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The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) recently received a $500,000 donation from alumna Mary Catherine Bunting, MS, CRNP, RN. Bunting received her master’s degree from UMSON in 1972. Her donation will help the university continue the work of UMSON’s Community and Public Health Environmental Initiative (CPHEI) to provide health oversight for children and families served by Baltimore City Early Head Start (EHS) and other Head Start centers.

CPHEI is a collaborative effort from the Maryland Family Network to improve overall health and environmental health for EHS and Head Start center children from birth through age 5, including programs that support mental, social, and emotional development. The program was established in 2016 thanks to a $750,000 donation from Bunting.

Many UMSON students and faculty participate in CPHEI as part of the school’s ongoing service learning commitment, including Bachelor of Science in Nursing and RN-to-BSN program students, entry-into-nursing Clinical Nurse Leader master’s students, Community/Public Health Nursing master’s students, and Doctor of Nursing Practice students.

This new funding will support continued efforts for CPHEI, which will include UMSON students and faculty reviewing more than 1,000 child health records and identifying children with chronic health conditions and those behind on preventative care required under Maryland’s Medicaid program. They will also provide direct care services including health screenings and home visits for children with chronic conditions.

Laura Allen, MA, MS, RN, CPHEI program director, tells, “CPHEI has brought much needed nursing services and environmental health oversight to a highly vulnerable population. If we weren’t there, there wouldn’t be as strong an emphasis on health, well-being, and how they relate to education. These families would be missing out on health screenings, health education, and general health literacy.”

Thanks to the new funding, CPHEI has set a goal of helping all 47 of Baltimore’s Head Start centers become Eco-Healthy Child Care-certified and to continuing its work of providing nursing services in EHS centers.

To learn more about the $500,000 donation given to the University of Maryland School of Nursing by alumna Mary Catherine Bunting, visit here.

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