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NINR Cohosts Multiethnic Nursing Conference

The National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations joined the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to convene a key conference recently with the following objectives: increase the cadre of ethnic and minority nurse researchers, prepare minority nurses to compete successfully for NIH funding opportunities, and establish a plan to increase health disparity research conducted by nurses.

Speakers at the event included Dr. Hilda Richards (r), president of the National Black Nurses Association, and Dr. Kem Louie, president of the Asian Pacific Islanders Nurses Association.

More than 40 nurses representing the racial and ethnic minority organizations within the coalition gathered at the Natcher Conference Center for a 2-day workshop to identify and unify resources on health disparities. Although the number of minority and ethnic nurses involved in health disparity research is increasing among those who earn Ph.D.s., their ranks remain small, according to data presented during the conference.

Leaders of conference cosponsors include (from l) Dr. Clifton Poodry, director of NIGMS's MORE Programs; NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady; NCMHD director Dr. John Ruffin; and Dr. Betty Smith Williams, president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations.

NINR director Dr. Patricia A. Grady cochaired the workshop during which attendees were guided in efforts to identify and match research opportunities for ethnic minority nurses with appropriate NIH research, research training and career development mechanisms. Program directors from NCMHD, NIGMS and NINR invited guest speakers from the Society of Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students to discuss various ways to reach the goals of the coalition.

NCMHD deputy director Dr. Jean Flagg-Newton (c) welcomes Dr. Nilda Peragallo (l), president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and Dr. Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, NAHN immediate past president.

The meeting ended with recommendations for action by working groups, including plans to submit proposals to NIH for grants technical assistance, minority faculty development initiatives, and training initiatives for junior-level ethnic and minority nurses in health disparity research.

Pete Calixto, president of the Philippine Nurses Association, represented one of five member groups in the nurses coalition.

"We want to give special thanks to Dr. John Ruffin, director of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Dr. Clifton Poodry, director of NIGMS's MORE Programs, Dr. Alexa Stuifbergen, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Dr. Betty Smith Williams, president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association, and Kay Johnson Graham, NINR EEO officer and minority outreach coordinator, for making it possible to conduct this successful effort," Grady concluded.

Dr. Sandra Millon Underwood, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, School of Nursing, participates in a working group.

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