. C-P.A.W.W. serves as a central hub for organizations and individuals working to support veterans to facilitate better health outcomes.
Dr. Krause-Parello’s seminal research contributions focus on improving health and wellbeing through the testing and use of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) to decrease biological stress responses in vulnerable populations. Notably, many of her recent projects provide empirical evidence for the utility of canines in ameliorating symptoms of invisible wounds such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in military and veteran populations. Considering the strikingly high suicide rate among veterans—22 per day according to a 2012 Veterans Administration report— the long-term goals of her work have consistently been to influence healthcare policies geared towards improving veterans’ health outcomes. Providing the scientific evidence base to influence healthcare policy and make service dogs more accessible and affordable for veterans has been and will continue to be a vital research goal of Dr. Krause-Parello’s.
Dr. Krause-Parello continues to further expand her research regarding the effects of AAI on PTSD and suicide impulsivity among wounded warriors and veterans. In 2015, she examined the effects of a facility dog on stress indicators in hospitalized veterans. Her current research includes funded studies investigating the impact AAI has upon returning wounded warriors, military members undergoing aeromedical evacuation, and combat veterans engaged in civilian life. Her various projects have captured the attention of legislators on both federal and local levels advising lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act (H.R.356) and providing expert testimony on Colorado State Bill HB16-112; and outlining service dog training to meet the needs of veterans with PTSD.
Additionally, she has worked extensively with sexually-abused children, carrying out novel studies examining levels of stress-related biomarkers to investigate the stress-reducing effects of AAI during court-required forensic interviews. This groundbreaking research on canine-assisted forensic interviewing with abused children has transformed practice among child advocacy centers and law enforcement agencies on a national scale.
Dr. Krause-Parello is internationally and nationally recognized for her human-animal interaction work and continues to advance nursing science through leadership and service for the International Society for Anthrozoology, American Academy of Nursing, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Sigma Theta Tau among many others. Her diverse contributions to nursing science have been widely recognized by her peers. Recent accolades include designation as an AAN Emerging Edge Runner, her appointment as a FNINR Ambassador, Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) Ambassador, American Nurses Association 2014 Jessie M. Scott Award, 2015 Nightingale Luminary Award, Advocacy category, and selection for Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing 2015.