Marquette College of Nursing launches telehealth-virtual care accelerator, expanding and evolving holistic digital care delivery models

In the midst of a “surge” in telehealth-virtual care services during the global pandemic that has resulted in nearly 40 times higher usage than pre-COVID-19*, Marquette University’s College of Nursing has launched a telehealth-virtual accelerator. Dean Janet Krejci announced that the College of Nursing has received a $1.5 million start-up grant from a private family foundation to advance telehealth care practices to better prepare future nurses and provide timely care to the community’s diverse patient populations.

The grant, which President Michael R. Lovell said has the “potential to have a far-reaching impact across the university and in the community” will empower next-generation nurses to explore and enhance effective virtual care delivery. In addition to addressing the education of students, the “Marquette Telehealth-Virtual Care Model” will educate practicing clinicians and patients using telehealth distance modalities over a three-year period. The accelerator is a gateway to explore the innovation around training, tools and tactics for students, providers and receivers of health care.

“Few health care industry changes have expanded as quickly and dramatically as digital care,” Krejci said. “This accelerator will develop and test models and approaches to ensure that people receiving health care virtually experience the Jesuit tenet of cura personalis – care for the whole person.”

Patricia Schroeder has been named founding director and principal investigator of the Marquette Telehealth-Virtual Care Model, which is now active. With an established advisory board of national thought leaders and health care practitioners to shape strategic guidance, Marquette is pursuing leading talent in both research and clinical care.

Marquette’s Telehealth-Virtual Care advisory board members include:

  • Bill Carter, former partner at Bain & Company, Inc., and strategy executive
  • Mary Gomez, Nurs, ’82, C-PNP, MSN, RN, clinician at Included Health
  • Dr. Jill Guttormson, MS, RN, associate dean for academic affairs for Marquette University College of Nursing
  • Darren Jackson, BusAd, ’86, retired CEO
  • Paul Jones, JD, vice president for university relations and general counsel at Marquette University
  • Dr. Janet Krejci, RN, NEA-BC, dean of Marquette University College of Nursing
  • Patricia Schroeder, MSN, MBA, RN, FAAN founding director and principal investigator of Marquette Telehealth-Virtual Care Model
  • Dr. Dan Weberg, MHI, RN, founding faculty at The Ohio State University College of Nursing Master of Healthcare Innovation program and head of clinical innovation at Trusted Health
  • Dr. Doug Woods, vice provost for graduate & professional studies and dean of Marquette University Graduate School

“While delivering health care using technology such as video and phones has happened for more than 20 years, its use escalated exponentially based on pandemic needs,” Schroeder said. “This accelerator is being developed to prepare our students to courageously lead in digital care and drive our strategic plan forward with a focus on excellence in teaching and learning.” Schroeder emphasized that the grant can serve as a springboard in generating more opportunities to collaborate through mutually beneficial partnerships including areas like mental health needs in the community.

The telehealth-virtual care grant builds on recent momentum within the College of Nursing. U.S. News & World Report recently released its first-ever rankings for undergraduate nursing programs and the College of Nursing was ranked 43 for Best Undergraduate Nursing.

The Marquette Telehealth-Virtual Care Accelerator will both enhance the curricula offered by the College of Nursing and provide education and development resources for experienced clinical providers. The accelerator will also explore research and development of innovations in virtual care delivery and education; access to and needs of clients using virtual care; and the effectiveness of integrating virtual care technology into the care of clients.

* McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, conducted a July 2021 analysis, which has been cited by the American Hospital Association, called “Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?