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Nursing research center established

With a five-year, $1.5 million National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) grant, New Mexico State University's Department of Nursing and the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing have formed the Southwest Partnership Center for nursing research.


artnership will help us build our nursing research infrastructure," said Mary Hoke, head of New Mexico State's nursing department. "The idea is to pair more experienced researchers with junior and minority faculty."

Projects focus on health disparities in rural, low-income, Mexican-American and American Indian populations. In addition to forming the partnership center and building the capacity for nursing research in these population areas, the grant aims to increase the number and quality of studies by nursing faculty and increase the number of minority nurse investigators.

"We live and work in an area where we do have a large number of medically underserved," Hoke said. "Nurses are the largest number of health providers, so their research can help advance changes in health status faster."

Hoke said New Mexico State's position as a large educator of Hispanic nurses and the common border interests that the university shares with UT-Austin make the partnership a good fit. She said the two nursing programs are similar and the partnership is helping the New Mexico State nursing department grow by having research opportunities to offer junior faculty. The research opportunities also assist the department as it works toward offering a doctoral program.

The Las Cruces location for the center will be officially opened after the completion of the College of Health and Social Services building now under construction on the New Mexico State campus. The center is currently based in the Department of Nursing in Breland Hall.

Projects to be funded by the center in 2003 are:

--"Mexican-American Parents' Perception of Their Relationship with Nurses in a Child Immunization Clinic," principal investigator Joanne Hess of NMSU, co-investigator Joy Penticuff or UT-Austin.

--"Explanatory Models of Eating Behavior, Weight and Health Among Adult Mexican-Americans," principal investigator Mary Hoke of NMSU, co-investigator Gayle Timmerman of UT-Austin.

--"Development of a Culturally-Sensitive Measure of Health Behaviors in Mexican-American Immigrant Pregnant Women," principal investigator Robin Flescher of UT-Austin, co-investigator Laura Dasing of NMSU.

--"Delivery of a Community-Based Home Safety Intervention Utilizing Promotora Networks in Central Texas and Southern New Mexico," principal investigator Sherry Hendrickson of UT-Austin, co-investigator Jacquelyn Williams of NMSU.

The NINR grant has also made possible four projects that started in 2002. They are:

--"Development of a Culturally Valid Instrument to Measure Motivation to Exercise in Mexican-American Adults," principal investigator Becky Keele-Smith of NMSU, co-investigators Sandra Benavides-Vaello and Shirley Laffrey, both of UT-Austin.

--"Characteristics of Community Interventions Preferred by Mexican-American Women to Decrease Depression," principal investigator Alison Druck of NMSU, co-investigator Alexandra Garcia of UT-Austin.

--"Cultural Interpretations of Diabetes in Texas Kickapoo," principal investigator Cynthia Conger of UT-Austin, co-investigator Elaine Luna of NMSU.

--"Mexican-American Parents' and Adolescents' Perceptions of Diabetes," principal investigator Kathleen May of UT-Austin, co-investigator Trinette Radasa of NMSU.

For more information call (505) 646-2167.