Good Community Health article from Lebanon, PA:

Seniors team up with nursing students - Lebanon Daily News

Community Homes of Lebanon Valley and Lancaster General Hospital’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences have forged a partnership to benefit the residents of Willow Terrace, officials announced.

The Willow Wellness Center was started four weeks ago at the apartment complex for senior citizens at 800 Willow St. in Lebanon, according to Kristi Schreckengost of Lebanon, program facilitator and a member of the faculty at the hospital.

Nancy Smolar, community health nursing coordinator, said the school was looking for opportunities for its nursing students to practice community health nursing.

“We have programs just like this in Lancaster,” she said.

She said she met Charlie Rush, Community Homes CEO, a year ago and discussed the possibility of starting a center in Lebanon. Students will be assigned to the center, which is open to Willow Terrace residents from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.

“The students meet with residents, talk to them about their health concerns, health education, provide specific one-on-one guidelines on nutrition and exercise,” Smolar said.

Willow Terrace resident Sharon Zern, 60, said she loves the program.

“It can help all the residents if they’re willing to participate. It’s not a hard program to participate in,” Zern said, adding that she sought help to lose some weight and take her blood pressure.

“I’m overweight and need some help with that,” she said.

The center is free and is part of the student’s clinical education from the college.

“It’s a partnership. Community Homes has given the program an apartment to work out of and access to computers,” she said.

Cheryl Grab, dean of the division of nursing at the college, said the students get to use what they’re learning.

“What they learn in the classroom is actualized in a setting such as this, a one-on-one with clients,” Grab said.

The college also has a partnership with Lebanon’s Good Samaritan Hospital so its students can have a clinical experience there, too, Smolar said.

Schreckengost said the college believes in the value of quality clinical practice.

“By reinforcing classroom learning through clinical learning, we will create competent health-care practitioners,” she said.

Barbara Sue Bollinger, one of the students who worked with residents over the past month, said she was grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s been exciting. It’s been very valuable. It’s the way that nursing is moving, trying to keep people healthy and keep you in your homes as long as possible,” Bollinger said.

Grab said the college enrolls about 250 new nursing students a year.