UNC Provides Care, Supplies on Service Learning Trip to Honduras

A group of 22 students and volunteers from UNC School of Nursing and UNC School of Pharmacy went to Honduras on a service learning trip during spring break 2012. The group joined the efforts of Compassion Med International in providing medical screenings, care, and supplies to local populations.

The group was led by SON’s Jean Davison, clinical assistant professor and family nurse practitioner. Volunteers included SON’s Rhonda Lanning, clinical instructor and nurse midwife, Elizabeth Prata, family nurse practitioner from UNC Center for Latino Health, and Christine Walko, PharmD from the School of Pharmacy.

The group conducted over 100 health screenings on local children before seeing over 150 patients per day at four different clinical sites. In addition, triage staff cared for minor complaints and handed out anti-parasitic treatments and vitamins. All told, the group saw more than 1,000 patients over the course of their trip, and distributed 20 food packets that could feed a family of five for one week.

UNC’s MedWorld helped provide the group with medical supplies to distribute to local hospitals and clinics. One hospital received endotracheal intubation equipment while its pediatric ward received beanie babies and toys.  Other supplies and medications were donated to Dr. Elmor Mejia, who is the only doctor with a hyperbaric chamber for treating injured Miskito lobster divers.

Before leaving Honduras, the group met with US Attorney David Arizmendi, vice consul of the US Embassy, who expressed appreciation for the group’s service.

View photos from their trip here.

Service Learning Trip to Honduras

UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing students and faculty participated in a service learning trip to Honduras during  Spring Break. Before the trip the Association of Student Nurses helped collect vitamin and over the counter medications for the group to take with them.

Clinical Assistant Professor Jean Davison was the SON Course Coordinator and Team Leader for the multidisciplinary group, which included 20 students and nine volunteers who included two doctors, three nurse practitioners and two pharmacists. Nine of the students were from the School of Nursing.

View a slide show of pictures from their trip  here. Read the rest of this entry »

Students and Faculty Volunteer at Project Homeless Connect

Eric Hodges (left) was one of the School of Nursing faculty members that volunteered at Project Homeless Connect. Photo by Laura Shmania, http://www.butterflites.com

The UNC School of Nursing served the community through Project Homeless Connect on Nov. 4. This one-stop event at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill provided services such as job-readiness resources, health and dental care, mental health assistance, social services, legal services and  housing to people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Project Homeless Connect  is a key initiative of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and has served nearly 600 guests since 2007.

SON Associate Dean for Community Partnerships & Practice, Sonda Oppewal, acted as a Co-Chair for Project Homeless Connect’s Health Committee. She solicited ideas from SON faculty about how the School might be involved, bringing some new ideas and services to the event.  For example, guests were guided to relevant health services using new health intake forms developed by SON. The forms facilitated the use of clinical judgment based on interviews with the guests about past and current health problems.

Oppewal also helped assure there were sufficient health care providers, a need that SON helped meet with three nurse practitioners — Clinical Instructor Carrie Palmer, Clinical Assistant Professor and MSN Coordinator Jean Davison and Clinical Assistant Professor Victoria Cryer. Guests with high blood pressures, high cholesterol or glucose were directed to the nurse practitioners for counseling and referral (if needed).

Clinical Instructor Louise Fleming served as an active member of the Health Committee and recruited students to participate. Other faculty who participated included Clinical Associate Professor Eric Hodges, Clinical Assistant Professor Liska Lackey, Clinical Assistant Professor Diane Yorke, Dean Kristen Swanson, and Clinical Instructor Angela Clark. Clinical Assistant Professor Megan Williams also supported the project as the advisor to ANS.

Before the event SON Association of Nursing Students helped collect toiletry kits that were distributed before Nov. 4 as part of outreach efforts to tell homeless people about Project Homeless Connect.  During the event 27 students assisted with intake forms, providing health information, helping with eye exams, and assisted in escorting guests to various stations. Students also gave manicures this year, which provided a new opportunity for therapeutic communication and health education reinforcement. A health bingo game was another new feature that  reinforced  health education.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill.

