Heartland Health Centers has created a Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Immigrant and Refugee Healthcare. The program is a partnership with Rush College of Nursing and is supported by the VNA Foundation.
Our first fellow, Laquisha Carroll began in January of 2016. Formerly a nurse for eight years, she graduated from Rush College of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner program and became board certified in the Fall of 2015.
Laquisha’s desire to help underserved communities began as a youth growing up in a low-income area in Cleveland with her mom and sister. An interest in science and a healthcare professional program she participated in during high school also led her to nursing as a career. Laquisha’s experiences give her an appreciation for what many FQHC patients face and a keen understanding of the importance of culturally competence.
“Cultural competency in America matters,” said Laquisha. “And it is much wider than the African American community. The focus on culturally competent services to immigrants will serve me well wherever I go in life.”
The fellowship has two purposes. First, it is to better prepare newly graduated nurse practitioners for complex populations seen in the FQHC environment. Second, it is to improve delivery of culturally competent healthcare services to HHC’s immigrant and refugee patient population.
Laquisha is creating a video for Nepali speaking patients as part of her fellowship. After English and Spanish, Nepali speaking patients is the largest patient population HHC serves. The video will give our patients a better understanding of the array of HHC’s services, how we work to help them to address their healthcare needs, and how to be more effective in navigating the US health system. If successful in helping HHC’s healthcare team better serve patients, the video will be replicated in different languages.
Laquisha has both an on-site clinical mentor and an academic mentor from Rush College of Nursing to guide her and help her gain a firm foundation in clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic modalities.
“I appreciate the support system of the fellowship,” said Laquisha. “While my education has been excellent, this program is helping me build greater confidence as a Nurse Practitioner.”