One in five patients discharged from the hospital will be readmitted within three weeks.
It was this statistic that prompted Jodi Feinberg to put her Penn Nursing education to good use.
Feinberg, a recipient of the 2015 President’s Engagement Prize, is tackling one of nursing’s most timely, and most pressing, challenges: in-home care.
“With the complexity and number of medications patients are required to take upon discharge from the hospital, many patients and their families are overwhelmed and struggle to care for themselves at home and in their communities,” says Feinberg. “My vision is to develop a program that can ensure cardiac patients receive the rehabilitative support they need where they are most comfortable: in their homes and communities.”
For her project, Home, Heart, Health: Engaging the Community in Bridging the Gap, Feinberg is teaming up with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and New York University Langone Medical Center, both of which serve New York’s five boroughs as well as parts of upstate New York.
Working with the organizations, Feinberg’s ultimate goal is to build a bridge between inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation to ensure optimal patient care.
None of this would be possible, she says, without the President’s Engagement Prize.
“The President’s Engagement Prize is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the world,” says Feinberg. “With the encouragement of my family and my incredible mentor, Dr. Terri Lipman, I realized that this prize could be the catalyst to my role in bettering the world for mankind.”
The project is ambitious, but those close to Feinberg say that her spirit of engagement and commitment to helping others is nothing new.
As an undergraduate at Penn, Feinberg founded The Community Champions Program, a collaboration of sustainable community-based initiatives to promote health and wellness in University-assisted schools, clinics, and senior centers. She was also project coordinator of Dance for Health, an intergenerational program developed to increase activity and combat obesity in West Philadelphia. As part of the Penn Medicine CPR Anytime research team, Feinberg also empowered more than 100 family members of cardiac patients with the skills they might need to save lives in the event of an emergency.
“Jodi is thoroughly dedicated to community engagement,” says Lipman, a professor of nursing and interim assistant dean for community engagement in Penn Nursing. “She has a passion for research and has more motivation and is more committed to bringing initiatives to fruition than any undergraduate or graduate student I have encountered in 25 years of teaching.”