UNC faculty and students helped with many of the stations at the Project Homeless Connect event. They assisted with health histories and intake, provided health information, gave manicures, took blood pressure, and assisted in escorting guests to various stations.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill.  She said it was an eye-opening experience.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill. She said it was an eye-opening experience.


UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010

UNC Global Health Fair

UNC Global Health Fair

The UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010 will be held September 30th and October 5th from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the main lobby and mezzanine of the school’s addition. Come see posters and other visual displays of the school’s global experiences during the last year. Pizza will be served. Posters will remain up until October 8. E-mail songlobalhealth@unc.edu for more information.

Health Professions Faculty Gather to Discuss Patient Safety in Telluride, CO

Faculty leaders in patient safety gathered in July for the annual scientific  roundtable on patient safety as part of Colorado’s Telluride Science Institute. Associate Dean Gwen Sherwood has been the nurse educator representative in this group for the past six years. This year, sponsored by a grant from AHRQ, 18 health professions students (nursing, medicine, law, health care administration and informatics) participated to co-create a health professions curriculum on open communication with patients and their families as part of providing quality safe care to reduce health care errors. Three students from our school of nursing, Lysandra Serrano (BSN), Rebecca Mooney (MSN) and Vanessa Rhodes (PhD) were awarded scholarships to participate. Continue reading for what the week long workshop meant to Rebecca Mooney with a photo of Serrano and Mooney with faculty Dr. Gwen Sherwood during a team building exercise to hike to Bear Creek Waterfall.

Rebecca Mooney, MSN student, adds her perspective to the Telluride experience:

“Spending a week in Telluride, Colorado was, for me, much more than just attending another conference; this experience is one that left with me an impression much greater than I ever expected to gain from any “vacation.” Being surrounded with healthcare providers with various backgrounds from all different walks of life, each having their own invigorating perspective, has opened up my eyes to new approaches to patient-centered care.  Throughout the week, a common theme of discovering new approaches to providing safe, competent care continued to arise as we held group discussions. Much emphasis was placed on managing the growing complexity of healthcare by utilization of a teamwork approach which placed the patient and family members in the core of the team.

By the end of this experience, I realized the impact this week in Telluride had on my outlook on patient care. Passionate conversation sparked an exchange of ideas which challenged my current practices and motivated me to achieve higher standards. Being able to spend time with the survivors of serious medical errors was an experience that will forever impact my nursing care as the importance of using caution was gravely emphasized. Hearing their stories deeply touched my heart as I was almost able to share in their pain and I have carried that with me on the floors of my hospital from that day forward.”

