Nursing Professor Selected as 2021 KL2 Scholar of Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science

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August 23, 2021 – Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science recently announced that Dr. Roxanne Mirabal-Beltran is one of two new KL2 Scholars.

Mirabal-Beltran, an assistant professor of professional nursing practice at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, joins fellow recipient Dr. Maurice B. Fluitt, assistant professor at the Howard University College of Medicine.

Dr. Roxanne Mirabal-Beltran is one of two new KL2 Scholars, the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science recently announced.

“These new awardees, their research projects, and training plans are emblematic of our program objectives in that they pair a highly-promising scholar-trainee with a mentor team that includes senior colleagues from across disciplines, departments, campuses, and institutions to pursue research that depends upon collaborations and methods from outside the scholars’ discipline, local research environment, or past experiences,” according to GHUCCTS. (Visit the GHUCCTS announcement.)

Mirabal-Beltran, a nurse with a PhD in public health, specializes in health disparities and inequities, maternal health, and women’s health.

Building a Culture of Health

Through the GHUCCTS program, she will further her work on the “Impact of a Fertility and Pregnancy Educational Intervention in an Urban Setting on Women’s Knowledge Level of Fertility, Pregnancy, and Health-Seeking Behaviors to Build a Culture of Health.”

In particular, her research, focused on Ward 5 of the District of Columbia, will evaluate the impact on women’s knowledge levels about maternal health care following an educational intervention. Additionally, Mirabal-Beltran is testing the “feasibility of having the intervention delivered in community laundromats.”

“While I recognize the significance of this award for nursing and for my career, its most important impact is what it will mean for the community where I will carry out this formative work,” the researcher said.

She noted that work with a Community Advisory Board has been essential and that members “were overjoyed at the news” of the GHUCCTS support.

“It was a highlight to share it at our last meeting,” she said. “In addition, the protected time for research will allow me to engage more undergraduate students in mentored research experiences. It’s truly exciting.” 

‘A Unique Commitment’

Mirabal-Beltran will be working with mentors, including Dr. Linda Gallo of San Diego State University and Dr. Laura Linnan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jane Fall-Dickson, assistant chair for research in the Department of Professional Nursing Practice at Georgetown, and Dr. Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza Casaus at Georgetown Lombardi are co-mentors.

“Dr. Mirabal-Beltran is very deserving of this KL2 Scholars award, which is needed to both support her dedicated scholarly work, as well as to promote her research trajectory as a nurse scientist,” Fall-Dickson said. “She has a unique commitment to community-based, participatory research, which has been so clear to myself and her other mentors. This award will allow Dr. Mirabal-Beltran to not only advance her area of research, but also mentor nursing colleagues.”

Dr. Edilma Yearwood, the department’s chair, has also supported Mirabal-Beltran and offered her congratulations on her selection for this prestigious and competitive program.

By Bill Cessato