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SLU Nurse Devita Stallings Named NIA Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge Winner

by Bridjes O'Neil
Media Inquiries

Bridjes O'Neil
Communications Specialist

Reserved for members of the media.

ST. LOUIS ­— The National Institute on Aging (NIA) named Devita Stallings, Ph.D., R.N. to BSN program coordinator and associate professor of nursing at Saint Louis University, a 2022 NIA Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp winner

Stallings was among 20 finalists competing to win one of five $60,000 cash prizes to help accelerate new technologies in aging research.

Devita Stallings is photographed indoors. She folds her arms across her chest and poses for the camera. She wears a green shirt.

Devita Stallings, Ph.D., a 2022 NIA Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp winner. Photo by Sarah Conroy. 

Last year, NIA launched the inaugural NIA Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp. Stallings, founder and CEO of Pressure Points, LLC, said she pursued the opportunity at the encouragement of SLU nursing professor Helen Lach, Ph.D., thinking it aligned with her current work. Stallings is building a prototype hypertension self-management mobile health app with funding received from the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Stallings has a hypertension advisory board that reviews and guides the app's development. The main goal of the advisory board is to ensure that the app is evidence-based, culturally tailored, individualized, and meets the needs of African Americans living with hypertension. 

Finalists built their business skills by participating in a four-month entrepreneurial boot camp. They received valuable resources and worked with mentors and NIA staff to develop their innovations, foster diversity in aging research, and eliminate health disparities. 

The NIA designed this entrepreneurial prize opportunity to mitigate the unique obstacles faced by scientists and entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups when applying for National Institute of Health (NIH) small business research grants. Stallings said NIA funds will be used to assist with the website launch, further app development, and securing additional grant funding.

“The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, The Small Business Programs, are commonly known as America's Seed Fund where the NIH supports early-stage small businesses nationwide. I plan to leverage this funding to take my innovation to market,” Stallings said. 

Stallings has more than 10 years of experience in emergency nursing and more than 16 years of experience in academia. She is a recognized leader in cardiovascular diseases. She serves on several of the American Heart Association's committees, including as a board member for the St. Louis area and an invited Emergency Cardiovascular Care's Science subcommittee member. 

St. Louis Magazine named Stallings a 2022 Excellence in Nursing Emerging Leader. She is also a past honoree in the Educator category. 

About Valentine School of Nursing

Founded in 1928, the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University has achieved a national reputation for its innovative and pioneering programs. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs, its faculty members are nationally recognized for their teaching, research and clinical expertise.