February 10, 2003

New nurse-managed community-based care clinic opening

Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s Faculty Practice Network (VNFPN) is opening the doors on a new nurse-managed, community-based clinic this week.

Nashville, TN- Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s Faculty Practice Network (VNFPN) is opening the doors on a new nurse-managed, community-based clinic this week.

The new Senior Health Center will open Tuesday, February 11, 2003. It will be housed at McKendree Village in Hermitage. McKendree Village is a progressive living community for seniors, with independent cottage homes, a tower of apartment-style living quarters, and separate buildings housing residents in need of assisted living, rehabilitation, and nursing home facilities. The center will serve close to 400 potential clients. McKendree Village has been part of the Vanderbilt family of related institutions for several years. Recently McKendree’s physician services ended and the Vanderbilt School of Nursing is now moving in to provide health care for the facility’s senior residents.

The McKendree Senior Health Center will offer family practice, mental health and women’s health services. Joyce Laben, JD, MSN, FAAN, professor of nursing emerita and psych-mental health specialist, will serve as the mental health care provider; Laurie Arnold Tompkins, MSN, WHNP will provide women’s health and gynecological services; and Jack Hydrick, MSN, FNP will provide family practice or adult general medicine care.

The McKendree Senior Health Center will be open Monday through Friday, on a part-time basis, totaling as much as 28 hours a week for the three healthcare providers. But Bonnie Pilon, DSN, FAAN, senior associate dean for Practice Management, says hours will be extended if needed.

Ron Jennette, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations at McKendree Village, says they’re thrilled to welcome Vanderbilt’s Nurse Practioners to their community. "It’s a wonderful opportunity for residents especially, to obtain services in a veryconvenient manner. We’re also happy that it enhances our relationship with Vanderbilt, who we’re affiliated with," Jennette said. Pilon hopes to offer health care services to McKendree employees and eventually serve others in the community. "We hope to attract employees and employee families," she said.

Pilon says the new clinic is yet another example of the VNFPN reaching out to the community, "There’s more demand as you age, and now you have people who live in a dwelling where they may not be able to get out and go whenever they want to, and this is a huge convenience for them," Pilon said.

She adds that addressing the health concerns of senior women is particularly important, "Senior women often don’t seek GYN or breast care perhaps because of embarrassment or thinking they’re no longer reproductively active so they don’t have to, and we know that can be detrimental to their health. They do face serious risks, particularly from cancer, that can go undetected unless you have the opportunity to see a provider. So we think by providing targeted GYN services we’re making an important preventive health program readily available for these elder women," she said.

McKendree, like several other nurse-managed clinics operating in the Nashville area, is a full-service advanced practice nursing clinic, part of the larger network of Vanderbilt.

"The nurse provider is there, accessible to the potential client, can diagnose and treat chronic recurring illness, and because of their advanced training, can refer them appropriately to specialty care here at Vanderbilt or elsewhere," Pilon said.

Pilon says the efficiency of the healthcare system is really optimized by the function of McKendree and other nurse-managed clinics. "They are offering front-line therapy that’s needed, and they’re like a sort and sift mechanism for the rest of the system. So people who may not seek care can seek it more easily, so they’ll have earlier entry when things are not good, and then by default, it filters the right patients to the right specialists back to a highly complex environment like Vanderbilt."

Media Contact: Heather Hall (615)-322-3894Pager: 615-363-6451 heather.l.hall@vanderbilt.edu