Student Presents at Aids Care Conference

Da’Vonya Wilson, a seventh semester student in the traditional BSN program, represent the Sinclair School of Nursing during the poster session at the Association of Nurses in Aids Care Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Wilson is also a McNair Scholar, and her poster, “Peers Keep It Real,” represents her research work with Dr. Maithe Enriquez. This research focuses on using peer educators to improve medication adherence in individuals with HIV.

Beloved SSON Staff Member Passes Away

It is with profound sadness that we announce that our beloved Thom Bowling, Executive Assistant Student Services, collapsed this morning, and after concerted resuscitation efforts in our MUHC Emergency Room, Thom was unable to be revived. This death comes as a shock to all of us. Thom just turned 59 and served the SSON for 13 years. He was the welcoming face for students and families in our front office and was so loved by all. Information about the memorial and where to send condolences will be forthcoming. 

May 2016 Graduates Receive Diplomas

With black caps and gown, various cords and apricot tassels, new graduates were a bundle of excitement as they waited to cross the stage. As their fellow classmates addressed them, students cheered and hollered and couldn’t wait to be handed their degree.

In all, the Sinclair School of Nursing conferred 153 degrees during its commencement ceremony May 13 in Jesse Auditorium. Fifty traditional students received their BSN along with 38 accelerated students, who will finish classes in July. Eighteen students completed the RN to BSN program.

On the graduate level, 10 students received their master’s degree, 36 completed a DNP and one received her PhD.

Judith Fitzgerald Miller, Dean, Sinclair School of Nursing, and Garnett Stokes, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs encouraged and celebrated the graduates. Dominic Chambers, traditional BSN candidate, Christyl Thurman, accelerated BSN candidate, and Sara Landreth, DNP candidate, addressed their fellow classmates.

Each graduate also received an apricot rose from Donna Otto, instructor of nursing and director of alumni relations.

Earlier in the day, 52 students, most of whom were graduates, were inducted into mid-Missouri’s Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Theta Tau honor society.

As the new graduates go their separate way and enter the real world, we know they are well prepared to handle the challenges they will face. They are not just nurses, after all, but Mizzou nurses.

Sinclair School of Nursing Receives $19.8 Million Grant

April 6, 2016

The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing today announced they have received nearly $20 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand their Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes. Through this program the Sinclair School of Nursing is working to create a national model for senior care and significantly reduce national health care spending.

“We have already seen monumental success from the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes,” said Judith Fitzgerald Miller, dean of the Sinclair School of Nursing. “Just last month our researchers received kudos from CMS from the first phase of the project. Having the opportunity to expand this program showcases the university’s commitment to improving nursing homes and care of older adults not only in Missouri, but across the nation.”

Launched in 2012, the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes is a partnership among MU, CMS and state Medicaid programs, and 16 collaborating nursing homes in St. Louis committed to improving care. The program is led by Marilyn Rantz, Curators’ Professor Emerita of Nursing and a team of MU researchers. The second phase of the program will take place at an additional 16 homes that have systems in place to manage the most common diseases associated with hospitalizations: pneumonia, dehydration, congestive heart failure, urinary tract infections, skin ulcers and asthma. Potentially eligible homes have already been identified by CMS and will be contacted shortly by the MOQI team.

“One of the challenges nursing homes face in determining care is the amount of payment they receive from CMS,” Rantz said. “This disparity in payment, between what hospitals are paid and the significantly less amount nursing homes are paid, leads nursing homes to hospitalize residents who could have been cared for in the home. For example, a physician can bill CMS $203 for a resident hospitalized with pneumonia, but a nursing home can only bill $136. This inequity means that decisions about resident care can come down to money, not what is best for the patient.”

As a result of the new funding, CMS has agreed to standardize payments under Medicare Part B for the treatment of qualifying conditions, increasing the amount paid to participating nursing homes for the treatment of conditions onsite. Rantz and her fellow researchers will then study whether the incentive of increased payment will help nursing homes reduce their hospitalization rate.

Since launching, the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes has recruited and placed an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) at 16 participating nursing homes. The APRNs worked with nursing home staff and health providers to coordinate patient care. One of the results of the project was a 34.5 percent decrease in potentially avoidable hospitalizations.

Rantz’s pioneering work in nursing homes care quality spans thirty years and she is regarded as a premier international expert in quality measurement in nursing homes and research programs to improve quality of care of older people.

Other MU nursing school researchers involved in the project include: Greg Alexander, professor Marcia Flesner, clinical instructor Jessica Mueller, program coordinator Lori Popejoy, associate professor Amy Vogelsmeier, associate professor MU researchers from other colleges and schools include: Colleen Galambos, professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ School of Social Work Greg Petroski, biostatistician in the Medical Research Office.

Subcontractors on the grant are Primaris, a federally designated organization that works to improve health care quality and affordability for Missouri residents, and Missouri Health Connections, a non-profit organization that creates secure health information networks to connect patients and providers in the state.