September 11, 2007

Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation selected for nationwide program to address nursing shortage

Foundation, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, will grow the supply of nurse faculty and increase ability to use state-of-the-art learning technologies


The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation was recently selected as one of 11 foundations nationwide to receive funding in the second year of Partners Investing in Nursing's Future, a national initiative to develop and test solutions to America's nursing shortage.

Led by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation, the program encourages local foundations to act as catalysts in developing grassroots strategies to establish a stable, adequate nursing workforce. The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation has been awarded a two-year grant of $250,000 to help develop solutions and lead efforts within the region. The foundation will also provide $120,000 over two years, in addition to a $5,000 contribution from the M.E. & F.J. Callahan Foundation.

The funding will be used to support a local project aimed at addressing the growing shortage of nursing school faculty. The faculty shortage has created a bottleneck that limits the number of new nurses that can be trained and educated at local nursing schools. Locally, faculty shortages are due in part to the overall aging and subsequent retirements of seasoned nurse educators coupled with the burgeoning demand of students to enroll in nursing programs throughout the region.

The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation will work with a collaborative of organizations to address the faculty shortage. The collaborative includes: the M.E. & F.J. Callahan Foundation, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, the Center for Health Affairs and its affiliated Northeast Ohio Nursing Initiative, and the Mt. Sinai Skills and Simulation Center at Case Western Reserve University.

Together, these organizations will create the North East Ohio Nursing Faculty Corps, which includes the following components:

  • An initiative to attract the attention and interest of practicing nurses in becoming nurse educators;
  • A mentoring and shadowing experience for nurses interested in becoming educators;
  • A Nurse Faculty Academy, which will enhance the teaching skills of novice nurse educators; and
  • An Advanced Learning Collaborative aimed at educating nurse faculty in the techniques of experiential learning and the use of emerging technologies to support this approach to education.

"This major collaborative of nursing schools and health care providers will have an industry-wide impact on patient care throughout the region," said Mitchell Balk, president of the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation. "This innovative strategy to expand nursing school faculty and thereby enroll additional qualified students will have a significant impact on health in the Greater Cleveland community for years to come."

The 11 grants being awarded this year through Partners Investing in Nursing's Future represent the involvement of 27 local foundations, and a multitude of other funding sources. These foundations, some for the first time, have forged partnerships in their own communities to apply for this grant, giving increased attention to the nursing shortage in their communities.

Partners Investing in Nursing's Future is now in its second year of a five-year, $10 million initiative. During its first year in fall 2006, the 10 initial foundation partners established more than 140 partnerships between nursing organizations and local foundations to address the nursing shortage.

"The stability and quality of our nation's health care rely heavily on a sufficient supply of appropriately educated and skilled nurses," said Susan B. Hassmiller, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "While the nursing shortage is a national issue, community-based interventions are necessary to finding solutions that work in different health care environments. This unique program was designed to bring regional philanthropies together to address the nursing shortage on a community level, fostering innovations beyond what any one foundation can do alone."

"Across America, patients rely on nurses for personal, quality care delivered in their own communities -- which is threatened when there is a nursing shortage. In fact, the nursing shortage has become so severe in some communities that it is affecting patient care and safety, health care costs and patient outcomes. Experts say the causes of the nursing shortage are complex and range from rapid population growth in several states, to an aging nurse workforce to poor working conditions.

"Because all health care is local, solutions need to be tailored to meet the needs of the individual communities these nurses serve," said Judith Woodruff, program director of the Northwest Health Foundation and Partners Investing in Nursing's Future. "We are pleased to offer this grant to the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, which is well-qualified to explore solutions for the people of Northeast Ohio.

"Not only do we believe the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation will make significant improvements in Northeast Ohio, but we believe that the other 20 projects can exchange ideas and benefit from the work of the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation as well."

For more information, contact Laura Massie at 368-4442.

About the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation

Formed as a result of the 1996 sale of Cleveland's Mt. Sinai Medical Center and related hospitals, the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation is an independent grantmaker affiliated with the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. The foundation assists Greater Cleveland organizations and leaders to improve the health and well-being of the Jewish and general communities now and for generations to come.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

About Northwest Health Foundation

Northwest Health Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation committed to advancing, supporting and promoting the health of the people of Oregon and southwest Washington. The foundation focuses on issues of health and health care in the region, seeking concrete solutions to today's health problems while advocating to prevent tomorrow's. As part of its commitment to cultivate a stable, skilled nursing workforce in the region, Northwest Health Foundation invests in collaborative and sustainable solutions to address the nursing shortage, including the development of advocacy and leadership within the nursing community.

About the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, consistently ranked among the best nursing schools in the country, has established many firsts in nursing education. The school is home to one of only 12 WHO Collaborating Centers in the country, and its Centers of Excellence offer students firsthand experience with research, global health care systems, evidence-based practice and initiatives in aging care. Bolton School students are given world-class clinical experience via partnerships with top-ranked health care institutions, and the school's comprehensive and innovative academic programs provide multiple routes to the achievement of a B.S.N., M.S.N., Ph.D., or D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree.

Posted by: Marsha Bragg, September 11, 2007 03:41 PM | News Topics: Grants, HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, Research

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