Haley Appaneal


Haley Appaneal, PharmD, PhD successfully defended her dissertation “Potentially Suboptimal Treatment of Urinary Tract infections (UTIs) in Veterans Affairs Long-Term Care Facilities” via Zoom to a large viewership of family, friends and colleagues.

Dr. Appaneal entered the HSR Doctoral Program in 2016 with research interests of antimicrobial stewardship and long-term care and moved into candidacy in 2019. Dr. Appaneal earned her PharmD at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy and was a recipient of the 2020 Nora Kahn Piore Award. Congratulations, Haley!

Tell us about your time at Brown. What did you enjoy most about being a doctoral student here?

Working with my committee has been truly enjoyable! Every member has been so supportive, incredibly generous with their time, invested in my success, and a pleasure to work with! All of the faculty and staff in the HSPP Department have also been so helpful and supportive. My peers provided an incredible support system, always impressed me with their own work and made the experience more enjoyable! Finally, I really appreciated the flexibility of the program in allowing me to focus on my research interests and to continue conducting research in collaboration with the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


What public health issues do you hope to address through your dissertation?

Inappropriate antibiotic use is a major public health issue due to the widespread emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In long-term care facilities (LTCFs) antibiotics are among the most commonly used medications, however up to 75% of this antibiotic treatment is inappropriate. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common indication for antibiotics and drives inappropriate antibiotic use in LTCFs.  Inappropriate antibiotic use includes both unnecessary and suboptimal antibiotic treatment.  Unnecessary UTI treatment is common in LTCFs. However, less is known about the extent of suboptimal treatment. My work characterized suboptimal antibiotic treatment, as assessed from drug choice, dose frequency, and duration, among residents with UTIs treated in Veterans Affairs’ (VA) LTCFs.  I hope my work can be used to improve the treatment of UTIs in VA LTCFs nationally, leading to better outcomes for our Veterans.


What are your future plans now that you have finished your PhD?

I look to continue to conduct important research that leads to better antibiotic use in our Veterans.  I hope through my work I am able to help our Veterans receive the most optimal and safe antibiotic treatment!