School of Nursing and Health Studies professor Laura Anderko will soon be working toward a cure forD.C.’s health care problems as part of a new position on the District’s Regional Health Equity Council.

Anderko was nominated by the Region III Health Equity Council for the National Partnerships for Action to End Health Disparities, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. She is set to begin her work this month with a focus on social justice in the health care field.

“It is an honor to be selected to participate in this innovative approach with the overall goal of achieving health equity nationally,” Anderko said. “My career has focused on the reduction of health disparities, from my early work in public health nursing to my current work in values-based health care.”

The project, which has created 10 geographical regions as foci for council members, seeks to align national, regional, state and local efforts to reduce health disparities through the support of a network of partnerships. Each regional council will seek to equalize access to health care within its respective region.

Specifically, Anderko will help enhance the D.C. region’s response by developing the Regional Blueprints for Action and working with members of the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

“It will provide me with an opportunity not only to apply knowledge from previous practice and research experiences into working with the poor, underserved and disenfranchised populations, but to apply the values of NHS into policy and social action initiatives that will benefit these populations,” Anderko said.

In the NHS, she has conducted research on providing health care to impoverished populations. She said that she hopes to utilize her knowledge of the field to further develop the work of the Region III Health Equity Council.

“My experiences in public health, building community partnerships and the study of how social and environmental determinants of health can influence disparities will be instrumental in my work to develop Regional Blueprints for Action,” she said.

Anderko is a Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse fellow at Georgetown and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health and Protection Advisory Committee.

Anderko’s colleagues said they were delighted to hear she had been selected for the position.

“[Anderko] is fantastic, and she’s the perfect person to be on the Region III council,” John Kraemer said.Kraemer is an assistant professor in the NHS who has researched and co-taught with Anderko.

“Dr. Anderko is the type of scientist who isn’t content only to study what drives public health. She works to make sure that her research is relevant to those who are marginalized — that science drives social change and better health,” he said.

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