Georgia Southern University nursing professor Kathryn Anderson, Ph.D., has been selected to participate in the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities course "Integrating Principles of Science, Practice and Policy in Health Disparities Research."
The two-week intensive course will provide introduction in the principles and practice of health disparities research.
"I applied for this opportunity to be more able to adequately address those who deal with chronic illness and to participate in research that will tell us how to successfully eliminate health disparities in the U.S. and southeast Georgia," said Anderson. "Determining ways to assist in addressing the health disparity and social inequity issues is essential in understanding the needs, dynamics, and intervention required to address change in health behaviors and health outcomes."
The course will focus on concepts, methods, key issues and applications while aiming to provide the knowledge and research tools necessary to conduct and develop translational and transdiciplinary research and interventions to eliminate health disparities. A degree of social, political, cultural, economic and legal theories related to health disparities will also be discussed.
"In southeast Georgia, health disparities and social inequities are rampant. Chronic illnesses including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease rob both men and women of life-years, and mental health issues and substance abuse incidence is co-morbid with these chronic conditions," said Anderson. "With all counties surrounding Georgia Southern identified as health provider shortage areas and poor health statistics throughout the region, addressing health disparities in the School of Nursing research is essential. This course not only will provide me with the needed knowledge and skills to improve my research focus on health disparities, but will allow me to educate and influence faculty and students in addressing health disparities in their research too."
Anderson was recently named as the director of the School of Nursing Center for Scholarship and Research. Her research program has focused on the impact of chronic illness on families and currently explores couple interaction impact in culturally diverse couples fighting breast cancer. Anderson developed the "Family Health System" conceptual approach to family health care in research and practice; the model is used in clinical practice and as a framework guiding research. She is actively involved in facilitating research productivity and mentoring both students and faculty in research focused on chronic illness, health disparities and families.