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American Academy of Nursing inducts nurse and researcher Dr. LaRon Nelson

Toronto, June 26, 2017

By Skaidra Puodziunas

Dr. LaRon E. Nelson
Dr. LaRon E. Nelson

The American Academy of Nursing announced today that Dr. LaRon E. Nelson, a registered nurse who is also a scientist with the Centre for Urban Health Solutions of St. Michael’s Hospital, was one of its new fellows.

Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing are considered the most accomplished nursing leaders in practice, research and education management.

Dr. Nelson is a leader in global research on HIV and AIDS. His work focuses on improving HIV prevention and treatment outcomes for socially marginalized groups, specifically among people in Ghana and African diaspora communities in Canada and the United States.

“I’m incredibly honored to join this distinguished network of nursing leaders, which already includes St. Michael’s Dr. Lianne Jeffs,” said Dr. Nelson, who is a public health nurse with a PhD in Health Practice Research. “These nurses have brought innovative solutions to nursing and other fields, ultimately improving health care on a global scale.”

One example of Dr. Nelson’s research is an app he developed that helps address stigma for men in Ghana with HIV. The app connects men with local public health nurses who have been trained to provide online health education and symptom management support. Users can ask questions they may not be comfortable asking in face-to-face clinic encounters and get immediate answers. They can also use the app to report symptoms, which the nurses can evaluate and then prompt users to schedule appointments, if needed.

“My research combines how patients behave, how clinicians provide care and how systems and agencies are set up for people,” said Dr. Nelson, who also holds the Ontario HIV Treatment Network’s Research Chair in HIV Program Science for African, Caribbean and Black Communities. “In this and every project my nursing experience and training helps me to connect these dots and to develop solutions that reduce the burden of HIV.”

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.