Emily Haozous, an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop interventions to encourage Native American women to undergo cancer screenings.

Haozous is one of just 12 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar award this year. The award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins next month.

"Being chosen as a Nurse Faculty Scholar is a huge honor," said Haozous. "The selection criteria are rigorous and the people they select are superstars. I am thrilled to be among them and to get the resources and training to start me on that path. This is incredibly meaningful for me and my institution."

For her research project, Haozous will develop a culturally appropriate intervention for Native American women using digital stories to encourage cancer screenings.

The intervention will use video footage of Native American women who have undergone cancer screenings to relay their experience using the words of the community. These digital stories will be shown at outpatient clinics during medical appointments to encourage women who might otherwise be hesitant about receiving screenings to do so.

"New Mexico has a huge cancer disparity among Native Americans, and by the time many schedule a medical appointment, the disease has already turned fatal," said Haozous. "With this tool, I'd like to reduce the number of cancer fatalities among Native Americans in the state and at the same time help people feel that health providers are trustworthy."

Media contact: Lauren Lewis, (505) 272-3690; e-mail: LCLewis@salud.unm.edu