Five New Grants Help to Mitigate the Effects of Racism on Health

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New York, NY (September 27, 2022) — The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation (RAHF) today announced the award of five grants, of $50,000 each, that will support bold, early-stage interventions designed to improve the health and healthcare of marginalized populations.

The work of this year’s Hillman Emergent Innovation (HEI) grantees represents nursing-driven efforts that challenge conventional strategies for improving care for populations affected by racism.

“Mainstream healthcare has been woefully slow in addressing racism’s impact on health,” said Ahrin Mishan, Executive Director of The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation. “The innovative, community-centered approaches we are funding this year are a testament to the vital role nurses play in creating more equitable systems of care.”

Tackling Structural Racism and Decades of Discrimination

The 2022 HEI awards will launch a diverse set of programs across the United States that will provide more effective, equitable and culturally-congruent models of care for American Indian, Latinx and African American communities.

The year's grants will support these five nurse-led projects:  

  • Designing a Trauma-Informed Community Health Worker Intervention to Address American Indian Social Invisibility and Health Inequities
    Serious health disparities persist among American Indian communities in South Dakota and beyond. This project aims to identify the healthcare priorities and needs of the Lakota community, and to collaboratively develop a culturally responsive, trauma-informed program to train and support community health workers.
    Principal Investigators: Mary Isaacson, PhD, RN, CHPN and Tiara Ruff, DNP, RN, MBA, South Dakota State University
  • Yurok NET Wellness: A Culturally-Congruent, Nursing-Driven, Village-Centered Model to Treat Trauma for Wellness Court Clients
    Historical trauma, racism, and marginalization have led to increased psychosocial risk, morbidity, and mortality in the Yurok Tribe of Northern California, the state’s largest surviving federally recognized tribe. In this project, tribal members will pilot a culturally-centered intervention that directly treats the underlying individual and intergenerational trauma contributing to poor health in the community.
    Principal Investigator: Kylea Liese, RN, CNM, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • AI-Enhanced Nursing Intervention Platform for Latino Family Caregivers
    Latinx children with chronic conditions are more susceptible to higher morbidity rates than their peers, leading to disproportionate physical, mental, and financial caregiving burdens for their families. This project will tailor an existing artificial intelligence platform – Caring for Caregivers Online – to provide culturally-congruent support to Latinx caregivers.
    Principal Investigators: Weichao Yuwen, PhD, RN and Maggie Ramirez, PhD, University of Washington
  • Development andTesting of Healthcare-Team Focused Implementation Strategies to Improve Latinx Teens’ Engagement in Depression Treatment
    Latinx teenagers are more likely to experience depression but less likely to seek and receive treatment than their peers. This project will address inequities in depression treatment among Latinx adolescents by elevating the role of interpreters as trusted members of the patient-provider team.
    Principal Investigator: Allison Stafford, PhD, RN, Duke University
  • A Digital Storytelling Intervention to Promote the Health of African American Family Caregivers
    African Americans (AA) experience a higher burden of family caregiving and worse physical health than their white counterparts, yet are often underrepresented in studies on caregiver health. This project will implement and evaluate a digital storytelling intervention, in which healthy behaviors among AA caregivers are promoted through the creation and sharing of life stories.
    Principal Investigators: Abiola Keller, PhD, MPH, PA-C and Kristin Haglund, PhD, RN, PNP, FNP, APRN, Marquette University

About The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation

The Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation advances bold, nursing-driven innovations that promote equitable, person-centered, and trustworthy care. It is committed to improving the health and healthcare of all people, especially populations who experience inequity, discrimination, oppression, and indifference. Its goal is to help ignite and develop game-changing interventions and to cultivate a vibrant ecosystem of nurse innovators, grantees, and partners dedicated to building a healthier, more equitable future for all. For more information, please visit  

Media Contact
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