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Memorial Hermann was one of five hospitals around the country – and the only one in Texas – selected to participate in a $200 million project initiated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to increase the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in the Texas Gulf Coast region and country.

Called the Graduate Nursing Education (GNE) Demonstration, the program’s goal is to increase the number of APRNs in the region by 400 during a four-year demonstration period, which is a 64% increase over the current level. CMS will use the $200 million to reimburse Memorial Hermann, along with the four other hospitals selected, for the expenses needed to train and graduate the additional APRNs.

“This is great news for our system and the Texas Gulf Coast Region,” says Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “I am extremely proud that our hospital was one of five in the country to be selected to participate in this exciting and extremely beneficial project.

“Memorial Hermann is committed to excellence in education,” Wolterman continues. “I am confident that this program will be successful and that the APRNs will be well-trained and prepared to offer quality healthcare services to the growing number of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the region.

“The GNE initiative also will greatly help to underpin the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization,” Wolterman says. “Having a larger pool of APRNs to serve patients will allow us to improve the level of care and deliver quality outcomes, while providing a better value to healthcare consumers in this region.”

APRNs are desperately needed as Texas and the region face a severe shortage of nurses and primary care physicians. APRNs will help to shoulder some of the load with primary care.

Memorial Hermann will partner with four schools of nursing – University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas Women’s University and Prairie View A&M University, as well as 50 surrounding community-based care centers – to implement the program.

“Memorial Hermann has a long history of successful collaboration with area Schools of Nursing in the placement of students at all levels for clinical practice experiences,” Wolterman adds. “When we considered this opportunity from CMS, all four of the schools of nursing stepped up and provided leadership during the planning stage for the demonstration project. They will be instrumental in recruiting students, as well as developing the curriculum.”
Patricia Hercules, director of system clinical education for Memorial Hermann, shares, "Working as a team with our amazing partners – the Schools of Nursing and community-based care centers – we are confident we will meet our project goal of increasing the number of APRNs to provide greater access to healthcare services."

About Memorial Hermann
An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and more than 20,000 employees, serves Southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann’s 12 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, including a level one trauma center, a hospital for children, and a rehabilitation hospital, eight suburban hospitals, and a second rehabilitation hospital in Katy. The system also operates three heart and vascular institute locations, the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute, an air ambulance, cancer, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community, and a nursing home. To learn more, visit www.memorialhermann.org.