IU East’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences receives Black Philanthropy Circle grant

The Indiana University East School of Nursing and Health Sciences is one of the first recipients of Indiana University Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Circle inaugural grant. IU East’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SONHS) received $2,600.

The grant is in collaboration with the NAACP Richmond Chapter No. 3066 and Reid Community Outreach, and will be used to fund an open house specifically for members of Richmond’s Black community who are interested in learning about the undergraduate and master’s degree programs available through the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The IU Foundation Affinity Giving group announced funding of over $490,857 in this year’s grant cycles on June 27. The funding includes the grants from Black Philanthropy Circle (BPC). The BPC awarded funds in its inaugural grant cycle on June 20, totaling $51,300 to 11 projects affiliated with five IU campuses to support projects that aim to make to the university a more welcoming, equitable, and accessible for the Black community. The BPC reviewed 17 applications for funding this year and invited 11 leaders to present their projects to the circle.

The Minority Recruitment Open House is noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Richmond. Registration is encouraged and available online at Eventbrite.

Nichole Mann, director of Nursing Student Services at IU East, assisted in writing the grant, and she is working closely to help strengthen the school’s existing relationship with Richmond’s NAACP to recruit Black prospective students in accordance with the school’s mission of contributing to the diversity of the local nursing workforce.

“We are grateful for the generous support of the BPC, and for the opportunity to collaborate with our event partners on the Minority Recruitment Open House,” Mann said. “It is a priority for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences to support talented students from all backgrounds in reaching their goals, and there is a great deal of talent in the Black community that we haven’t connected with yet. Through this event, we are sending a direct message that we see what these students have to offer, and we’re ready to support them on their academic path and into the workforce.”

During the Minority Recruitment Open House, guests will be provided with a meal from Jimmie D’s food truck. The entertainment will be provided by local DJ Donald Deloney. There will be door prizes, giveaway items and activities such as blood pressure screenings administered by IU East nursing students or health information stations.

Nursing major Isaiah Hootman of Richmond uses the Sim Man as Shelly Burns, clinical assistant professor of nursing, provides instruction.

Tom Williams, president of the Richmond NAACP, said the open house would also highlight the chapter’s youth programs.

“The Local Chapter #3066 NAACP Richmond Branch is truly proud to partner with IU East’s Nursing and Reid Health in offering a Minority Nursing Recruitment Fair,” Williams said. “As the local Wayne County community grows more diverse, it is critical that the local health care workforce emulates that diversity of the community that it serves. The registered nurse is on the frontline of the health care system and the consideration of building a pipeline of professionals could not have been timelier. The local chapter is encouraged by the energy being exhibited by all of the organizations in this effort.”

Sharrie Harlin Davis, community engagement manager at Reid Health, is collaborating with SONHS and the Richmond NAACP on the open house.

“Reid Health Community Outreach is delighted to participate in the Minority Nursing Recruitment Fair,” Harlin Davis said. “Reid’s participation will include Reid Health Outreach and Human Resources showing the variety of nursing and heath sciences positions available at Reid Health. Reid Health aspires to lead the charge to make diversity equity and inclusion in the communities we serve.”

Faculty and staff will be present to distribute items and discuss the available degree programs with community members. SONHS will share its efforts to enhance diversity and equity within the traditional B.S.N. program, and to support the academic and workforce development benefits of recruiting and selecting a diverse class.

The SONHS is enhancing its diversity and inclusion efforts. According to the SONHS, diversity is increasingly considered an essential component of a quality healthcare team, but disparities in the educational pipeline have impacted diversity in the nursing workforce nationwide.

While evaluating its pool of applicants to the B.S.N. program, the SONHS found that there is a disconnect, and over the past five years, the majority of Black applicants have listed home addresses outside of the IU East service area. The SONHS is determined to change this by reconnecting with the community and increasing its collaboration with the Richmond NAACP.

The SONHS is continually looking for ways to enhance diversity and inclusion through admissions. In July 2021, the SOHN was one of eight schools in Indiana to receive an HRSA Diversity in Nursing sub-award through the Indiana Center of Nursing. The four-year award is supporting and expanding the SONHS initiatives to diversify the nursing workforce and improve health care equity across all sectors, while highlighting the importance of collaboration with diverse stakeholders of all types.

About the IU East School of Nursing and Health Sciences
The IU East School of Nursing and Health Services‘ mission is to create a community of learning that addresses society’s need for knowledgeable, competent, and caring nursing, advance practice nursing, and health care professionals while nurturing students, faculty, and staff.

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at IU East offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on campus and an R.N. to B.S.N. degree program. A consortium agreement with other IU Schools of Nursing provides an online option for the completion of the R.N. to B.S.N. Mobility Option, and a Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences online degree in collaboration with IU regional campuses and IU Online. The school also offers a Master of Science in Nursing program with three track options: family nurse practitioner, nursing education and nursing administration.

About the IU Foundation Black Philanthropy Circle
The Black Philanthropy Circle (BPC), formed by IU alumni and friends of the university, addresses education issues faced by Black communities through the power of philanthropic giving. In partnership with the Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA), the BPC establishes programs that improve the recruitment, retention, and degree attainment for Black students, faculty, and staff on IU’s seven campuses and two regional centers, and beyond.

The Indiana University Black Philanthropy Circle works with Indiana University and the Indiana University Foundation in formulating programs and policies to enhance engagement and philanthropy in higher education to support Black alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors, and allies.