School of nursing

Fellowships enable international study

Six YSN students are studying abroad this summer on Downs International Health Student Travel fellowships, competitive grants administered by the Committee on International Health based at the Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health. The students worked with YSN mentors to develop nursing research proposals for the fellowship, and are undertaking their projects this summer in Central America, Africa, and Asia. Eden Garber ’09 is studying nutrition of school-aged children in Haiti; Jessica Pettigrew ’09 is researching pica practices among parous Haitian women in the Dominican Republic; Erin Loskutoff ’09 is in China, working on a resource guide for community-dwelling older adults; Rosha Forman ’09 is studying the current practices of skilled birth attendants in Zambia; Marina McIver ’09 is researching contraception among young women in South Africa; and Regina Longinotti ’09 is learning about microbicide acceptability among reproductive-age women in Guyana.

Harvard professor draws crowd to Bellos Lecture

An overflow crowd packed a room at the School of Nursing April 16 to hear an internationally recognized authority on health disparities give the 2008 Sybil Palmer Bellos lecture. Dr. David Williams, the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard's School of Public Health, and professor of African and African American studies and of sociology at Harvard University, spoke on the "Social Sources of Health Disparities: Patterns, Causes, Interventions." In his talk, Williams, an expert on the social influences affecting health, named socioeconomic status, geographic location, and socio-political environment as key factors contributing to health disparities in the United States. Inequalities in health, he said, are created by larger inequalities in society; improving the conditions in which we are born, live, and work can have a profound effect on our health and well-being. Photos, video, and a slide presentation of the Bellos Lecture are available at

Program will assist minority cancer survivors

A YSN community initiative led by M. Tish Knobf, American Cancer Society Professor, designed to help reduce cancer disparities and improve quality of life among minority populations, has received a $100,000 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Building a Foundation of Health for Women of Color will help cancer survivors by providing education, support, and assistance in developing strategies to integrate physical activity and healthy eating into their daily lives. Currently, black women in Connecticut have higher breast cancer mortality compared with white women; more than one-third do not exercise nor do they eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables; and 75 percent are overweight. This culturally based program will educate cancer survivors to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors, which have the potential to moderate their risk for cancer. The grant will serve minority survivors in the New Haven and Bridgeport areas.

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