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Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing Joins Effort to Address Gaps in Health Profession Training

October 19, 2020

The Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing at St. John Fisher College is part of a new $1.75 million grant that brings together five colleges and universities to address health disparities among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) by strengthening the knowledge base of the health care workforce.

The five-year grant, Partnering to Transform Health Outcomes with Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities (PATH-PWIDD) program, was awarded by the Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL). It funds the development of a national ID/DD health care training consortium including the Golisano Institute; Rush University’s College of Nursing, which serves as the grant’s lead institution; the University of Illinois at Chicago’s HealthMattersTM Program; the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration; and Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Fisher has an interprofessional health care task force composed of faculty from the Wegmans School of Nursing, the mental health counseling master’s degree program, and the Wegmans School of Pharmacy who will be collaborating with the Institute on the grant.

“Our success in securing the HHS Administration for Community Living grant with our colleagues and partners across the nation has broadened the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing’s network and national recognition. Most importantly, it has expanded the impact of our work to improve the health of individuals with IDD,” said Dr. Dianne Cooney Miner, founding director of the Golisano Institute.

The PATH-PWIDD program aims to address the lack of content about the health care needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in current curriculum by introducing and promoting inclusive, interprofessional health education training for both pre- and post-licensure students. The program will also include active roles for advocates with ID/DD and their families during the entire project period.

This effort will ultimately increase the number of students trained in ID/DD and deepen student knowledge of the health care needs of this patient population. It will also increase the number of health professionals prepared to provide health care to individuals with ID/DD. The program intends to impact more than 30 institutions and to train 15,000 students during the five-year project.

For more information about the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing, visit