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College of Nursing

Research Emphasis Areas

Vulnerable Populations

This core focuses on interventions and care strategies for at-risk populations to improve their health and well being. Our research addresses poverty and aging, violence and victimization, substance abuse, sexual orientation and gender identity, immigrant health, palliative care in rural and other underserved populations, and mental health problems in children.

Laura Hein has conducted several studies with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and young adults, investigating family dynamics, community resources, survival strategies and resiliency in this population. Her findings have been disseminated in local, regional, national and international venues. Hein’s research is expanding to community interventions for LGBT survivors of hate crimes. She is a founding member of the Nursing Caucus within the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.

She also serves on GLMA’s Education and External Affairs Committees. Her regional podium presentation abstract entitled Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents: Violence, Homelessness and Resilience was honored as one of six Abstracts of Excellence by the Southern Nursing Research Society in 2008. She was also honored by the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) with the Diversity Award in 2010 for her contributions to the field of LGBT mental health.  This was the first time in the history of the organization the Diversity Award was given for an LGBT focus. Hein is the primary author of ISPN’s position statement on reparative therapy – the first nursing position statement on this topic.

She has published in the Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research, the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and has co-written a book chapter on LGBT health issues. She was an invited consultant on behalf of Howard Brown Health Center to make recommendations to the mayor of Chicago on LGBT youth homeless services. Hein has engaged LGBT community leaders and organizations locally and nationally around health disparity issues and policies within this marginalized population.

Beverly Baliko
Mary Boyd
Ronit Elk
Laura Hein
DeAnne Messias
Kathy Scharer