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CIE Travel Grant Funds Trip, Fosters Collaborative On Long-Term Elderly Care

By Gene Harkless, department of Nursing, HHS
May 2, 2007

" Trondheim, Norway at the end of February? What was I thinking? Actually, it was the perfect time to make the trip. Since my Fulbright experience in Oslo ten years ago, I have traveled every few years to Norway to work with Dr. Anne Vinsnes on projects related to improving long-term care for the elderly.

Our collaboration has been productive and now seemed an opportune time to meet, review our mutual goals and needs, and develop a plan for future work. The CIE travel grant allowed me to do just that.

The trip was perfectly timed as the Faculty of Nursing at Sør-Trøndelag University College is beginning an exciting partnership with the University of Trondheim Faculty of Medicine and other stakeholders to design, build, and administer a state of the art intermediate and long-term care facility.

The hole is dug for the foundation and teams are meeting frequently to begin this important venture. During my week visit in Trondheim, I was able to participate in discussions with faculty about the challenges and opportunities this presents. We outlined new projects focusing on replicating and extending our prior work on unit-based interventions to improve functioning in frail elders.

In addition to brainstorming and planning future work, I was invited to give a lecture on the introduction of clinical microsystem processes in nursing education. Out of this came a rich dialogue about professional nursing roles and responsibilities, which transcend national boundaries.

Also, I was able to meet with other researchers, both within and outside of nursing, to gain a broader understanding of the structure and process of Norwegian health care research. Each time I travel to Norway, I am amazed at what I learn and am always delighted with my colleagues’ generosity and gracious hospitality. This trip was no different. So, overall, the CIE grant generously allowed me to plan for continuing work with my Norwegian colleagues and for that I am very thankful. Tusen takk!"

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