Vulnerable Populations

The School of Nursing and Health Studies endeavors to reduce or eliminate disparities in health care, specifically those faced by vulnerable populations.  In living up to our role as a hemispheric leader, SONHS has conducted research and devoted resources to combat the stigma and symptoms of health disparities as well as empower vulnerable populations to receive the care they so desperately need.


Vulnerable populations include the economically disadvantaged, the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the unemployed, uninsured and under-insured, children of low-income families, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming, people with HIV, people with severe mental and behavioral health disorders, the homeless, refugees, and many others.  These groups are especially susceptible to poor health, chronic disease, disability, and early mortality.  Often, standard health care delivery cannot meet the needs of these vulnerable populations and new modalities need to be discovered to address these growing and preventable concerns. 

SONHS strives to eliminate these disparities through research, training, and working within the communities that include these vulnerable populations in order to produce effective, culturally-informed, and sustainable improvements to health.  By addressing these disparities in health, SONHS researchers seek to increase the quality of life for these populations.  By establishing a network of community leaders and agencies, policy makers, national experts, and academic leaders, SONHS will help to create a better future for members of these populations. 

To address these important health care issues, SONHS creates unique opportunities for students and researchers alike, offering mentoring and other resources for early-stage investigators.  We provide opportunities to advance the science of vulnerable population and health disparities research, the well-being of the local, hemispheric, and global communities, and the careers of young investigators. Empowering researchers today helps to empower vulnerable populations tomorrow.