Older adults have been advised to stay at home for more than a month now due to COVID-19, and may be experiencing a great deal of social isolation.
So as part of their Public Health Nursing Clinical, fourth semester students in the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program linked up with the Baltimore Neighbors Network (BNN) to connect older Baltimoreans to resources during the emergency, including food, medicine, and mental health support. On Monday alone (April 14, 2020) volunteers from JHSON placed over 1,000 calls!
The effort was led by Johns Hopkins School of Nursing by alum (and clinical faculty) Jenna Oien Mermer, PhD student and clinical faculty Ashley Gresh, PhD student Sarah LaFave, and Associate Professor Nicole Warren.
The Baltimore Neighbors Network (BNN) is a coalition of Baltimore residents working together to support their neighbors throughout and beyond the COVID crisis. BNN was founded as a partnership between several local community organizations to create a network of virtual support including friendly calls from volunteers and professional mental health support facilitated by pro bono counselors. The BNN founders, including City Councilperson Zeke Cohen, Shantay Jackson of the Baltimore Community Mediation Center, and Amy Greensfelder of the Pro Bono Counseling Center, recently discussed their work with Dr. Josh Sharfstein of the Bloomberg School of Public Health on his “Public Health on Call” podcast: Baltimore’s Grassroots Effort to Provide Mental Health Support to City Residents in COVID-19
From Jenna, ” moving clinical online called for innovative approaches to clinical education.” She continued, “Public health nurses uniquely contribute to community programs like this through collaboration, interprofessional cooperation, assessment, and therapeutic communication.”