The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing has won a $2 million grant from the France-Merrick Foundation that school leaders say will mean not only an expansion and renovation of their East Baltimore building but extra volunteer commitments in the surrounding community.
The nursing school is expected to produce 30 percent more graduates annually by 2021 after the project is completed in 2020. Currently, there are 1,100 students enrolled, up about 500 from when the building was completed in 1998.
The students are required to take a course on the social determinants of health and healthcare in the community, which takes the students out into Baltimore neighborhoods as they research these communities' healthcare priorities, according to the school. Many students also volunteer through Hopkins' Student Outreach Resource Center, a collaborative among Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing and School of Medicine.
The places at which the students have chosen to volunteer include the House of Ruth Maryland, which provides emergency shelter and services for victims of domestic violence and their children; the Isaiah Wellness Center, which provides health services and enrichment activities for senior citizens in East Baltimore; the Wald Community Nursing Center, which is run by the nursing school and provides free health services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured city residents.
"France-Merrick's support of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has significantly impacted and transformed the education of our students and the health care outreach we provide to the Baltimore community," said Patricia M. Davidson, dean of the School of Nursing. "This generous gift will allow us to provide the learning and collaboration space needed for our growing student population."
The France-Merrick Foundation invests in nonprofits groups in the Baltimore metro region that work in areas including health, education, conservation.