ISU Grant Helps Fund Patient Monitors at Horizon Health

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ISU Grant Helps Fund Patient Monitors at Horizon Health

Horizon Health continues to serve as student training site

Horizon Health is enhancing the safety and efficiency of caring for hospitalized patients, thanks to special funding through Indiana State University.

In 2021, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded ISU a five-year, $1.4 million grant to support physician assistant (PA) training in rural and medically underserved areas of Indiana and Illinois. The goal of the project – called Sycamore Physician Assistant Rural Care Program (SPARC) – is to increase the number of PA graduates who work in these communities.

ISU provided a portion of the grant funds to Horizon Health for its role as a clinical training site for students. The funds were used to purchase four vital signs monitors for the Horizon Health inpatient unit.

“Our staff and physicians are beyond grateful for this donation, which helps us provide effective and efficient care to our patients,” said Rachel Kelley, Horizon Health chief nursing officer. “We are always happy to host and help local students gain educational opportunities with mentoring by our amazing staff. Our doors are open to host student rotations as well.”

The wall-mounted monitors streamline patient care by importing data directly into patients’ electronic health record, said Darcie Mathews, Horizon Health inpatient services director.

“It’s a time-saver for staff,” Darcie said. “It enhances patient safety by eliminating the possibility of human error when data is entered manually.”

With the additional monitors, Horizon Health now has six wall-mounted monitors and another five portable monitors at its 25-bed hospital. The vital signs monitors measure temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and oxygen saturation.

PA Program

ISU established its physician assistant program in 2011 to address the dynamic healthcare needs of rural and underserved populations. Horizon Health has been a training site for ISU students for the past several years, providing hands-on education in its inpatient unit, outpatient clinic, and emergency department.

Horizon Health helped launch the SPARC program as the first site to host a SPARC scholarship recipient, said Beth Loudermilk, SPARC grant coordinator at ISU’s College of Health and Human Services.

“This partnership is huge,” she said. “We asked HRSA if we could expand into Illinois because of Horizon Health. This is a great opportunity for our students and the Paris community.”

In 2022, Horizon Health hosted 139 students in a variety of healthcare disciplines. More than 15 colleges and universities were represented, including Ivy Tech, Indiana Wesleyan, Indiana University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and Indiana State University.