Minnesota Nursing magazine

From the Dean

Our impact in tumultuous times

Social determinants of health

Dean Connie White DelaneyDear Friends,

As nurses, we understand how the air we breathe, the water and food we consume, our homes, families, relationships, employment and much more shape our ability to thrive. Nurses design and deliver care for patients, families and communities within the full context of their lives.

Are we really doing all we can to affect health and well-being in these unsettling times? Reflecting on recent events here and across the country, we are reminded of fear and hostility’s affect on our well-being. In Minnesota — a state that leads the nation on indicators of health, education and quality of life — hate crimes were up 25 percent over the previous year. A suburban mosque was recently bombed.

In this issue of Minnesota Nursing we lift up our unique integrative health and healing specialty of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which affords nurses emerging and ancient methods for addressing stress, anxiety, chronic pain and well-being. We hosted a session on Asian Wisdom for a Western World by artist and philosopher Chungliang Al Huang made possible by Ruth Stricker in partnership with The Marsh, a center for balance and fitness. We highlight a recent discussion with Susan Hassmiller of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in which she calls on doctoral students to get involved in environmental and social justice issues outside the clinic or hospital. We describe a program evaluation of a school district’s restorative justice program aimed at reducing school violence and discrimination. Another story highlights the value of physical activity in promoting healthy development for kids being treated for cancer.

In this issue, we also discuss the toll that unstable housing and discrimination take on health as observed by our guest, Pulitzer Prizewinning author, Matthew Desmond in his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

As members of the most trusted profession in America, we can bear witness as practitioners, speak truth, share knowledge and honor the dignity of all. We can focus our research on the cost of an unhealthy culture on patients and communities. We commit to working together to advance a culture of health.

Connie White Delaney
Professor and Dean