Laura Van Auker helping distribute books to Kenyan schoolchildren

Kenyan collaboration expands UC Davis nursing impact

Leveraging years of connections in Africa and expertise in team-based health care education, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis engages on a global level. A $7,500 grant from UC Davis Global Affairs aims to promote global health and wellness mutually through interprofessional education and practice.

“Collaborative health care teams are not the norm in Kenya. But at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, we’ve learned collaborative health care teams can improve patient outcomes,” says Laura Van Auker, a nurse practitioner and School of Nursing assistant clinical professor. “We are excited to share what we’ve learned about interprofessional education with educators in Kenya and see how they might tailor those experiences within their health framework.”

Van Auker, who also serves as a UC Davis Global Ambassador; Gerald Kayingo, a physician assistant and former associate clinical professor at the school, and School of Nursing Clinical Professor Debra Bakerjian lead a local, student-focused effort with the global component of collaboration with the University of Nairobi.

In late 2020, School of Nursing students will participate in seminars that enhance understanding of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 for Health and Wellness Improvement. Then in 2021, an interprofessional team of faculty and alumni will travel to Nairobi to collaborate with the Kenyan Schools of Medicine and Nursing to present an interprofessional team training workshop and participate in joint clinical activities.

“Essentially, we’re twinning with our Kenyan counterparts,” says Kayingo, who was born in Uganda. “This is not a one off. We are invested in long-term success of this collaboration.”

The goal is to partner in the development of potential clinical sites in Kenya that will provide an annual global experiential learning opportunity for School of Nursing students.