Vivian (V.) Tellis-Nayak, PhD and Mary Tellis-Nayak, RN, MSN, MPH

The Illinois Pioneer Coalition is proud to create the Vivian and Mary Tellis-Nayak nursing school scholarship opportunity

Mary, a nurse by trade, has focused the majority of her professional career on promoting the importance, of all the nursing roles in long-term care, with a focus on direct care givers. She authored several groundbreaking sets of standards for dementia care units, sub-acute care, and person-centered care. Vivian, a renowned long-term care researcher, quantitatively proved that Directors of Nursing (DONs) and Nursing Home Administrators (NHAs) are directly related to skilled nursing care center quality performance. He also provided the first quantitative proof that quality in skilled nursing centers has a positive impact on financial revenue and that DON and NHA turnover are the single best predictors of poor quality and revenues. Together, they authored “Return of Compassion to Health Care” and continue to advocate nationally promoting person centered care, performance improvement and challenging everyone to recognize the value of compassion in healthcare


The Pioneer Coalition advocates and facilitates deep system change and transformation in our culture of aging.

To achieve this, we
1. Create communication, networking, and learning opportunities;

2. Promote transformation in practices, services, public policy and research;

3. Provide access to resources and leadership.


The Pioneer Coalition is committed to an authentic person-centered model of care for all older adults.­

To this end, the Illinois Pioneer Coalition offers 2 scholarships to Care Partners, RNs, and LPNs who are committed to furthering their own education and specialized practice working with older adults in various communities including long-term care and home health.

The Pioneer Coalition offers two $1000.00 scholarships to individuals to further their education in care of the older adult. This offer includes Care Partners/CNAs with a desire to advance to LPN/RN or an LPN with a desire to advance to RN.


Applications for the 2019-2020 scholarships are now closed.  Check back soon for details on the next application period.


For more information, Contact:
Diane Heliker:  dheliker@utmb.edu
Leslie Pedtke: leslie.pedtke@kingmgt.com