National Health Promotion Partnership Increases Lupus Awareness and Education for Nurses Sorority Conference in Las Vegas

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The Directors of Health Promotion & Education (DHPE) has partnered with Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., a national sorority of registered, professional nurses and nursing students, in efforts to increase lupus education and awareness among healthcare providers by hosting education sessions at all of Chi Eta Phi’s Regional Conferences.

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Chi Eta Phi Officers: Priscilla Murphy, 1st Vice President / Pamela Latimore, National Treasurer/ Dr. Elcedo Bradley, National President / Dr. Rhonda Hollis, Southeast Regional Director / Dr. Sarah Ki

Lupus is a difficult disease to diagnosis and this partnership with the DHPE LEAP will ensure that our professional nurse membership is better prepared to address lupus health disparities.

Friday, May 5, 2017, the Directors of Health Promotion & Education (DHPE) completes its tour of all five regions of the Chi Eta Phi Sorority at the 64th Annual Southwest Regional Conference, South Point Casino and Hotel, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV.

“With the average diagnosis timeframe being 4 to 6 years, lupus patients need more health care providers to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of lupus to decrease the diagnosis timeframe and help lupus patients have better health outcomes,” said DHPE Lupus Education and Awareness for Patients, Professionals and Providers (LEAP) Program Director Thometta Cozart, MS, MPH, CHES, CPH.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease with no cure that can damage any part of the body, including skin, joints and organs. Current research shows that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus, per the Lupus Foundation of America. Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.

“Lupus is a difficult disease to diagnosis and this partnership with the DHPE LEAP will ensure our professional nurse membership is better prepared to address lupus health disparities, such as late diagnosis among women of color that may lead to organ failure and premature death,” said Chi Eta Phi National Vice President Priscilla J. Murphy LPCMH, MEd, BSN, RN, and owner of Nylex Educational & Counseling Services, Inc.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, lupus patients see at least three providers, including nurses, before receiving an accurate lupus diagnosis. Lupus educational sessions featuring rheumatologists, lupus researchers and lupus patients will be coordinated by DHPE LEAP and hosted at the regional meetings of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. to educate more nurses on the signs and symptoms of lupus for more accurate diagnosis.

DHPE’s Lupus Education and Awareness for Patients, Professionals and Providers [LEAP] Program Session is scheduled for Friday, May 5, 2017. It will be opened by Thometta Cozart, MS, MPH, CHES, CPH, LEAP Program Director and features: Irene Blanco, MD, MS, Associate Dean of Diversity Enhancement, Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director, Einstein College of Medicine and Lupus Patient Advocate Hetlena Johnson, Chief Volunteer Officer of South Carolina Community Partner, an affiliate of the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. The session will educate on the signs and symptoms of lupus; the descriptive epidemiological assessment of the disease; case studies and the patient-provider perspective.

Established in October 16, 1932, Chi Eta Phi has more than 8,000 sorority members in graduate and undergraduate chapters grouped into five regions based on geographic areas. The chapters are located throughout the United States, District of Columbia, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Island and Liberia, West Africa. The Sorority has programs focusing on health promotion/disease prevention, leadership development, mentoring, recruitment and retention and scholarships.

The partnership is part of the DHPE LEAP Program, which is funded by the national Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. The program targets women of color who are at an increased risk for lupus, as well as educating public health professionals and primary care providers of the signs and symptoms of lupus. The LEAP Program also has national partnerships with the National Medical Association and the National Black Nurses Association. For more program information contact LEAP Project Director Thometta Cozart at tcozart@dhpe.org and visit the program website at http://www.bit.ly/dhpelupus.

The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to build on principles and practices of health promotion and education to strengthen public health capacity in policy and systems change, thereby improving the health of all and achieving health equity. DHPE, founded in 1946, is legally known as the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Health Promotion and Public Health Education (ASTDHPPHE). DHPE is located at 1030 15th Street NW, #275, Washington, DC 20005. For more information, visit http://www.dhpe.org.

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