In a highly competitive selection process, Associate Professor of Nursing Renee Colsch, PhD, RN, SCRN, CQ, was chosen to attend the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Institute this June to continue her research on “Women’s Prodromal and Unique Symptoms of Stroke,” often overlooked by health professionals.
As described in the research article “Unique Stroke Symptoms in Women: A Review” that Colsch and her co-author Glenda Lindseth, PhD, RN, FADA, FAAN published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, “Research suggests that there is a delay in recognizing unique stroke symptoms in women by both healthcare professionals and the general population. Women experience unique symptoms of nausea/vomiting, headache, dizziness, and cognitive dysfunction more often than men. Current assessment tools and registries are not sensitive and specific to measuring unique stroke symptoms in women.” Colsch hopes her research, “will facilitate healthcare professional screening tools and educational materials tailored to women of color, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment.”
The Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) — Located in the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) — promotes health equity by engaging researchers and community partners in conducting rigorous and innovative public health research. The CHER Institute is a six-day, intensive research training experience which, “enhances the readiness of early career faculty at minority-serving institutions across the United States to conduct community-based, social, and health behavior research and to increase their representation among National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded investigators,” as stated on their website. After the Institute, Colsch will be a CHER Fellow, joining the ranks of previous CHER Institute research scholars from around the country.
“The goal of the CHER Institute is personally meaningful in that this opportunity will provide an unparalleled opportunity for further development of my skills as an early career nursing research investigator,” says Colsch. “Mentorship from nationally-recognized social and health research experts fit my research trajectory and will facilitate me in attaining my long-term goals of reducing the effects of stroke among women by reducing gender, ethnic, and racial inequities.”
The CHER Institute objectives closely aligns with St. Catherine University’s strategic plan, mission and vision. Through this opportunity, Colsch aims to cultivate partnerships that will increase support for nursing research and hopefully lead to an NIH-funded study, the results of which she can disseminate at the national level. She says, “To me, St. Kate's mission of educating women to lead and influence means empowering women to overcome barriers and make choices that are meaningful to them. My participation at the CHER Institute supports St. Kate's mission in that I hope my passion for nursing research will inspire future nursing research leaders that will advance and shape our field through a body of knowledge having positive immediate and lasting effects on different populations.”
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