Graduate nursing student Beth Moore (left) consults with nurse practitioner Bea Gaynor, a Ph.D. student in nursing science who works at the NMHC one day a week.

STAR site

Nurse Managed Health Center provides care, education at STAR Campus

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12:45 p.m., Jan. 27, 2014--For Karly Biggs, working at the University of Delaware’s Nurse Managed Health Center is more than just a job — it’s an education.

“The nurses at the NMHC are focused on taking every opportunity and turning it into a learning experience for the students,” says the junior nursing major. “Throughout the day, I’m involved in flu vaccinations, EKG testing, the discussion of blood test results, and various other tests. This is a great atmosphere to ask questions and to gain confidence in communicating with patients in a medical setting.”

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That atmosphere got even better when the NMHC opened the doors to its new clinic at the University’s STAR Campus on Jan. 6.

Formerly housed in 500 square feet in McDowell Hall, the NMHC now occupies almost 5,000 square feet, with six exam rooms, a comfortable waiting room, convenient access and parking, and a broad array of testing and treatment capabilities.

Like other urgent-care clinics, the NMHC is open to the public for treatment of episodic injuries and illnesses, as well as for routine tests and immunizations.  Patients can also choose the NMHC as their primary care provider.

“We really want people in the greater Newark community to know that we’re here and how we can serve them,” says director Allen Prettyman. “We can do lung function testing, as well as vision and hearing exams.  Our focus is on prevention and wellness, and we take the time needed to treat each patient as a whole person.”

The NMHC’s proximity to the new Delaware Physical Therapy Clinic at the STAR Campus is an added bonus.  

“Patients visiting the PT Clinic can now walk right down the hall to the NMHC to have their blood pressure checked, be treated for a sinus infection, or get a flu shot,” Prettyman says. 

The UD NMHC is one of more than 250 similar clinics across the U.S. that are playing an increasing role in caring for underserved populations. According to Prettyman, the model of care at NMHCs affiliated with academic institutions is similar to that in teaching hospitals. 

“Certified nurse practitioners deliver patient care and mentor registered nurses who are pursuing graduate degrees, while undergraduates observe and gain valuable knowledge in an actual medical setting,” he explains. “In addition, graduate students in applied physiology administer exercise stress tests, and students in UD’s health promotion master’s program work with patients on wellness-focused behavioral changes.”

Bea Gaynor, a nurse practitioner (NP) who is now a student in UD’s nursing science doctoral program, works at the NMHC one day a week caring for patients and mentoring graduate NP students. 

“This is a perfect arrangement for me,” she says. “I love my patient care time, I love my teaching time, and I love working on my Ph.D.  This is a great opportunity to do it all.”

To learn more about the NMHC, visit the website.  Call 302-831-3195 for an appointment.

About the NMHC

The University of Delaware’s Nurse Managed Health Center provides state-of-the-art health care for UD employees as well as the general public.

All office visits are by appointment only. Call 302-831-3195 to make an appointment; same-day appointments are generally available.

The professional health care team includes nurse practitioners and physicians. The nurse practitioners are board certified in their specialty and are also School of Nursing faculty members who teach in the nurse practitioner program. The physicians are board certified in internal medicine and specialize in occupational medicine. Graduate nurse practitioner students, mentored by the nurse practitioners and physicians, are also key members of the team. 

The team is committed to providing exceptional health care that is comprehensive in nature and holistic in scope.

Article by Diane Kukich

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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