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Million-dollar nursing research center to open

The Southwest Partnership Center for nursing research will host a grand opening ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at the New Mexico State University College of Health and Social Services Building Suite 132. The center was established in 2003 with a five-year $1.5 million National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) grant in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.


artnership is helping 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."

Representatives from NMSU and UT-Austin nursing programs will be available to answer questions and discuss the status of some of the research projects funded by the center. Projects focus on health disparities in rural, low-income, Mexican-American and American Indian populations.

"We live and work in an area where we 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 partnership is helping the New Mexico State nursing department grow by having research opportunities to offer junior faculty.

Parking for the Health and Social Services Building is located in lots 11, 14 and 16 on the east and north sides of the building off of Jordan Road and Solano Drive. One-day parking permits are available at http://www.campusvisitor.com

Projects 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, 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) 646-3812.