Columbia University School of Nursing Launches Palliative Care Program

Columbia University School of Nursing Launches Palliative Care Program

The Columbia University School of Nursing has launched a comprehensive palliative care program for students of all levels that integrates the basic principles of palliative care into the curriculum. The program reflects the recent development of competencies and recommendations from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The AACN is encouraging palliative care education for nursing students as the healthcare industry begins bracing for an unprecedented number of Americans who will be living with one or more chronic illnesses.

Marlene E. McHugh, DNP, assistant professor of nursing at Columbia University, tells, “We are reaching a moment of crisis in the United States as more and more people, especially older Americans, are living with serious illnesses and experiencing impairments in their quality of life, from pain issues to loss of function and depression. Providing every health care professional with the basic tenets of palliative care is crucial to meeting the needs of these patients.”

Palliative care focuses on the person rather than the disease, emphasizing meeting the needs of patients and families, and easing suffering. The area of palliative care includes end-of-life care and addresses the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of people with a serious illness.

“As palliative care providers, we talk to patients about what they value, what their goals are, and what their understanding is of their medical illness so that they can make decisions about next steps,” says Mary Ellen Tresgallo, DNP, assistant professor nursing at Columbia Nursing.

Columbia Nursing’s program includes a series of six End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) modules developed in partnership with the AACN. Completing the program provides entry into palliative and end-of-life care subspecialties that are available for advanced students.

To learn more about Columbia Nursing’s new palliative care program, visit here.

University at Buffalo Invites Dementia Expert to Speak on Caring for Rapidly Aging Population

University at Buffalo Invites Dementia Expert to Speak on Caring for Rapidly Aging Population

The University at Buffalo (UB) has invited Ann Kolanowski, internationally renowned expert on dementia and complex care needs of the elderly, to speak on caring for the nation’s rapidly aging population during the UB School of Nursing’s 21st Annual Bonnie Bullough Lecture.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the healthcare costs associated with care for patients with dementia takes its toll on the economy. Dementia affects more than 5 million Americans, roughly 1 in 10 people age 65 and older. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people diagnosed with the disease is expected to triple by 2050.

Kolanowski will present “The Challenge of Delirium in People Living with Dementia,” an exploration of the differences between delirium and dementia, and caring for people with both conditions. Her presentation is the keynote event of the School of Nursing’s 6th annual Research Day, which unites scholars across Western New York to discuss and share advancements in the study of pressing health care issues.

Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the School of Nursing, tells, “Having Dr. Kolanowski as a speaker for this year’s event is not only relevant to the community, but is important for our school’s students and mission. Nurses often provide the front-line health care for older adults. Along with nurse scientists, they have been leaders in elder care and will continue to play increasingly critical roles in the care for older adults in the decades ahead.”

With no cure or effective treatment for dementia currently available, there is an urgent need for research that will improve health and financial outcomes for people living with these diseases, their families, and society.

To learn more about Kolanowski’s presentation at UB Nursing on caring for our rapidly aging population, visit here.

University at Buffalo Nursing Faculty Receive Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

University at Buffalo Nursing Faculty Receive Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

Two faculty members from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing have received awards to help fund interdisciplinary research projects in the areas of access to health care for low-income cancer patients and weight loss following bariatric surgery.

Darryl Somayaji, PhD, assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing, received a $50,000 grant from the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Studies Program to lead an investigation of health outcomes for lung cancer patients and survivors on Medicaid. The CTSI Pilot Studies Program provides funding to nursing faculty to help advance new technologies and treatments from conceptual stage to clinical study.

Somayaji’s study will look at health care patterns to determine if guidelines for timely diagnosis and treatment are being met, and if access to care has an impact on patient mortality. Her research will help improve health care models and inequalities in care that Medicaid-insured individuals diagnosed with cancer often face.

Laura Anderson, PhD, licensed psychologist and assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing, was awarded the Innovative Micro-Programs Accelerating Collaboration in Themes (IMPACT) grant from the UB Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development for $30,000. Her award will support investigations of factors behind excessive weight regain following bariatric surgery, a complication that occurs in more than 40 percent of patients.

Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the UB School of Nursing, tells, “We are very excited that two of our faculty received funding to further develop their programs of research. Both of their studies are inter-disciplinary and translational in nature, and are addressing significant clinical problems directly related to patients’ health and health care delivery.”

To learn more about the innovative research being conducted by UB Nursing faculty, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nurse Manager Joan Riggs Earns Healthcare Achievement Award for Elder Care Initiative

Nurse of the Week: Nurse Manager Joan Riggs Earns Healthcare Achievement Award for Elder Care Initiative

Our Nurse of the Week is Joan Riggs, RN, who was recently awarded a Health Care Achievement Award for her advocacy and work in hospital-based quality and safety initiatives for elder patients. The award was granted by the Long Island Business News (LIBN) whose Healthcare Achievement Awards honor individuals and organizations in the healthcare industry for outstanding leadership, service, and innovation.

Riggs currently works as a Nurse Manager at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Long Island, NY, which has been designated as a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders) hospital as a direct result of Riggs’ work on caretaker education and healthcare center around elder patients. Following a NICHE conference in 2015, Riggs developed and spearheaded a hospital-wide initiative to advance care for elder patients at South Nassau. Since the program began, over 20 registered nurses have completed geriatric certification or become geriatric resource nurses.

NICHE is an international program based out of the NYU College of Nursing that provides principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for elder patients. The NICHE network includes over 680 hospitals and healthcare organizations in the US, Canada, Bermuda, and Singapore.

Riggs joined South Nassau in 2010 as the Nurse Manager of the Medical Surgical Telemetry Unit. With 31 professional years in healthcare, Riggs has spent her career working in surgical intensive care and trauma units. Now she’s using her expertise to improve elder care for hospital patients at South Nassau.

To learn more about Joan Riggs and her Healthcare Achievement Award for her efforts to improve elder care, visit here.

Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing Opens Telemedicine Center

Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing Opens Telemedicine Center

The Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University is giving telemedicine a big boost with the opening of the new Southern Tier Telemedicine and Mobile Health Research Development and Training Center. The center is the product of a joint effort between the Decker School of Nursing and Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Telemedicine brings healthcare to a patient via telecommunication and information technology without the patient having to travel. The Decker School of Nursing’s new center will help expand healthcare to local, rural, and remote areas in many different ways. Telehealth is not intended to replace clinical practice in a physical setting; it is simply intended to reach those individuals who don’t have access to care.

Ann Fronczek, assistant professor at the Decker School of Nursing, tells The University Network, “With the new Center, we are able to expand simulation and clinical experiences for students as well as offer opportunities for the local community to explore possibilities in telemedicine. We can expose students to telemedicine and technologies that they may or may not have a chance to experience during their clinical rotations.”

Decker’s new center has three fully functional telemedicine cart set-ups where students can practice assessments that are transmitted to another location. Students have been impressed by the virtual care that can be provided and have been providing positive feedback about their training at the center. The school is also working with hospitals in six surrounding rural communities to train their healthcare providers to help deliver high-quality care to underserved patients.

To learn more about the Decker School of Nursing’s new telemedicine center, visit here.

NYU College of Nursing Names Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity

NYU College of Nursing Names Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity

The NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing recently named Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN, the inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity. Vernice D. Ferguson (1928-2012) was a distinguished nurse leader, educator, and champion for the health of all people.

Ferguson received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from NYU, before going on to pioneer leadership positions for nurses and elevate the nursing profession through advocating for increased opportunities, respect, and wages, as well as fostering nursing research. She also served as the chief nurse executive for the Veterans Administration, president of the American Academy of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International, and she was recognized as a Living Legend in the American Academy of Nursing.

In recognition of her leadership and service to the nursing profession, NYU’s College of Nursing established an endowed professorship in her name: the Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity. Taylor’s work in this role will focus on the social factors that contribute to health disparities for common chronic conditions among underrepresented minority populations in the United States and abroad. She is also in the midst of conducting a study on the genomics of lead poisoning in Flint, MI.

Taylor’s work has been highly praised in the past, including being awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Barack Obama in January 2017, the highest honor awarded by the federal government to scientists and engineers.

To learn more about Dr. Taylor and her new role as Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity at NYU, visit here.

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