AHN and Carlow Awarded $1.8 Million Grant to Train Nurse Practitioners to Care for Underserved

Allegheny Health Network and Carlow University receive a $1.8 million grant to train nurse practitioners to serve disadvantaged and rural areas that are underserved medically.

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Program Based in Braddock Aims to Increase Number of Caregivers Working in Rural and Disadvantaged Areas, Emphasizing Mental Health and Opioid Abuse Issues

PITTSBURGH, Pa.(Sept. 6, 2019) - Funded by a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Carlow University are embarking on a four-year project based in Braddock, Pa., that will train newly-graduated nurse practitioners to care for patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

The AHN-Carlow University Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residencyproject will provide primary care residency training to 15 family nurse practitioners over four years at AHN Urgent Care Center in Braddock, a community-based, primary care clinic that is located in a federally-designated Medically Underserved Area. It is one of 38 such grants awarded this year, and the only one awarded in Pennsylvania.

The project aims to increase the number of primary care providers working in medically underserved or rural areas, train nurse practitioners in using telehealth to screen and assess patients, and improve nurse practitioners’ skills in caring for patients struggling with mental illness or opioid abuse. 

“At AHN, we work to provide our patients the right care, in the right place, and at the right time. It is critically important to train caregivers to deliver that care to diverse populations, and adapt to a world of rapid technological and social change,” said AHN Chief Nursing Executive Clare Zangerle, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN. “We are thrilled to partner with Carlow University on this residency initiative that will train new nurse practitioners to serve disadvantaged communities with the greatest of skill, care and compassion.”

“Carlow University is delighted to be the educational partner with AHN on this initiative,” said Lynn George, PhD, RN, CNE, Dean of the College of Health and Wellness.  “The funding for this innovative academic/practice partnership will combine AHN’s commitment to high quality care for all with Carlow University’s commitment to high quality education that prepares graduates to be leaders in the creation of a just and merciful world.”

Led by Project Director Jorjette Mahoney, MSN, FNP-BC, Director, Advanced Practice Providers, Nursing, at AHN, the residency will begin in July 2020 with four residents. Preference will be given to nurse practitioner candidates who live or will work in underserved areas, or have interest in working with patients facing opioid abuse or mental health conditions. The first four residents will begin training in July 2020.

“Nurse practitioners provide high quality, holistic care from birth to death with a focus on wellness, prevention and management of illness,” Mahoney said. “We believe a looming shortage of primary care and family physicians will open doors for more nurse practitioners to manage primary care clinics in medically underserved and rural areas. With this residency program, we are committed to providing nurse practitioners with a robust learning experience that will prepare them to work at the highest levels of their profession.”

“This initiative to create a residency for new family nurse practitioner graduates fits Carlow’s mission so well,” said Deborah Mitchum, DNP, ANP-BC. “During a one-year period, following graduation, the nurse practitioners will function in a supervised setting, full of practice and continuing education opportunities. They will gain skill and acquire new knowledge as advanced care providers, while managing acute and chronic conditions, promoting good health through education, and providing counseling services to many in the Braddock community.”

Residents of Braddock face numerous health challenges including high rates of respiratory disorders, homes that are at risk for lead paint on the walls and lead in the drinking water, and high rates of disability in people under age 65. An estimated 32 percent of borough residents live in poverty, and about 13 percent have no health insurance, both well above state and local averages.

AHN opened an urgent care center in Braddock in 2015, offering children and adults quick, convenient and expert care for minor ailments and injuries, as well as diagnostic capabilities such as X-ray imaging and blood work, and telehealth capabilities for more specialized needs. 

Video of AHN’s Braddock Urgent Care Center available at: https://f.io/M1anXecz

About the Allegheny Health Network:

Allegheny Health Network (AHN.ORG), part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region.  The Network is comprised of eight hospitals, including its flagship academic medical center Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; an employed physician organization, a research institute, health + wellness pavilions, home and community-based health services and a group purchasing organization.   The Network employs approximately 20,000 people, and has more than 2,400 physicians on its medical staff.   The Network also serves as a clinical campus for Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curricula, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in four colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, Learning and Innovation, and Professional Studies. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

 

 

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