Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley Research Team Awarded $2.4 Million Grant to Support Advanced Training for Nurses in Primary Care Settings

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The Patient Care Services team, under the leadership of Program Director Catherine Haut, DNP, Director of Nursing Research, and co-investigator Aaron Carpenter, DNP, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing and Patient Operations Officer, at Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley received a four-year $2.4 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services. This grant will support the continuation of a program launched in 2017 by Dr. Carpenter to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners in community settings including rural and underserved areas of Delaware.

Nationally, youth in the United States continue to experience a mental health crisis. This has been compounded by a shortage of providers in many areas. The funding will directly support four pediatric primary care nurse practitioner (PNP) fellows each year, 16 PNPs total. The selected individuals will receive extensive training in specialized behavioral and mental healthcare, as well as general pediatrics. The overall goal is to address the lack of accessible youth behavioral and mental healthcare services and increase the number of pediatric primary care providers in the state of Delaware.

Drs. Haut and Carpenter will be collaborating with Nemours Children’s primary care teams including nurses, pediatricians and psychologists. The PNP’s will also have an opportunity to train with Nemours’ network of psychologists under the direction of Meghan Lines, PhD, Clinical Director, Psychology, Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley. The grant provides a collaboration with the University of Delaware Psychology Department, Center for Community Training, Evaluation and Collaboration, and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Nursing. Through the funds granted, interprofessional relationships and practical training, at the end of the study the investigators expect to effectively prepare healthcare professionals and offer improved behavioral and mental health care options for kids in Delaware.

“We would like to congratulate the research team for their vision to launch this program and increasing the value of interprofessional collaboration,” said Jane Mericle, DNP, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Chief Nursing and Patient Operations Officer, Nemours Children’s Health. “With this grant, Nemours Children’s is uniquely positioned to advance our pediatric nurses as health leaders and advocates to optimize models of care once unimagined including hospitals in the home, telehealth and even well beyond medicine.”

This is the fifth time Nemours Children’s has received a grant from the HRSA. Nemours Children’s was recognized and chosen for having a strong existing workforce pipeline sponsored by organizational leadership. In addition, Nemours is uniquely connected to several institutions, which are key for successful leadership, as well as a positive outcome

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