Beth Huffmaster, CRNP, a long time nurse practitioner with USA Health University Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Service, has been selected as a fellow for the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program.

Published Mar 26th, 2019

Beth Huffmaster, CRNP, a long time nurse practitioner with USA Health University Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Service, has been selected as a fellow for the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. 

The program is a one-year professional development experience between Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing and Johnson & Johnson. The program was created in 2013 to provide leadership development for advanced practice nurses. Selected fellows start the program in April 2019. They are expected to take part in three leadership retreats, participate in monthly distance-based learning activities and complete a health leadership project.

“The selection process was quite competitive and we are honored that Beth was chosen,” said Dr. Jon D. Simmons, trauma medical director at USA Health University Hospital and associate professor of surgery at the USA Health College of Medicine. “Our health system is committed to actively supporting continuing education and developing leaders in all aspects of healthcare. We are delighted Beth will have this opportunity.” 

The goal of the program is to provide participants with the leadership and management skills required to effectively address the needs of their communities, especially those of vulnerable populations, and to become agents of change within their practice settings and healthcare in general. 

Huffmaster will complete a leadership project that aims to measure predictors and outcomes related to post traumatic stress disorder in severely injured patients.

As a nurse practitioner with the trauma surgery team, Huffmaster has spent years providing a high level of care to severely injured patients. “Although our trauma care is among the highest quality in the nation, I began to notice patients exhibiting signs and symptoms of psychological and emotional scars from their traumatic experiences,” she said. “I chose my research project to quantify the number of patients experiencing these symptoms and to identify and allocate resources to alleviate their silent suffering.”

USA Health University Hospital is the only Level 1 trauma center in the region, which includes the Alabama Gulf Coast, portions of northwest Florida and southern Mississippi. Level I is the highest level of care a center can provide. To maintain this excellent level of care, University Hospital employs board-certified trauma surgeons who are in-house 24 hours a day, every day. Every patient with traumatic injuries is assigned a designated team that includes a trauma surgeon, emergency physician, surgical residents, trauma nurse coordinator and emergency department nurses among others.

About USA Health

Beginning with the founding of the USA College of Medicine in 1973, USA Health stands as the only academic medical center along the upper Gulf Coast. It provides excellent healthcare to the region's diverse population at USA University Hospital and the renowned USA Children's & Women's Hospital, one of only five freestanding hospitals in the country dedicated to the healthcare of children and women. Continuous research and technological advancements keep USA Mitchell Cancer Institute at the forefront of cancer treatment and outcomes. The health system employs 3,900 clinical and nonclinical staff members, including some 190 academic physicians who serve dual roles treating patients and teaching the next generation of medical doctors.

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