The Nebraska Action Coalition’s project, “Striving for Health Equity in Nebraska,” works to address social determinants through a multipronged approach.
- Build professional students’ knowledge of population health by having them design and disseminate health information at school health fairs.
- Develop community-based partnerships via an advanced practice registered nurse led clinic which provides integrated behavioral health care for rural and underserved populations.
- Promote awareness and build partnerships through an annual Leadership/Culture of Health conference. The conference will address topics such as advocacy, policy, mental health/self-care, implicit bias, and it will also include a “COVID-19 Lessons Learned” panel.
The Nebraska Action Coalition will focus on three projects designed to address health equity in under-resourced areas through innovative programs that focus on housing and access to health and health care. They will 1) pilot a project with a local community organization to address chronic health issues by improving housing stock, 2) build on previous work to collect baseline data on nurses working with community health workers, and 3) pilot a mentoring project to support nurse aides.
The Nebraska Action Coalition planned on pursuing two projects. One project focused on involving nurses on a health literacy taskforce to develop a health literacy tool. Due to the departure of the lead for this project, the tool was not completed. The second project focused on involving nurses on a multidisciplinary supervision committee to develop guidelines for Community Health Workers (CHWs) across interdisciplinary settings. The third goal of project was to educate and engage nurse leaders on the role of CHWs and the supervision and value of this role to interdisciplinary teams.
Summary of completed project
In collaboration with the Douglas County Health Department and other partners, the Nebraska Action Coalition brought the perspective of the nurse as supervisor as part of the range of backgrounds of supervisors of community health workers to be included in a community health worker supervision toolkit. Following a “2018 Leadership/Culture of Health Conference,” the Action Coalition collected data on community health workers across the state. The Action Coalition did this in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, its Center for Reducing Health Disparities, and Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, an open house included 40 participants from varied backgrounds including business, academia, diverse nursing organizations, and health care leaders to brainstorm and develop action plans focused on building a diverse nurse pipeline. In partnership with the A Place at Home, a homecare agency which employs diverse nurse aides, the Diverse Nurse Pipeline implemented a pilot for five pairs of mentor/mentees.
Members of the Action Coalition have participated in a number of statewide conferences to share information on the project to “raise up” the CHW role as an important interdisciplinary healthcare team member and the supervision direction, delegation, policy, regulation, and leadership roles related to the CHW role. Over 300 nurses (10 percent of the state’s nurses) were informed of the CHW role and the transformation of the interdisciplinary care team. A curriculum on the CHW supervision began in February 2019. The interdisciplinary team produced a report (Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as the lead author, along with the Action Coalition and four other authors) that will be available in April 2020. Education of the healthcare profession on the importance of the CHW role to interdisciplinary health and healthcare teams remains a priority of the Nebraska Action Coalition.