Nursing department to hold symposium

Laurie Connelly, ‘Doah Staff Writer 
April 24, 2013

Those in the health professions have shown trepidation over potential changes to their field since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law in early 2010. This Friday, April 26, Shenandoah University’s Rho Pi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International will be sponsoring the 15th annual research and scholarship symposium which will address some of these concerns. The title for this year’s event is “Leading the Journey to Excellent Interdisciplinary Care.”

Gilda Gilbert is a professor in the nursing department and has helped in the preparation of this event. “The healthcare world has been turned on its ear with the advent of Obama Care. One certainty is that nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers must collaboratively plan care to meet the increasing restrictions that will likely shorten covered patient lengths-of-stay in hospitals, decrease reimbursement, yet still ensure delivery of high-quality care,” said Gilbert.

Two featured speakers at the event will be Dr. Valentina Brashers and Dr. Bernadette Melnyk.

“Dr.’s Melnyk and Brashers are innovative leaders in nursing and medicine, who champion interdisciplinary models of care. We are excited to offer their expertise to nursing faculty, nursing students, and nurses in the community who are seeking evidence for improving practice,” said Gilbert.

Brashers, the keynote speaker, is both a nurse and faculty member at the University of Virginia. She will be presenting current data on the effectiveness of collaborative care models that improve healthcare quality and safety. Her presentation will also include details about how UVA’s interprofessional education initiative is designed to promote collaboration.

Melnyk is a faculty member of Ohio State University, and according to Gilbert, “will be discussing current trends in healthcare that are driving changes in how care is planned and delivered.”

“Her focus on the importance of research in the development of practice has promoted changes in nursing curricula worldwide. Currently, many well-developed studies on healthcare delivery have shown that collaborative, evidence-based care models can and do reduce costs and patient stays, as well as improve patient outcomes. Yet frequently, the integration of newer models lags. Dr. Melnyk will offer some insight about why nurses and others find it difficult to integrate changes in practice.”

The event runs 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. There will be great speakers and plenty of activities to do during this time. For more information,  contact Dr. Cheryl Dumont, president of the Rho Pi chapter, at

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