Date: November 27, 2017 Time: 1:00pm CST
Title: The Surplus Project
Presenters: Jennifer M. Grenier, DNP, RN-BC
Food insecurity, defined as a lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate food. (Feeding America, 2015), was determined to be a significant problem in the service area of a small community hospital in an urban setting. The vision of the nursing staff at this organization is to “lead efforts to advocate patient and family focused health promotion throughout the lifespan… and be looked to by our community and beyond as a resource center for patient and family health education and support”. One strategic initiative aimed at accomplishing this is to support the development of core leadership competencies in nurse leaders so that innovative models of service to the community can be initiated.
The organization described in this presentation supported a Nurse Leader’s participation in a Community Leadership Program, through a regional University School of Business. In this nine month program, participants are paired with a mentor, facilitators and faculty through the School of Business to discuss and enhance the leader’s skills in areas including: creative problem solving, developing and managing talent, negotiation and conflict resolution, project management and strategic planning. Throughout the program, the participants learn about the successes and challenges of the local community from local leaders in education, village government, business, not-for profit organizations as well as experts in management. Participants, sponsored financially by their respective organizations, are responsible to develop and implement community innovative initiatives that address key needs in the area population.
Food insecurity in the community described in this presentation affects over 6000 individuals. Food insecurity rates reach as high as 34.2% in the community described in this presentation. The participant nurse leader from this organization developed an initiative entitled; “The Surplus Project” to address this disparity in the populations served surrounding her organization. The goal of The Surplus Project is to develop a replicable and sustainable model at the organization for redistribution of surplus food to the service community.
Due to the Surplus Project initiative 10,238 meals and 991 sides have been packaged over the course of just 4 months and donated to the area Food Pantry that partnered with this nurse leader. This nurse leader and her team saw an opportunity for health promotion and education on days when food was donated. At the time of food donation, blood pressure screenings, nutritional assessments, BMI calculations and other healthcare questions are answered by RNs on the Surplus Project team. In addition, this nurse leader has risen to the challenge of other nonprofit organizations requests to donate more surplus food to their programs. This program is actively growing, serving the health and food insecure needs of both the local and now, due to this nurse leader’s leadership, that of the region. This presentation will describe how nurse leaders and adjoining leadership development programs may be able to create similar initiatives that donate time, resources and potential unused food to a multitude of settings, environments, communities and populations.
- Understand how to develop core competencies of nurse leaders across the care continuum to support current and emerging roles through the creative partnership with community leaders to encourage growth of an organization's nurse leaders.
The Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders is accredited by the Ohio Nurses Association to provide continuing education for nurses. The Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 CE.