Nurses turn their attention to closing disparities in cardiovascular health

Kathy Wright, PhD, APRN-CNS

At the front lines of care, nurses have a unique window into the kaleidoscope of factors that shape a person’s health. Now, researchers at The Ohio State University College of Nursing are turning their sights to the intersection of health care disparities and the No. 1 killer of Americans: cardiovascular disease.

The college is prioritizing cardiovascular health for minoritized populations in several ways, including a shared project with the College of Education and Human Ecology, funded by The Ohio State University’s Race, Inclusion, and Social Inequity Initiative (RAISE), to explore connections among cardiovascular health disparities and social determinants of health, including economic stability, health care access and quality, social support, environment, education and the effects of racism.

Kathy Wright, PhD, APRN-CNS, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program scholar, is studying the cardiovascular health of long-term caregivers, research that includes active community involvement. “Nurses have a lot of power and respect within the community,” Dr. Wright says, “and I believe it’s really our holistic health orientation that makes us well-equipped to work in the community.”

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