DUSON Provides Medical Care to Underserved in the Community

TROSA, a multi-year residential substance abuse treatment program located in Durham, N.C., is committed to providing a therapeutic healing environment for its residents. The community organization recently formed a relationship with Duke University School of Nursing to provide medical care to its more than 500 residents.

“We’re committed to excellence in health care as a world-class educational and research institution, but we are also expanding our commitment to the community in which we live,” says Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, dean and vice chancellor for nursing affairs at Duke University and associate vice president for academic affairs at Duke University Health System. “This is a crucial relationship that will provide health care access to people who are medically underserved. It also allows us to partner with TROSA and continue their mission of a holistic recovery process.”

Kristie Giemza has been providing care for TROSA residents since Jan. 1 as a nurse practitioner with the School of Nursing. Prior to this partnership, she provided medical care to TROSA residents through another health care partnership.

“The medical clinic is an essential part of TROSA’s integrated care system,” Giemza says. “We average close to 1,000 medical appointments a month between the patients I see and the patients that we refer to other providers in the community.” Giemza treats everything from coughs and colds to chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes.

Karen Kelley, chief program officer at TROSA, says, “Having a nurse practitioner on site provides much needed continuity of care. We are excited that this new partnership will expand the services provided here at TROSA.”

The opportunity for growth is significant. “We look forward to expanding onsite specialty services through this new partnership,” adds Kelley.

The current clinic has two examination rooms and one consultation room that can be turned into a modified examination room, if needed. TROSA leaders are working to obtain funding to build a 5,124- square-foot medical clinic that will include seven examination rooms (pictured to the right).

“We are helping an underserved population in our community that more than likely hasn't had the proper medical care they’ve needed because of their substance abuse,” says Michael Zychowicz, DNP, ANP, ONP, FAAN, FAANP, associate professor and director of the MSN program at Duke University School of Nursing. “And while we’re focusing on day-to-day medical care now, the opportunity for growth in the future is significant.”

The relationship between the School of Nursing and TROSA began with the help of Catherine Gilliss, Helene Fund Health Trust Professor of Nursing and former dean at Duke University School of Nursing. Gilliss now serves on the Board of Directors for TROSA.

With health care transitioning to the medical home model of care, the School hopes to extend its services that will allow students and faculty an opportunity for clinical experience and practice, as well as offer a team approach that will use physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, mental health providers and more to provide comprehensive care for the TROSA residents.

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