SIUE WE CARE Clinic Secures $78K HRSA Grant to Expand Telehealth and Community Education

SIUE’s Jerrica Ampadu, PhD, WE CARE Clinic director.

“Expanded telehealth services will allow the WE CARE Clinic to provide access to healthcare, while maintaining distance between patients and providers. We will be able to provide safe, routine care to patients with chronic conditions and patients who are at higher risk of contracting COVID.”

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing’s (SON) WE CARE Clinic has secured a $78,751 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant entitled “Nurse, Education, Practice, Quality and Retention – Registered Nurses in Primary Care COVID.”

The WE CARE Clinic is located on the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, and serves an underserved population that is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

This funding will allow the Clinic to expand its telehealth services and community education initiatives supporting the prevention, preparation and response to the Coronavirus. It will support the purchase of necessary equipment and the establishment of workflows to incorporate new technologies. Patients will have increased access to telehealth technologies that will ensure care while limiting the virus’s spread.

“We are pleased to have received a HRSA COVID grant,” said Jerrica Ampadu, PhD, WE CARE Clinic director. “Expanded telehealth services will allow the WE CARE Clinic to provide access to healthcare, while maintaining distance between patients and providers. We will be able to provide safe, routine care to patients with chronic conditions and patients who are at higher risk of contracting COVID.”

“The WE CARE Clinic continues to serve as a valuable resource for the East St. Louis community,” added Roberta Harrison, PhD, SON associate dean for Academic Programs and Community/Global Partnerships. “The Clinic provides patients multiple ways to connect with their providers, while helping educate undergraduate and graduate nursing students about the critical need for primary healthcare in underserved communities.”

To prepare healthcare professionals and students to implement and utilize expanded telehealth services, the WE CARE Clinic is collaborating with the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s Department of Teaching and Learning to offer experiential virtual learning labs for students and staff.

“These learning labs will include training in telehealth, including motivational interviewing and chronic care coaching,” Ampadu explained. “Students will complete a virtual lab as part of their clinical immersion. The skills acquired through the lab will assist students in providing chronic care to patients in a virtual setting. Providers at the clinic will receive telehealth education based on their specialties, such as social work and nursing. Educating students and providers on telehealth enhances their readiness to respond to COVID-19.”

The SIUE School of Nursing’s programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling nearly 1,900 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. SIUE’s undergraduate nursing programs help to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within all patient service venues. The School’s graduate programs prepare nurses for advanced roles in clinical practice, administration and education.

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