University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Chair of the Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care Department and Professor Maria Shirey, PhD, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FAAN, has been elected a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. She was inducted at the 2018 annual meeting of the organization in April.
Election as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow is based upon an exemplary career of 10 years or more, and commitment to interprofessional practice and accessible, affordable health care for all. Distinguished Scholars and Fellows also have academic achievements, including significant and enduring educational and/or research contribution to practice.
Shirey has made numerous educational and research contributions to practice across UAB and in other academic and clinical settings in which she has served. One of the most significant is a collaboration with Connie White-Williams, PhD, RN, NE-BC, FAAN, Senior Director of the Center for Nursing Excellence at UAB Hospital, to open a nurse-managed, interprofessional transitional care clinic for heart failure patients recently discharged from UAB Hospital. Its goal was to reduce 30-day hospital readmissions for uninsured heart failure patients and improve access to care for this underinsured and medically underserved population. It provides a medical home for those who have no primary care provider but require follow-up care.
Patients are referred to the clinic before hospital discharge and evaluated at home, and receive ongoing care at the clinic. The clinic uses an interprofessional collaborative practice model with a team of nurses, physicians, social workers, health services administrators, public health professionals, health information technology professionals, and community health workers. Students from these disciplines also complete rotations with the team. Since its inception, the Heart Failure Clinic has become the medical home for more than 400 patients, and patients are seen within seven days of hospital discharge. Since implementing the program, the 30-day hospital readmission rate improved from 26 percent to 14 percent; the average cost per patient also decreased.
“I am honored to be recognized for my contributions to interprofessional collaborative practice and education. The opportunity to lead innovative, population health initiatives that enhance access to quality care for underserved heart failure patients is a privilege. Working with our talented interprofessional team here at UAB has been a remarkable experience and impactful for our region and state.”
Shirey earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University, Master of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University, Master of Business Administration from Tulane University, and PhD in Nursing Science from Indiana University. Her experience includes roles as staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, academic faculty, nurse manager, nursing director, hospital vice president and entrepreneur. She is active in multiple professional organizations, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) where she served two consecutive terms as Chair of the national board of directors of the AACN Certification Corporation, the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) where she served as president from 2013-2015, and National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) where she serves on the Board of Directors as Director-At-Large. Dr. Shirey is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.NAP is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to advise governmental bodies on the health care system. Distinguished practitioners and scholars are elected by their peers from 14 different health professions to join the only interprofessional group of healthcare practitioners and scholars dedicated to supporting affordable, accessible, coordinated quality health care for all.