Two women holding clipboards stand near a smiling child in a hospital bed.
Adelphi's Interdisciplinary Education and Training Experience (IDEATE) program gets nursing and social work students to work collaboratively to help children and youth in New York state.

Adelphi’s Interdisciplinary Education and Training Experience (IDEATE) program, a collaborative learning project that bridges the university’s social work and nursing academic programs, has won the prestigious 2023 John L. Blackburn Award from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA).

Only one university per year is given this national honor.

Named for John L. Blackburn, AAUA pioneer and long-time general secretary, the award is the organization’s highest institutional recognition, honoring outstanding examples of university leadership activities that demonstrate creative solutions to common problems in higher education. The award will be presented at a virtual ceremony later this year.

“This is a fantastic recognition, highlighting substantive work by our faculty and by the School of Social Work and the College of Nursing and Public Health,” said Christopher Storm, PhD, Adelphi provost and executive vice president.

The IDEATE program was launched in 2021 using a $1.92 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The objective: to create a “bridge” between social work students and nursing students in order to provide critical integrated primary healthcare and behavioral healthcare for children, adolescents and transition-age youth in New York State.

Led by Chrisann Newransky PhD, associate professor in the School of Social Work, and Marissa Abram PhD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health, IDEATE’s goal is to create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, diverse behavioral health workforce of social workers and nurse practitioners with a specific emphasis: integrated behavioral health in primary care settings for children, adolescents and transitional-age youth. It also aims to increase access to health services in underserved and high-demand communities, deemed within the industry as health professional shortage areas– communities where lack of healthcare, and lack of behavioral healthcare, often collide—negatively impacting the lives of innocent children, adolescents and youth.

The initial cohort of 28 IDEATE fellows included 15 psychiatric nurse practitioners and 13 social workers, with more than 50 percent identifying as people of color and 89 percent identified as women. Fellows in the program receive financial and academic support, access to seminars and integrated coursework, based on curriculum developed by the School of Social Work’s Joanne Quinn-Beers, DSW, clinical associate professor, and Patricia Joyce, DSW, associate professor. The fellowship also includes one year of specialized training in primary care and behavioral health settings, offering a unique—and innovative—way to bridge the medical and social work fields, which often work in isolated silos.

Feedback from the IDEATE fellows thus far has been overwhelmingly positive.

I’ve learned to approach health care in more holistic ways by incorporating appropriate and supportive therapies in patients’ treatment, and utilizing a patient-centered approach to care that encompasses the total needs of patients.

Maureen Igharosa nursing student, part of the first IDEATE cohort

The IDEATE fellowship introduced me to 21st-century cutting-edge clinical social work practice within a culturally diverse, innovative, and expansive knowledge culture. The experience has deepened my cultural competence and ability to hold space for others to feel seen, heard, valued, and empowered.

Shelita Birchett Benash MSW student

Read more about the IDEATE program.

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