Wayne State University\'s College of Nursing receives $285,000 for distance learning graduate training program

August 28, 2009

DETROIT, August 2009 - More than 25 individuals from across the state recently gathered at the Wayne State University College of Nursing to give special thanks to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton for their ongoing support of nursing education. The special recognition was attributed to their efforts to secure $285,000 in federal funding to support the creation of a graduate distance learning program in psychiatric and public health nursing. It is the only distance-learning program in this specialty in the state.

The funding was included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act, H.R. 1105, which was signed into law on March 11, 2009. The program was a high priority for Upton and Kilpatrick and funding would not have been possible without their tireless efforts.

"I am pleased to have been able to secure federal funding for Wayne State University's College of Nursing," Kilpatrick said. "Nurses in Michigan will now have access to needed training and technology that will help them expand their education, expertise, and opportunities for job advancement. My support of this initiative represents my continued commitment to ensuring that America's families have access to quality health care and employment opportunities. Funding for this partnership will provide citizens throughout the state with increased access to the health care and mental health services they need and deserve."

Wayne State partnered with Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to bring the three-year program to nurses in Kalamazoo and surrounding communities via distance learning, rather than requiring them to take classes on Wayne State's Detroit campus. Local nurses who sign up for the Wayne State University College of Nursing distance learning program will receive scholarships in exchange for a commitment to remain in and serve their southwest Michigan communities.

Southwest Michigan is a medically underserved area with a shortage of nurses, but the region also has a critical need for nurse practitioners with training in mental health. "The College of Nursing is very thankful for Congresswoman Kilpatrick's and Congressman Upton's ongoing support of nursing education," says Barbara K. Redman, dean of the College of Nursing. "The need to increase the number of highly trained advanced practice nurses, especially in specialties such as psychiatric and public health nursing, continues to grow in this state. Their support shows a true commitment to the health and well-being of Michigan."

From left to right (back row): Dr. Nancy Barrett, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Wayne State University; Dr. Cynthia Archer-Gift, Chief Psychiatric Nurse Consultant, State of Michigan Department of Community Health; Dr. James Dillon, Director of the Office of Psychiatric/Medical Services, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Administration; Linda Buzas, MPA, Director/Health Officer, Kalamazoo County Health Department; Dr. Jay Noren, President of Wayne State University; Dr. Ann Collins, Program Director for Psychiatric Mental Health, College of Nursing Wayne State University; Dr. Linda Lewandowski, Assistant Dean for Family, Community and Mental Health, College of Nursing Wayne State University; Congresswoman Kilpatrick; Jeff Patton, CEO, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Harvey Hollins, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Wayne State University.

From left to right (front row): Dr. Barbara Redman, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, Wayne State University; Joan Keilen, Legislative Liaison, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services