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  • Utah Chosen to Receive Second Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Help Transform Health Care Through Nursing

Utah Chosen to Receive Second Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Help Transform Health Care Through Nursing

Salt Lake City, March 17, 2015 — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced that the Utah Action Coalition for Health, led by the Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders and HealthInsight Utah, will receive a second two-year grant through the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program (SIP). The $7.65 million initiative is helping states prepare the nursing profession to address our nation's most pressing health care challenges-access, quality, and cost. Utah is one of 18 states receiving its second two-year grant of up to $150,000, and Arizona, Maine, and West Virginia are joining the program this month. RWJF's SIP now supports 33 state Action Coalitions.

SIP bolsters efforts already underway in 50 states and the District of Columbia—through the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action—to improve health and health care through nursing. A joint initiative of AARP and RWJF, the Campaign is working to implement the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) evidence-based recommendations on the future of nursing. It provides a vehicle for nurses at all levels to lead system change to improve care for all through collaboration with business, consumer, and other health professional organizations.

"These grants have proven a wise investment and we are confident that this additional support will lead to even more advances," said Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF senior adviser for nursing and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. "We are immensely proud of the work our Action Coalitions are doing to transform nursing education and practice, support nurse leadership, and diversify the nursing workforce. RWJF is committed to building a Culture of Health so that everyone in America can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing care and promoting health."

In addition to Utah, the state Action Coalitions that will receive their second two-year grants of up to $150,000 are: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. SIP grants go to state-based Action Coalitions that are making substantial progress toward implementing the IOM recommendations.

All SIP grantees must obtain matching funds and to date, states with SIP grants have raised more than $8.9 million beyond their RWJF funding. The Utah Hospital Association (UHA) is a strong, committed partner in advancing the future of the nursing profession in Utah and generously provided $75,000 in matching funds to the Utah Action Coalition for Health.

"Nurses are the very backbone of America's hospitals," commented Greg Bell, president and CEO of UHA. "We cannot do our lifesaving work without a competent, well-educated nursing workforce. UHA is proud to be able to advance the nursing profession in our state through our support of the Utah Action Coalition for Health."

"We are tremendously proud to be continuing with this program and look forward to doing even more to implement the IOM's future of nursing recommendations here in Utah," said Juliana Preston, executive director, HealthInsight Utah. "The work we are doing to transform nursing improves health care for everyone. We are grateful to RWJF for this support."

The Utah Action Coalition for Health will focus over the next two years on two major goals, said Maureen R. Keefe, RN, PhD, FAAN, dean emerita and professor of the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. "One is to expand the network of hospitals offering a full year, RN residency program for new nurses throughout Utah and develop a fellowship program for new nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives. The other is to launch the 'Breakthrough to Baccalaureate' campaign to encourage and support nurses as they attain bachelor's degrees in nursing. The national goal is for 80 percent of the RN workforce to attain at least a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree by 2020."

The Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA), an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and RWJF, serves as the national program office for the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program.

"We are so pleased to be able to add three new state Action Coalitions to this program, and provide continuing support to 18 others," said Susan Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist at CCNA. "We expect this new funding will help realize our goal, to transform health care through nursing so we can improve health outcomes and wellbeing for individuals, families, and communities."

About HealthInsight Utah

HealthInsight is a recognized leader in convening and partnering with our communities to improve health and health care by advancing quality, efficiency and value for patients and providers. HealthInsight Utah serves as a catalyst, using collaborative efforts to facilitate and promote the quality and safety of health care to achieve improved outcomes and value for all Utahans. Learn more at www.healthinsight.org.

About the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action

Utah is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), working to implement the Institute of Medicine's evidence-based recommendations on the future of nursing. The Campaign includes Action Coalitions in 50 states and the District of Columbia and a wide range of health care professionals, consumer advocates, policy-makers, and the business, academic, and philanthropic communities. The Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and RWJF, serves as the coordinating entity for the Campaign, as well as the national program office for the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program. Learn more at www.campaignforaction.org. Follow the Campaign for Action on Twitter at @Campaign4Action and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CampaignForAction.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.