Penn Senior Jodi Feinberg to Launch Cardiac Patient In-home Rehab Program

(This is the fourth in a series of features introducing the inaugural Penn President’s Engagement Prize winners.)  

One in five patients discharged from the hospital experience an adverse event at home within three weeks. They may fall or mix up their medications, placing an extreme burden on their caregivers. Ultimately they’re readmitted to the hospital.

Jodi Feinberg, a Short Hills., N.J., senior in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, has seen it happen far too often while caring for patients in her clinical studies and in the community.

“Patients may be prescribed four or more medications, but then they get home and realize they can’t afford them, can’t read the bottle or can’t get to the store to purchase them,” says Feinberg.

With funding from a 2015 President’s Engagement Prize, this summer Feinberg will implement and evaluate a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation model for home care. For the pilot, Feinberg will work with New York University Langone Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the country’s largest nonprofit home and community-based health care organization serving New York’s five boroughs as well as parts of upstate New York.

“My vision is to develop a program that can ensure cardiac patients receive the rehabilitative support they need where they are most comfortable, in their homes and communities,” says Feinberg.

Her project “Home, Heart, Health: Engaging the Community in Bridging the Gap,” is one-of-a-kind. It seeks to create a bridge between inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation to ensure optimal patient care. 

The Prizes, the largest of their kind in higher education, provide winners with as much as $100,000 to support project implementation and $50,000 for living expenses. Launched by Penn President Amy Gutmann, the awards are supported by Trustee Judith Bollinger and William G. Bollinger, Trustee Lee Spelman Doty and George E. Doty Jr. and Emeritus Trustee James S. Riepe and Gail Petty Riepe.

“The President’s Engagement Prize is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the world,” says Feinberg. “With the encouragement of my family and my incredible mentor, Dr. Terri Lipman, I realized this prize could be the catalyst to my role in bettering the world for mankind.”

Lipman, a professor of nursing and interim assistant dean for community engagement in Penn Nursing, says that Feinberg is preeminently prepared to lead her Engagement Prize project.

“Jodi is thoroughly dedicated to community engagement, has a passion for research and has more motivation and is more committed to bringing initiatives to fruition than any undergraduate or graduate student I have encountered in 25 years of teaching,” Lipman says.

At Penn, Feinberg has already made a difference in the lives of others through engagement in the community, a major part of Gutmann’s Penn Compact 2020.

She has collaborated with students, faculty and community members to develop an initiative called The Community Champions Program. It promotes health and wellness through coordinated programs at University-assisted schools. She is also project coordinator of Dance for Health, a School of Nursing initiative that is the brainchild of Lipman.

Since 2012, Feinberg has served as a research assistant in a Penn Medicine program called CPR Anytime and has been cited as top enroller in the CPR training program.

“In the event of an emergency, you should be able to save a family member’s life,” Feinberg says. “Everyone should know CPR.”

She says teaching CPR to cardiac patients’ families and visitors in hospital cardiac intensive care units has been very rewarding.

Ultimately, her dream is to implement a national model for a certified in-home cardiac rehabilitation program.

She is studying for the National Council Licensure Exam to gain her license to practice nursing after she graduates in May. She looks forward to starting her President’s Engagement Prize project at the NYU Langone Medical Center for two reasons. She worked as a nurse extern on the transplant/medical surgical floor there last summer, and the much-lauded nursing student will be close to her hometown.

Recently she was honored with the Dean’s Award at Penn Nursing, given at graduation each year to the individual “who epitomizes the philosophy of the School of Nursing: student leadership, citizenship and social activism.”





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