Associate Dean Gwen Sherwood (center) with SON students

Examining Social Determinants of Health: A Student Project

by Colette Allen, SON student, published in “Insight Out” http://bios.unc.edu/~ebutter/IOspring10.pdf
“If all of us are going to be healthy, everyone has to have a chance to be healthy…”
These were the simple but wise words of one resident interviewed as part of the 2009 North Carolina Community Health Survey (CHS). Students and faculty from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Schools of Nursing, Public Health, Social Work and the Division of Physical Therapy led the CHS alongside staff from the Guilford County Department of Public Health (GCDPH). We spent the first three days of our trip in Guilford County working closely with the GCDPH conducting face-to-face, door-to-door health needs surveys as part of the Guilford County Healthy Carolinians 2009 community health assessment process. Dressed in vests of blue and gold, we traversed the
streets of Greensboro and High Point in groups of three to interview local residents. The survey consisted of 49 questions that provided a snapshot of the health status, access to healthcare, social support and need for services in households located within the highest poverty areas of Guilford County.
In the end, we completed 210 household surveys. I was humbled by the openness of the residents, who voiced anger over crimes and drugs in their communities and frustration over the limited access to quality health care, the lack of affordable fresh produce, and the need for more safe parks.  Guilford County will use this information to identify community health priorities and plan health promotion activities. On the third day of our trip, we said “goodbye” to Guilford County and headed to the coastal community of Alligator, a small, primarily African-American town located
in Tyrell County. Here we partnered with the Conservation Fund of North Carolina on a pair of environmental conservation projects.
The Palmetto-Peartree Preserve is being developed into a public park and the surrounding waters into part of a
paddle way. We embarked on a coastal cleanup of trash and crabbing pots that were blown ashore from the Albemarle
Sound. In a single day, we loaded two huge dump trucks with trash. For our second project, we helped with the restoration of a Rosenwald School. Philanthropist Julius Rosenwald financed some 5,000 Rosenwald schools in the south to improve the education of African Americans during the early twentieth century. This particular school in the Alligator community was chosen by the Conservation Fund to be restored as an environmental center for park visitors and a community center for local residents. Within a few hours, we cleaned up the small one-room schoolhouse. Complete with a large blackboard spanning the length of one of the walls, the scene was reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s school in Little House on the Prairie. After some hard work and a great history lesson, we gathered
in the schoolhouse with residents of Alligator community for a feast of hamburgers and hotdogs. The atmosphere was lively, and the residents shared their experiences of rural living. In turn, our group asked about their health concerns and suggestions for future service projects. We hope to return to Alligator next spring break and partner with residents on a community-led health project.
Looking back on this experience, the words echo over and over in my head: “… the chance to be healthy…” As
a future family nurse practitioner, what this means is that I must consider all the factors that are influencing my
patient’s health. This phrase also means I must self-reflect: What social determinants am I competing against and what
role is it playing in my patient’s health? Factors like access to healthcare, the availability of fresh produce, safety and
environment all impact health.
This spring break, for the residents of Guilford and Tyrell County, I feel that we took a step in the right direction.
I feel that we took a step toward giving them “the chance to be healthy.”
Colette Allen is a 2010 graduate of the UNC School of Nursing. She is now a full-time family nurse practitioner. She may be contacted at .

Scholarship Awarded to BSN Student Amy Davenport

Chapel Hill News, May 4, 2010 –

Amy Davenport was awarded The Carolina Experience Enrichment Scholarship (CEES) for their summer enrichment opportunities. Davenport and Littauer each were given $1,500; Neal was given $500.

Davenport, a senior nursing major is a transfer, non-traditional student who has already completed the Master of Public Health degree at UNC Chapel Hill.   She chose to enroll in the traditional 24-month nursing school option so she could participate in the summer externship program.

During the summer, Davenport will be volunteering in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico, to work with the nurses at the Centro de Salud. There, Davenport will promote the health and well-being of the people served by the clinic, help nurses in providing care at the health clinics and assessing the need and desire to establish a more intensive UNC volunteer presence in the community.

What do Family Nurse Practitioners do after they graduate? This one is opening a clinic.

Xiao McLinton completed the FNP/MSN program at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing in 2006.  In 2008 she ran an urgent care clinic in Smithfield, NC, and also served in a 30-bed Durham, NC, acute care facility.   “My last two jobs have been very challenging,” McLinton says, “and I have proven that I have the ability to deliver safe and quality medical care in an independent urgent care clinic and in an inpatient hospital setting.

Now, Xiao McLinton, FNP, MSN, RN, ANCC,  has stepped into the role of owner of a nurse-managed clinic.  She will open the Carrboro Family Clinic in Carrboro Plaza on May 15, 2010, determined to provide service seven days a week, from morning until evening, Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday from mid-morning until mid-afternoon. She promises excellent care for all and walk-ins are welcome.

Xiao McLinton”s nursing work experience is like many other FNPs.  She worked as a full-time staff RN at UNC Women’s Hospital for six years, where she helped patients and their families prepare for birth and delivery of newborns, and then provided patient education and post-partum care.  What makes her different is that she has 24 years of international nursing experience having worked in China, the Middle East, Canada and the U.S.  This gives her a unique perspective.

Family Nurse Practitioners like Xiao McLinton have a broad range of training and education.  They can address pediatric and adolescent health issues, provide a wide range of services to a large base of patients, including evalulation, diagnosis, treatment, education, risk assessment, health promotion, care management, coordination of care and counseling.  They can deal with diabetes, obstetrics and gynecology, adolescent health, and coordinate the care and services with other disciplines as needed.

