Healthcare Initiative Foundation Grant Supports Montgomery College Community Healthcare Nursing Scholarship Pilot

Collaborative effort enables students to work at clinics serving uninsured

Through a new grant-funded collaboration, Montgomery College nursing students have worked with local healthcare clinics serving vulnerable residents, exposing future nurses to the community health field.

Thanks to the generosity of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, three Montgomery College nursing students earned a Community Healthcare Nursing Scholarship to complete their nursing degree, while caring for uninsured patients at Holy Cross Health Center and Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care.

“The involvement of students allows our patients to receive more one-on-one nursing care and education,” said Rachel Catrambone, RN, BSN, who worked with a clinical rotation student last spring at Holy Cross Health Center. “… Nursing students can provide patients with education related to proper medication use, glucometers, and lifestyle changes to help treat or prevent chronic illnesses.”

A primary goal of the project is to expose students to community health so that they can develop a better understanding of the workforce opportunities and ascertain a better understanding of the needs of vulnerable residents. The Community Healthcare Nursing Scholarship provided scholarships to second-year nursing students who spent seven-week clinical rotations at selected safety-net clinics participating in Montgomery Cares.

Montgomery Cares is a public-private partnership that provides primary and preventive health services to low-income uninsured Montgomery County residents. It is composed of twelve clinics, five local hospitals, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County (PCC).

Other partners in the collaboration include The Universities at Shady Grove, which also is involving its nursing students in clinical rotations at local health centers. In addition, the PCC has worked to involve Montgomery Cares affiliated clinics with this pilot program and has facilitated learning collaboratives between the clinics and the schools to ensure that the needs of patients, students and the institutions are met.

“We encourage and facilitate collaborations like this one to boost the ability of our grantees to enhance the health care available to vulnerable Montgomery County residents,” said Crystal Carr Townsend, president of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation. “This project is enabling us to maximize our investments supporting both workforce capacity and the Montgomery Cares safety-net clinics.

The $11,850 grant from the Healthcare Initiative Foundation also provides additional funds to cover the cost of recipients’ National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for licensure as a Registered Nurse, and it supported evaluation activities this spring to examine the experiences of participating students and clinics and chart next steps for the collaboration.

“We are grateful to the Healthcare Initiative Foundation for its generosity—and we look forward to a continuing partnership with the Primary Care Coalition and its affiliated clinics,” said Barbara Nubile, associate dean/director of nursing at Montgomery College. “This collaboration helps our nursing students complete their degrees, while it also addresses an anticipated long-term shortage of nurses in the region and positively impacts patients, particularly the uninsured.”

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation supporting organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland.

The Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County works with clinics, hospitals, health care providers, and other community partners to coordinate health services for low-income, uninsured residents of Montgomery County, Md. Our vision is a county in which all residents will have the opportunity to live healthy lives. PCC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

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