Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing has received the first year of funding, in the amount of $200,000, on a three-year program to develop a comprehensive higher education program for increasing awareness about the fight against breast cancer. “The Komen Maryland Affiliate Nursing Partnership: Advancing Education and Practice” – an innovative partnership with the Maryland Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Komen MD) – is the first of its kind in the nation linking the Komen Foundation with a nursing school. The purpose of the program is to heighten the knowledge and skills of nursing faculty and students at all levels of the curriculum regarding the current state of the science in the prevention and detection of breast cancer, and the treatment and care of persons living with this disease.
The program is being led by three School of Nursing oncology faculty – Assistant Dean for Research and Professor Sandra McLeskey, PhD, RN, is director of the grant; Professor Deborah McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Assistant Professor Heidi Ehrenberger, PhD, RN, AOCN®, are co-directors.
“This funding initiative is intended to model a unique and innovative way for the Komen Foundation to emphasize critically important roles that nurses play in the fight against breast cancer,” says Robin Prothro, executive director of Komen MD and an alumna of the School of Nursing.
The program will directly support Komen MD's mission “to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research.” Components of the program include a Komen Visiting Professor, who will help introduce evidence-based expertise about breast cancer into the existing curriculum; a Komen Scholar in Residence, who will develop innovative breast-cancer related curriculum and community-based projects; a Komen Distinguished Lecture focusing on a breast cancer topic; Komen Conferees, who will receive stipends to attend regional and national conferences on breast cancer research and practice; and the Komen Educational Outreach program, a community-oriented initiative in breast cancer related activities.
“We are excited about this new partnership with Komen MD, and we are very proud that our School will be developing a national model for teaching breast cancer awareness in schools of nursing,” says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing.