SONHS Awarded U.S. Health and Human Services Grant

SONHS Awarded U.S. Health and Human Services Grant

By SONHSNews

SONHS Awarded U.S. Health and Human Services Grant

By SONHSNews
Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship project receives additional three-year funding to address needs of medically underserved regions and populations

The U.S. government’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded the School of Nursing and Health Studies a three-year competitive renewal totaling over $154,000 in recommended support for its Nurse Anesthesia Traineeship project. This award began with $16,649 in 2019.

The SONHS Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) project provides financial support and mentorship to full-time nurse anesthesia students who express their commitment to working in medically underserved area/population or health professional shortage areas after graduation. The award amount of $62,653 for the 2020 budget year beginning July 1 will enable SONHS to include over 60% of the school’s currently enrolled student registered nurse anesthetist (SRNA) population in the project. Recommended support is $47,446 for 2021-2022 and $43,902 for 2022-2023.

 “This training grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will contribute to a better understanding of the role that health care disparities play in the health of the population,” explains NAT principal investigator Juan E. Gonzalez, PhD, CRNA, professor of clinical and director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program. “This program orients traineeship recipients to identify possible barriers to the health care their patients may encounter and fosters a sense of commitment.”

Last year over 75% of graduates from the school’s BSN-DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) Nurse Anesthesia Program were practicing in settings that are medically underserved or experiencing a shortage of health professionals.

“We are in a very good location for diversity,” notes Gonzalez. “Through our clinical site placements, program grads of all backgrounds become even more aware of the need and the importance of taking care of underserved demographics. As they become more aware of this reality, it makes sense that they choose to serve where the need is greatest. If you can increase the number of culturally competent providers patients can identify with, those patients may be more likely to follow up with their care, as opposed to feeling neglected.”

The award also supports the federal government’s priority to combat the opioid abuse epidemic with an emphasis in rural, underserved populations, where most anesthesia services are provided by certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). “We teach all of our students opioid-sparing techniques in anesthesia, which could be an emphasis on regional anesthesia without narcotics whenever possible, as well as a more holistic approach to pain management and other non-opioid approaches, rather than just opioid management,” says Gonzalez.

 

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $79,302 with 0 percentage financed with non­governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.