Yale School of Nursing Holds Martin Luther King, Jr. Master Class on Minority Health

The Yale University School of Nursing (YSN) will host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Master Class on minority health on January 17, 2000, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the school’s 100 Church Street South campus. The class will be open to undergraduates on the basis of a competitive application process.

Participants scheduled to make presentations are:

Courtney Lyder, MS, ND, GNP, FAAWM, FAAN, associate professor of nursing and director of the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Specialty at YSN. Lyder’s presentation will focus on his research on pressure ulcers or “bed sores,” a common and painful problem for people who spend much of their time in bed or in a wheelchair, primarily the elderly.

Because health care providers are trained to recognize developing pressure ulcers on white skin, pressure ulcers are not detected in people of color until they are acute, thus very painful and difficult, if not impossible, to cure. Lyder has developed strategies to detect pressure ulcers earlier in people of all races and through his work with various federal agencies is seeing that these strategies are implemented nationally.

Gail D’Eramo Melkus, Ed.D., C-ANP, CDE, associate professor of nursing at YSN, studies diabetes in African-American women. Her presentation will focus on both the medical and cultural aspects of the disease. Both black men and women are more prone than whites to Type 2 diabetes, the diabetes that occurs in adults and an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 African-Americans in New Haven alone have the disease. Blacks suffer more than whites do as a result of the condition, with blindness, renal failure and amputations much more common as a result of diabetes in African-Americans than in whites.

From a cultural perspective, many people of color are reluctant to participate in health studies. Realizing that people of color have been scared off by a history of exploitation, epitomized by the Tuskegee syphilis study, and put off by a primarily white healthcare system, Melkus has established an advisory board of African-American community and church leaders who do everything from helping her recruit study participants after Sunday services to previewing educational videos for cultural appropriateness.

Susan Moscou, MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, MPH, a 1995 alumna of YSN, will present the findings of her master’s thesis, “Do Race and Ethnicity Influence Perceptions of Health Care Practitioners?” Currently serving as family nurse practitioner at Montefiore Care for the Homeless, Moscou is responsible for providing medical care to homeless families residing in the shelter. She is co-chair of the Minority Issues Committee of the New York State Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and a member of the Steering Committee of Metro New York Health Care for All. Her recent publications include “Race and Ethnicity in Research on Infant Mortality,” The Journal of Family Medicine, March 1998, and “Racial and Ethnic Identifications,” The Nurse Practitioner, November 1996.

Frances Rice, BSN, MSN, is an adult nurse practitioner working in the field of both adult and pediatric emergency nursing for various nursing care agencies in New York City. A 1998 graduate of Long Island University’s Adult Nurse Practitioner Program, Rice will bring an international perspective to the master class, sharing her experiences on her work in Ghana, West Africa, where she taught villagers about nutrition and also performed medical examinations. A 1997 recipient of the New York State Coalition of Nurse Practitioners Minorities Issues Scholarship, Rice’s recent publications include “Diabetes Awareness in The Central Harlem Community,” American Journal of Nursing (1997) and “Folk Medicine: Observation and Examples,” Journal of Cultural Diversity (1994).

Light refreshments will be served. For more information or an application, call Sharon Sanderson at 203-737-2557, email or visit info.med.yale.edu/nursing.

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