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School of Nursing Partners With VA NY Harbor on Evidence-Based Practice Initiative

Innovative evidence-based practice program at VA NY Harbor System is guided and mentored by Assistant Professor Dr. Aliza Ben-Zacharia

FALL 2021 — The Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing is partnering with the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System on a new evidence-based practice initiative to improve patient health outcomes at its hospitals. The initial step involved reviewing the top priorities of the VA system, one of which is to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired pneumonia—a leading cause of infection in hospitals—among non-ventilator patients across all hospital units.

A committee was formed at the VA, chaired by Dr. Audrey Graham-O'Gilvie and Adebisi Adeyeye with support from VP of Nursing Dr. Cynthia Caroselli and mentored/consulted by Dr. Aliza Ben-Zacharia, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing. The discussion commenced with a literature review and proposal identifying the problem, goals, and intervention using a PICOT framework.

The next steps included planning and developing the quality improvement project, “Implementation of Oral Program to Prevent Non-Ventilator Associated Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (NV-HAP)”, which was recently presented at the Hunter College Evidence-Based Practice Poster Day. In addition, pre- and post-tests were conducted for all VA nurses to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes towards oral care.

The final steps include project evaluation and in exploring ways to promote the sustainability of this initiative. The team is analyzing the data to evaluate the effectiveness of staff education and adoption of a new oral care protocol by comparing pre- and post-implementation data over a number of years and months, with a goal of reducing NV-HAP by 25%.


View Poster Presentation (CUNY Academic Commons)


For questions about this and other evidence-based initiatives with the VA, please contact Dr. Aliza Ben-Zacharia at