Health Care and Higher Education

College wins grant for senior care

December 25, 2018
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GVSU Kirkhof College of Nursing student and senior citizen
A Kirkhof College of Nursing student works with a resident at Mount Mercy Apartments. Courtesy GVSU

Editor's note: A previous version of this article featured a photo of the private Grand Valley Family Health Center, which isn't affiliated with GVSU.

A local college has received a grant to provide on-site care to low-income and disabled senior citizens.

Through a $493,690 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, teams of faculty and students deployed by the Grand Valley State University Family Health Center will begin the care in January.

With oversight by Della Hughes Carter, GVSU assistant professor of nursing and the grant’s primary investigator, the groups will provide care to clients in two locations: Reflections, a 60-unit senior housing community managed by the nonprofit Dwelling Place; and Mount Mercy Apartments, a 180-unit building managed by the Grand Rapids Housing Commission.

Hughes Carter said teams of faculty and students from nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, clinical dietetics and social work will collaborate in the evaluation, treatment and monitoring of participants. Anticipated outcomes include decreased number of falls, improved medication tracking and reduced financial costs.

Cynthia McCurren, dean of the GVSU Kirkhof College of Nursing, which manages Family Health Center, said the program is meant to help decrease emergency room and hospital visits and delay nursing home placements.

“We are very fortunate to be given this opportunity to help the community, as well as provide high-impact clinical experiences for our students,” McCurren said.

The grant was among $14 million in awards to Michigan organizations through two programs: Healthy Aging, and Special Projects & Emerging Ideas.

This gift is a part of GVSU’s $85-million Laker Effect campaign.

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