Elizabeth Donahue

Elizabeth Donahue

Since the opening of Brigham and Women’s Primary Care, Longwood, located at 800 Huntington Ave., board-certified family nurse practitioner Elizabeth Donahue, MSN, RN, NP-C, has been accepting new patients. (See related story)

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to care for community members and hospital employees,” said Donahue, who, as part of her new role, has taken on oversight of the interdisciplinary team supporting her panel of patients. “I am grateful to practice to the full extent of my education and hope that my work demonstrates to other nurses what potential exists in our field.”

With a primary care physician shortage in Boston and across the country, the rise of nurse practitioners offers/* additional capacity in caring for patients. BWH’s ultimate goal is to enhance its primary care offerings to provide patients—both community members and employees alike—with more options and better health outcomes.

“The goal of primary care is to take care of the whole patient,” said Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president for Patient Care Services. “Similarly, nursing practice is focused on truly knowing patients, so nurse practitioners are well-positioned to be part of this evolving model for primary care.”

“Nurses and nurse practitioners have a proven track record of positive outcomes and patient satisfaction,” said Stephanie Ahmed, DNP, FNP-BC, nursing director of Ambulatory Care. “Having nurse practitioners serve as primary care providers is a cost-effective way to deliver high-quality patient-centered care.”

The practice at 800 Huntington plans to gather data and measure the effectiveness of the new care model.

“I’m looking forward to working with our patients and providing them with comprehensive, holistic care,” said Donahue. “Similar to the primary care vision, our nursing model is also focused on developing a relationship with the patient and learning the social and psychological factors that can affect their health.”

Added Joseph P. Frolkis, MD, PhD, Primary Care vice chair: “Elizabeth is well-versed in the model of a medical home. She understands the importance of innovation, care redesign and working in a team-based context. She continues the tradition that began at Brookside Community Health Center to have a nurse practitioner on staff who has his or her own panel of patients.”

At Brookside Community Health Center—one of BWH’s two community health centers—family nurse practitioners Christy Sullivan, FNP, MPH, Linda Foxworthy, FNP, and Cecilia O’Malley, FNP, also care for their own panel of primary care patients.

Donahue, who earned her master of science from the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, previously served as family nurse practitioner at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners.