University of Pennsylvania nursing dean to speak on advancing health equity May 18

Hispanic and Latinx people are three times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than white people. Black people are 2.8 times more likely to be hospitalized. A key reason: health inequities.

Antonia Villarruel standing in front of greeneryAs health professionals and advocates, nurses can improve equities, says Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Villarruel will address that topic in the next VUSN Dean’s Diversity Lecture, “Advancing Health Equity: A Mandate for Nursing,” on Tuesday, May 18.

The virtual lecture will be noon­–1 p.m. CT. The event is free but registration is required.

“Systematic racism has a very real impact on the health of people of color. Nurses are in position to improve health equity with individual patients, health systems and policy,” says Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “Dean Villarruel will discuss how and what we can do to eliminate health disparities.”

Villarruel, who also directs the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania, will address the personal, interpersonal and broader systemic issues that impact health equity and propose targeted action by nurses.

Villarruel is a bilingual and bicultural researcher with extensive research and practice experience with Latino populations, health promotion and disparities. She has been the principal investigator/co-PI on more than eight randomized controlled trials on reducing high risk behaviors in teens. Her program to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth is widely used throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, and disseminated nationally by the Centers for Disease Control. She is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academy of Medicine, and serves as chair of the NAM Culture of Health Program Advisory Committee and co-chair of the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Campaign for Action.

The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series explores the diversity of backgrounds, cultures, ideas and viewpoints in our world today. It seeks to equip students, faculty, staff and other community members with the knowledge and understanding needed to lead nursing forward in a global society.