New program prepares nurses to care for people with developmental disabilities



PITTSFORD, NY, November 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A unique new program designed to be integrated with existing primary care nurse practitioner residency programs to enhance the healthcare experience for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD ) was developed by the nursing faculty of the Golisano Institute. for nursing care with intellectual disabilities at St. John Fisher College Wegmans Nursing School.

The online and modular curriculum presents a detailed overview of healthcare topics and best practices in IDD care specially designed for nurse practitioners engaged in primary care residency programs. The program focuses on areas of practice where health outcomes are dramatically different for patients with developmental disabilities such as reproductive health, or where improved skills can reduce complications and stress, as in the case of behavioral health. The content, which is divided into five online modules, aims to broaden the resident’s understanding of the behavioral, communication, political, programmatic, social and physical barriers that people with IDD encounter in primary care settings. The new program is being piloted as part of Highland Family Medicine’s Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, based in Rochester, New York, and will then be distributed to similar residency programs nationwide.

According to Dr. Holly Brown, Associate Director of the Golisano Institute, the objectives of the study program are not only better health, better care and lower costs, but also an improvement in the knowledge, confidence and skills of the nurse practitioner . She said this combination enhances the provider’s sense of well-being, which is a critical part of maintaining a thriving advanced practice nursing workforce.

“There have been too many situations where a patient with sensory issues enters a noisy and chaotic environment and may not respond well when overwhelmed. A nurse practitioner with these essential skills can enhance the experience of the healthcare visit, for example, by collecting information about health and accommodation needs in advance. Nurse practitioners can also be agents of change by leveraging existing billing systems to maintain and improve the quality of care for these patients, ”she explained.

With this new program, the Institute provides an accessible tool for nurse practitioners to address the disparities in health outcomes experienced by people with DID, a group that includes more than 6.5 million people in United States, according to a 2019 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has shown that these people face reduced life expectancy due to a myriad of factors, including the lack of qualified healthcare professionals and reduced access to routine screenings and exams. Additionally, patients with IDD often suffer from multiple and complex conditions, so their care requires additional time that current provider systems often do not support.

“Primary care nurse practitioners are on the front line of providing care to this population and yet we receive the least training of any health profession to work with people with IDD,” said Brown, who is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in addition to her role at the Institute. “Many of the skills developed in this program are transferable to our other patients with communication problems, for example, the elderly with dementia, people who have had a stroke or people living with traumatic brain injuries. “

The program was made possible through support from the Golisano Foundation and through an Inclusive Health Innovation Grant from Special Olympics International.

“Nurses are the world’s largest healthcare profession and spend the most time with patients with IDD. We are therefore delighted to fund this grant to prepare them to provide the best possible care, ”said Dr. Alicia Bazzano, director of health at Special Olympics.

For more information on the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing, visit the website

On St. John Fisher College
St. John Fisher College is a mixed liberal arts institution located in Pittsford, New York The campus community consists of over 2,600 full-time undergraduates, nearly 200 part-time undergraduates and nearly 1,000 graduate students.

Founded in 1948 by the Congregation of Saint-Basile as a Catholic College for Men, St. John Fisher College became independent in 1968 and mixed in 1971. Over the course of the 21st century, the College remains faithful to its Catholic and Basilian heritage. The College now offers 39 academic specializations in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, education and nursing, as well as 11 pre-professional programs. Fisher also offers a variety of master’s and doctoral programs in business, nursing, education, pharmacy, sports management, and public health.

Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing
The Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing was established in 2018 to generate an international cadre of prepared health professionals with the knowledge, professional skills and competencies necessary to effectively support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) throughout throughout life and in all contexts.

The institute is the first of its kind in the country, designed to transform the health care and support of people with DID through the integration of a specialized program in IDD into undergraduate nursing education, graduate and professional. It also works to coordinate and strengthen thought leadership in nursing, foster the creation of a collaborative system of centers of excellence in IDD care, strengthen expert practice, and advocate for social justice in order to ” improve the quality of life and health outcomes for IDDs. population.

About Special Olympics International
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We promote acceptance by all through the power of sport and programs in education, health and leadership. With over six million Special Olympics Unified Sports® athletes and partners in over 190 countries and territories and over one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics offers over 30 Olympic-style sports and over 100 000 Games and competitions each year.

On Tom golisano and the Golisano Foundation
Tom golisano – entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader – is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Paychex, Inc., a leading national provider of payroll, human resources and benefits outsourcing solutions with more than 14,000 employees and 100 offices nationwide serving over half a million small and medium-sized businesses. Tom’s vision, persistence and action have left an indelible mark on a wide range of issues that touch our lives – in business, healthcare, education, electoral politics, politics and tax reform. . His personal philanthropic contributions to hospitals, educational institutions and other organizations exceed $ 330 million. A strong advocate for dignity and inclusion, Tom golisano applied his pioneering spirit to create the Golisano Foundation to help make the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1985, the Golisano Foundation is today one of the largest private foundations in the United States dedicated exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With $ 45 million in gross assets, it attributes more than $ 2 million in annual Imagine the Possibilities grants, advocating for families, fighting for their dignity and giving people with IDD the opportunity to thrive in their communities.

THE SOURCE St. John Fisher College

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