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National Arab American Nurses Association Convention Features Top Experts in Healthcare Workplace and Patient Diversity

posted on: Sep 12, 2008


The Inaugural Convention of the National American Arab Nurses Association (NAANA) in Detroit on October 9-10, 2008, will feature keynote addresses from:

–Gottfried Oosterwal, PhD, LittD, a renowned expert on the subject of micro-inequities in the healthcare setting and adjunct professor of Global Health in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University (CA)

–Nena Peragallo, DrPH, RN, FAAN, Dean and Professor School of Nursing & Health Studies University.

–Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., MS, Michigan Surgeon General, Vice President, Community Health, Education and Wellness at Henry Ford Health System, and Director of the Institute of Multicultural Health at Henry Ford Health System.

–Donna Skurzak, MA, LSW, CDP Director of Diversity Programs & Regional Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic.

Lobna Ismail, president of Connecting Cultures, Inc.


–Jeanette Klemczak, M.S. Chief Nurse Executive, State of Michigan.

The convention, themed “Building Cultural Bridges in Health Care: Strength in Diversity,” will include noted experts in health care diversity who will address the expected 600 to 800 health administrators; physicians; residents; medical students; nurses; student nurses; social workers; speech, physical, and occupational therapists; human resource professionals; hospital chaplains; educators; researchers; and other key healthcare professionals.

CEUs, CMEs and Contact Hours will be granted for convention attendance.

“The healthcare setting continues to change dramatically in terms of the diversity of healthcare workers and patients treated. It is critical that we know how to provide the optimum care in a culturally competent way. This national convention offers a wide spectrum of programs on transcultural nursing, cultural competence, workforce diversity, recruitment and retention of nurses, nursing shortages, education of nurses, among other current issues faced by nurses and other health care professionals,” said Rose Khalifa, founder and director of NAANA.

“The Filipino Nurses Association, The Hispanic Nurses Association, The National Black Nurses Association and the National Arab American Medical Association are joining with NAANA to present special breakout sessions that relate specifically to these cultural groups – employees and patients…a true representation of the diversity found in the healthcare environment,” she said.

All convention attendees, sponsors and exhibitors are invited to attend free of charge “Health Coverage in America: Understanding the Issues and Proposed Solutions: A Health Summit on the Uninsured” on Thursday, October 9th, cosponsored by NAANA and the Michigan Cover the Uninsured Network. The event will begin with a sit-down dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by an hour-long program. Seats are limited to 200. Please register separately for the Health Summit by contacting Naomi Ruth at or 313.874.7178.

Sponsorships and exhibitor space are available as are “Building Cultural Bridges” convention registrations by calling 313-680-5049. For more information or to register for the NAANA convention, please visit