Sacramento Promise Zone
Highlight #017, January 2017
January 2017 by Cindy Bui, Health VISTA
The Sacramento Promise Zone began the New Year hosting a Kick-Off Reception for the first Community Nurse Corps (CNC). The CNC is a brand new program developed through the collaboration between the Sacramento Promise Zone and Samuel Merritt University. The local Samuel Merritt University (SMU) learning center conducts an RN to BSN program designed to help working registered nurses (RN) gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to function within the health landscape of the 21st Century. As part of the degree program, the nurse scholars participate in a community health clinical internship in which the nurses work with underserved populations where they study and learn about social determinants of health in an applied fashion. The community agencies where they are placed have the benefit of RN’s performing planning, health education, and screening without having to hire additional staff. Through CNC, a cohort of experienced, registered nurses will serve at various local partner sites to address community health needs throughout the Promise Zone geography.
The Kick-Off Reception took place at the La Familia Counseling Center, Inc. Maple Neighborhood Center. The reception consisted of welcoming messages from SHRA Executive Director, La Shelle Dozier, Sacramento Promise Zone Director, Tyrone Roderick Williams, and Samuel Merritt University Clinical Instructor, Public Health/Site Coordinator, Dr. Alice Vestergaard. Representatives for Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Senator Richard Pan also attended the event. The nurse scholars were introduced to the organizations where they will be working for the next year and garner excitement around the community impact they will be making together. For the first year of CNC, 12 nurse scholars will be placed at four local organizations: Health Education Council, La Familia Counseling Center, Inc., WellSpace Health, and Urban Strategies/Twin Rivers Public Housing Community. The cohort will be addressing a wide range of health issues in the Promise Zone, including family nutrition education, chronic illness management and prevention, mental health practices and prenatal care.