2021 Annual Research Conference

Thank you for joining us for the 45th Annual Research Conference. The theme for the 2021 conference was “Team Science: Advancing Culturally Responsive Research to Improve Health Outcomes”.  The learner outcomes for the conference were:

  • Identify interdisciplinary and interprofessional team approaches to designing and implementing best practices and culturally appropriate interventions to eliminate health disparities from research to practice
  • Discuss solutions for social determinates of health in closing the gap in health inequities and achieving cultural competence through the translation of best science to practice for individuals and communities

VIRTUAL Conference Attendee Information and Details:


Keynote Speakers

MNRS was pleased to host the following Keynote Speakers for the 45th Annual Research Conference:

2021 Opening Keynote Speaker on March 25, 2021:

Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, CNL, FAAN
Professor, Rush University

Team Science: Advancing Health Equity through the Lens of Cultural Sensibility

Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, CNL, FAAN is a researcher/educator at Rush University College of Nursing and the Chairperson of the Department of Women, Children & Family Nursing.  Her research has focused on supporting the health and wellbeing of families, with an intentional emphasis on promoting and sustaining the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.  With the guidance of a fathers’ advisory council, Dr. Julion and her team developed and tested a culturally congruent fatherhood Intervention for African American fathers who do not live in the household with the young child. This intervention, Building Bridges to Fatherhood was tested in a NIH-funded randomized clinical trial. Dr. Julion’s research has also focused on supporting parents who are raising young children in low-income communities.  She is a co-author of the Chicago Parent Program, a parenting program designed to meet the needs of a culturally and economically diverse audience. The Chicago Parent Program was developed in collaboration with parents of young children to address parents’ issues of greatest concern.

Dr.  Julion is a past recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s’ New Connections Initiative, a member of the 2nd cohort of Macy Faculty Scholars and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  She is a standing member of the NIH Clinical Management of Patients in Community-based Settings (CMPC) Study Section. Her recent honors include:  2020Recipient of Rush University College of Nursing Deans Award for Excellence; 2018 – Recipient of Rush University Mentor of the Year Award; 2017 – Recipient of Health & Policy Research Group Dr. Steve Whitman Research Award; 2017 – Recipient of Rush University College of Nursing MVP Award for Research and Scholarship; 2015 – Induction into the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville School of Nursing Alumni Hall of Fame. She is on the Board of Directors of PCC Community Wellness Center, a network of 12 health centers in Chicago's West Side and nearby suburbs. Dr. Julion earned a BSN from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, joint MSN-MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and PhD from Rush University College of Nursing.

2021 Closing Keynote Speaker on March 27, 2021:

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Building Community and Academic Partnerships:  Team Science a Pathway for Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair, Associate Dean for Community Programs and Initiatives and Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.  Dr. Sharps is the director for the Center for Community Innovations and Scholarships, which two community nurse lead managed centers for the School of Nursing (East Baltimore Community Nurse Centers), and the Health and Wellness Program at the Henderson Hopkins Partnership School. She has published numerous articles on improving the reproductive health, reducing violence among African American women. Her practice and research examines the consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant and parenting women, specifically, the effects of IPV on the physical and mental health of pregnant women, infants and very young children. She has been the principal investigator for $3.5 M 5 year research grant funded by NINR, Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation – DOVE, which tested a public health nurse home visit intervention to reduce effects of IPV among pregnant women and their newborns.  Currently she is the principal investigator for a second 5-year NIH/NCID $4.2 M grant “Perinatal Nurse Home Visitation Enhanced with mHealth”, which tests the use of computer tablets for screening and intervening for IPV in the home. Dr. Sharps received a 2 year, $1.2M grant from the Health Services Resources Administration (HRSA), Advanced Nurse Education Workforce (ANEW)”, which provides scholarships to primary care nurse practitioner students preparing to work in underserved areas with underserved populations. Dr. Sharps has published more than 100 articles, 1 book and 10 book chapters. She has presented peer reviewed papers at national and international conferences. In 2009, Dr. Sharps gave testimony before the U.S. Congress, including then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on the need to reform health care to provide better access to evidence-based nursing practice for pregnant women and new mothers. Other important policy initiatives informed by contributions from her multidisciplinary research teams have resulted in appointments to the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) Board on Military and Veterans Health and the IOM Committees on the Qualifications of Professionals Providing Mental Health Counseling Services under TRICARE.  Appointment to the veterans’ health committee was in recognition of her work as a nurse in the military, her women’s health expertise, and her study of abuse during pregnancy in military women.

Dr. Sharps is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a 2013 inductee into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and 2015 recipient of the Visionary Pioneer Award from the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing.  She received her BSN from University of Maryland School of Nursing, MS (Maternal and Child Health) from University of Delaware School of Nursing and her doctorate from the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing. She also completed a fellowship in adolescent health at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.



Many thanks to the 45th Annual Research Conference Host: