Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service

Contact: Amy Gilliam

 

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“The partnership between the community, the foundation, and the university provides opportunities for modeling nursing’s contribution to health care, enhancing education of new graduates, and offering opportunities to promote preventive services to an underserved population. In addition, the GSNC enhances the College of Nursing’s contributions to the tripartite mission of the university – education, research and service.”

-- Marcia Stanhope,
associate dean,
College of Nursing,
University of Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2004) -- According to the current U.S. Bureau of Census information, over one in five children in Kentucky live in poverty. The University of Kentucky College of Nursing and the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) have been working together for 10 years to help reduce this and other startling health care statistics.

Established in 1998, the Good Samaritan Nursing Center (GSNC) is a partnership between the Good Samaritan Foundation and the UK College of Nursing, funded by the Good Samaritan Foundation in Lexington, to help meet the needs of vulnerable populations in Fayette and surrounding counties.

“The partnership between the community, the foundation, and the university provides opportunities for modeling nursing’s contribution to health care, enhancing education of new graduates, and offering opportunities to promote preventive services to an underserved population,” said Marcia Stanhope, D.S.N., associate dean, UK College of Nursing. “In addition, the GSNC enhances the College of Nursing’s contributions to the tripartite mission of the university – education, research and service.”

The GSNC provides health education at four Lexington elementary schools: Cardinal Valley, Ashland, Booker T. Washington, and J.R. Ewan. “ABCs of Comprehensive Health Education,” a program developed by the GSF and the UK College of Nursing, is designed to help school nurses, teachers, or parents provide students with a comprehensive health program.

Since its implementation, a direct link has been noted between the program and improved scores on the Practical Living Skills portion of the Commonwealth Accountability Testing (CATS tests) and increased student attendance in each of the four schools. The “ABCs of Comprehensive Health Education” also gives tips on teaching students in various developmental stages and on planning for students with developmental or physical disabilities.

While providing preventive care at the four school-based clinics, nurse practitioners have also provided preventive care services to Baby Health, Nathaniel Mission, and Virginia Place in Lexington, and at the Post Clinic in Mount Sterling.

“The College of Nursing is to be commended for its 10 years of providing direct health services to elementary students who would otherwise go untreated,” said James W. Holsinger Jr., M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Board of Trustees of Good Samaritan Foundation and Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “The Good Samaritan Nursing Center is an outstanding example of an effective partnership between the Good Samaritan Foundation and the UK College of Nursing.”

In 1994, in addition to serving the needs of a vulnerable population, Carolyn A. Williams, R.N., Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing, and the Good Samaritan Foundation established a community health nurse internship program for new baccalaureate graduates of the college. This internship program gives new nursing graduates the opportunity to experience the role of a community health nurse, as well as giving public health agencies the confidence to hire inexperienced graduates into community settings.

Under the initial grant from the Good Samaritan Foundation, two B.S.N. interns were funded. In 1997, a similar program was adopted when the foundation added a nurse practitioner fellow program. Currently, these programs have provided internships for 38 B.S.N. graduates and 19 fellowships for M.S.N. graduates.

The GSNC serves all age groups, schools, families of school age children, “welfare to work” families, indigent families, homeless men, marginally housed women, and new babies and pre-school children.

The GSNC also provides a wide array of services to those in need, including health education, assessment, promotion and counseling; family support; illness prevention; referrals and care coordination; individual, family, and group assessments; risk factor analysis; mass screening for tuberculosis; mass immunizations prior to opening schools; home outreach; school-based preventive health care; program development and management; parenting skills; and environmental hazards assessment.

The GSNC has received positive feedback through teacher surveys, improved scores on tests, and increased numbers of children served. The GSNC is committed to continually striving to improve the health of vulnerable populations in the counties it serves.


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