LaChaka S. Coffee of Atlanta, Georgia,

Dr. LaChaka Coffee: New Directions in Health Care

LaChaka S. Coffee, WC '00, BU '14, of Atlanta, Georgia,
LaChaka S. Coffee, WC ’00, BU ’08, of Atlanta, Georgia,

LaChaka Coffee, WC ’00, BU ’08, had a decade of experience as a nurse at Grady Health System in Atlanta. However, when long-discussed health care reforms started to become reality, she thought she needed to prepare for the future of health care, which she deduced would look vastly different from the one she entered as a new nurse in 2000. Therefore, she enrolled as one of the first students in Brenau’s new Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

“I felt like a doctoral degree would better prepare me as a service provider as well as an advocate for patient care,” she said.

Advocating for patients and educating them is one of Coffee’s passions as a nurse. While she was completing her DNP coursework and projects, she also worked full-time as a nurse at a prison in DeKalb County, where she conducted her capstone project for her DNP degree. She studied how the prison’s health system handled inmates who had high blood pressure or were at risk for developing it. She found that health care staff in the prison could improve their care for these patients, especially by consistently providing follow-up care and education for patients with high blood pressure.

Coffee said education is important for patients facing a chronic disease, like high blood pressure, especially newly diagnosed patients.

“You should give them as much education about that disease or new diagnosis that you can possibly give them to keep them well informed,” she said. “If you give them the resources, those are the patients that will improve.”

After her graduation, Atlantan Coffee plans to pursue opportunities to take on leadership roles in nursing. Still, she harbors a bittersweet feeling about leaving Brenau. The DNP was her third Brenau diploma. Although she takes pride in both her Brenau bachelor’s and master’s degree diplomas, she said she believes the DNP degree has prepared her to take her career in a new, exciting direction.

“We really learned a lot in this program and it took us to a whole other level than I anticipated,” she said. “I’m extremely excited about what’s next.”

You must be logged in to post a comment.