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SIUE School of Nursing receives $4M grant for mobile health unit, training enhancement

SIUE’s SON Jerrica Ampadu, Ph.D., RN, CCP, associate professor, and director of the SIUE SON’s WE CARE Clinic in East St. Louis, Amelia Perez, Ph.D., RN, associate professor, Rebecca Luebbert, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, professor, and Melissa Bogle, DNP, APRN, MPH, assistant professor.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Nursing (SON) has received its largest grant in history— $4 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) — to develop a mobile health unit that will provide community-based services in East St. Louis, Fairmont City, and surrounding communities.

“We are focused on promoting health equity by increasing access to care, growing the number of students who are prepared to address the social determinants of health within the community setting and training more underrepresented students in community health,” said Principal Investigator (PI) Jerrica Ampadu, Ph.D., RN, CCP, associate professor, and director of the SIUE SON’s WE CARE Clinic in East St. Louis.

The four-year project is entitled, “Nurse education, practice, quality, and retention-mobile health training program – WE CARE REACH: Responding, educating, and advocating for community health.”

The mobile health unit, WE CARE REACH, will offer primary care and chronic care management services. It will be staffed by an interprofessional team of healthcare providers, including nurse practitioners, undergraduate and graduate nursing students, a social worker, a nutritionist and a pharmacist.

Co-PIs include the SON’s Amelia Perez, Ph.D., RN, associate professor, Rebecca Luebbert, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, professor, and Melissa Bogle, DNP, APRN, MPH, assistant professor. The team will design curriculum to enhance SIUE’s student training in underserved population groups during the creation of the new mobile health clinic. The project team will also engage in community outreach and education about the profession of nursing and recruit K-12 students into nursing.

“To educate nursing students on the social determinants of health, which include how racism impacts nursing and the delivery of healthcare, students will participate in a Community Nurse Fellowship,” shared Ampadu. “Students will be immersed in community health for over 100 clinical hours learning with the interprofessional team and addressing health disparities.”

In addition to funding the mobile health unit, the HRSA grant provides undergraduate nursing students with $1,000 stipends to help increase their interest and ability to join the nursing workforce within underserved primary care settings.

The SON hopes the mobile unit will begin services in the summer of 2023.

The School of Nursing’s programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the healthcare environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs on the Edwardsville campus help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

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