Issuu on Google+

YBCSN collaborators Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, Louis Josof, and Madeline Harris, MSN, RN, OCN; photograph by Mike Strawn News for aNd about the uab school of NursiNg Spring | 2013 Throughout the UAB Health System, multidisciplinary teams are working together, not just to deliver care, but to transform it. As a full partner in this mission, the School of Nursing plays a collaborative, leadership role in improving the future of health care, here in Alabama and around the globe. Those of us committed to health care will spend our entire careers asking one central question: How can we improve health? That question, of course, leads to many more. How do we engage and empower the diverse patient populations we serve? How do we shift our focus from treating disease to promoting wellness? How do we ensure safe, quality, patient-centered care for all? The UAB School of Nursing partners with one of the premier academic health centers in the country and a world-class health system. We join our colleagues in asking those questions daily as we also explore potential solutions. We recognize that, for all the great strides made in health care, there are just as many new hurdles to overcome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such chronic diseases as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease account for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. The consequences are significant for patients, families, and communities, and yet, in many cases, these diseases are preventable. We face the Triple Aim challenges, also referred to as the “iron triangle,” of cost, access, and quality. The entire health care community must work together to contain sky-rocketing costs, dramatically improve access, and significantly enhance both the quality and coordination of care. Successful care coordination means health care providers need to engage and effectively communicate with patients, as well as each other. “Our system is so complex that only very skilled, highperforming teams can deliver positive outcomes for patients and ensure their safety during treatment—or, better yet, avoid treatment altogether by successfully preventing illness and promoting wellness,” said Dean of Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We are committed to producing the kind of nurse leaders who can team with their colleagues across disciplines to transform health care at the highest levels—highly educated, talented, nurses who discover and use knowledge to change the world for the better.” SUSTAINABLE SCHOLARSHIP Our nurse scientists believe that creating a healthier population has as much to do with prevention as treatment, and that education and communication are just as critical as advanced technology. The buzzword “high-touch” (as opposed to high-tech) was featured in a recent CNN documentary called Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. The newest outreach program from the UAB School of Nursing— the Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network (YBCSN)—represents a marriage of high-touch and high-tech, combining internet and telephone information delivery with personal, targeted support for young survivors, their families, and their communities. This new network grew out of sustained interprofessional research by Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the associate dean for research at the School of Nursing and co-leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Meneses has been an oncology nurse specialist and scientist for more than 30 years. Specializing in survivorship, she had personally observed a trend toward younger breast cancer survivors. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine brought that trend to the forefront, citing a small but statistically significant increase in advanced breast cancer survivors ages 25-39 over the past three decades. The YBCSN is developing partnerships among providers, advocates, and organizations that (1) offer pre-menopausal survivors education and support; (2) increase public and family awareness about the special needs of young survivors; and (3) facilitate networking and education by developing a website for the YBCSN. Part of a collaborative effort directed by the School of Nursing, the YBCSN is supported by the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. It is a prime example of how treatment and education go hand-in-hand to promote health and wellness. “Treatment lasts a year, at most, but these women are survivors for the rest of their lives,” Meneses said. “The more prepared they are—and the more prepared their families are—the better their lives will be. It was very gratifying to see all the resources we have at UAB, as well as those available through our community partners, come together to make this happen.”

Trail Blazer Spring 2013

Related publications