HRSA ANEW Grant Year in Review

July 09, 2021

HRSA ANEW Grant Year in Review

A Year in Review

The second year of the grant was marked by a flurry of change stemming from COVID-19. Even though the pandemic presented challenges, grant operations continued: thanks to our online course model, students were able to continue to attend their courses and interact meaningfully with their faculty and peers in a virtual setting. A new cohort was onboarded virtually and preceptors generously volunteered their mentorship on top of their increased workloads.


Changes in grant activities due to COVID-19 resulted in a surplus of funds that were used to provide scholarships for five additional students from rural and underserved areas, increasing the awardees from 15 to 20.

The first cohort of students began clinical rotations in January 2021. The students spent two days per week with their preceptor in a primary care setting. They are currently developing their DNP scholarly projects, which focus on mental health, technology, or care of rural and/or underserved populations. These students are busy and excited to graduate in April 2022.

The second cohort of students began in Fall 2020. These students came from across Michigan and completed full-time, online (synchronous and asynchronous) coursework in the Fall and Winter semesters. They display an exemplary commitment to rural and/or underserved populations. In January 2022, they will begin their clinical rotations. Meet our students:

In Spring 2020, KCON offered informatics training opportunities to both McLaren Health Care (MHC) and Mercy Health Muskegon (MHM) employees. Completing their informatics certificates in April 2021, these students will be able to guide their organizations through significant changes associated with technology and informatics. Learn more here:


The grant team worked with the KCON Academic Community Liaison and our practice partners to identify preceptors in rural and underserved areas of Michigan. Preceptors are physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants who guide the students through their clinical rotations. Each preceptor has extensive experience working with rural and/or underserved populations and is committed to overseeing the student throughout their four-semester clinical rotation. Meet our preceptors:

In order to support our HRSA preceptors, the grant team developed a Preceptor Resource Network (PRN), which was launched in winter 2021. Each month, the grant team and DNP preceptors meet to discuss a topic. The topics range from One Minute Precepting techniques, to Bipolar 2 Disorder treatment, to Men’s Health. Preceptors provide feedback on the sessions, which informs the development of future sessions. Each session is spearheaded by a grant consultant. Meet our grant consultants:

Practice Partners

The grant team and the practice partners continued their monthly meetings to achieve grant objectives. These meetings offer space to anticipate issues, troubleshoot existing problems, and strengthen the partnerships that are key to the grant’s success.

Teamwork and creativity gave rise to innovative solutions to the challenges experienced due to COVID-19. During the pandemic, KCON offered tuition support for nurses from both MHC and MHM to obtain an informatics certificate. This opportunity helped to fill a crucial gap that exists between health care providers and information technology. Additionally, MHM purchased iPads that will be used for behavioral health screenings and language services at rural health clinics. These innovative solutions expand the grant’s impact on the communities we serve.  

New Opportunities

In July 2021, the Kirkhof College of Nursing received a Nursing Workforce Diversity grant amounting to $2.2 million. Similar to the ANEW grant, this awards partners with two health care organizations to support working nurses from underrepresented backgrounds who wish to obtain nursing degrees. This new award focuses on increasing workforce diversity and opportunities for nursing leadership in clinical and educational settings.

KCON will partner with Spectrum Health and McLaren Health Care on the four-year project, which is supported by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Together, Spectrum and McLaren reach 14 counties in the lower peninsula. 

Learn more here:

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Page last modified July 9, 2021