In this era of increasing primary care needs and high level of primary care physician shortages, nurse practitioners like Xiao McLinton, are educated and trained to meet the health care needs of individuals and families.

Bagels, Pennies & Crafts: School of Nursing Supports Haitian Relief Efforts

On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti. The earthquake destroyed most of the country’s homes and buildings and killed, according to the most recent government estimates, more than 111,000 people.

In the nearly two weeks that have followed, organizations from around the world have scrambled to provide monetary, medical and humanitarian aid to the victims of this tragedy. The School of Nursing and its students are no different.

In response to the most immediate need for money among nonprofit relief organizations, the School has coordinated several fundraising efforts that will send much‐needed funds to the organizations on the ground that are struggling to work their way through the sick and injured.

Students and faculty have partnered with several nonprofit groups through a variety of activities that will be on‐going over the next several months. All proceeds collected will go to support the work that Doctors Without Borders, the American Red Cross and locally‐managed Family Health Ministries are doing in Haiti.

Every Friday between Jan. 22 and Feb. 26, students, faculty and staff can buy baked goods to support Doctors Without Borders. Panera Bread agreed, through a student‐led effort, to donate items for the fundraiser. Each item will cost $2, with a morning and an afternoon opportunity to purchase assorted baked goods.

“We spend so much time with people here who need help,” said Elissa Poor, BSN Class of 2011. “We’re just trying to figure out the best ways to help people from afar.”

In addition to the bake sale, the School will also host two Global Craft Fairs in support of the work that Family Health Ministries (FHM) does in Haiti. Directed by Nancy Walmer, PNP ’00, this nonprofit organization has a long‐standing presence in Haiti, and all of its clinics suffered some degree of damage in the earthquake, with the Leogane clinic being fully destroyed.

FHM (http://www.familyhm.org) develops long‐term relationships with underserved individuals and groups and assists them, in culturally relevant ways, to learn to help themselves. In Haiti, FHM supports programs in maternal‐child health, nutrition, education and church development.

Faculty members Jean Davison and Sonda Oppewal helped collect and load medical supplies needed to replenish the resources lost by Family Health Ministries in the earthquake.

Faculty, staff and students are donating their artistic, international craft items for sale. The crafts fairs will be held on Feb. 1 and Feb. 4 with all proceeds to go to FHM.

FHM is also accepting medical supplies (nothing perishable) to replenish its lost resources. Please visit the Web site for specific information.

There are also opportunities for faculty, staff and students to contribute to the relief effort even if their schedules do not allow them to participate in organized events. Collection buckets have been placed strategically throughout the School to collect loose change for “Pennies for Haiti,” an effort that will provide financial assistance to the American Red Cross presence in the country.

Faculty member Andrea Biondi organized this effort after her daughter became involved with a similar activity in her school. There is currently a friendly competition underway to see which school can collect the most money. The Association of Nursing Students (ANS) is also participating in “Pennies for Haiti.”

ANS, however, isn’t limiting its relief‐effort activities to SON‐led endeavors. As a group, ANS has also joined with the University community in One Effort Haiti, a student‐organized plan to raise funds alongside the Campus Y committee, Extended Disaster Relief, in which students donate to Doctors Without Borders through their student ID numbers.

Even individuals are pitching in to make a difference. Graduate student Nanci Sullivan‐Blackert is collecting medical supplies for Joy in Hope (http://www.joyinhope.org), a nonprofit faith‐based organization that supports Haitian families. Similarly, faculty member Marcia Van Riper helped collect health kits that her church will send to Haiti.

SON officials anticipate that additional projects and efforts will be added in the coming months. For additional information, contact Sonda Oppewal at soppewal@unc.edu.

SON Student in Malawi Updates Blog

Amber Draughon, Class of 2009, has updated her blog, discussing the culture in Malawi that she has experienced during her time working on the UNC-Malawi Project on HIV research. To view her blog: http://amberdinmalawi.weebly.com/blog.html


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96 other followers

%d bloggers like this: