AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), awarded more than $700,000 to 16 projects in 11 states and the District of Columbia offering promising solutions aimed at eliminating structural inequities, particularly structural racism, within the nursing profession, health systems, or community, and for projects that help improve access to care and services for those most disproportionately impacted by health disparities.

Read the press release.

Read more about the projects below.


Capital City Black Nurses Association Project Description
Establishing SHINES (Summer Health Institute for Nurse Exploration and Success), a program that introduces high school and community college students to careers in nursing and health care through a two-week summer immersive experience. This program is designed for students from communities underrepresented in nursing. Capital City Black Nurses Association will create and lead a learning collaborative for similar programs across the nation.

See the work in action:


Carter Todd, MS, MBA, RN, CCRN

Aron King, MS, RN

Piri Ackerman-Barger, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN

Cedars-Sinai Health System
Implementing virtual interpretation services for advanced practice nurses to utilize during in-home visits with low-income older adults.


  • Harriet Udin Aronow, PhD
  • Bernice Coleman, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Regents of the University of California
Implementing a referral process, of low-income patients within Maternal and Child Health Services to the Let’s Get Set app, a tax filing app designed for low-income parents with young children to maximize their receipt of tax credits. Testing the effectiveness of trusted health care messengers in increasing access to the Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credit.


  • Kristen Choi, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Cecile Yama, MD

District of Columbia

The George Washington University
Administering Social Mission Metrics (SMM) self-assessment survey to associate degree nursing program leaders across the country to establish a social mission performance baseline and identify improvement opportunities for nursing programs to advance health equity and social justice.


  • Sonal Batra, MD, MST, FACEP
  • Sylvia Ezekilova


Emory University
Expanding the Alter program which is designed to increase dementia awareness and create communities to support African American families facing dementia through partnering with places of worship.


  • Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN
  • Tiffani Patterson


Louisiana Nurses Foundation
Providing an educational series to train nurses as future facilitators of dialogues on health equity and race. The Louisiana Action Coalition will collaborate with Dialogue on Race Louisiana to produce curricula for nurses to address racism in health care and develop facilitator skills.


  • Coletta Barrett, RN, MHA, FACHE
  • Lisa Hawthorne, PhD, MSN, RN, PHN, CNE
  • Ahnyel Burkes, DNP, RN-BC , NEA-BC


Luminis Health Research Institute
Expanding the Enhanced Preoperative Education Pathway (EPrEP), an evidence-based intervention in which nurse navigators provide preoperative education to patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty. EPrEP will be expanded to hospitals serving majority African American patients.


  • Paul J. King, MD
  • Justin J. Turcotte, PhD, MBA
  • Barry Meisenberg, MD

Meritus Health
Establishing a summer camp program to increase the number of junior and senior high school students who are interested in nursing and encouraging students to participate in the health care apprenticeship program through Washington County Public Schools. This program is designed for students from communities underrepresented in the nursing profession.


  • Sarah Harne-Britner, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC
  • Melissa McHugh Short, MBA, MN, RN


Michigan Health Council
Implementing a comprehensive health equity education and training program that explores the structural concepts of implicit bias, health literacy, and social determinates of health and equity. Draft language will be developed that can be used by other states to initiate discussion with policy makers on the importance of increasing knowledge and understanding of health equity principles.


  • Melanie Brim, MHA
  • Megan Erskine, MPA


Augsburg University
Expanding staffing support and supplies for the Augsburg Health Commons, a health-focused drop-in center led by nursing faculty and students that serves patients facing housing instability, migrant communities and African American communities. This program aims to reduce stigma and bias among nurses through more intimate interactions. 


  • Katie Clark, DNP
  • Paula O’Loughlin


Nurses on Boards Coalition
Developing and testing the first comprehensive tool to measure the value of nurses on boards, commissions, and appointments. The data collected will examine the impact of nurse trustees on addressing the Social Determinates of Health and leading change on issues of structural racism.


  • Laurie Benson, BSN
  • Michele Gardom, DNP, RN, CENP
  • Rita Wray, MBA, RN, BC, FAAN


Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Creating a Healthcare Mentorship Program to recruit and retain a diverse group of students interested in and pursuing a health science career and preparing high school students to take on health care careers.


  • Andrea Poynter, PhD, MSN, RN-CNE
  • Michael Whittaker


Utah Commission on Aging
Implementing and evaluating Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) curriculum designed to identify and remove barriers contributing to structural racism in nursing education.


  • Joan Gallegos, MSW, RN
  • Teresa Garrett, DNP, RN
  • Rob Ence


Marquette University
Implementing a clinical rotation for nursing students at the Milwaukee Christian Center to provide nutrition education to a predominantly Hispanic population.


  • Sylvia Pena, PhD, RN, CNEN
  • Marilyn Frenn, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FTOS, FAAN
  • Juanita Terrie Garcia, PhD, RN
  • Katherine Durben

Wisconsin Center for Nursing
Strengthening the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR) to create a Deployable Volunteer Wisconsin Nurse Corp to address public health emergencies through a health equity lens.


  • Barbara Nichols, DNSc (hon), MS, RN, FAAN
  • Kelly Kruse Nelles MS RN APRN-BC
  • Suzanne Bottum-Jones MA RN

West Virginia

Future of Nursing West Virginia
Expanding the nurse entrepreneurship program to increase the number of minority nurse-owned businesses in West Virginia.


  • Chris Bly
  • Tessa White, CPA, CFP(R), CGMA
  • Laure Marino, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, CNE