Urban health conference extends the college's commitment to advance nursing science

photo of attendees at urban health conference seated in student center ballroomWayne State University's College of Nursing hosted its third annual Contemporary Issues in Urban Health Conference: Building Healthier Communities through Nursing Science on April 17, 2019 in the Student Center ballroom on Wayne State's main campus. Dean Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo noted that, "For nearly 75 years, the college has made significant impacts on urban health. We've done this through our clinical and community partnerships, research and education. The conference is a fitting extension of our commitment to advance nursing science while focusing on urban health and health promotion particularly for vulnerable, underserved populations."

Attendees, including nurse scientists, community members, students, practicing nurses, faculty from multiples disciplines from Wayne State and beyond, were drawn together to examine how nursing science can help build healthier communities.

The opening keynote, Dr. Salimah Meghani, Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed an urban perspective to the opioid epidemic. Her program of research focuses on palliative care, specifically addressing sources of disparities in symptom management and outcomes among vulnerable populations.

Photo of conference attendees looking at research postersContinuing with the theme of nursing science and urban health, a panel comprised of four Wayne State College of Nursing graduate students who are Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar awardees shared their pathways into graduate school, their research experiences and provided insights on how RWJF funding impacted their graduate career and goals. Dr. April Hazard Vallerand, WSU College of Nursing Professor, moderated the panel.

Throughout the day, attendees perused a poster presentation that showcased student, faculty and community member research posters. All shared a common goal: to reduce disparities in health outcomes and to address the needs of urban populations. New this year in the poster area were telepresence robots who interacted with guests and demonstrated the power of how the technology is used to expand access to nursing consultation in underserved areas.

Attendees then chose one of three break-out sessions where a select group of scholars gave oral presentations of their research posters. There was time to learn and engage with the presenters who shared their research findings and perspectives on urban health and community.

Photo of telepresence robotsDr. Margaret Campbell was the closing keynote. Dr. Campbell shared knowledge gained through her program of research, which focuses on dyspnea assessment and treatment at the end of life.

The conference also provided a fitting opportunity for the College of Nursing to honor its 2019 Alumna of the Year: Dr. Iris A. Taylor (BSN '74, MSN '78, PhD '96). She was recognized not only for her 40-year career, which was based in Detroit, but for her continued leadership and focus on urban health and health disparities as a member of the WSU College of Nursing Board of Visitors. Many students, faculty and community members attending the conference noted the opportunities and impact Dr. Taylor had on them.

In addition, the nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau International-Lambda Chapter presented WSU College of Nursing faculty member Dr. Maha Albdour with its annual research grant.

The conference received generous sponsorship from gold level sponsors Beaumont, Health Providers Choice, Health Partners, Henry Ford Health System and silver level sponsor, Bayer.

Planning is underway for next year's Urban Health conference, which will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

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