Posted on May 26, 2022

College of Nursing and the Salvation Army Come Together to Celebrate First-of-its-kind Partnership

College of Nursing and the Salvation Army Come Together to Celebrate First-of-its-kind Partnership

On May 11, 2022, faculty, professionals, educators, and health care experts came together to celebrate and discuss their partnership with USF Health College of Nursing and the Salvation Army at the new Red Shield Center, a 39,000-square-foot facility that will serve as an emergency shelter for homeless men and women.

College of Nursing and Salvation Army Leader

Photo: Community leaders join together to celebrate first-of-its-kind partnership.

“Collectively, we are working on an agreement with the Salvation Army to provide services to their clients who have a tremendous number of needs, especially related to their health,” said Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the USF Health College of Nursing and senior associate vice president of USF Health. “Specifically, the College of Nursing is providing nursing care for their recuperative care program for homeless individuals who have been discharged from the hospital.”

Currently, patients who do not have a home to go to are being discharged from local hospitals to the Red Shield Center for various levels of care, she said.

“To support this, the College of Nursing is placing faculty members along with their undergraduate nursing students, who learn how to care for these diverse individuals in the community.”

“This pilot program between the University of South Florida and the Salvation Army can really change a person, so when they say goodbye to us, they are different, they are better, and they are ready to get back into society,” said Major David Swyers, Tampa area commander of the Salvation Army.

Exterior of the Salvation Army

Photo: The Salvation Army unveiled a one-stop social services and residential facility, the Red Shield Center in January.

The initiative will also help hospitals by reducing readmission rates, providing care for these individuals, and improving health outcomes. But primarily, this program will help them better acclimate to the community.

“The people who come to us have had life hit them hard, and they are at a point where they are suffering,” Swyers said. “When they come to see us, when they walk in the main entrance, they will see the Glazer Family Foundation’s slogan “Anything is possible.” That is what the University of South Florida, the Salvation Army, and all our other partners want to do, to let them know it’s going to be all right, and they are going to move from this point to a better place.”

Story and video by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing