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Villanova Nursing’s Dr. Bridgette Brawner Co-edits Special Journal Issue on Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health

Dr. Bridgette Brawner

Researcher Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN, Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations at the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, was an invited co-editor for the journal Research in Nursing & Health’s Special Issue on Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), released online March 16. The April 2022 issue is open to all because of the critical nature of the subject which touches every aspect of health care.

"We are at a pivotal moment where health equity efforts are finally receiving the attention--and financial support--deserved. There is still much to do, but I am encouraged to see the shift to tackle social and structural determinants of inequities, so that we can truly support all individuals to reach their full health potential," says Dr. Brawner.  

The curated collection is meant to not only share science but also to inspire thought and action. Some key points illustrated in the content include:

·       Religious practices can influence health status, such as developing noncommunicable diseases.

·       School assessments of youth mental health must include those youth who are more adversely affected by SDOH and appropriate follow-up on results.    

·       Where you live- and your specific housing status- matters in your access to and level of health care.

·       Culture needs to be understood to design and disseminate effective sexual health messaging.

·       Health disparities still surround preterm birth, cesarean birth, and postpartum depression and may be influenced by such factors as stress, communication and trust.

·       The health of caregivers of family members with dementia can be improved with a language-appropriate stress busting tool.

Dr. Brawner and her co-editors, Penn Nursing faculty J. Margo Brooks Carthon, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Adriana Perez, PhD, ANP-BC, FAAN, note in their guest editorial, “Nurses are in a prime position to continue to tackle SDOH that contribute to health inequities. We hope that as you read this special issue you are invigorated to integrate the information presented here into your clinical practice, research, leadership, service, education, policy, and other endeavors.”

Brooks Carthon, J. M., Perez, G. A., Brawner, B. M. (2022) Health equity and social determinants of health. Research in Nursing & Health, 45 (2), 139-141.