Decker awarded $1 million to expand community health programs


Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing has been awarded nearly $1 million in federal funds to expand its community-based nurse practitioner and nurse educator program and to develop Web-based courses on community health and biohazard emergencies.

The $989,843 three-year grant from the Public Health Service is expected to provide training for 24 community nurse practitioners or community nurse educators and fund the development of 20 new clinical sites in underserved or rural areas.

The funding will allow the Decker school to expand its educator offerings from a three-course to a four-course sequence. The expanded educator program will allow students to complete the program faster and is expected to help address the issue of an increasing number of soon-to-retire community nursing educators.

The grant will also fund the development of two Internet-based biohazard courses by Laura Terriquez-Kasey. Terriquez-Kasey is a Decker clinical instructor, former U.S. Army nurse and member of the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team that spent time at Ground Zero as part of a medical triage, acute care team.

One course will focus on how medical personnel should respond to individuals who have been exposed to biohazards ranging from biological agents like anthrax to toxins released during chemical spills. The second course will focus on the public health approach to responding to these issues.

While both courses are designed for Decker students, the subject matter and distance-learning format will encourage a wide variety of other participants including environmental engineers, public health nurses, county health departments and others involved in disaster planning.

Looking to the future, the grant also provides funds to enhance the Decker School’s TeenNet website that offers links and resources to encourage teens to consider nursing as a career option. The grant will also fund a program for teens to shadow adult students and faculty in the community nursing program.

The Decker School is concluding the third year of another Public Health Service grant for $699,210 that was critical in helping several rural communities meet their health care needs. This new grant will help enhance and continue current projects developed through that initial funding. 

Gale Spencer, professor of nursing and director of both the Kresge Center for Nursing Research and the Community Health Project, and Masha Britten, associate professor of nursing, prepared the $989,843 grant request.

Last Updated: 9/17/13