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Southern Nursing Research Society Honors Dr. Brown & Dr. Yoder

Posted: Feb. 1, 2013

Sharon Brown and Linda Yoder were recently notified of special honors from the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS).

Dr. Sharon Brown

Dr. Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor in Nursing, has been honored with the SNRS Award for Research in Minority Health, which recognizes the contributions of an individual conducting and/or promoting research that has significance for improving the health care of minorities and other under-represented groups in the Southern region.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Brown has pioneered programs culturally tailored for Mexican Americans that have helped participants manage their diabetes and thereby reduce diabetes-related complications. The programs have been tested for efficacy in rural communities located along the U.S.-Mexico border and have been adapted and used by researchers with Hispanic populations in other parts of the United States.

In particular, Dr. Brown has been working with residents of Starr County in the western Rio Grande Valley. It is the poorest county in Texas and the third poorest county in the United States. Many of its residents live in colonias, makeshift communities without basic services such as running water, sewers and electricity.

The county, designated by the State of Texas as “medically underserved,” with ratios of residents to doctors and nurses double and triple the rates of Texas as a whole, has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the state — 50 percent of residents 35 years of age and older either have diabetes or have a close relative who does.

“Our goal, knowing they had little access to health care and few resources, was to determine what we could do to improve their health with the resources they did have,” Dr. Brown said, “because diabetes cuts lifespans by 6 to 10 years.”

Dr. Linda Yoder

Dr. Linda Yoder

Linda Yoder, PhD, MBA, RN, AOCN, FAAN, and an associate professor of Nursing and the director of the Graduate Program in Nursing Administration and Healthcare Systems Management at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, has been honored with the 2013 SNRS Mid-Career Researcher Award.

This award recognizes the contribution of a member whose scholarly work influences outcomes in nursing practice, nursing education, health policy or population health and honors those dedicated to mentoring the development of scholarly work by the next generation of nurse scholars.

“Most of my nursing career has been spent working in hospitals and focusing on research that improves patient care and nursing work environment outcomes. Now I work with graduate students who also are committed to providing safe, quality care in work environments that support excellent care provision,” said Dr. Yoder. “These are challenging times in health care, so we need clinicians, health-care executives, educators and researchers who are dedicated to solving patient care delivery problems.”