The Pew Charitable Trusts have made a $325,000 grant to the University to help start the new preK-8 school being developed with the public schools on the old Divinity School site near campus.
The yet-to-be-named school is scheduled to open in September 2001, accepting some 700 students from the surrounding neighborhood. As noted in reports released earlier (Almanac July 14 and October 27), the project involves a new model for collaboration developed by the Graduate School of Education, made possible by agreements with the School District and with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. These provide for a local governing board that will include school teachers, parents and Penn representatives.
The Pew grant will go primarily "...to plan how the school and its educational mission will be developed, and to assure that residents of the West Philadelphia neighborhood will be involved in this community-based education initiative for many years to come," an announcement from the Pew Charitable Trusts said.
"The Trusts have long supported community revitalization and school reform in Philadelphia," said Rebecca W. Rimel, Pew's president and CEO. "Our investment in West Philadelphia is one way to get citizens mobilized and engaged in creating solutions to community problems, and to improve the quality of public education."
The Pew Charitable Trusts believe improving education is essential to strengthening urban communities, the announcement added, and "the new West Philadelphia school will do just that."
The new educational opportunities represented by the School -and by other initiatives announced in conjunction with it-are also expected to encourage more Penn faculty and staff to live in West Philadelphia and send their children to quality public schools. President Judith Rodin said in the announcement, "As we have worked with our neighbors on the revitalization of our community, we have seen the necessity for Penn to be deeply involved in the future of our schools." The school project is linked to innovative and comprehensive community services, extending well beyond normal school hours.
The Trusts and Penn hope that the school will be the focal point for services desired and needed by the neighborhood such as day care, adult education and recreational services that will benefit the entire West Philadelphia community, Dr. Rodin continued.
"The Trusts believe the nontraditional partnership of the School
District, the Teachers Union, the University and the community will make
the new school a prototype for community-based public schooling in Philadelphia
and around the country," the announcement said, calling the input and
involvement of the community "the most important element" in the
planning of the new school. The Trusts support the idea that local experience
is key to hopes of a re-energized and revitalized neighborhood in West Philadelphia,
the statement continued. "The Pew Charitable Trusts have long been
involved in the economic and educational development of Philadelphia and
its neighborhoods. In the last 50 years, the Trusts have granted more than
$1.1 billion to projects in the Philadelphia region, most of that going
toward cultural, health and educational services."
Dr. Mary Naylor, longtime Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Penn Nursing, has been named first holder of the Ralston House Endowed Term Chair in Geron-tologic Nursing, effective July 1, Dean Norma Lang has announced.
Dr. Naylor is a Villanova alumna who took her Ph.D. at Penn in 1982. She joined the faculty and the dean's office in 1986 after serving as professor and chair of nursing at Thomas Jefferson University. She was also on the staff of the U.S. Senate Special Commission on Aging, 1985-86. At Penn, she has been a Senior Fellow and member of the Executive Committee of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and in 1992-93 she also served as Legislative Health Policy Fellow for Senator Harris Wofford.
"For more than ten years, Dr. Naylor has led our undergraduate school with vision, creativity, energy, and commitment," Dean Lang said as Dr. Naylor left the deanship in December. "Her strong belief that preparing nursing leaders begins at the baccalaureate level, and her passion for undergraduate education, have earned our program national recognition for excellence and innovation."
During her tenure, the School of Nursing developed and implemented the course of study which integrates specialization in nursing with a strong liberal arts curriculum; adopted an expanded focus on community-based nursing, health promotion and disease prevention; and took the lead in a University-wide initiative to make research experience a significant component of undergraduate education. The School also began to prepare its students to practice in a multicultural world by establishing study-abroad opportunities specifically linked to nursing. In current programs in England, Israel, and Mexico, Penn Nursing students can now become immersed in another culture and explore health care in other national and cultural contexts. Dr. Naylor is also known as the architect of innovative joint degree and minor area of study programs with the Wharton School (Health Care Management), SEAS (Nursing Informatics), the Annenberg School (Health Communications), SAS (Nutrition), and Law (BSN/JD submatriculation program).
In her new role as Ralston House Professor, Dr. Naylor will provide leadership in current and future projects which link the School of Nursing and the Ralston House in promoting the need for improved quality and access to care for the elderly of Philadelphia.
Throughout her career, Dr. Naylor has studied issues affecting the elderly, particularly cardiac care. Her research has demonstrated how nursing interventions, particularly transitional care (discharge planning and home follow-up by advanced practice nurses), directed at this vulnerable population have a positive effect on achieving quality and lowering health care costs. Currently Dr. Naylor is the principal investigator in a four-year, NINR study, "Home follow-up of elderly patients with heart failure," which is testing this model of advanced practice nursing care on patients with heart failure.
Dr. Naylor also serves as faculty director of the School's newest community-based nursing practice, LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Program (Almanac October 20, 1998).
Dr. Kathy McCauley, an associate professor of nursing who has been serving
as interim associate dean during Dr. Naylor's sabbatical, will continue
to serve in this capacity until a new Associate Dean is appointed following
an internal search that is chaired by Dr. Joyce Thompson, professor of nursing.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 17, January 19, 1999