Jul 08, 2016

Embracing a Culture of Health in Tennessee

Victoria Niederhauser DrPH, RN, PCPNP-BC, FAAN

The Tennessee Action Coalition and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action are eager to welcome Action Coalitions from across the country to Knoxville for an exciting two days devoted to nursing’s role in building a Culture of Health.

Our goal has long been to drive the change that is needed in improving health and health care in our state. We have two great co-leads in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville College of Nursing, and AARP-Tennessee.

As dean and professor of the College of Nursing and chair of our Action Coalition Board of Directors, I can tell you just one story about how nurses in our state have embraced of a Culture of Health. In 2012, University of Tennessee nursing professors began a three-year project that joined architecture and environmental engineering professors, law enforcement professionals, graduate students, and community partners in an effort to improve community wellness and disaster preparedness in Clay County. That area of Kentucky ranks near last on major health indicators. A grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration allowed us to collaborate with professionals from all walks of life and train nurses to lead collaborative community health initiatives, with different sectors that normally do not work together, to build healthier communities.  Outcomes from this multi-sectoral approach to building a culture of health includes a community with access to clean water for 9000+ residents, safer homes, increased health and safety awareness, and a comprehensive and coordinated approach to disaster readiness for a rural, underserved community.

The program played a vital role in creating a blueprint for how nurses can work with communities to contribute to improving health, in an era when that is of critical importance.

Come July 13, we will be able to hear from many others, too, on their experiences in creating a Culture of Health in this meeting titled “Building on the Campaign for Action to Create a Healthier America.” We hope to leave everyone with ideas and inspiration.

The following are our sponsors, and we are deeply appreciative of their involvement in this important meeting.

Gold Level

Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation

Baptist College of Health Sciences

Covenant Health


University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Nursing

Silver Level

East Tennessee State University, College of Nursing

Tennessee Hospital Association

University of Tennessee Knoxville, Office of the Provost

Bronze Level

AARP Tennessee

East Tennessee Quality Growth

Healthy Tennessee

Tennessee Wesleyan College

University of Tennessee Chattanooga, College of Nursing

University of Tennessee Office of Research & Engagement

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing


Victoria Niederhauser DrPH, RN, PCPNP-BC, FAAN, was a 2008-2011 RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, the  chair of the Tennessee Action Coalition Board of Directors, and the dean and professor the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing.

Learn more about the meeting.