In April 2019, CSUSM Traditional Bachelor of Science Nursing (TBSN) students, Elizabeth Rest, Kyle Strehlow, Kaitlyn Bales, and professors Dr. Schmotzer, Dr. Kohlbry, and Dr. Yamashita presented a poster on a Community Engagement project entitled A Partnership to Develop a Community Outreach Program for San Diego Thalassemia Families Supported by CSUSM Nursing Interns at the Western Institute of Nursing National Research Conference held in San Diego.
Kaitlyn Bales, TBSN student and research assistant reflects on the group’s project:
Project activities supported the collaboration between the CSUSM School of Nursing (SON), Rady’s Children’s Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to advocate for San Diego’s Thalassemia patients and families to foster patient led community opportunities and events. This collaboration provides a unique experience for nursing students working in the community and the ambulatory clinic in an intern role. Beginning August 2018, nursing student interns’ responsibilities included performing community assessments for thalassemia patients and their families, conducting patent and family interviews, coordinating a regional seminar with leading thalassemia experts, organizing a holiday party for the blood disorder clinic patients at Rady Children’s Hospital, and creating a platform for a transition program from Rady Children’s Hospital hematology to UCSD adult hematology. The module of nursing student interns in a collaborative community project, the interview results and campaign for the outreach program were disseminated at the Western Institute of Nursing Conference in order to provide a platform to further the community engagement project and extend its outreach.
This grant enabled us to connect with thalassemia patient and identify their true needs, many of which were different from what we had anticipated. We now have a functional pediatric to adult care transition program in place, along with a supportive system with biannual events. I feel fortunate to have been involved with a project that can have such a lasting effect on individuals lives. – Kyle Strehlow, TBSN/SON Student and President of Student Nurses Association