Assistant Professor, School of Medicine; CPNP Child Neurology
Co-Leader, Pediatric to Adult Transition Program, Children’s Hospital Colorado
Dr. Jennifer Disabato is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing, and holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, School of Medicine (SOM) where she practices part-time in the Division of Child Neurology. Dr. Disabato joined the teaching faculty in 2013 following two decades of adjunct faculty roles as a clinical scholar for undergraduate nursing clinical groups, guest lecturer and PNP student preceptor. Upon completion of her DNP in 2012 and joining the teaching faculty full-time in 2013. Dr. Disabato was appointed as the founding MS Specialty Director for a new Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (AC PNP) program, which enrolled its first students in 2014. She continues to teach in the program, advise DNP students and is a facilitator in the Interprofessional Education (IPE) program on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Dr. Disabato’s academic scholarship interests are in the area of Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition for adolescents and emerging adults with chronic conditions. In her three decades of PNP practice as CHCO, she cared for numerous patients and families experiencing chronic complex illness. Her DNP final project focused on an interdisciplinary approach supporting transition for adolescents with intractable epilepsy. In 2013, she received a joint CU School of Medicine and CHCO Clinical Operational Effectiveness and Patient Safety Grant to support a successful expansion of the interventions to all pediatric neurology patients. Subsequently, Dr. Disabato became a member of a hospital-wide task force in 2016. In 2019, she became a co-leader for CHCO hospital wide transition initiatives.
Nationally, Dr. Disabato has participated in numerous collaborations related to adult care transition. A collaboration with two national nursing leaders to investigate pediatric nursing professionals’ role in health care transition planning that began in 2015 led to the development validation and use of the Nursing Roles in Health Care Transition Planning (NR-HCTP) instrument, which has yielded three publications to date. In addition, Dr. Disabato is a frequent presenter at local, regional and national conferences on this topic and is a co-author of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) position statement on Pediatric to Adult Transition published in 2020. She represented NAPNAP at the NIH National Institutes of Nursing Research Roundtable, on Transition to Adult Care for those with chronic conditions.
In 2020 she was invited to join two national initiatives focused on improving transition to adult care for youth with pediatric onset conditions: The American Academy of Pediatrics National Coordinating Center for Epilepsy Adult Health Care Transition Toolkit committee and the joint American Academy of Neurology/Child Neurology Foundation Transition Planning Advisory Committee. In addition to peer-reviewed journal articles, Dr. Disabato has authored two textbook chapters on adult care transition. Committed to promoting the role of the pediatric NP, she has served on the Board of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Chapter of NAPNAP for several years, and is the current president of the board (2020-2021).