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Jennifer Wenzel to Address Cancer Care for Rural African American Elders

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Posted: 4/20/2009

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) assistant professor Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM has been awarded a $729,000 Mentored Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to help rural African American elders obtain quality care for cancer. 

"Due to existing health disparities related to age, gender, and place of residence, rural minority elders with cancer can experience significant difficulties accessing appropriate treatment and services," says Wenzel.  "Finding ways to help this at-risk population navigate a highly complex diagnosis and treatment experience is essential." 

During the course of Wenzel's five-year experimental pilot study, "Developing Cancer Navigation Support for Rural African American Elders," she will be testing a community health worker/RN-led intervention in rural Virginia, targeting African American elders undergoing treatment for cancer to provide them with support, guidance, and assistance in overcoming existing barriers to obtaining quality care and accessing available support resources.

"Funding through the American Cancer Society is very gratifying as the organization provides phenomenal leadership in the areas of cancer research, education, advocacy, and service," says Wenzel.  The ACS Mentored Research Scholar Grant in Applied and Clinical Research supports new full-time faculty in mentored research to assist them in becoming exceptional independent investigators.   Dr. Wenzel is supported by an impressive mentoring team including:   Jerilyn Allen, ScD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Jean Ford, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Usha Menon, PhD, RN, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Nursing; and Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing.

Wenzel manages the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Center for Collaborative Intervention Research, which promotes interdisciplinary studies to develop, test, and evaluate cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes. Her own researchand growing portfolio of contributions to the nursing research literatureintegrates her oncology and case management clinical background, her interest in health disparities, and her educational focus on health services research.  Wenzel is a member of the inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar cohort.  She sits on the Board of Directors for Southern Research Nursing Society, Chairs the Research Interest Groups for that organization, and is also a member of the Oncology Nursing Society's Diversity Advisory Panel.