Message from Leissa Roberts, DNP, CNM, FACNM, Associate Dean of Faculty Practice

There are so many challenges in health care today and where there are challenges there are opportunities.  Opportunities abound as a faculty member for the University Of Utah College Of Nursing (CON).  Key challenges facing health care and our organization are ensuring the delivery of continuously improving high quality, evidence based and compassionate health care. Not just the delivery of care, but the transformation of care. Not only are we transforming care from individual to team care, we are transforming payment models. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated bundled payment models in 2015 and are moving to a risk adjustment payment model in 2018. The risk adjustment model includes nearly 80 Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) categories of chronic illnesses with thousands of diagnosis codes.  Payment reform and care reform all point in the direction of health care being a team activity – the romance of being a solo provider caring for patients from birth to grave is no longer viable in most areas.  
In March 2016 the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) release the Manatt Report titled Advancing Healthcare Transformation: A new Era for Academic Nursing.  The Manatt report identifies successful models and best practices for colleges of nursing to integrate with academic health science centers in an effort to be positioned as a full partner in healthcare transformation.  Academic Nursing encompasses the integration of the missions of the University Health Sciences; clinical practice, education and research.
The University of Utah College of Nursing currently has a robust and growing faculty practice.  The first practice established was a nurse midwifery service, BirthCare HealthCare (BCHC), established in 1982. In the1990’s Caring Connections: A Hope Comfort and Grief program was established.  Presently the CON has four primary arenas of healthcare; women’s, adolescent, grief through loss and behavioral health care. These four arenas of care provide practice sites for over 50 CON faculty to engage in clinical practice and provide excellent sites for our students to gain knowledge.
Being part of an Academic Health Sciences Center provides not just an opportunity to practice, it provides an opportunity to be engaged in the larger image of health care transformation.  The ability to engage in leadership opportunities and participate in the advancement of new clinical models of care.  The CON is positioned to embrace a new vision for academic nursing, to integrate research into practice, to partner for the future of health care transformation and to continue delivering high quality health care services to the patients we serve. If you are passionate about high quality patient centered care, health care transformation, teaching the next generation and being part of a team, a career as an academic clinician may be right for you.