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The UNC Greensboro School of Nursing, in partnership with Cone Health, was awarded a four-year grant that will make it easier for its students to provide care to underserved populations in the Piedmont region of North Carolina with the use of mobile health units.

A team of School of Nursing faculty members led by Dr. Audrey Snyder received funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)for its grant with Cone Health entitled “Nurse Led Mobile Health Units: Improving Health Outcomes with Data Science.”

The HRSA grant is for $3.7 million over four years, with funding for the first year estimated at around $998,000.

This grant will support UNCG undergraduate students who are working toward their bachelor of science in nursing degrees and nurse practitioner students in the adult gerontology primary care doctor of nursing practice program. With the new funding, the School of Nursing and Cone Health will help promote health equity and reduce health disparities by increasing access to health care of underserved populations in the Piedmont.

The grant will also provide scholarships for UNCG nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds and increase student exposure to rural and medically underserved communities, potentially increasing the number of graduates who will want to work in those communities after graduation.

As part of the grant, Cone Health will support the School of Nursing by providing clinical experiences with the telehealth care model and in mobile health units and pop-up clinics in six counties in central North Carolina – Alamance, Caswell, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham.

“This is a wonderful partnership between the School of Nursing and Cone Health to increase access to health care services for individuals and families in underserved areas in the Piedmont region,” said Dr. Debra J. Barksdale, dean of the School of Nursing. “Our nursing students will have an invaluable learning opportunity as they gain firsthand experience in helping to support the health care needs of resilient communities.”

The School of Nursing’s partnership with Cone Health is innovative in that it will use data science to predict the populations in rural and underserved communities in The Piedmont in most need for health care services.

“It is an incredible honor to partner with UNCG in support of the educational journeys of our future registered nurses,” said Dr. Debbie Grant, chief nursing officer for Cone Health. “This grant will help prepare those nurses to provide exceptional care in community settings and truly meet our patients where they are.”

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Story and photography by Alex Abrams, School of Nursing

 
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