Picture of Executive Director, Dr. Tara Cortes
Dear Friends,

I am sure many of you saw the announcement of the $1M gift HIGN received from the estate of Robert "Jay" Paul. This gift will provide a foundation for the next road in the journey for HIGN post COVID-19. We will keep you updated as we plan and prioritize what we do in the months and years to come. 

One of the commemorations in the month of April is Minority Health, and its theme this year is Better Health Through Better Understanding. This theme illustrates the need for population health through promotion of wellness and management of disease. While we have historically linked disease prevalence to ethnicity and genetic make-up, research is demonstrating diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and certain cancers are more directly related to socioeconomic factors which persist in certain populations. People who live with financial and housing instability, lack access to healthy food choices or healthcare, and are less educated have a higher prevalence of many chronic medical conditions. Minority populations are more frequently living with the impact of these social determinants of health. This week's guest column discusses ways community resources can support vulnerable populations and increase health literacy. 

Spring is upon us - enjoy the change in season.

Best Wishes,
Tara A. Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN

National Minority Health Month
Tina Sadarangani
Assistant Professor
NYU Meyers
April has been designated National Minority Health Month, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This annual campaign highlights the tremendous need, nation-wide to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities and American Indian/Alaska Native communities and reduce health disparities.
The theme for 2023 is: Better Health Through Better Understanding which is intended to emphasize the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare services, information, and resources in promoting health equity.
The United States grew significantly more diverse over the past decade, with surges in the number of people who identify as Asian, Hispanic, or more than one race. At the same time, in the United States, just 14% of the population has proficient health literacy, 20% of people speak a language other than English, and 60% of adults place importance on visiting a health care provider who understands their culture.
Health disparities—inequities in the quality of health, health care and health outcomes experienced by groups based on social, racial, ethnic, economic and environmental characteristics—persist across the nation. They are driven largely by the social, economic, and environmental conditions where people live, learn, work, and play - factors commonly referred to as social determinants of health. Health disparities create an additional $93 billion in excess medical costs each year.
People of color, especially those with low socioeconomic status, are all disproportionately exposed to conditions, policies, and environments that may have a negative impact on their health and lead to health disparities. For example, older Black Americans are twice as likely as older White Americans to have Alzheimer's or another dementia, and 35% less likely to be formally diagnosed.
When it comes to healthy aging – a focus of HIGN – research shows that people who have higher education attainment, better jobs, or higher income tend to have better physical or cognitive function compared to those who experience socioeconomic disadvantage. The rapid aging of populations, and the rising numbers of older people living with multiple chronic conditions, highlights the need to develop policies, practices, and programs to support healthy aging for all through the life course and address health inequalities.
To achieve health equity for diverse populations, change at multiple levels (societal, community, individual) is needed. However, better understanding, as this month’s theme suggests, begins with exploration; and that can start in our interactions with one another. Better Health Through Better Understanding, is underscored by the notion that when patients are provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate information, they are empowered to create healthier outcomes for themselves and their communities.
Better Understanding begins with cross-cultural learning about a person’s health beliefs, such as what they think may have caused in illness, what kind of treatment they think they should receive, and what results they hope to gain. National Minority Health Month reminds us that it is critical that in whatever setting we live, work, or play, we commit ourselves to collaborating with one another and developing the skills to provide high quality equitable care that that can cut across literacy, culture, and language.
Did You Know?
HIGN Receives $1 Million Dollar Gift from the Estate of Jay Paul

HIGN received a one-million-dollar gift from the estate of Jay R. Paul. Paul was a long-time supporter of the Institute thanks to HIGN Executive Director Tara Cortes, whose leadership inspired his interest and philanthropy. 

This gift will create an endowment that supports HIGN's mission to advance age-sensitive and equitable health care for older adults and support the education of our future nursing workforce through scholarships to undergraduate nursing students who are HIGN scholars and pursuing a career in geriatric nursing.   
Gerontological Certification Review Course

The Gerontological Certification Review Course is a collection of 13 modules created by HIGN. These modules review knowledge of geriatric nursing and can be used in conjunction with conventional test preparation for the Gerontological Nursing Certification Exam. 

Earn All 30 Nursing Continuing Professional Development Contact Hours Needed to Sit for the Exam!

HIGN Highlights

Prof. Ab Brody presented the session "Reengineering care to meet the needs of persons living with dementia and their care partners residing in the community" at the National Academy of Medicine's Health Care Services Board as part of a session on addressing current gaps in primary care for persons living with dementia.

Prof. Fidel Lim authored an essay Why I Go To the Office for the American Nurse journal, the official journal of the American Nurses Association.


Qi, X., Zhu, Z., & Wu, B. (2023). The Promise and Peril of ChatGPT in Geriatric Nursing Education: What We Know and Do Not Know. Aging and Health Research, 100136.

Qi, X., Belsky, D. W., Yang, Y. C., & Wu, B. (2023). Association Between Types of Loneliness and Risks of Functional Disability in Older Men and Women: A Prospective Analysis. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Wu, B., Luo, H., Tan, C., Qi, X., Sloan, F. A., Kamer, A. R., ... & Plassman, B. L. (2023). Diabetes, Edentulism, and Cognitive Decline: A 12-Year Prospective Analysis. Journal of Dental Research, 00220345231155825.