Seventh Annual African-American Nursing History Conference at UMSL

The College of Nursing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will present the Seventh Annual African-American Nursing History Conference from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the J.C. Penney Conference Center on UMSL’s North Campus. This year’s conference’s theme is “Health Disparities: Initiatives that are Bridging the Gap,” and will focus on diseases such as cancer (breast, colon, prostate), HIV/AIDS, obesity, mental health, and their impact on the African American community. The conference also provides free health screenings.

“Each year the conference continues to have the support of the St. Louis community,” said Vanessa Loyd, assistant teaching professor of nursing and director of continuing education and outreach at UMSL. “As an organization that is committed to improving health care in the St. Louis community, the College of Nursing is inviting you to support this event through participation.”

This conference is for nurses and other professionals in the health care field, future nurses, and high school students. It is especially for those people in the community who are interested in “Initiatives that are Bridging the Gap” in addressing health care disparities, health care equity, and health care promotion.

As a way to increase awareness and decrease the disparities in the community, the conference site will offer free health screenings to the community. Health screenings include: weight/height/BMI, blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, glucose, cholesterol, prostate, mental health, and mammograms. Mammograms are by appointment only with Mercy Breast Center Mammography Van from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Call 314-251-5678 and mention the conference to schedule. All other screenings are provided on a walk-in basis.

“Minorities have higher incidences of chronic diseases, higher mortality and poorer health outcomes,” Loyd said. “To address health care disparities, health care equity and health care promotion, it takes organizational community involvement by increasing awareness and action. Among the disease-specific examples of racial and ethnic disparities in the United States, the cancer incidence rate in African-Americans is 10% higher than that of Caucasians. Additionally, adult African Americans and Latinos have approximately twice the risk as Caucasians of developing diabetes. Minorities also have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and infant mortality.”

Individuals interested in attending the conference must register in advance. The registration fee is $40, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Please note that participants do not need to register and pay a fee to take part in the free health screenings. The fee is only for access to the conference speakers. To register or for more information visit the or call 314-516-5655.

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies at UMSL provides courses, programs, conferences, and events that fulfill degree completion, professional development and personal enrichment goals for the lifelong learner. For more information, please visit

Leslie Patterson

Leslie Patterson