Nursing receives WIN grant for Panhandle geriatric mental health outreach

by Robb Crouch, University of Nebraska Foundation | October 16, 2018

Image with caption: Representing the College of Nursing West Nebraska Division, Nancy Meier, assistant professor (left), and Ann Koehler, scientific editor and project specialist, accept a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska at an Oct. 9 awards event in Omaha.

Representing the College of Nursing West Nebraska Division, Nancy Meier, assistant professor (left), and Ann Koehler, scientific editor and project specialist, accept a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska at an Oct. 9 awards event in Omaha.

The UNMC College of Nursing has received a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) to support a rural program led by the college's West Nebraska Division in Scottsbluff that provides geriatric mental and cognitive health screenings and access to mental health services.

The funding will be used to help serve the more than 16,000 older adults living in the state's 11-county Panhandle region where there is a shortage of mental health services. In 2019, the college expects to provide services to an estimated 500 people through specialized clinics and conduct around 40 comprehensive geriatric cognitive and dementia assessments.

"Access to geriatric specialists with expertise in the care of older adults and their mental health conditions in rural areas is missing," said Assistant Professor Nancy Meier. "The use of state-of-the-art neurocognitive testing, specialty clinics, telepsychiatric video-conferencing and online resources, as well as home visits, will better serve the rural population."

The program also serves to provide on-site clinical training to psychiatric mental health and adult geriatric nurse practitioner students. The goal is that a nurse practitioner will remain and practice in the Panhandle after graduation. The project could become another model for the college in addressing other needs of people in rural areas.

WIN also announced it has awarded a grant of $91,500 to the Sherman County Prevention Council for its Every School After School program. The program offers free after-school programming in the Loup City area where child care providers are limited, and parents need an affordable care for their children. The grant enables the organization to expand its service to additional schools and communities.

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Vaughn Meier
October 16, 2018 at 1:07 PM

Congratulation Nancy and Ann. A worthy project for the rural area.