School of nursing

Yale Nursing on the front lines

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the YSN community has been on the front lines of research, advocacy, and innovation. 

In the research sphere, LaRon Nelson discussed racial health disparities in his work “Understanding COVID-19 Risks and Vulnerabilities among Black Communities in America: The Lethal Force of Syndemics,” and David Vlahov coauthored the paper “Arresting COVID-19 & Improving Well-Being in Urban Informal Settlements.” 

As a member of New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s Coronavirus Maternity Task Force, YSN lecturer Sascha James-Conterelli has been at the forefront of advocacy. The group made several recommendations to promote safe maternity care during the pandemic. In her role as president of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives, James-Conterelli was key in the governor’s inclusion of midwives in his executive order authorizing out-of-state providers to practice in New York and improve surge capacity. At the federal level, Connecticut congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro cited work coauthored by Margaret L. Holland in a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture advocating for the expansion of SNAP during the crisis.

In the innovation space, YSN developed a text-message-based survey to track local health-care workers who have been exposed to and/or diagnosed with COVID-19, including individuals’ estimated return-to-work dates. The school also convened a group of local experts, both within and beyond Yale, to tackle two questions: how to streamline the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), expedite FDA regulations, and create a supply chain of related equipment to keep area patients and health-care workers safe; and how to support similar processes around design and scaling of ventilator alternatives. 

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