School of nursing

School Notes: School of Nursing
September/October 2016

YSN professor addresses Michigan water crisis

In an article published in npj Genomic Medicine, Jacquelyn Taylor, associate professor of nursing and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, calls for “immediate action” by health care providers in the Flint, Michigan, lead poisoning crisis. Taylor reports that all of the children that live in Flint have been exposed to lead in the drinking water.

Currently, children in Flint are being tested for lead poisoning but do not receive follow-up care if their blood lead level is below the CDC-defined amount. However, Taylor and her coauthors assert that all children must be tested for a specific genotype that makes them more vulnerable to lead poisoning. Neurotoxic effects can be amplified when an individual with a specific pseudo-deficiency is exposed to low levels of environmental lead. In a past study, Taylor discovered that this particular pseudo-deficiency affected 45 percent of African Americans in the sample. With more than 26,000 children residing in Flint, 60 percent of whom are African American, Taylor called for a more effective approach to treating the lead exposure crisis.

Connecting with the landscape for patient care

For the last several months, Aliza Rosenstein ’18MSN has been working with fellow student Cecilia Duran ’18MSN and Assistant Professor Monica Ordway to develop a series of experiential workshops that connect YSN with the natural resources on West Campus. With guidance from Justin Freiberg, director of the Yale Landscape Lab, they have developed a curriculum that stimulates the students to talk through the importance of cultural diversity, health and wealth disparities, and their own personal connections with growing foods and cooking.

Students in the first year of YSN’s Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN) program have partnered with the Landscape Lab for a series of workshops that focus on the importance of creating meaningful connections with their patients as they work with them to learn to access and eat healthy foods. Recent sessions combined hands-on growing and cooking exercises with discussions and a lecture session designed to help the students explore their personal connections with food as a way to help them promote healthy lifestyles.

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