Family Nurse Practitioner Student Advocates for Health Equity

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April 20, 2021 – When Juliette Carr (G’21) was seeking a Family Nurse Practitioner Program that would foster her focus on promoting health equity, she decided upon Georgetown’s because of its values.

Juliette Carr stands in front of grass and trees.
Juliette Carr (G’21)

“I was looking for a program that would support my interests in nurse advocacy and health care equity, so when I found this program online it seemed like a perfect fit for my educational goals because of the Georgetown values,” she said.

Carr, who is originally from Brooklyn, now resides with her family on a Vermont farm. She has become active in the state’s nurses association.

“My career goals are to provide trauma-informed primary care to my community and to continue to advocate for health equity and justice,” she said. “In that capacity, I have joined the Legislative Committee of the American Nurses Association of Vermont, where I am advocating for state policy that promotes the health of Vermonters from a multifactorial perspective that includes the social determinants of health.”

Policy and Advocacy

While taking Dr. Tracy Zvenyach’s Georgetown course “Health Policy and Advocacy,” Carr crafted a final project around food equity and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits, one which has been developed into a bill in Vermont’s House of Representatives.

“The project was a policy proposal to make WIC benefits redeemable at farmers’ markets to promote equity, address health disparities and rural food deserts, and as an economic stimulus directing federal funds to small farms,” Carr says. “The bill is to study the technology needed to enact this policy, which will hopefully be adopted in the 2022 session.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Carr also co-founded, with two of her neighbors, an organization called West River Valley Mutual Aid (WRVMA). 

“I organize a network of over 200 volunteers to meet a variety of different needs in my sparsely populated rural community of low socioeconomic status,” she said. “Although my work with WRVMA is not professional nursing, it is still nurse advocacy, as I help address the barriers my neighbors face during the pandemic that affect their immediate and long-term health outcomes.”

Carr has been nominated for a local leadership award because of this work, which seeks to address food security, mental health, medication access, and transportation for health care appointments, including COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I am inspired by the vision of a community where everyone’s basic needs are met and where no one’s wellness is predicated on their income,” Carr said. “This may sound small, but it is far from the reality in my community. I am looking forward to a career spent striving for equity and access in Vermont.”

‘Preparing Leaders’

Carr, who graduated with honors and distinction when she received the BSN at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing, has been happy with her choice of Georgetown for a master’s degree.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how approachable and relatable my professors are,” she said. “They’re experts in their fields with stellar careers, but they’re also consistently warm, caring, and deeply invested in my educational success, more so than I expected.”

To aspiring graduate students, she advised, “The time commitment is more than you think it will be, but so is the learning. Georgetown imparts a holistic understanding of health in far more depth than simply diagnosing and treating diseases. They are preparing leaders, so plan for an all-encompassing experience.”

By Bill Cessato