$1.6 million UNMC grant provides free series to reduce disparities in health care

Drs. Nada Fadul, Muhammad Salman Ashraf

Drs. Nada Fadul, Muhammad Salman Ashraf

Nebraskans working in the health care industry are invited to participate in a new initiative designed to eliminate health disparities and improve the well-being of Nebraskans.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center received the $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. It will provide education for COVID-19 infection prevention, health equity, cultural sensitivity, and quality improvement training to improve COVID-19 disparities in Nebraska.

The course is open to anyone working in a health care organization, including social workers, case managers, pharmacists, administrators and staff, school nurses and others. The course, developed by infectious diseases, quality improvement, and health equity experts, will be conducted by the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases.

Sessions will be conducted via Zoom beginning Nov. 3  and meet twice a month for a year-and-a-half to learn and exchange knowledge on topics to include principles of infection control, health equity, quality improvement, and cultural sensitivity. Sessions will meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month between noon to 1:30 p.m. CST. The first hour will be mandatory for receiving the educational credits followed by an optional 30-minute discussion session.

COVID-19-related topics will be discussed including source control, testing, vaccination, quarantine/isolation, general infection control procedures, and management of active cases. Identification and management of “Long COVID (or Post-COVID conditions)” will also be discussed.

The COVID-19-focused health equity and quality improvement educational series will use the Project ECHO model for training healthcare workers.

Healthcare organizations whose representatives are enrolled in the educational training will also be eligible to apply for up to $2,000 expense reimbursement related to help implement projects at their facility to improving health equity. Participants can get free educational credits and a certificate.

“This training can have a profound impact on improving health disparities by using a practical solution-focused approach to help participants first understand the magnitude of the problem, and then develop culturally-sensitive and locally applicable solutions,” said Nada Fadul, MD, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion education programs.

Dr. Fadul and Muhammad Salman Ashraf, MBBS, are course directors for the series.

Register now at

You can find more information about the project and subject matter experts here: or contact Nuha Mirghani at


“The most important aspect of this training program is that the learners are not only going to gain the knowledge but will also be able to apply what they learned in their own practice settings. They will have access to quality improvement and health equity coaches who will guide them in developing and implementing quality improvement projects aimed to address health disparities within their scope of practice.”

Muhammad Salman Ashraf, MBBS, associate professor, UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases

Other benefits of the course include:

· Up-to-date on changing guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic for improving COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. 

· Access to state subject matter experts for discussing real-life challenging scenarios related to infection prevention and control, COVID-19 management guidance, quality improvement, health equity, and cultural sensitivity.

· Use cultural communication strategies with staff and patients from marginalized communities that continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. 

· Engage with and learn from the experiences of peers from different organizations across Nebraska to address COVID-19 health disparities in practice settings and communities. 

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.


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