J. Margo Brooks

Margo received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. and her Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellow with the Center for Health Disparities Research. Now a third year student, Margo has studied the history of health care in African Americans as the focus of her PhD work. Her dissertation topic is THE BLACK CHURCH HEALTH MOVEMENT 1900-1935. Currently she is in dissertation seminar working on her dissertation proposal and will soon begin collecting historical data on this subject from archival sources in and outside of Philadelphia.

Prior to initiating her doctoral studies, Margo was a nurse practitioner working full time in Marlton, NJ. As a nurse practitioner, she was frequently faced with the realties of a health care system which privileges socioeconomic status and certain groups. This reality has manifested itself in patient's inability to access specific medications or therapies due to insurance status or other factors. These factors were often frustrating though forced her to think creatively about the ways that nurses can act as change agents and as advocates for patients. Personal and professional convictions lead her toward working first hand for groups that have been marginalized by society. Through her individual efforts and through partnerships created through her involvement with The Center for Health Disparities Research, The Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, and the Office of International Programs, at the University of Pennsylvania, she hopes to challenge and deepen current understandings of health disparities in racial/ethnic minority groups.

The overarching goal of Margo's professional nursing career is to enhance the quality of culturally appropriate care extended to marginalized groups. This goal translates to her research, clinical practice and to her teaching career. As a nursing professional she passionate about meeting the health needs of vulnerable populations both nationally and internationally and believes that she has the potential to create a real difference in the field of nursing.

The NEF Scholarship is invaluable in advancing my research and career goals at this time and will help me in developing a research trajectory towards minimizing health care disparities from a global perspective.