UCLA Hosts the 2012 MFP Intensive Winter Institute

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The 2012 MFP Intensive Winter Institute (IWI) was held February 16-19, at the Faculty Center on the Campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Courtney H. Lyder, ND, GNP, FAAN , Dean and Assistant Director, UCLA Health System Professor of Nursing pointed out, “with our School and University’s foundation on research and community service, we are a natural fit to host this conference whose tradition lies in mentoring researchers who will go and focus their talents in the underserved communities of our local and global communities.” The UCLA School of Nursing has educated nurses since its inception in 1949 and ranks among the top schools of nursing in the nation. The School of Nursing is presently ranked fourth in total National Institutes of Health funding and remain one of the few schools of nursing that are still “research extensive.”

The IWI theme, “Addictions and Mental Illness: Scientific Innovations and Human Responses, ” was guided by three objectives: (1) Identify the genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental determinates of health on cognitive and emotional development throughout the lifespan; (2) Articulate the role of stigma and access to health care in addiction and mental health/illness management for celebrities, icons, the homeless, minority groups, immigrants, and other vulnerable people; and (3) Enhance awareness about the impact of poverty, trauma, and co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions on the health status of individuals, families, and communities. The scientific program, whose quality was unanimously appreciated, consisted of keynote lectures, focus groups, and a broad range of interactive oral communication sessions. Examples of the topics included: Drugs Impact Brain Development and Myelination; How the Brain Changes During Childhood/Adolescent Development; Addiction and Pain; Celebrity Addiction; Impaired Health Care Providers; A Conversation with Dean Lyder, and more.

Fellows also had the opportunity to tour the UCLA Fowler Museum and attend a Fowler Outloud Quartet Performance. The quartet performed traditional acoustic music from Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, and other Eastern European countries while illuminating the audience about these genres.

Of the many messages received after the Intensive Winter Institute, mostly emphasizing the scientific quality of the sessions and the comprehensive coverage of the various topics, of special significance is one participant’s observation reproduced below: “The Institute’s presentations were fascinating and illuminating. I teach all ability levels from students with autism, aspergers, schizophrenia, to gifted and advanced placement; I appreciate the presenters’ abilities to fluidly explain complex topics with such coherency. I gleaned so much from the presentations that I can implement in various settings. As an American Psychological Association Fellow, Thank you for making me feel welcomed and very much a part of the ANA MFP Family.”

The MFP greatly appreciates the colleagueship with Dean Courtney Lyder and his dedicated team, including Special Projects Manager, Rob Fast, who were exceptional in their support of this program. The IWI was highly successful because of the scientific and clinical expertise that are evident among the professionals at UCLA. The interdisciplinary approach to science was illuminated in all of the activities. Dean Courtney Lyder, his faculty and staff, are symbolic of “leaders extraordinaire.” The MFP staff at the American Nurses Association are grateful for their support, and look forward to our future collaborations.

MFP Fellows engaged in the ritual of a Native American “Talking Circle” honoring the recent graduation of Drs. Beverly Sourjohn Patchell and Kathryn Aimee Fuller, (6th & 7th from Left), two of less than twenty Native American Indian Nurses to earn a PhD.