At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.
Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alumni Charles R. Davis, FNP has spent countless hours within the last few years to advocate for the health of underserved students in rural New York. Davis, who earned his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from FNU in 2019 in the family nurse practitioner program, spearheaded the idea and led a committed and diverse team of individuals that established the newly-constructed Webutuck School-Based Health Center in Amenia, New York. In partnership with the Webutuck School District, the health center will be operated by Open Door Family Medical Centers of Ossining, NY. The Webutuck Central Schools District is located in the rural farming community of Northeast, Dutchess County, near the borders of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
In 2019, Davis presented an evidence-based proposal to the superintendent of the Webutuck Central School District concerning the need for and value of a school-based health center for students. He saw the need as over 60% of the population in his community meet the metric of being categorized as economically disadvantaged.
After Davis received approval from the district’s superintendent and other leaders, including the Board of Education he secured the collaboration of Open Door Family Medical Centers to be the facility’s healthcare partner. Open Door Family Medical Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) facility. Davis then solicited and received over $150,000 in grant funding from the Foundation for Community Health in Sharon, Connecticut, and the State of New York State and secured architectural support and contractors to design and construct the facility according to the guidelines set by New York State’s Department of Education and Department of Health.
The school-based health center held it’s grand opening on May 14 with a ribbon cutting and an opportunity for the community to check out its newest healthcare resource.
The center will help families with health insurance enrollment, charge no copays, and cover the costs for the uninsured. Students who visit the center will be able to return to class immediately after their visit.
The health center removes barriers many rural students face in regards to healthcare, including accessibility to a healthcare provider, transportation, the ability for a parent/guardian to take time off from work, access to health insurance, financial obstacles in regards to covering co-payments and the loss of classroom time that results in a healthcare visit. It will be the first School-Based Health Center in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region of New York.
“Where better to pursue an MSN-FNP than Frontier Nursing University, with its significant ethos and storied history of care, including training and educating individuals to provide healthcare to the underserved?”
– Charles R. Davis, FNP
Davis will serve as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) at Webutuck School-Based Health Center.
“I chose to become a family nurse practitioner as a way to give back to communities and individuals less fortunate than me,” he said.
With early ambitions to become an FNP, Davis said he was inspired to attend FNU after learning about the school’s history as an undergraduate nursing student.
“Where better to pursue an MSN-FNP than Frontier Nursing University, with its significant ethos and storied history of care, including training and educating individuals to provide healthcare to the underserved?” Davis said.
Since graduating, Davis said he has continued to receive mentorship from the Frontier community, citing Dr. Jodie Kaufman, Dr. Joanne Keefe, Dr. Heidi Froemke and Dr. Lisa Chappell as examples of outstanding mentors.
“My Frontier network has been a source of enormous support and encouragement for my work and mission in bringing a much needed School-Based Health Clinic to my district,” Davis said.
Department Chair for the Department of Family Nursing Dr. Lisa Chappell expressed her admiration and pride for the work Davis is doing.
“Charles was an exceptional student who was a true visionary. He has always been highly motivated to live out FNU’s mission of serving all individuals, especially those in diverse, rural, and underserved communities,” Dr. Chappell said. “We are very proud of him for working hard to make his dreams and vision a reality.”
In his free time, Davis enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, exercising, bird-watching, and spending time with his pitbull.
Thank you, Charles, for your unrelenting commitment to underserved patients in your community.
Learn more about FNU’s top-ranked FNP program and what makes it stand out!
View images of the Webutuck School-Based Health Center below: