News from the Colleges
NYUCN/NYUCD Elder Care Program Kicks Off in Lower Manhattan
- Christopher James

NYU's College of Nursing (NYUCN) partnered with NYUCD in November 2011 to host a health fair at the Grand Street Settlement, a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC), in Lower Manhattan. This "Health Fair for Healthy Aging" kicked off NYUCN's Elder Care Program (ECP), funded by a $1.2 million grant awarded to NYUCN by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant allows NYUCN to provide primary care services and other health-related services to over 4,000 seniors in Lower Manhattan over the next three years.

With the arrival of nurse practitioner interns, dental students, their respective faculty members, and other staff, the Grant Street Settlement's multipurpose room was transformed into a health fair, with a dozen stations containing health information and offering services including diabetes testing, blood pressure screening, a BMI screening, dental hygiene education, and dental screening. Workshops discussed what to bring to the primary care nurse practitioner visit, and offered tips on tooth and denture care. NYU health professionals and students served 130 seniors throughout the morning.

During the fair, nurse practitioner interns were paired with dental students for the services offered, providing important interprofessional care for the seniors and offering students an appreciation of what each discipline provides for the overall health of a patient.

"Interprofessional care allows nurse practitioner interns and dental students to appreciate both the overlap and the uniqueness of their roles," said the Elder Care Program project director and clinical associate professor of nursing Dr. Leslie-Faith Morritt Taub. "The Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the National Interprofessional Organization on Oral Health, among others, recognize the need to enhance the role of primary care clinicians in the promotion of oral health for all. When we looked around, everyone from the nurse practitioner and dental teams was pitching in. I don't recall being prouder of the students," Dr. Taub remarked.

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, who represents part of the Lower East Side, attended the event, greeted the seniors and Grand Street staff, and had his blood pressure checked by NP intern Abby Yenkinson.

"It's always great when local agencies and institutions are willing to come out into the community and address an identified need," said Assemblyman Kavanagh. "Thanks to the NYU College of Nursing and their partnership with the NYU College of Dentistry, over 4,000 Lower East Side seniors will receive services that are vital for their health and well-being."