Uniontown Hospital recently hosted nurses and nursing leaders from around the state at the 16th Health Resources and Services Administration Collaborative.
The two-day conference held Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at Uniontown Hospital and entitled “Bridging Partnerships … Driving Nursing Excellence,” was the latest in the series of collaboratives created and held to help nurses establish best practice methods across all clinical disciplines. The conferences are funded through HRSA grants.
According to Lea Walls, Clinical Director of the Family Beginnings Birthing Center at Uniontown Hospital and the HRSA Collaborative coordinator for the facility, Uniontown Hospital has been partnered with Gettysburg, Clarion, Charles Cole and Indiana hospitals for the discussions. She said that the success of the program has been the result of nurses and nursing leaders being truly open and honest with one another resulting in significant dialogue.
“No one has held anything back because we want to be the best we can be for our patients,” Walls said.
In addition to the partner hospitals, each hospital is paired with a “magnet hospital” to help them continue to grow in the nursing field, Walls said.
She said that Uniontown was part of a second round of collaboratives after initial rounds were so successful; HRSA first funded the sessions for Susquehanna, DuBois, Heritage Valley, The Good Samaritan, Meadville and Lewistown hospitals.
“We couldn’t be more proud to host this event,” Walls said, noting that the meetings are no longer funded by HRSA grants but remain active with small participation fees and funding provided by host hospitals.
She said that some of the executives and nurses from partnering hospitals had driven up to five hours to attend the collaborative. She added that the hospital’s involvement in the collaborative was spearheaded by Chief Nursing Officer Betty Ann Rock.
“Without out her guidance and leadership, we would not have been part of this exceptional community learning event,” Walls said.
Rock said that one of the focuses of the collaborative is working to improve nurse recruitment and retention, which, in turn, improves the quality of care for patients.
“We want to create a community-focused health care culture in which we can openly share with one another and gain the best possible understanding of the challenges we face and the solutions that are available,” Rock said. “These sessions are an invaluable tool for us and we are so thankful for all those that attended the event and made it a success.”
The two-day session included numerous panels and lectures with topics ranging from specific engagement tactics with patients and families to high-level discussions about the challenges that nursing leaders face in today’s health care climate.
The event included a key note address from Uniontown Hospital CEO Steven Handy, and specific topic lunches led primarily by nursing administration and staff from Uniontown Hospital.