Kaiser Baldwin Park’s Community Benefits Program awarded two grants to faculty in Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing. Professor Connie Brehm, PhD, FNP, RN, received a $7,897 grant to support APU’s Homeless Healthcare Outreach (HHO) in the East San Gabriel Valley, and Julia Pusztai, MN, RNC, director of APU’s Neighborhood Wellness Center (NWC), received a $5,000 grant to fund center initiatives.
Staffed by APU nursing students and faculty, HHO provides health services to homeless clients in partnership with the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless (ESGVCH). Each week, APU nurses travel to the coalition’s Emergency Assistance Center in Hacienda Heights to conduct health assessments, provide treatments, and make appropriate referrals for urgent and primary care—all free of charge. The program also provides health consultation for families participating in ESGVCH’s transitional housing program in El Monte. The grant funds medications, health-care equipment and supplies, reimbursement for faculty time, and the wages of APU student clinic assistants.
“Students report that this experience helps them become professional nurses as they listen carefully to each client, observe their health conditions, and implement nursing care plans,” said Brehm. “HHO also offers spiritual care to those who suffer on our local streets by bringing hope and restoring human dignity through this community health outreach effort. This grant supports not only nursing education, but also facilitates a successful community-campus partnership.”
Pusztai’s grant strengthens that partnership even further as it sustains and expands NWC’s Let’s Start at the Very Beginning program. In its 15th year, NWC provides free health education and care to Azusa residents through seminars, referrals, screenings, and assessments performed by nursing students. Let’s Start focuses on women’s health during childbearing years to encourage mothers and their children to develop a lifetime of healthy habits. This program, open to all local women, combines nutrition counseling with a walking class led by a certified athletic trainer and supplies participants with a free pedometer. “Azusa residents, and those in surrounding communities, are at high risk for obesity and diabetes,” said Pusztai. “This program assists mothers and families in making lifestyle and health behavior changes that will prevent these conditions.”