Local health foundation awards Matthew Walker Grant to APSU for 10th year
(Posted April 2, 2019)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation has awarded nearly $15,000 to the Austin Peay State University Foundation through the Matthew Walker Grant for the 10th consecutive year. The funding will benefit the APSU School of Nursing.
The funding will allow one nurse practitioner from the APSU nursing faculty to provide primary care for approximately 250 diabetes patients at the Clarksville site of the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC). The mission of MWCHC is to provide quality healthcare services, health education and to promote wellness. APSU senior nursing students will support the nurse practitioner’s plan of care by conducting patient care calls and diabetes education classes focused on motivating all patients to adhere to a medication regimen, monitor their blood sugar levels regularly and to change their lifestyles to prevent diabetes-related complications.
Dr. Patty Orr, APSU professor and Lenora Reuther Chair of Excellence, wrote the grant. She based the program design on the programs she observed while serving as the senior vice president of a public healthcare company prior to joining the APSU School of Nursing in 2008. During that time, she saw diabetes patients achieve positive outcomes while enrolled in health plans that offered such programs.
The MWCHC welcomed the APSU School of Nursing to begin the diabetes program in 2009 by providing the infrastructure to support it. Dr. Shondell Hickson, APSU associate professor of nursing, currently serves as the primary faculty nurse practitioner for the program. Oversight and BSN student instruction related to nursing support care interventions is provided by faculty in the BSN Community Health Course. Patient outcomes of HgA1c, blood pressure and lipid level are measured and reported twice a year. The HgA1c is a measurement of blood glucose control over a 90-day period. The indicator outcome of control of the blood sugar (HgA1c) has significantly improved over the 10 years the program has operated. Recent indicators of improvement in aggregate HgA1c include a reading of 9.47 at the end of 2014, 8.44 at the end of 2015, 8.11 at the end of 2016, 7.62 at the end of 2017 and 6.98 at the end of 2018. The goal for all patients in the program is to achieve a reading of 7.00 or less in order to prevent diabetes-related complications, such as heart and vascular disease.
“The School of Nursing thanks the Clarksville Montgomery County Community Health Foundation for this opportunity to provide this program for the diabetes patients at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center,” Orr said. “Through this grant, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation has positively impacted a diverse population by helping them to prevent serious and costly diabetes complications. The grant has also provided BSN students with an outstanding learning experience to participate in a nursing research project that has generated significant outcomes for a specific patient population.”
To support APSU School of Nursing fundraising initiatives, contact Jerica Swiger, director of development, at 931-221-7130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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