A Magazine for the George Mason University Community

Cutting the Gauze

By Mason Spirit contributor on August 9, 2017

On May 12, the Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic “cut the gauze” on a new permanent space in Manassas Park. Thanks to a generous grant by the Potomac Health Foundation and the hard work of the many MAP clinic partners, health care service scan now be expanded from one to five days a week in Manassas Park.

Over the past two years, School of Nursing professors and twins Caroline Sutter, MSN ’01, DNP ’12, and Rebecca Sutter, MSN ’01, DNP’12, have worked tirelessly to bring their vision of an academic-practice partnership to reality. What started off as a room in a community center to provide school physicals for children turned into a clinic capable of treating a range of issues and helping families avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

At the clinic, the Sutter sisters practice interprofessional care and can see anything from acute illnesses, such as allergic findings, to chronic disease management (hypertension, diabetes) and behavioral health issues (depression, anxiety).

“One of the biggest roles we have is helping with navigation of our health care system,” says Rebecca. “Its disjointed nature—let alone for the most vulnerable in our community—really requires that high-touch intervention to connect them with partners and resources within the community itself.”

With the support of its partners, the MAP Clinic has expanded to two additional full clinic locations (Falls Church and Springfield-Franconia) and two extension sites in Prince William County.

The current clinics have provided nearly$1.1 million per year in unreimbursed care for uninsured and underinsured community members. True to the academic-practice partnership model, these clinics also provide critical training for Mason students in the School of Nursing and the Departments of Social Work, Nutrition and Food Studies, Health Administration and Policy, Psychology, and others. In conjunction with their standard curriculum, students practice a holistic approach to healthcare that uses evidence-based practices.

As these students enter the workforce, their clinic experience helps them stand out among their peers. “The clinic teaches collaboration, not competition, and in today’s complicated health care system, there’s no better learning opportunity for our students,” says Caroline.

—Danielle Hawkins

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