Viterbo Lands $450,000 Grant
The reputation Viterbo has earned as a leader in health care education received a huge boost with news that the university has been awarded a grant of $449,730 from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program.
As the lead institution for the Western Wisconsin area, Viterbo’s nursing faculty and students will build relationships with the health departments of La Crosse, Monroe, Vernon, and Trempealeau counties, as well as the St. Clare Health Mission in La Crosse.
The goal of the three-year project is to mitigate the effect of chronic disease through increased disease prevention and health promotion activities. New partnerships will be formed to improve access to preventive health services for people of all ages who are uninsured or underinsured, especially in rural areas of these four western Wisconsin counties.
According to Bobbie Wilson, grants coordinator, a national review team that read all the proposals was impressed with Viterbo’s request, ranking it third highest overall.
“Our school of nursing and the collaborations that have been established with places like Caring, Inc., at the Salvation Army, really show a demonstrated track record of leadership in getting things done,” Wilson said.
A number of initiatives targeting the area’s most vulnerable will include diabetes
screenings, checkups, and other preventive measures designed to connect with those most needing medical assistance.
Viterbo’s was one of 13 proposals approved for funding out of 48 submissions. Nine of the approvals were for the Milwaukee area and Viterbo’s proposal is the only one targeted to western Wisconsin.
Those most closely involved in formulating the project included Viterbo nursing faculty Stephanie Genz, Sheryl Jacobson, and Judy Talbott, grants coordinator Bobbie Wilson, as well as La Crosse County Health Department nurses Sarah Peterson ’95 and Laura Gambino.
Community health nursing students will be involved in every aspect of the project, from community needs assessment to provision of health promotion services to evaluation of project outcomes. The project will increase the number of clinical placements from one to two in the outlying counties.
In addition, this project addresses the building of a sufficient and competent workforce by improving the breadth and depth of clinical experiences for nursing students whose future will involve service in the public health arena.