Reflections on African-American Nursing History Conference

Students from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College attended the 8th Annual African-American Nursing History Conference on February 25, 2015. Hosted by the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the conference focused on health disparities, promoting community wellness and identifying evidence-based research that affects changes in vulnerable populations throughout the community.

Goldfarb was a proud sponsor of the conference, and was excited to have so many students attend. Below are just a few reflections on, and photos from, the conference that our students shared.

AANH Conference - 2015“I am grateful I was granted the opportunity to attend the African-American Nursing History Conference. The speakers were outstanding!!!  Their background, knowledge, and experiences were a breath of fresh air. I left the conference feeling encouraged and motivated – wanting to provide education, care, and support to my community.”  – Andrea S.

AANH Conference - 2015“What an eye opening experience! The African-American Nursing History Conference increased my awareness about a host of health disparities among the African-American community. As a nurse, I feel it is extremely important to keep abreast of what issues are present within the community, and how I can contribute to correcting the problem. The speaker, Dr. Melvin Blanchard, gave a wonderful presentation. He began by explaining some of the causes for issues prevalent in the African-American community, such as heart failure, cancer, diabetes, etc.   In his words, “the root of the issue” is the onset of many harmful behaviors. He followed by what those habits lead to and finally ending with the final result. He called this “Roots, Trunk and Fruits.” I learned that by incorporating small, healthy steps into everyday life one can reverse the negative effects on their health and have a huge impact on future wellness.  It was such a wonderful experience; I hope that I can have the opportunity to go in the upcoming years.” – Ashley T.

AANH Conference - 2015“After attending the AAHN Conference, I was proud that I chose a career field that I can contribute to society in a positive way. It was such an honor to be in the presence of nurses who have many experiences in the field. The keynote speakers brought to light the issues that we as nurses have to be active advocates for in our communities and for our patients.” – Timira M.

AANH Conference - 2015“The conference was truly a pleasure to attend, packed with informative guest speakers and opportunity to network with others in the field of nursing and public health. The keynote speaker of the morning, Dr. Melvin Blanchard, was AWESOME, enlightening and kept everyone engaged in the topic, “Ask Not What Our Healthcare System Can Do For Us; Ask What We Can Do For Our Health.” His presentation was a reality check on where healthcare is headed in this country and how it affects us as a WHOLE! The breakout sessions which I attended were just as enlightening, and the groups of speakers towards the end of the day were just as impactful! It was an action packed day full of engaging speakers with tons of beneficial information that even brought us to laughter at times…which we learned was healthy & helps us burn additional calories! I’ll encourage my cohorts to attend next year’s conference in hopes of developing our cultural competence as we enter the practice of nursing, because we all serve the same patients and the conference addresses the concerns within OUR community!  – Melanie G.

Outreach in Honduras

In June, through the Office of Nursing Research at Goldfarb School of Nursing, students and faculty members visited Honduras for two weeks.  The weeks were full of peer-to-peer teaching, working at a medical brigade and a little sightseeing.

Dr. Donna Taliaferro, Paul McKee, Jr. associate dean for research and professor, recounts some of the highlights from the trip.

The first week we were at the College in Santa Barbara in Honduras and the students delivered the HIV modules in Spanish…they were amazing! The modules given were based on a research study we held when visiting Cameroon last year. These modules will also be given on our visit to Swaziland this next year. 

The second week we were at the medical brigade up in the mountains in Atima. The students and faculty handled triage all week. Our students meant every patient that came through the gates – all in Spanish! The students took turns going out on outreach trips into the rural areas, to the special school and working in the OB clinic. All of our students handled each and every patient with respect and sought advice when needed.

We even got to witness one of our students save a teenager’s life. During a visit at the special school, a teen was stung by a bee. While the teen really only had swelling of the hand, our student decided that the teen needed to come back to our ER just to be checked out. Even though the teen had no difficulty in breathing, and only the swelling, our student thought better – and he was right. The teen ended up going into anaphylactic shock and would have died if not in our ER at the time where we could treat him immediately.

All of our students did amazing work…I couldn’t have been prouder.”

Learn more about Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College Office of Nursing Research by visiting

To see photos from the Honduras visit, click here.