VUSN matching program to inspire philanthropy, drive research and work to ease health inequities

In support of its commitment to fighting health inequities, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has launched an ambitious campaign to raise and match $1 million to support health disparity research.


Pamela R. Jeffries, dean and Valere Potter Distinguished Professor of Nursing, recently announced the school’s Nursing Health Equity Fellowship program, setting aside $1 million for health equity research at the school and asking VUSN supporters to make a 1:1 philanthropic match to fund this critical research.

VUSN has long tackled health inequities—the systemic variations that prevent certain communities from attaining optimal health—through research, student clinical experiences and faculty practice. These inequities affect millions of people around the country and are especially pronounced for people of color, those with disabilities, individuals who belong to the LGBTQ+ community and those who live in low-income or rural areas.

The school has increased its emphasis on health equity in recent years. Recent initiatives have included building health equity education and efforts into its new Master of Nursing registered nurse program, providing COVID-19 vaccines to the uninsured through Vanderbilt’s mobile vaccine program, and conducting interdisciplinary research within the Vanderbilt Center for Research on Inequality and Health, a pioneering center launched this fall in partnership with the College of Arts and Science.

“For nurses to provide world-class support to our patients, we must also address the broader circumstances, contexts and injustices that underlie their care,” Jeffries said. “I initiated this match program to amplify health equity research today and to instill a lifelong passion for this issue among our talented faculty and students.”

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