Posted on Sep 5, 2017

USF Nursing Professor Harleah Buck Receives Innovation Award

USF Nursing Professor Harleah Buck Receives Innovation Award

Harleah Buck, PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN , associate professor, USF College of Nursing, was recently awarded the 2016 Innovation Award by The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing (JCEN).

In 2016, Dr. Buck and three collaborators published the article “Improving Rural Geriatric Care Through Education: A Scalable, Collaborative Project” in the national nursing journal.

The 2016 JCEN Innovation Award recognizes excellence in writing and evidence of the expansion and dissemination of knowledge in the field of nursing continuing education and professional development.

The article studied the role of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural Pennsylvania. These types of facilities provide 24-hour emergency services in primarily rural areas throughout the United States. In Pennsylvania, there are 13 critical access hospitals that serve a mostly geriatric population.

Dr. Buck and her team evaluated the hospitals and discovered the state’s CAH program suffered from a lack of a knowledgeable staff with regard to treating geriatric patients.

Dr. Buck’s program evaluation was funded by the Highmark Foundation, and the study spanned two years, from January 2014 to January 2016.

Unlike other program evaluations, Dr. Buck’s project is unique, because it was published. “Most program evaluations are done internally,” she said. “These evaluations are not typically published. As researchers, the team of scholars searched for published studies conducted prior, but they were unable to locate any through the available databases.”

The study led Dr. Buck to discuss this issue with members of the larger health community, sparking a national conversation to explore ways to expand the study to other rural areas in the United States, including Florida.

“I absolutely would love to implement a program in Florida,” said Dr. Buck. She hopes to work with the state’s Office of Rural Health (ORH) which is located in Tallahassee and partners with Florida State University. If Dr. Buck develops this collaboration, it would connect USF with ORH, as well as pave the way for research cooperation between USF and FSU.

The 2016 JCEN Innovation Award will be announced in September 2017 at the National League of Nursing Education Summit in San Diego, CA.

Story by Nicholas Orlando, USF College of Nursing