U.Va. School of Nursing, Center for Global Health to Host Rural Global Health Symposium

December 03, 2010

December 2, 2010 — From South Africa to Haiti and Nicaragua to Southwest Virginia; from issues of clean water to palliative care, and from diabetes to mental health – participants in the University of Virginia's upcoming Rural Global Health Symposium will learn more about the challenges and possibilities of improving health for rural people across the globe. 

"Rural Global Health Symposium: Advancing Health of Rural Populations Around the World" will be held Dec. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Jordan Hall auditorium. Registration opens at 9 a.m.

The free event is co-sponsored by the U.Va. School of Nursing's International Initiatives and its Center for Nursing Research, in partnership with the U.Va. Center for Global Health in the School of Medicine. Lunch will be provided, but an RSVP is required by Dec. 6 (contact Camille Hicks, ecf8d@virginia.edu or 434-924-2744). The interdisciplinary symposium is open to the public, and faculty and students from across the University are encouraged to attend.

Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population lives in rural areas with limited resources, and the percentage of rural populations is even higher in many other countries. Rural health is vital to the overall health of any nation's people and is affected by issues including geographic distance, unique cultural considerations, information, access and affordability. 

Home to the Rural Health Care Research Center and the Southeastern Rural Mental Health Research Center, the School of Nursing has been vigorous in its development of international programs, including student exchanges, visiting scholar programs and research studies involving both faculty and students.

Many of the presenters at the symposium were featured contributors to the "Annual Review of Nursing Research: Focus on Rural Health," published in 2008. Elizabeth Merwin, the school's associate dean for research and director of the Rural Health Care Research Center, served as volume editor for the publication. Merwin is the Madge M. Jones Professor of Nursing.

Presenters and sessions at the symposium will include:

•    Facilitators Doris Greiner, director of international initiatives, School of Nursing, and Elizabeth Merwin, associate dean for research, School of Nursing
•    Emma McKim Mitchell, nursing Ph.D. student, "Rural Health Nursing Research Review: Global Perspectives"
•    Rebecca Ann Dillingham, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of the Center for Global Health, and Anita Thompson-Heisterman, assistant professor of nursing, "Water and Health in Limpopo Province: A Platform for Interdisciplinary Education, Research and Service"
•    Cathy Campbell, assistant professor of nursing, "Creating Community Partnerships: Palliative Care in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa"
•    Audrey Snyder, assistant professor of nursing, and Katy Bagley, 2010 School of Nursing alumna, "An Evaluation of the Health Care Needs and Health Promotion in Jacmel, Haiti"
•    Richard Steeves, Madeline Higginbotham Sly Professor of Nursing, "Clean Delivery Kits (CDKs) in Rural Atlantic Nicaragua"
•    Emily Hauenstein, Thomas A. Saunders III Family Professor of Nursing, director of the Southeastern Rural Mental Health Research Center, "Rural and Remote Spaces: the Effect of Place on Women’s Experience of Depression"
•    Sarah Farrell, associate professor of nursing, "Feasibility of Establishing Health Information Kiosks in Rural Areas: Grand Bahama Island Health Services; Primary Nursing Clinics Rural and Homeland"
•    Sharon Utz, associate professor of nursing; Ishan Williams, assistant professor of nursing; and Kathryn Reid, assistant professor of nursing, "Diabetes Self-Management for Bahamians: Understanding, Intervening and Evaluating"
•    Marianne Baernholdt, assistant professor of nursing, "Factors that Influence Quality of Care in Global Rural Areas"
•    Richard L. Guerrant, Thomas H. Hunter Professor of International Medicine and director, Center for Global Health, School of Medicine; and Catarina Krizancic, coordinator for independent projects abroad, International Studies Office and associate director for program design, Center for Global Health; "Future Opportunities and Resources for International Initiatives for Faculty and Students."

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Dory Hulse