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Memorial Hermann only Texas hospital selected to participate in Graduate Nursing Education Demonstration Project

Memorial Hermann only Texas hospital selected to participate in Graduate Nursing Education Demonstration Project

HOUSTON, TX (September20, 2012)

Initiative aims to train and increase Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in Texas Gulf Coast region

Memorial Hermann was one of five hospitals around the country - and the only one in Texas - selected to participate in a $200 million project initiated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to increase the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in the Texas Gulf Coast region and country.

Called the Graduate Nursing Education (GNE) Demonstration, the program's goal is to increase the number of APRNs in the region by 400 during a four-year demonstration period, which is a 64 % increase over the current level. CMS will use the $200 million to reimburse Memorial Hermann, along with the four other hospitals selected, for the expenses needed to train and graduate the additional APRNs.

"This is great news for our system and the Texas Gulf Coast Region," said Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. "I am extremely proud that our hospital was one of five in the country to be selected to participate in this exciting and extremely beneficial project.

"Memorial Hermann is committed to excellence in education," Wolterman continued. "I am confident that this program will be successful and that the APRNs will be well-trained and prepared to offer quality healthcare services to the growing number of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the region.

"The GNE initiative also will greatly help to underpin the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization," Wolterman said. "Having a larger pool of APRNs to serve patients will allow us to improve the level of care and deliver quality outcomes, while providing a better value to healthcare consumers in this region."

APRNs are desperately needed as Texas and the region face a severe shortage of nurses and primary care physicians. APRNs will help to shoulder some of the load with primary care.

Memorial Hermann will partner with four schools of nursing - University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas Women's University and Prairie View A&M University, as well as 50 surrounding community-based care centers - to implement the program.

"Memorial Hermann has a long history of successful collaboration with area Schools of Nursing in the placement of students at all levels for clinical practice experiences," Wolterman added. "When we considered this opportunity from CMS, all four of the schools of nursing stepped up and provided leadership during the planning stage for the demonstration project. They will be instrumental in recruiting students as well as developing the curriculum."

Patricia Hercules, Director of System Clinical Education for Memorial Hermann, added that: "Working as a team with our amazing partners - the Schools of Nursing and community-based care centers - we are confident we will meet our project goal of increasing the number of APRNs to provide greater access to healthcare services."

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