Mercedes Echevarria DNP, APN is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the DNP Program at GWSON. Her research and clinical interests include improvement of health outcomes with an emphasis on the pediatric population, childhood developmental surveillance and screening, childhood obesity and advanced nursing practice. Dr Echevarria is board certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner and a Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. She has sustained an active practice as a Nurse Practitioner while maintaining fulltime faculty and administrative responsibilities at the School of Nursing and presently remains active in the clinical setting through her work as an Advanced Practice Nurse at a FQHC . She served as a facilitator for the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center of Rutgers School of Nursing (formerly UMDNJ) in a collaborative international twinning project that involved BOTUSA (Botswana-USA), Institutes of Health Sciences (IHS) and the Botswana Ministry of Health (MOH) to facilitate the development and integration of Family Nurse Practitioner Program Competencies in HIV prevention, care and support. The work of this project was completed in Gaborone, Botswana. Her DNP capstone project “Health Promotion in School-Aged Hispanic Children through a Culturally Competent Nutrition and Exercise Family-School Program” grew out of her dedication to improvement of health outcomes and population health. Participation in this community-based program prompted caregivers to engage in healthier nutrition practices and increase physical activity; it also led to weight reductions for caregivers, improvement in body mass index (BMI) among children, and improvement in blood pressure levels for both caregivers and children. Her published capstone was sought by representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as one of the key projects useful in their program for obesity prevention in low-income Hispanic children.