The NYU College of Nursing (NYUCN) will help expand access to primary health-care
services and improve the quality of life for medically-underserved New Yorkers with the
opening this summer of a Nursing Faculty Practice at the College of Dentistry.
Initially, the Nursing Faculty Practice will target older adults. Over time, services
for all age groups will be offered.
"The high prevalence of chronic illness in this age group puts older adults at risk for
increased morbidity with resulting disability and decreased quality of life," said Dr.
Terry Fulmer, Dean of the College of Nursing. "The good news is that interventions that
support and promote health, such as clinical preventive services, risk factor reduction and
lifestyle behavior change, can reduce premature morbidity and mortality. Given that the
traditional symptom-based, reactive approach has not proven adequate, it is time to move
toward a more proactive, population-based, patient-centered approach to care. NYU nursing
faculty will provide a core of services that address not only disease-based clinical
management, but also health promotion and disease prevention."
The Nursing Faculty Practice will be directed by Dr. Carolyn Auerhahn, ANP, GNP, who
directs the Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Programs at the NYUCN. The practice will
also include Professors Caroline Dorsen, ANP, and Rose Knapp, ANP, with Robert Kennedy, MD,
a long-time member of the NYU nursing faculty, as the collaborating physician.
When the NYU Nursing Program joined the College of Dentistry as a new College of Nursing
within NYUCD in fall 2005, one of the stated objectives of the alliance was to seek new
synergies through interdisciplinary health teaching education and research, as urged by the
prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Another was to
address health-care challenges of the 21st century through innovative practice models and
responsive, patient-centered care.
"It is obvious that there is a need for the development of comprehensive and effective
forms of healthcare delivery to support and promote the health of an ever-increasing number
of older adults," said Dean Alfano. "By enabling dental and nursing faculty and students to
collaborate on the development and implementation of a primary care model, the new
Nurse-Practitioner Clinic at NYUCD is a step in that direction and also has the potential
to help address barriers to primary health care."
According to data from a 2005 survey of NYUCD patients, the majority of whom are either
Medicaid-eligible or uninsured, one-third of all patients stated that they had experienced
problems in accessing primary medical services due to their socioeconomic status and lack
of health insurance. Most important, when asked if they would take advantage of primary
care services if these were made available at NYUCD, 77 percent of survey participants
Patients will be referred to the Nursing Faculty Practice by the professional and
clerical staff in the NYU dental clinics-- who will be formally trained in appropriate
referral procedure-- and be seen by NYUCN nurse-practitioners. Patients who have a primary
care provider will be offered health promotion services that complement the care they are
already receiving. Those who do not have a primary care provider will be offered the option
of receiving their primary care at the clinic.
Patient records will include both dental and general health information. This shared
information will provide a more comprehensive health-care record than currently exists in
other practice models.
"The NYU Nursing Faculty Practice affords an unprecedented opportunity for
interprofessional communication and collaboration in the provision of healthcare services
to people who have experienced problems in accessing primary care services," said Dean