Sarah Szanton Talks Neighborhood Nursing with the Tradeoffs Podcast

Sarah Szanton Talks Neighborhood Nursing with the Tradeoffs Podcast

Sam DiStefano
By Sam DiStefano  | 

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, in collaboration with Coppin State University and Morgan State University, is creating a new approach to providing primary care in Baltimore communities, called Neighborhood Nursing. Neighborhood Nursing aims to break the barriers to primary care access by meeting people at their doorstep, ready to treat their health concerns.

The Tradeoffs Podcast interviewed School of Nursing Dean Sarah Szanton to learn more about this program and how it works.

The idea of Neighborhood Nursing stems from a primary care approach used in Costa Rica, which implements this program nationwide. Costa Rica has seen great success in lowering rates of tuberculosis, hepatitis, and general disparities in access to health care.

This system is also cost-effective, costing only 1/11th of the cost per person in the U.S.

So far, The Baltimore pilot program of Neighborhood Nursing has already shown signs of progress in the local communities. Members of the community have bought into the program, seeing the value in its convenience and necessity. People are growing a trusting connection with the workers of the program, making it easier to give them the care they need.

There are still challenges to overcome, however. How to fund the program beyond the pilot phase, what this means in terms of insurance, and how the program scales past Baltimore are among the main obstacles for Neighborhood Nursing.

Despite these challenges, the positive effect on the community cannot be overlooked. By 2025 the program will expand to at least 4 other Baltimore neighborhoods.

“I think of what we’re building as like pipes in a water system,” Szanton says, “Where there’s a resource that’s flowing to every household and that connects them to each other.”

Listen to the full Tradeoffs Podcast episode to hear more.

Read NPR’s coverage of Neighborhood Nursing

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