Skip to Content

Published on October 22, 2020

Grant Will Build Healthier Communities

The grant will help those most at risk for COVID-19 and address the circumstances that make them high risk.


Food deserts, poor housing, hard-to-get-to health care and other factors lead to more illness and shorter lifespans. These are called social determinates of health. A grant will put nursing students and area nurses to work helping local communities find and address these and other problems thereby improving their health.

North Carolina A & T State University and Cone Health are among 10 organizations receiving $25,000 for new or ongoing work that addresses nursing’s role in building health equity, well-being, and promoting a culture of health. The grants are part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The grant is a matching grant meaning $50,000 will be put into the work.

Nursing students from NC A&T and nurses from Cone Health’s Congregational Nursing Program, will partner with selected churches in communities that have historically had fewer opportunities to receive accessible and affordable health care. They will use what is called a Health Equity Toolkit, developed by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP Foundation. 

“The experiences our students will have through this grant will further position them to address health disparities and health inequities in health care,” says Dr. Lenora Campbell, Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences, NC A&T. “Students will work in communities in Alamance, Guilford and Rockingham counties on issues that impact health care, including the challenges of COVID-19.” 

The Health Equity Toolkit will develop partnership/coalition-building skills of nurses and pastors for promoting the health and well-being of communities. Nurses, pastors and congregations will get a better understanding of health equity and health disparities. They will also learn concepts and skills for assessing and responding to social determinants of health. 

“It is very important that we identify those most at risk during this pandemic and every day to help them reduce their risks,” says Kenneth Rempher, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive, Cone Health. “The exciting part of this work is that we will also begin to address the issues that put people more at risk for COVID-19 and other health issues in the first place.”