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Kitty DeGree School of Nursing and School of Allied Health receive $26,000 grant from Living Well Foundation

Published February 15, 2019

The University of Louisiana Monroe's Kitty DeGree School of Nursing and the Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy programs in the School of Allied Health in the College of Health Sciences, have been awarded a Living Well Foundation grant for the Mobile Bridge to Health for 2019. The grant is for $26,000.

A ULM nursing student looks at his new nursing pin.

Dr. Rhonda Hensley, Associate Director of Kitty DeGree School of Nursing graduate program, is the principal investigator of the grant. Her vision has always been to establish a clinic site for the less fortunate of the community. With the growth of the nursing program to include nurse practitioner tracks, she is now able to see her vision come to fruition.  

The purpose of the grant is to provide mental and medical health services to the homeless and is part of a multi-phase project of the College of Health Sciences and schools of Nursing and Allied Health. This is the pilot and phase one program to establish relationships with DeSiard Street Shelter, Family Promise of Ouachita and the Salvation Army, which provide care to the local homeless population. 

Dr. Jana Sutton, Interim Director, School of Allied Health, said, “I am delighted that the faculty and students from the schools of Nursing and Allied Health will be providing needed care to the homeless individuals and families in our region. Students will learn invaluable lessons regarding inter-professional education, and thanks to the Living Well Foundation will also be providing vital services to the underserved. This is exactly what education should be!”

Dr. Hensley said, “The healthcare professions, especially nursing, are based on the concept of caring and service. This project will enable our faculty and graduate nursing students opportunities to engage with underserved populations by providing health screenings to identify potential health issues and intervening in meaningful, respectful ways to help promote health and quality of life for those we serve.”

In addition to providing onsite care, the mobile bridge will also collaborate with local hospitals, such as Oschner’s, to provide extended care for these residents, when needed. This inter-professional collaboration between the two schools and health care providers in the community provides the schools and college the opportunity to meet accreditation standards.

“The College of Health Sciences greatly appreciates the support and trust of the Living Well Foundation. Through this funding, healthcare and mental health services will be delivered to individuals that currently lack access to care. This is an opportunity for our college to make a significant impact in changing lives for the better,” said Dr. Paula Griswold, Interim Associate Dean, College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Wendy Bailes, Interim Director, Kitty DeGree School of Nursing, stated, “Seeing our students and faculty investing in individuals who are the forgotten of society reminds me of why I love my profession of nursing and education. We as faculty truly do have the best of both worlds and I cannot wait to see how this expands!”