Grinslade selected for national health equity expert panel

Susan Grinslade.

Susan Grinslade, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAN


Published December 5, 2023

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has appointed Susan Grinslade, associate director of UB’s Community Health Equity Research Institute and nursing clinical professor, to its Expert Panel on Health Equity. 

“To be effective, health care professionals must work collaboratively with communities and have a foundational understanding of the underlying social determinants of health.”
Susan Grinslade, Associate Director
UB Community Health Equity Research Institute

Expert panels within the Academy play a pivotal role in developing new knowledge, fostering collaboration and shaping health care policies. AAN Fellows like Grinslade leverage their expertise to provide critical knowledge that transforms health policy and practice.

The primary goals of these panels include exploring trends and issues crucial to health care delivery and policy, recommending actions to the Board of Directors and the Fellowship, and preparing Board-approved policy aligned with the Academy's strategic directions.

The Health Equity expert panel focuses on promoting health equity as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – ensuring that all people have a fair and just access to the highest standards of health. The panel considers sociocultural perspectives and factors influencing health inequities, particularly addressing structural and systemic racism, social and structural determinants of health, and historical injustices that impact the health status of diverse populations.

“Health care professionals must be engaged in activities and initiatives that are aimed at mitigating the health inequities and disparities that lead to poorer health outcomes in predominantly Black and brown populations,” says Grinslade. “To be effective, health care professionals must work collaboratively with communities and have a foundational understanding of the underlying social determinants of health.”

Social determinants of health, Grinslade says, include “a lack of access to safe housing, transportation, and safe neighborhoods; continuing racism, discrimination, and violence; limited access to quality education, job opportunities, and income; a lack of access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities; exposures to polluted air and water; and impaired language and literacy skills.”

Grinslade says that when health care professionals actively engage with communities, this can enhance health and wellness and lead to a better quality of life.

At the University at Buffalo, Grinslade, who is also the School of Nursing’s community engagement coordinator, has been instrumental in community health projects aimed at addressing health disparities and social determinants of health among underserved populations in Buffalo.

As a certified community health clinical specialist and an expert in diabetes and population health, Grinslade frequently collaborates with key regional partners, including the Buffalo Center for Health Equity, the African American Health Disparities Taskforce and Buffalo United Ministries. Her recent efforts include providing health screenings and education to Buffalo community members as part of Million Hearts®, the CDC's initiative to prevent strokes and heart attacks and improve cardiovascular health.

Grinslade was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in October.

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