The Columbia University School of Nursing held a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 14 to celebrate the opening of a new nurse practitioner primary care group in Washington Heights. Pioneering in nurse practitioner-led care, this is the second primary care practice established by Columbia’s School of Nursing, with the other practice held in Midtown Manhattan. Both facilities are completely staffed and managed by nurse practitioners, and a third practice is expected to open later this year in Morningside Heights along with a house calls practice.

Through an affiliation with ColumbiaDoctors and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia’s Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Group provides patients with access to a world-class network of specialists from the Columbia University Medical Center. The new practice will help to expand health care options for residents of Washington Heights and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Bobbie Berkowitz, Dean of Columbia University School of Nursing and Senior Vice President of Columbia University Medical Center, says the new nurse practitioner primary care group meets the growing need to prepare advanced practice nurses to deliver more complex care as people live longer with chronic diseases that are now manageable rather than fatal. The primary care nurse practitioner practice is designed to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated care to individuals and families in their communities.

Stephen Ferrara, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Columbia University School of Nursing and Executive Director of the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State also spoke out about the new nurse practitioner practice. Ferrara says that nurse practitioners focus on the whole person to help them make lifestyle choices that prevent disease and help them stay as healthy as possible. Nurse practitioners get to know each patient, their history, health goals, and challenges, and develop clear and personalized treatment plans along with the patient.

The Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Group in Washington Heights meets the diverse needs of the local community by offering integrated primary care and mental health services. Containing a series of specialized spaces intended to improve the patient experience, nurse practitioners are enabled to deliver efficient and compassionate care. In addition to seven exam rooms and three consulting rooms, the practice facility includes a multi-purpose community space for members of the community to learn about healthcare and wellness in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Services offered at the practice include preventive health, women’s health, family health, travel health, mental and behavioral health, checkups, disease management, LGBT care, illness and injury, nutrition and wellness, and vaccinations.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses with advanced education in the form of a Master’s degree or clinical doctorate. They are licensed to provide comprehensive care, including prescribing medications. Their role in the healthcare field helps patients make choices to prevent disease and maximize their health.

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