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Alderson Broaddus University Professor of Nursing Dr. Gina Maiocco, APRN, CNS-BC, served as lead researcher on a recent internationally published article in the Journal of Clinical Nursing titled “Care of veterans in a non-veteran health administration hospital: What is the status of nursing practice after continuing education?” Dr. Maiocco has a track record of funded research on the care of veterans in non-VHA health care facilities.
The purpose of the research for this article was to identify how civilian nurses care for military veterans and to describe challenges nurses face in the provision of that care. The article summarizes the uncertainty nurses face in delivering care to veterans and documents current practices, to include frequency of documentation of veteran status in the electronic medical record system.
As a veteran herself, Dr. Maiocco understands the unique health care issues veterans face on a day-to-day basis, and her research serves as a “bridge” between veterans and nurses in civilian hospitals.
“Being an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I have a direct connection to fellow veterans who become hospital patients,” said Maiocco. “We are a family, and I understand how to treat a veteran simply because I lived that life. Veterans take care of veterans.”
“Many nurses are unsure of the methods they should use to treat veterans properly. The point of this research was to see what we can do to improve the overall care of our veteran patients, and the knowledge and safety of our nurses,” said Maiocco.
She explains that by documenting a patient’s service history, relevant patient outcomes are monitored so that educational programs, clinical processes, and work safety initiatives can be considered and implemented to support both the veteran and the caring nurse.
To further assist nurses in non-VA facilities, Dr. Maiocco founded and continues to volunteer for the Veteran-to-Veteran program. It is a program that supports veterans and their families during admission to a civilian hospital and helps to educate nurses on veterans’ physical and mental health needs.
“My passion is helping others, and helping fellow veterans is close to my heart,” says Maiocco. “Their care is so specific, and if we can help tend to the needs of veterans of all ages as well as keep our nurses safe, then we are taking a step in the right direction.”
Maiocco’s Veteran-to-Veteran program is gaining national attention. Since publishing an additional article about the program in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, other hospitals across the country have expressed interest in starting a Veteran-to-Veteran program as well.
Dr. Maiocco is a Weston, W.Va. native and a 1981 graduate of Alderson Broaddus University, where she received her bachelor’s in nursing. During military service in the U.S. Air Force, she earned a master’s degree in critical care/trauma at the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in nursing at the University of Utah. While in the Air Force, Dr. Maiocco performed many duties to include flight nurse, hyperbaric nursing, flight clinical coordinator, critical care clinical nurse specialist and chief of emergency services. In West Virginia, Dr. Maiocco holds an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure as a clinical nurse specialist, only one of 26 in the state.
For more information about the Veteran-to-Veteran Program, or assistance with veteran care, contact Dr. Gina Maiocco at: email@example.com
“We are pleased to be able to provide assistance to the Alderson Broaddus Endowment Corporation through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program,” said USDA Rural Development West Virginia State Director Kris Warner. “We know that the University is an economic driver throughout north-central West Virginia. This funding award will support job creation, retention, and economic vitality to help ensure the long-term sustainability of this institution in Barbour County.”
The USDA Rural Development investment will be used for the Endowment Corporation to acquire certain assets of the Alderson Broaddus University campus, which will then be leased back to the University. This will enable AB to develop new program offerings to meet needs in the surrounding area.
“Despite the challenges facing West Virginia and higher education in general, AB continues to move forward to provide the highest quality education and deliver innovative programs to meet students where they are in a contemporary society,” Alderson Broaddus University President Tim Barry said. “This funding will assist in the implementation of our Strategic Decision-Making Model which includes increasing adult education and expanding degree programs.”
The USDA loan will allow for the reallocation of additional resources to cover operating expenses at AB. The immediate effect on the financial position will also result in improved numbers in the University’s Composite Financial Index (CFI), a key indicator used by the Higher Learning Commission in determining financial viability.
“Alderson Broaddus is vital to the community of Philippi and the entire region,” said Congressman David B. McKinley. “This loan will strengthen the University’s mission and benefit the economic-well-being of Barbour County. We are proud to have worked with the leadership of AB and USDA to see this to fruition.”
“AB is a valuable source of higher education in West Virginia and a real asset for our state,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito said. “I’m glad they will be able to continue providing West Virginia students with the knowledge and skills they need to build successful lives.”
Senator Joe Manchin stated, “I am pleased to join Alderson Broaddus University in announcing that the USDA is investing in AB. This will create new economic development in Barbour County that will benefit north-central West Virginia and well beyond. Alderson Broaddus is a high-quality institution that is committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of our state and this investment will enhance their ability to step up to the plate.”
Dr. Tim Barry was recently named the president of AB after serving as interim since 2015. He expressed the importance of this funding and what it means for AB and the surrounding region.
“Setting our financial house in order and reassuring our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and our communities that Alderson Broaddus University will always be there for them have been the top priorities of my administration,” said Dr. Barry. “We’re passionate about delivering the best quality education to our students so that they are equipped to work with our communities to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems.”
“We are so grateful to our partners at the USDA, especially Kris Warner, for recognizing AB’s far-reaching contributions to our state and our region,” said Dr. Barry. “We also want to thank those who have shared in our vision for a better AB, including Congressman David McKinley and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin.”
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov