Advanced practice providers Stacy Forst, P.A.-C. (from left), Janet Johnson, A.P.R.N., and J. Brandon Arruda, A.P.R.N., are working together to boost recognition for WVU Medicine APPs through private philanthropy. (WVU Foundation photo/Garrett Cullen)

Private philanthropy aids WVU Medicine advanced practice providers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Private philanthropy is boosting support for WVU Medicine’s growing team of advanced practice providers (APPs). 

The Grateful Patients, Families, and Friends Program recently contributed $10,000 to establish a new Advanced Practice Professionals Discretionary Fund. All contributions will be used by the WVU Medicine Office of Advanced Practice Professionals to support recognition, professional development, and other program enhancements. 

APPs are medical professionals who have completed specialized training to perform exams, prescribe medications, and provide other healthcare services traditionally performed by doctors. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives are all examples of APPs.

Numerous studies have shown APPs increase access to healthcare, and national workforce projections indicate the number of APPs will increase exponentially in the coming years. More than 1,000 APPs work within the WVU Medicine system, and that number continues to grow. 

“As a vital part of the provider workforce, advanced practice professionals work in a variety of healthcare settings within the WVU Medicine system,” J. Brandon Arruda, A.P.R.N., chair of the Office of Advanced Practice Professionals Recruitment and Retention Committee, said. “We are managing acute and chronic health disparities, focusing on health maintenance, and leading in research and teaching opportunities.”

Joe Weir, of Grant Town, West Virginia, has seen Arruda, an advanced practice registered nurse and adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, for a few years as a patient at WVU Medicine Urology. Weir said he has always received excellent care from APPs and finds that they offer greater flexibility and convenience when it comes to scheduling.

“My experience has been fantastic,” Weir said. “[Arruda] is very knowledgeable, has a great bedside manner. It feels like he’s known me forever. I can’t say enough good things about him, because he just does a great job.”

WVU Medicine hosted its first day of recognition for APPs in 2018. WVU Medicine joined 40 other hospitals and health systems nationwide to launch the first National APP Week in September 2021.

Recognition activities are organized by the Office of Advanced Practice Professionals’ Recruitment and Retention Committee. In years past, WVU Medicine has provided small gifts to APPs systemwide and hosted a luncheon with guest speakers and photo booths for APPs at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital

Arruda and others hope to build upon those recognition activities for National APP Week 2022 and beyond with the aid of private philanthropy. They have already garnered additional support from Friends of WVU Hospitals, which provided $1,000. 

“Increased support for recognition activities, professional development, and other efforts helps to ensure we can recruit and retain the very best providers to meet our patients’ needs,” Arruda said. “WVU Medicine has generously provided funds at an institutional level, but additional dollars from grateful patients and others will bolster our efforts to support the advanced practice providers working to improve the health and well-being of patients in West Virginia and the surrounding region.”

To contribute to the Advanced Practice Professionals Discretionary Fund, visit Give.WVU.edu/APP to make a gift securely online. All gifts are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities.

Established in collaboration with the WVU Foundation, the Grateful Patients, Families, and Friends program provides opportunities for individuals, family members, and friends to recognize the exceptional care provided by WVU Medicine physicians, nurses, APPs, and other healthcare professionals.

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