Inner city clinic recognized by League for Innovation in the Community College
July 24, 2008

Lancaster, PA- A free health clinic established four years ago by HACC to serve inner city patients has been recognized by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

The 2008 Innovation of the Year Award in Learning and Teaching was awarded to the HACC Nursing Care Center in Lancaster. Each year, the League honors outstanding innovations recognized by member institutions as Innovations of the Year. These innovations represent capstone achievements and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded.

The center, which was established in collaboration with SouthEast Lancaster Health Services medical clinic, was chosen by HACC administrators to compete for this prestigious recognition by the international organization for community colleges.

"The HACC Nursing Care Center is an example of the vision of our faculty and the college's dedication to be a contributing community partner," says HACC President Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D. She credits Julia Sensenig, community nurse instructor in the Department of Nursing at HACC's Lancaster Campus, for coming up with the idea for the center and being involved in its operation for the last four years.

"HACC is proud to take an active role in all of the communities it serves," Baehre adds.

The judges said the center met all of the League's criteria, including quality, cost effectiveness, timeliness, replication, efficiency and creativity.

Since 2004, more than 3,000 patient visits have been made to the HACC Nursing Care Center located in the basement of the SELHS clinic at 625 S. Duke St. The center provides clinical experience to HACC-Lancaster nursing students, who develop cross cultural communication skills and sensitivity to the health care needs of the community. It is staffed by associate degree nursing students during the spring and fall semesters and practical nursing students during the summer sessions.

"Providing a service that is free of charge to an underserved, uninsured and underinsured population is proving to be very helpful," says Sensenig.

Nursing students educate patients about diabetes, hypertension, nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, and parenting, says Sensenig, adding that positive changes have been made by some of the patients since coming to the center.

"For example, a number of patients are losing weight and learning to control their blood sugars. We also are seeing more family involvement. Parents are bringing children. Children are telling parents and grandparents about the center."

The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international organization established in 1968 that is dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement.
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