Fairfield University School of Nursing receives federal grant for ELDER Project

Fairfield University School of Nursing receives federal grant for ELDER Project

At a meeting of the Fairfield University School of Nursing Board of Advisors today, the Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., university president, announced that the School of Nursing has been awarded a $467,645 competitive grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the development of the Expanded Learning and Dedication to Elders in the Region (ELDER) Project. In his remarks, Fr. von Arx thanked Senator Christopher Dodd, Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Christopher Shays for their support of the grant proposal.

The grant, the largest federal grant received to date by the School of Nursing, will make possible the linking of the School of Nursing with multiple health care agencies in the region, to provide best practices education to Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Nursing Assistants caring forolder adults in those agencies.

Senator Dodd, in supporting the ELDER Project, said it would benefit older adults throughout southwestern Connecticut. "By linking the university and its resources to several health care agencies in the area, both the patients and clinicians who treat them will reap the benefit of this innovative partnership."

The ELDER Project grant builds on prior grants to the School of Nursing for geriatric nursing education and sets the stage for further partnering opportunities with community organizations. Services will include focus group meetings on-site at each agency, educational sessions, and patient care simulations delivered at Fairfield University. Cooperating agencies represent the continuum of care: a community health center, two long-term care facilities, and one home health agency.

"By investing in our nurses' career development and professional growth, this grant will help ensure that we keep our high-quality nurses on the job," said Senator Lieberman. "These critically important healthcare professionals will now have greater opportunities to dedicate and commit themselves to our seniors' well-being."

Image: Jean Lange Philip Greiner, DNSc, RN (Principal Investigator) and Jean Lange, PhD, RN (co-Principal Investigator), associate professors of nursing who have strong backgrounds in geriatric nursing, will co-direct the project. The geriatric best practices guidelines developed under the leadership of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, funded by The John A. Hartford and Robert Wood Johnson foundations, will be modified for unlicensed personnel. The goal in the ELDER Project is to disseminate best practices in the care of older adults to nurses and support personnel in the region. The training model they will be using will ensure that new staff continue to benefit from the grant initiative even after the funding period is over.

"Given the nursing shortages we are facing nationally," Congressman Christopher Shays said, "I commend Fairfield University for their leadership in the field. This grant is a recognition of the innovative approach they are taking to educate nurses on best practices for caring for our elders. We are pleased to support the grant and are grateful for HRSA's funding decision."

Image: Philip Greiner Dr. Greiner, who serves as director of the Health Promotion Center in Bridgeport, was selected for a two-year Health Partners Fellowship at the International Center for Health Leadership Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2000. He was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky where he worked on a longitudinal study of Alzheimer's disease and aging. In addition, Dr. Greiner was one of 10 nurses from the Northeast region chosen by The John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing to be a Scholar in its 1998 Geriatric Research Scholars and Fellows Program.

Dr. Lange was the project director in 2001 for a grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation that strengthened Fairfield's offerings in gerontology and geriatric nursing. In 2002, she was one of 11 nurses from the Northeast region chosen by The John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing to be a Scholar in its 2002 Geriatric Research Scholars and Fellows Program.

Posted On: 06-19-2006 10:06 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 258