Nov. 2, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 44



SAAF grant allows nursing students to screen patients for diabetes, heart disease

Photo of student taking blood pressure Gale Johnson (right), undergraduate nursing student in the flexible process track, checks the blood pressure of a senior citizen from the Ella Austin Community Senior Center as Cheryl Staats, project director, looks on.

A diabetes and heart disease community outreach project at the Health Science Center received a $13,300 grant from the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAF) for 2001 through 2002.

The project, designed to serve the community and educate undergraduate students in the School of Nursing, will provide cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings at community and nutrition centers and various sites throughout the city.

"Through this grant, professional nursing students have the opportunity to provide nursing services in the community and outside of the traditional hospital setting. We certainly hope to identify people at risk for heart disease and diabetes, and to encourage referral to physicians and nurse practitioners for diagnostic evaluation," said Cheryl Ross Staats, project director for the grant and assistant professor in the department of acute nursing care. The project will help with the development of more effective mechanisms for tracking health care follow-up and behavioral changes in at-risk individuals, Staats said.

The first screening was held at the Ella Austin Community Senior Center on Sept. 26. On Oct. 20, nine first-semester undergraduate students provided screening to more than 60 participants at the Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church Fall FunFest.

Additional screenings are planned for the remainder of the fall and for the entire spring semester. Follow-up screenings are planned for the Ella Austin Community Senior Center in late November.