At the Core of Care

At the Core of Care

Pennsylvania nurses innovating for their communities

Latest From Series

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners: Support and Standards Across State Lines

This episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners including descriptions of sexual assault and traumatic events. Listener discretion is advised Continuing our special series highlighting access to care, this episode features conversations with sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) across the country about new national standards under development to improve care for victims. This summer the National Institute for Standards and Technology launched the effort with support from the Department of Justice and the International Association of Forensic Nurses. We will learn from nurses how important this initiative is to advance and sustain care for victims of sexual assault. We start with Vikki Vodosia, a SANE at Children's Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services in Birmingham, Alabama. Vikki explains how rape kits can be different from state to state and what that means for survivor care, evidence collection, and more. Caitlin Yerkes is a Forensic Nurse Examiner in Virginia and a telecine expert consultant at Penn State’s SAFE-T Center. SAFE-T stands for Sexual Assault Forensic Examination - Telehealth. This initiative pairs more experienced SANEs with less experienced providers to team up on exams using telehealth, including across state lines. Caitlin virtually supports Pennsylvania-based providers from her home outside Washington, D.C. Later, we'll hear from SANE Kayce Ward, a Forensic Nurse Program Manager at the Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing College of Nursing at Texas A&M University and of the Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center (Tex-TRAC). Kayce shares how rape kits have been standardized across Texas in recent years and how this has improved care for survivors This episode builds from a previous episode where we highlighted Penn-State’s SAFE-T Center’s innovative program to close a gap in services offering telehealth support medical practices in rural and underserved areas. We encourage you to learn more about their work on our feature here:
October 4, 2021

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Care, Part 2: Discussing Equitable Healthcare Access

This is the second episode of our special coverage about equitable access to healthcare, specifically LGTBQ+ inclusive care. Part 2 features an in-depth conversation with Dr. Rachel Levine, United States Assistant Secretary for Health and Adrian Shanker, Founder and Executive Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. As part of their conversation Dr. Levine and Adrian Shanker address common disparities that exist for racial, ethnic and gender minorities. They also discuss how our healthcare system could be better designed to promote equitable access to care and well-being. This includes what happens when providers adopt cultural competency and humility in their practice, and the roles that health education and research can play. Dr. Levine is the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the United States Department of Health and Human Services or HHS. Prior to serving in this position, Dr. Levine was Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health.  Adrian Shanker is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the editor of the book, Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health.
September 17, 2021

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Care, Part 1 Personal Experiences

This is the first of two episodes highlighting access to culturally competent care, specifically LGTBQ+ inclusive care. In this first episode, we’re featuring an in-depth healthcare consumer panel focused on strategies to improve LGBT health outcomes. Adrian Shanker moderated the panel during Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Mosaic Conference: Advocacy and Equity in Action from earlier this year. Panelists Alisa Bowman and Preston Heldibridle share the lived experiences of LGBTQ people accessing healthcare. Adrian Shanker is the founder and Executive Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the editor of the book, Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health. Alisa Bowman is an advocate for trans youth of all ages and the trans community in general. She is a parent of a trans child and co-author of the book, Raising the Transgender Child. Preston Heldibridle is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC). He is an advocate in Harrisburg and across the state for issues of importance to LGBTQ+ youth, especially for trans and non-binary youth.
September 7, 2021

Pennsylvania’s Dental Deserts: Preventative Oral Healthcare in the Coal Region

In this episode, we venture to Pennsylvania’s Coal Region to learn how some health systems are working to expand access to dental care and improve oral health for children in underserved areas. The shortage of pediatric dentists has underscored the need for preventative care since long before the pandemic exacerbated it. We’ll hear from nurses and dentists delivering care in rural counties, as well as advocates working on the issue across Pennsylvania. Family nurse practitioner Tammy Lobach shares the challenges faced by her patients. Most of them rely on Medicaid or state insurance for medical coverage, but relatively few dental practices accept public insurance. Internet accessibility is another hurdle. Kelly Braun is a dental hygienist and the dental delivery systems coordinator for the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, where she manages trainings for primary care providers and other initiatives to improve dental health. She also oversaw the Medical Oral Expanded Care initiative (MORE Care) to train nurses and other primary care providers in preventative dental care. Launched by the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, MORE Care programs have been implemented in rural Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Colorado, and Oregon during the past several years. Jessica Brennan, a public health dental hygiene practitioner, and Dr. Soumaya Bendjilali, are part-time specialists at the St. Luke’s Miners Hometown Federal Rural Health Clinic in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. They relate their experiences working at the clinic’s relatively new dental office, which opened in 2019. Helen Hawkey is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health. She explains how the coalition’s mission expanded from increasing access to fluoridated water to working with a diverse group of leaders on multiple initiatives to improve oral health across the state. A statewide coalition has documented successes in recent years in provider recruitment, running mobile clinics, school-based sealant programs, expanding dental screenings in primary care settings and more. With COVID-19 compounding the shortage of dentists, those solutions have taken on more significance but might not be enough to head off the crisis some say could lie ahead. Our producer Emily Previti recently talked to providers about how they’re navigating obstacles from transportation to water supply and food insecurity to cultural norms to broadband availability.
August 23, 2021

Sanctuary Farm Nursing In The Open Air

In this episode, we speak to Andrea Vettori, a nurse practitioner, and Executive Director of Sanctuary Farm. Sanctuary Farm consists of several growing lots that were previously abandoned and neglected in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Sharswood. The organization helps meet a wide range of needs around nutrition, wellness, social and economic justice, and community safety. Andrea shares how she got into nursing and how Sanctuary Farm is a form of community-based health care.
August 9, 2021

Moving the Needle on Nurse Practitioner Education and Training

In this episode, we spend time with Dr. Barbara Todd to discuss the role of mentorship and education in nurse practitioner training. Dr. Todd shares her personal clinical and teaching experience and emphasizes the importance of diversity in the workforce to support nurse practitioners who work in underserved communities. Dr. Barbara Todd is an experienced nurse practitioner certified in both family practice and acute care. She currently holds a leadership position as the Director of Practice and Education Advanced Practice at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). Dr. Todd also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.
July 26, 2021

At the Core of Care

At the Core of Care highlights the consumer experience of patients, families, and communities and the creative efforts of nurses and other partners to better meet their health and healthcare needs through diversity, leadership, and practice innovation.
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Sarah Hexem Hubbard

Sarah Hexem Hubbard

Sarah Hexem Hubbard, Esq. is the Executive Director of the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium and the Pennsylvania Action Coalition. She regularly speaks on topics related to the role of nursing in building a Culture of Health. She has published in the areas of public health law research, nurse practitioner scope of practice, and medical-legal partnership. Sarah teaches health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, and she graduated magna cum laude from Temple Law.

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