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August 14, 2000

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Students Provide Health Care to Western Maryland Elderly

Baltimore, Md.– The University of Maryland School of Nursing, as well as the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine and Social Work, have partnered with the Western Maryland Area Health Education Center (WMAHEC) and the Western Maryland Health System (WMHS) to provide health care to elderly residents of Allegany County, many of whom are underinsured and unserved. A grant award of $30,410 from the University's Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program is enabling nursing and other health professional students to assist the WMHS in providing health education, screenings and care coordination for these elderly citizens during the year-long project, which began on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2001.

We are happy to be able to provide assistance to the citizens of Allegany County," said Barbara R. Heller, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing. "Through partnerships like this, our students receive invaluable training while providing health care to those in need."

Under the direction of Gail Mazzocco, EdD, RN, Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and Western Maryland Outreach Site Coordinator for the School, the project is designed to provide interdisciplinary clinical experiences for students, while providing a mechanism to identify and coordinate senior health services.

"The WMAHEC has organized a number of interdisciplinary experiences for students in the past, and in an attempt to expand on those offerings, the Center has faced the challenges of scheduling, organization and community needs," stated Dr. Mazzocco. "Working together, we will be able to help them meet their needs."

The WMAHEC, located at 11 Columbia St., Cumberland, is a community-based organization whose mission is to improve access to and promote quality in health care through educational partnerships with centers of higher education, community health professionals, and other vital supporters and advocates. For more information about the Center, call 301-777-9150.

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