January 9, 2020

Sharps to deliver Jan. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. lecture

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series will take place at noon, Jan. 20, in 208 Light Hall.


by Kathy Whitney

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series will take place at noon, Jan. 20, in 208 Light Hall.

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, who holds the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair and is associate dean for Community Programs and Initiatives and a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN

Sharps is the director for two community nurse-managed centers for the School of Nursing – East Baltimore Community Nurse Centers and the Health and Wellness Program at the Henderson Hopkins Partnership School. She has published numerous articles on improving reproductive health and reducing violence among African American women. Her practice and research examines the consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) on the physical and mental health of pregnant women, infants and very young children.

She has been the principal investigator for a $3.5 million, five-year research grant funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research that tested a public health nurse home visit intervention to reduce effects of IPV among pregnant women and their newborns.

In 2009, Sharps gave testimony before the U.S. Congress on the need to reform health care to provide better access to evidence-based nursing practice for pregnant women and new mothers.

Other important policy initiatives have resulted in appointments to the Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine) Board on Military and Veterans Health and the IOM Committees on the Qualifications of Professionals Providing Mental Health Counseling Services under TRICARE.

Sharps is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and a member of the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided for the first 100 attendees. To nominate a faculty or staff member in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing or Medical Center for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award, please send a letter of recommendation and the nominee’s resume to Lashonda Moore, program manager, Office for Diversity Affairs, at Lashonda.m.moore@vumc.org by Jan. 10.