A partnership between two U.S. medical organizations, the Directors of Health Promotion & Education (DHPE) and the Chi Eta Phi Sorority of nurses and nursing students, is raising awareness of lupus among healthcare providers by holding education sessions at all five Chi Eta Phi regional conferences.
The latest regional gathering of the African-American-founded nurses organization was the 64th annual Southwest conference in Las Vegas on May 5.
“With the average diagnosis time frame being four to six years, lupus patients need more health care providers to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of lupus to decrease the diagnosis time frame and help lupus patients have better health outcomes,” Thometta Cozart, head of DHPE’s education and awareness program, said in a press release.
The Lupus Foundation of America reports that the disease affects one in 537 young African-American women in the United States.
“Lupus is a difficult disease to diagnosis, and this partnership with the DHPE LEAP will ensure our professional nurse membership is better prepared to address lupus health disparities, such as late diagnosis among women of color that may lead to organ failure and premature death,” said Priscilla J. Murphy, Chi Eta Phi’s national vice president. LEAP stands for Lupus Education and Awareness for Patients, Professionals and Providers.
The educational sessions target women of color who are at increased risk for lupus as well as public health professionals and primary care providers. A key goal is to educate more nurses on the signs and symptoms of lupus as a way to achieve accurate lupus diagnoses sooner. The session will be coordinated by DHPE’s LEAP specialists.
The Chi Eta Phi sorority has a number of health promotion and disease prevention programs. They include mentoring, leadership development, recruitment and scholarships. Established in 1932, the organization boasts 8,000 members in undergraduate and graduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Liberia.
A number of lupus educational and awareness webinars are available on LEAP’s website. The ones recorded this year cover such topics as tobacco’s effect on lupus onset, cardiovascular health in lupus patients, skin health in lupus patients, and internal organ damage associated with lupus. The full list of webinars can be found here.