Fairmont State University and partner Mon Health System, Inc., have been selected as one of only four recipients nationwide of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Simulation Education Training Program (NEPQR-SET) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the 2020 grant funding cycle. The award was announced by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“We are so thankful to U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin for their assistance in awarding Fairmont State this grant for the TRUSTED Program,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “This grant highlights the excellence of the School of Nursing on a national level and recognizes the extraordinary impact our program has. This country faces a healthcare crisis, and nowhere is that pain felt more acutely than West Virginia, which faces severe hurdles in access to healthcare due to its rural nature.
This grant allows the School of Nursing – one of the top nursing programs in the United States – to give our students real-world practice in improving, via telehealth, the health and quality of life of rural and underserved West Virginians. That ultimate outcome – making life better for our communities – is possible because of the passion of our students, the expertise of our staff, and the commitment and generosity of Mon Health, our partner in this grant. The future of Fairmont State, as well as the region and state, are bright and are strengthened by Mon Health’s commitment to help us educate the next generation of nurses and healthcare leaders. In that light, the TRUSTED Program is the perfect synergy of education, government, and private sector, all working together to make life better for our communities.”
The School of Nursing will use the $499,975 grant to establish Fairmont State’s Transforming Rural Americans’ Healthcare Access Utilizing Simulated Telehealth Education to Improve Healthcare Delivery Outcomes (TRUSTED) Program.
Fairmont State will partner with Mon Health System, Inc., and HRSA to implement the TRUSTED Program. TRUSTED has two primary goals: (1) demonstrate innovation in simulation by providing experiential telehealth learning opportunities for nursing students and healthcare professionals to gain skills aimed at managing and improving health outcomes for rural and underserved populations; and (2) cultivate competency in understanding the impact of social and economic determinants on the health or rural and underserved populations.
“The TRUSTED program will allow the School of Nursing to incorporate use of telehealth throughout our curriculum to better prepare our graduates to meet the health needs of individuals throughout WV and our nation,” said Laura Clayton, Dean of the School of Nursing. “West Virginia has recently faced several hospital closures which compounded individuals’ access to healthcare and specialty provider services in many areas of our state. Telehealth has been shown to be effective in managing patient care and meeting their health needs; but in order to be effective nursing students and healthcare professionals need to be competent in its use.”
Clayton continued, “As a result of the grant we will establish a telehealth lab where nursing students and healthcare professionals from Mon Health System will participate in realistic telehealth immersion experiences to manage patients with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, hypertension, and many other acute and chronic illnesses. Additionally, nursing students and healthcare professionals will also be engaged in experiences to help them understand the social and economic challenges individuals face that may negatively impact their health. The School of Nursing’s mission is to serve as a leader in improving the health of West Virginia and the global community through a commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching, scholarship, and service. Preparing our students for utilization of telehealth is an important step toward assisting us in meeting our mission.”
Mon Health System’s telehealth personnel will work with Fairmont State faculty and nursing students to provide shadowing experiences and training in telehealth. Mon Health will appoint a project advisor to assist with the development of clinical scenarios and program implementation. Mon Health will also use the new telehealth simulation lab at Fairmont State for training of competency evaluation of their staff.
“Both Fairmont State University and Mon Health System are committed to the communities we serve,” said David Goldberg, President and CEO of Mon Health System. “Combining educational opportunities for Fairmont State’s top-notch nursing program with telehealth services from Mon Health’s nationally-recognized medical professionals is a win-win combination for our region.”