Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Team Wins Awards From HRSA and AHEC

“This work is essential. Clearly Psych MH needs are on the rise given the challenged economy, prolonged efforts to secure peace, and lack of providers. The work of our PMHNP faculty is exemplary. Their collective excellence in teaching, research and practice is laudable. Victoria, Mary Lynn, and team — you sure will be busy for the next few years! Congratulations and thank you,” says Kristen Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor.

Our psychiatric-mental health graduate faculty team is to be commended for obtaining two Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants this summer and one Area Health Education Center (AHEC) grant:

1) Mary Lynn Piven, PhD, RN, from HRSA for the “HealthyIDEAS Program Chatham-Carolina (HIPCC)” which funds a 3-year community partnership with the Chatham County SeniorCitizens program to replicate an evidence-based program, Healthy IDEAS (IdentifyingDepression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) to detect and manage depressive symptoms in caregivers and older adults with chronic health conditions and functional limitations, living in Chatham County, to develop clinical sites and the accompanying curriculum to increase the knowledge and expertise of undergraduate and graduate nursing students and support faculty practice opportunities. Victoria Soltis-Jarrett, PhD, RN, from our school as well as Rebecca Hunter and Lea Watson from the School of Medicine are collaborators on this project.

2) Victoria Soltis-Jarrett from HRSA for “Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in NC: Meeting the Needs of the Underserved in North Carolina” (now known as “Psych NP-NC”), a three year project with NEW objectives which will enhance the PMHNP curriculum, expand the geographical impact and increase access of mental health care services for citizens who live in an additional 37 rural and remote counties in NC. This project builds on the previous HRSA grants by continuing to recruit and educate minority and disadvantaged psychiatric nurses from a total of 68 targeted counties yet does recruit from all regions. In addition, through this project, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) curriculum will be enhanced to focus on children/adolescents and the elderly with mental health problems as well as advances in psychopharmacology. Finally, linkages with AHEC and the state DHHS will facilitate a sustainable partnership for the future. Victoria, Mary Lynn Piven, Grace Hubbard, Vicki Kowlowitz, Rumay Alexander and Jennifer D’Auria are all supported in part on this grant.

3) Victoria Soltis-Jarrett from AHEC to continue its support of the APRN-PMH program to assist with our efforts to enroll students from rural and underserved areas of NC. Funding from AHEC has been utilized to conduct needs assessments, undertake curriculum planning, recruit and support students, and develop clinical sites and preceptors. Victoria and Grace Hubbard are supported in part by this grant.