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The Louisiana Action Coalition receives $45,696 Award to Advance Health Equity Through Nursing

One of 16 Recipients Nationwide of AARP & RWJF Health Equity Innovations Fund Awards

The Louisiana Action Coalition (LAC) is among sixteen organizations to receive a Health Equity Innovation Fund award. The awards from the AARP Center for Health Equity through NursingSM and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), are for projects offering promising solutions aimed at eliminating structural inequities, particularly structural racism, within the nursing profession, health systems, or community, and for projects that help improve access to care and services for those most disproportionately impacted by health disparities. The 16 projects sharing the over $700,000 in awards also support the advancement of one or more of the recommendations in the National Academy of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity.

The LAC Dialogue on Race for Nurses project began on January 1st 2023 and ends December 31st. 2024. This project will be conducted to address necessary dialogue throughout the state on racism in nursing. The LAC will collaborate with organization - Dialogue on Race Louisiana (DORLA) - to deliver a “train the trainer” series to educate nurses to facilitate open dialogue regarding racism through an ongoing series of presentations. Presentations will be implemented through the LACs Regional Action Coalitions (RACs). Trainers will facilitate a 6-week series throughout the state in their local communities. Grant co-lead, Coletta Barrett, Vice President of Missions at Our Lady of the Lake said, “The Louisiana Action Coalition’s DOR for nursing can be a cost-effective, scalable approach to address structural racism. Taking the DOR series, adapting the content with input from nurses, and having nurses trained as facilitators to lead local discussions are the grant’s intent from AARP and the Action Coalition.”

“I often quote Margaret Meade, the social anthropologist, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. “The Louisiana Action Coalition is committed to fostering a culture of health and the elimination of racism in Nursing.” Said Coletta Barrett.

The 16 winning projects are from: California (3), the District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland (2), Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin (2) and West Virginia.

Structural racism is pervasive within the nation’s health and health care systems, and despite progress, still poses significant barriers to health and wellbeing for far too many. Additionally, health and wealth disparities disproportionately affect people of color, as well as older Americans, women, people with low-income, those with disabilities, those from LGBTQ communities, and those who live in isolated rural communities.

“This is our first time offering this award and we received an impressive number of applications addressing a range of issues and potential solutions,” said Susan C. Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior vice president and director of the AARP Public Policy Institute, and chief strategist of the Center to Champion Nursing in America (CCNA) and Family Caregiving Initiatives. “It’s clear to me that nursing recognizes its role and is committed to advancing health equity. It’s an exciting time for our profession, and for the Campaign and the AARP Center for Health Equity through Nursing. We have work to do, and we are all in.”

“Longer, healthier lives are not just the result of individuals making healthy choices,” said Jean Accius, PhD, senior vice president for AARP Global Thought Leadership. “Good health and longevity are simply not available to everyone in this country. There are structural barriers and biases in the health care system and how it’s funded.” He continued, “I am very proud of AARP’s commitment to supporting nurses in the fight against health disparities.”

“Nurses are everywhere in our communities – from the bedside to our schools and in board rooms,” said Beth Toner, RN, MSN, MJ, and senior communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). “They see firsthand the impact of the structural injustices baked into the systems that impact health. At RWJF, we understand that their expertise and innovation are absolutely essential to dismantling structural racism within our health systems and beyond,” she continued. “And for the same reasons, we are helping to fund these awards. The innovation, passion and commitment we see in all these grantees is exactly what I expect from nurses.”

The awards will be administered by CCNA at the AARP Center for Health Equity through Nursing. (Read more below.)

About the AARP Center for Health Equity through Nursing and the Campaign for Action:

The AARP Center for Health Equity through Nursing serves as a vehicle for change and national resource for advancing health equity. CCNA is an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and it runs the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the same organizations building a healthier America through nursing. Since its founding in 2007, CCNA has created national and state multi-sector networks to stimulate collaboration, innovation and spur for better health and well-being through nursing.

About the Louisiana Action Coalition:

Louisiana’s Action Coalition is spearheaded by the Louisiana Council of Administrators of Nursing Education (LaCANE) and AARP Louisiana, with guidance from a diverse group of stakeholders and professionals from both nursing and non-nursing fields. The Louisiana Action Coalition Dialogue on Race in Nursing will be developed in partnership with the Dialogue on Race Louisiana Program created by Maxine Crump, CEO/President.

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