Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Earns Grants to Promote Access to Health Care

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) has received two grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to foster interprofessional education and collaboration to better meet the health needs of the community.

The first was an Interprofessional Promoting Access to Healthcare (I-PATH) grant (HRSA # D09HP25925) awarded to professor Ida Androwich, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, FHIMSS. She will receive $1.05 million over three years to engage nursing students in interprofessional education and clinical practice projects with dietetics and public health students.

Students will develop interprofessional team projects to address the health care needs of patients with multiple chronic conditions in minority or underserved areas. Their projects and other resources for conducting community assessments will be available on a website to support small or rural health care facilities in completing community health-needs assessments and to provide better care for their populations.

“There is a critical need for nursing leaders educationally prepared to engage in and direct interprofessional teams to improve the quality of patient care,” Dr. Androwich said. “This grant will allow us to educate a variety of health professionals and improve interprofessional collaboration.”

Faculty members who assisted with the grant include: MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci, EdD, MPH; Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN; Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN; Holly Kramer, MD; Sheila Haas, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN.

The second was an Interprofessional-Collaborative Redesign and Evaluation for Population Access to Health (I-CARE PATH) grant (HRSA # UD7HP26040) awarded to associate
professor Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC,ANEF, FAAN. Dr. Vlasses will receive $1.5 million over three years to develop nurse leaders to create collaborative environments
to better care for patients in underserved areas.

“This grant will substantially increase the number of nursing, dietetics, social work and medical students who are prepared for interprofessional collaborative practice environments which increase access, coordinate care and promote health in the community,” Dr. Vlasses said.

Loyola’s Health Sciences Division faculty members who assisted with the grant include: Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN; Elizabeth Burkhart, PhD, RN, MPH; Aaron Michelfelder,
MD, FAAFP, FAAMA; Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN; and Sheila Haas, PhD, RN, FAAN.

These grants are in line with the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s progressive approach to education focused on collaboration. The school recently built a state-of-the-art
Center for Simulation Education, which includes a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where students from various health disciplines learn together how to better care for patients. In addition, the school has developed and managed an interprofessional school-based health center at Proviso East High School in Maywood for more than a decade.

“These grants support the school’s efforts to foster education and collaboration across many health care disciplines,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This work will allow us to better serve our changing health care environment.”