COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri's Sinclair School of Nursing received a grant of $14.8 million Monday morning. The grant is the largest in the university's history. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The university will use the funds to start a four-year project that aims to reduce avoidable re-hospitalizations among nursing home residents. MU School of Nursing officials hope the research will create a model for senior care that health care professionals can use nationwide.
MU plans to partner with CMS and state Medicaid programs to improve care for residents at 16 different nursing facilities based in St. Louis. The money will allow a team of MU researchers to recruit and place one advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) at each nursing home.
"APRN's going to nursing homes improve the quality of those nursing homes, they improve the outcomes for those residents, they reduce costs and they reduce hospitalizations. What we need is a good way to pull those resources together and demonstrate that widely in this country. and we now have a way to do that," said Curators' Professor of Nursing Dr. Marilyn Rantz, who led the pursuit of the grant.
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer was also present at the event, and spoke about his personal interest in the project.
"My mother spent about six or seven years in a nursing home at the end of her life...and my family tried to keep her at home for as long as possible. But you reach a point where you can no longer do that and function as a family. And that's why these care centers are so important," Luetkemeyer said.
Dr. Rantz said she hopes the grant will allow researchers to create improved methods of care that will lower costs and better the overall experience of nursing homes for senior citizens.