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UW’s WIND, Other Health Organizations Receive Nursing Innovations Funding

The Wyoming Action Coalition, managed through the Wyoming Center for Nursing and its partners at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at the University of Wyoming, is among 10 organizations that will receive up to $25,000 in Nursing Innovations Fund awards for new or ongoing work that addresses nursing’s role in building health equity, well-being and promoting a culture of health.

The announcement was made by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

“With this funding opportunity, WIND will focus on the development of technical training of older Americans to use broadband services and devices to decrease social isolation and increase the use of telehealth service,” says Canyon Hardesty, director of community education and training for WIND. “Trainings and hands-on demonstrations will be delivered by nursing students of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming.”

“The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities fully supports and applauds the work being done by the Wyoming Action Coalition,” says Mary Behrens, president of the Wyoming Center for Nursing. “We are pleased to partner with the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming so that student nurses can have valuable time with seniors who may be struggling with medical appointments and access to other services during this time of COVID.”

All 2020 Nursing Innovations Fund awardees secured dollar-for-dollar matching funds from a variety of partners, including local county fire and emergency services, a state beef council, the United Way, local foundations, health and hospital systems, universities and individual donors.

RWJF defines health equity as “everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments and health care.”

Additionally, the Wyoming Center for Nursing, as part of its work, will focus on potential policy solutions to address social determinants of health, including access to care, housing, social isolation, employment or educational attainment.

“Priority in using this grant money will be to intervene in social isolation and manage any increase during the COVID-19 pandemic to assure Albany County elders have opportunity to use the internet to obtain needed goods and services, including telehealth for medical care, as well as maintaining social contact during times of isolation,” says Jeanine Niemoller, vice president of the Wyoming Center for Nursing Wyoming Action Coalition.

The campaign’s Nursing Innovations Fund was created in 2018 to support work for its state-based action coalitions and allies that inform and influence policy; produce replicable strategies that place nurses in positions as essential partners in providing care; and strategically involve a diversity of stakeholders. The competition was limited to the action coalitions or organizations designated by action coalitions and required applicants to raise funds to match the award dollars. The Wyoming Community Foundation, Wyoming Nurses Association, Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, Ivinson Memorial Hospital and Wyoming AARP provided matching funds for this project.

The Wyoming Action Coalition is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is working to implement the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based recommendations on the future of nursing. The campaign includes action coalitions in most states and the District of Columbia, and a wide range of health care professionals, consumer advocates, policymakers, and the business, academic and philanthropic communities.

The Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of the AARP Foundation, AARP and RWJF, serves as the coordinating entity for the campaign.