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Husson University Receives Over $753,000 to Help Improve Healthcare Outcomes Through Interprofessional Education and Communication

Published on: July 31, 2014

BANGOR, MAINE – The Husson University School of Nursing announced today that it received a grant of over $753,000 as part of the Advanced Nursing Education (ANE) program available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). When added to the $684,000 grant announced last week, the total received by Husson University from HRSA is well over $1.4 million dollars.

This latest grant will expand the scope of a course that helps increase understanding and communication between aspiring healthcare professionals in different disciplines. Educating future healthcare providers in the importance of good communication is an important step toward eliminating medical errors, improving patients’ clinical outcomes, and enhancing safety.

Husson University President Dr. Robert A. Clark noted that, “Being the recipient of this very competitive HRSA grant is recognition of the outstanding quality of Husson’s health care programs and the importance of these programs to preparing professionals who are educated to address Maine’s future health care needs. It clearly demonstrates that we have nationally competitive programs right here in Maine.” 

“In 2013, Husson University piloted a course where graduate students in the nurse practitioner program were asked to identify treatment options and contribute collaboratively to a plan of action designed to improve patient outcomes,” said Mary Jude, MPH, MSN, FNP-C, PA, coordinator of graduate nursing programs at Husson University. “This additional funding from HRSA will allow us to expand the scope of the course to include all schools within Husson’s College of Health and Education as well as the School of Pharmacy.”

Instead of being limited to graduate nursing students, the interprofessional educational initiative will now include individuals pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT), and Master of Science in Counseling (MS). Current practice illustrates the increasing importance of health care professionals from various disciplines working together to address issues of patient health and care.

Leaders from academic healthcare programs throughout the state will also be invited to participate in Husson’s bi-annual training activities. These activities will focus on increasing faculty skill levels, program development and the sharing of best practices.

Funding from this grant will also help support a statewide consortium on interprofessional education to be held at Husson University in October. Twelve other Maine-based educational institutions with healthcare programs will participate in the event, including six colleges/universities and six community colleges. Bringing education and thought leaders together at this event will lead to improved education and interaction between healthcare professionals in our state. A better educated and collaborative medical community provides tangible benefits to patients.

Jude continued: “We want to produce an interprofessional learning environment focused on improving patient safety. By creating a process that encourages collaboration, mutual respect
and shared values between undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students pursuing degrees in medical-related disciplines, and combining this with input and feedback from other professionals and program leaders, Husson is helping to improve the quality of healthcare.”

To help achieve these objectives the Husson University team is developing a curriculum that:
• Creates a working understanding of the various roles and responsibilities of an interprofessional healthcare team.
• Enables students in different healthcare disciplines to develop shared values and ethics.
• Cultivates skills that include clear and direct communications between healthcare providers, patients, families and colleagues.
• Enhances team building and professional relationships.
• Helps develop service delivery models focused on safety, timeliness, efficiency, effectiveness and equitable treatment. 

The grant is part of HRSA’s Advanced Nursing Education (ANE) program. The purpose of the ANE program is to provide Federal funding for projects that support the enhancement of advanced nursing education and practice. ANE grants support programs for registered nurses who are preparing to become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives,
nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, nurse educators, public health nurses, and other specialties requiring advanced education. Eligible applicants are collegiate schools of nursing, academic health centers, and other private or public entities accredited by a national nursing accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care by strengthening the health care workforce, building healthy communities and achieving health equity. HRSA’s programs provide healthcare to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program.

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