HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 27-29, 2022 | Orlando, USA

October 27 -29, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA
NWC 2022

Toni Hawkins

Speaker at  Nursing World Conference 2022 - Toni Hawkins
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, United States
Title : Minority community health initiative- a health disparities call to action


Health disparities in rural and underserved communities often go unchecked leaving individuals to fend for themselves in terms of undiagnosed medical conditions, misunderstanding of diagnoses, and ongoing mistrust of healthcare systems. Community mistrust of healthcare systems and the lack of necessary services perpetuate uncontrolled chronic conditions, the spread misinformation, and negatively impacts individuals, families, and generations throughout communities. The engagement of trusted members of minority communities, together with healthcare provider guidance can help to alleviate communication barriers which are often present with patient-provider interactions. The lack of urgency and awareness around such a myriad of disparate and often preventable diagnoses calls attention to the need for an increase in minority community health initiatives. Understanding the needs of minority communities, and the importance of healthcare provider representation, reflective of the residents within respective communities, too often falls short. To this point, strategies around recruitment of minorities into healthcare fields of study is much needed within minority community school systems, public and private college systems, public libraries, and communities of worship. The author will examine the above barriers to care for minority communities as well as delve into a barrier often overlooked in healthcare as it relates to linguistic discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shine the light on barriers to care for minority communities which have always existed, but still have yet to be addressed. The author was asked by a local community Health Officer to develop a Minority Community Health Initiative plan, due to such a wide gap in health disparities which exist with minority and underserved populations of the community. The author concludes by discussing a call to action framework which can be adopted and utilized as a tool to begin addressing barriers to care in underserved communities.


Toni Hawkins (MSN, RN) was drawn to healthcare based on her passion for people. Her more than 14 years of experience at facilities across the United States as a case manager, population health educator, travel nurse, and minority community health advocate allows her to meet patients in underserved communities where they are, empowering them to take the lead in improving their own outcomes. Toni holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Notre Dame of Maryland University; a Registered Nursing degree from the College of Southern Maryland; and a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics from Walden University, with completion of an informatics internship at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Luminis Health.