The Arc Jacksonville, Inc. is pleased to announce the receipt of an Innovation Grant of $195,000 from the Board of Trustees of the Riverside Hospital Foundation for a program to advance the clinical training of nurses in serving the high-risk population of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), a group traditionally underserved by healthcare providers.
The award will help launch a pilot project between The Arc Jacksonville and area educational institutions, including the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University, to establish internships where nursing students will be in direct contact with adults with I/DD, enabling them to experience firsthand the specialized health needs of this population and the challenges to communication that are presented in treating persons with I/DD. Such opportunity to advance understanding and knowledge of patients with I/DD has not been included in traditional nurse training programs. Riverside Trustees chose this philanthropic investment as a means of fulfilling the Riverside Hospital core value to provide innovative, quality care with compassion and concern for each patient's unique needs.
"We are pleased to have been presented this opportunity to improve the quality of care provided to the specific population of persons with I/DD while advancing the field of nursing education," said Riverside Hospital Foundation Executive Director Helen Werking. "We will be helping our neighbors with I/DD, nursing students in our five-county area and creating results that are likely to impact nursing curriculums throughout the state and the nation. This investment is an opportunity to effect systemic change."
"The Arc Jacksonville is privileged to institute this program in philanthropic partnership with the Riverside Hospital Foundation," said Jim Whittaker, CEO & President of The Arc Jacksonville. "We will learn alongside our constituents with I/DD and the student nurse interns just how to improve the interaction of healthcare professionals with individuals with I/DD. Results will advance individual well-being and knowledge in the fields of special education and healthcare."
The Riverside Hospital Foundation was established in 1991 as a not-for-profit corporation to foster access to quality healthcare in Northeast Florida. Since established, the Foundation has granted more than $9 million to nonprofit organizations primarily serving the five-county Northeast Florida area. The Innovation Grant program was established in 2013 to support new and innovative programs that have measureable outcomes, a self-sustaining endpoint to funding and are translatable and replicable.
About The Arc Jacksonville
The Arc Jacksonville, Inc. was established in 1965 to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, the organization has an annual operating budget approaching $8 million and serves approximately 400 individuals daily from three main locations and five group homes. Arc is opening in April 2016 The Arc Jacksonville Village, the nation's first independent living community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition to the direct services programs, The Arc Jacksonville serves as a source of information and support for Northeast Florida families of persons with disabilities through its advocacy program, called A.S.K. (Advocacy, Support and Knowledge).
Judy Hall Lanier