Skip to main content

About Sandra L. Spoelstra, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN

Dr. Sandra Spoelstra is faculty with broad program of research in the areas of aging-in-place, medication and symptom management with an extensive number of publications and presentations. Teaching expertise includes evidence-based practice, quality improvement, dissemination and implementation science, as well and methodology and statistical analytics. She has mentored numerous doctoral students.


August 2018 - Present Associate Professor, Grand Valley State University
2014 - Present Adjunct Faculty Member, John Hopkins University
2014 - 2019 Adjunct Faculty Member, Univeristy of Toronto
August 2015 - August 2018 Associate Dean of Research and Scholarship, Grand Valley State University
2011 - 2015 Assistant Professor, Michigan State University
2007 - 2010 Graduate Assistant, Michigan State University
2001 - 2005 Research Assistant, University of Michigan

Curriculum Vitae



2018 - Present Implementation of CAPABLE-Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders in the Michigan Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Program
National Institute on Aging - 1R15CAG058193-01
Role: Primary Investigator
Colleague(s): Alla Sikorskii
2015 - Present MICAP-Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders-2019
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Role: Primary Investigator
Colleague(s): Marie VanderKooi, Dianne Slager, Della Hughes-Carter
2015 - 2018 MiCAPABLE- Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders in the Michigan Medicaid Waiver Program
Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation
Role: Primary Investigator
Colleague(s): Alla Sikorskii
2016 Medication Therapy Management in a Home Based Program
Hartford Foundation
Role: Co-Primary Investigator
Colleague(s): Evelyn Clingerman
2014 - 2016 Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Improve Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy Agents
Oncology Nursing Society
Role: Primary Investigator
2013 - 2015 Text Messaging to Improve Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy Agents
National Cancer Institute - 1R15CA176595-01
Role: Primary Investigator
2013 - 2014 Text Messaging to Improve Symptom Management and Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy Agents
McKesson Foundation
Role: Primary Investigator
Enter a valid date range.

Professional Service and Affiliations

2015 - Present Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
2007 - Present Member and Fellow, Gerontological Society of America
2007 - Present Member, Midwest Nursing Research Society
2007 - Present Member, Oncology Nursing Society
1985 - Present Member, Sigma Theta Tau
1982 - Present Member, American Nurses Association
Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • 2015 Victoria Mock New Investigator Award, from the Oncology Nursing Society, Pittsburg, PA
  • 2015 Harriet H. Werley New Investigator Award, from the Midwest Nursing Research Society, Mount Laurel, NJ.
  • 2014 Hartford Foundation Change AGEnts Policy Institute Scholar program
  • 2013-2015 Hartford Scholar for the 2013 Harford Geriatric Scholars Program in Intervention Research Award at the John Hopkins University School of Nursing, Center for Innovative Care in Aging, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2013 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation McDevitt Excellence in Research Award in the area of health policy for research
  • 2016 Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, Washington, DC
  • 2016 Induction as Fellow in Academy of Nursing
  • 2017 Induction as Fellow in Gerontological Society of America
  • 2018 Grand Valley State University Outstanding Faculty Mentor
  • 2019 American Nurse Today Academic-Practice Partnership Sward


  • NUR 792, 793, 796 DNP Immersion
  • NUR 704 Quality Improvement
  • NUR 605 Theoretical Perspectives on Nursing I
  • NUR 265 Introduction to Nursing Science and Evidence Based Practice
  • NUR 691 Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing


2007 - 2010 PhD, Michigan State University
1983 - 1987 MSN, Northern Michigan University
1979 - 1981 BSN, Northern Michigan University
1974 - 1977 Diploma, Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing

Contact Information

301 Michigan Street, NE CHS 352; Grand Rapids, MI 49502

Phone: (616) 331-5905

Aging (8)

Education (2)

Journal Article (17)