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Nemours receive $2.4M grant to boost primary care access

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WILMINGTON – Nemours Children’s Health was awarded a $2.4 million, four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners in underserved areas of Delaware.

Nemours Children’s Health

Nemours Children’s Health was awarded a $2.4 million, four-year grant from the HRSA to increase primary care access. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

This funding will support four pediatric primary care nurse practitioner fellows annually, totaling 16 over four years. The nurse practitioners will receive specialized training in behavioral and mental healthcare, addressing critical gaps in youth services. The overall goal is to address the lack of accessible youth behavioral and mental healthcare services and increase the number of pediatric primary care providers in the state of Delaware.

The Patient Care Services team, under the leadership of Program Director Catherine Haut, DNP, Director of Nursing Research, and co-investigator Aaron Carpenter, DNP, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing and Patient Operations Officer, will lead the primary care nurse practitioner grant program.

Drs. Haut and Carpenter will be collaborating with Nemours Children’s primary care teams including nurses, pediatricians and psychologists. The PNP’s will also have an opportunity to train with Nemours’ network of psychologists under the direction of Meghan Lines, PhD, Clinical Director, Psychology, Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley. The grant provides a collaboration with the University of Delaware Psychology Department, Center for Community Training, Evaluation and Collaboration, and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Nursing. Through the funds granted, interprofessional relationships and practical training, at the end of the study the investigators expect to effectively prepare healthcare professionals and offer improved behavioral and mental health care options for kids in Delaware.

“We would like to congratulate the research team for their vision to launch this program and increasing the value of interprofessional collaboration,” Jane Mericle, DNP, executive vice president, enterprise chief nursing and patient operations officer, Nemours Children’s Health, said. “With this grant, Nemours Children’s is uniquely positioned to advance our pediatric nurses as health leaders and advocates to optimize models of care once unimagined including hospitals in the home, telehealth and even well beyond medicine.”

This is the fifth time Nemours Children’s has received a grant from the HRSA. Nemours Children’s was recognized and chosen for having a strong existing workforce pipeline sponsored by organizational leadership.

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