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Dedicated to Health Equity

Larry Goodman, MD, and Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, CNL, FAAN

In a resounding testament to her decades-long commitment to promoting health equity and social justice, Wrenetha Julion, PhD, MPH, RN, CNL, FAAN, has been named the inaugural Michelle and Larry Goodman MD, Endowed Professor of Health Equity at RUSH University. This endowment recognizes Julion's exceptional contributions and her unwavering dedication to making a difference in the lives of historically underserved communities.

Having joined RUSH University in 1997 after a distinguished career as a staff nurse and patient outreach educator at Advocate and Cook County hospitals, Julion seamlessly transitioned into groundbreaking research aimed at dismantling health disparities. Her journey from clinical practitioner to tenacious researcher was marked by her steadfast commitment to the welfare of marginalized communities, particularly Black mothers and fathers.

Julion's tenure at RUSH has been one of immense growth and accomplishment. From a research assistant, she rose through the ranks, completing her PhD in nursing science in 2002. A pivotal moment in her career occurred in 2009 when she secured her first National Institute for Nursing Research grant as a principal investigator. This achievement marked the beginning of a series of grants that have funded her ongoing program of research.

Last year, Julion received new funding to expand anti-racism training across all four of RUSH University’s colleges. Through the new grant, Health Equity Anti-Racism Training (HEAT), RUSH will graduate a diverse, interprofessional workforce that can provide care rooted in an anti-racist framework. The HEAT project will ensure patients and communities receive care from well-educated, culturally sensible providers who are moving toward the aspirational goal of health equity for all.

Her nomination for the Michelle and Larry Goodman MD Professorship of Health Equity symbolizes not only Julion’s individual accomplishments but also the collective dedication of RUSH University to creating a more equitable health care system.