School of Nursing Awarded Major Federal Grant to Instruct Nurses in Caring for Elderly in Southwestern Connecticut

Submitted by Meg McCaffrey on September 2, 2009

about_entranceFairfield University’s School of Nursing was awarded a $414,443 grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that will build upon the School’s initiative to improve care of older adults in southwestern Connecticut. The combined six years of funding for the initiative – totaling about $882,000 – make it the largest continued funded grant to the School of Nursing.

The funding is from the DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the School’s ongoing educational program entitled, “Expanded Learning and Dedication to Elders in the Region (ELDER) Project.” At the heart of the ELDER Project is teaching registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurses aides best practices adapted from resources at the Hartford Institute and Geriatric Education Centers for caring for the community’s growing senior citizen community.

Implemented in 2006, the project has involved partnerships between the School of Nursing and four area healthcare agencies – Southwest Community Health Center in Bridgeport, the VNS of Connecticut in Bridgeport, The Carolton Rehabilitation Hospital in Fairfield, and St. Joseph’s Manor in Trumbull. They represent the continuum of care for older adults: a community health center, two long-term care facilities, and one home health agency. It is at those facilities that RNs, LPNs and nurses aides have received best practice instruction by Fairfield faculty on such vital skills as how to do a physical assessment of a patient’s heart and lungs.

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