NEWS | February 20, 2014

Nurse leader Bobbie Berkowitz speaks at annual UC Davis nursing school lecture


Bobbie Berkowitz, a nationally recognized expert in nursing leadership and health policy, discussed reducing health disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) communities as the featured speaker at the 2014 Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis Lecture Series: Leading Change, Advancing Health on Wednesday afternoon.

Bobbie Berkowitz Bobbie Berkowitz

“There are significant gaps in health-care knowledge surrounding the LGBT communities” said Berkowitz. “Societal beliefs and popular culture are two barriers to providing unbiased educational opportunities. The place to start is here, asking each other difficult questions to expose our own biases and educate ourselves so we may educate others. Nurses can lead this charge for change.”

Berkowitz served as a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that created the 2011 report “The Health of LGBT People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.” The report identifies significant gaps in knowledge about the unique health problems and needs experienced by LGBT individuals and recommends priorities for research.

In addition to her national leadership roles, Berkowitz played an important part in the launch of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. As a consulting faculty member from 2008 to 2010, she assisted in the development of the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group core curriculum and design of the Community Connections fieldwork course.

As part of the lecture, “Ideas for a Progressive Society: Reducing Health Disparities in the LGBTQ Community,” a panel of health-care providers and educators led a conversation with the audience about the implications of LGBT health-disparities in education, practice, research and student services. Moderator Jose Pares-Avila, assistant clinical professor for the School of Nursing, facilitated the discussion with Ed Callahan, associate dean for academic personnel with UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine; Julie Weckstein, licensed clinical social worker with UC Davis Department of Clinical Social Services; and Laura Brimberry, a School of Nursing nurse practitioner student.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis Lecture Series brings nationally recognized leaders to the UC Davis, Sacramento campus, to illuminate academic, research and clinical topics that advance health, ignite leadership and promote bold system change.

The annual, afternoon lectures provide professional enrichment opportunities for faculty, students and members of the community and reinforce the school’s visionary commitment to lifelong learning for graduates and area nurses.

In addition to her lecture presentation, Berkowitz met with Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars and alumni to provide further insight into her career choices and research trajectory. Throughout the course of her two-day visit to UC Davis, Berkowitz met with a variety of School of Nursing faculty, as well as other UC Davis faculty and researchers.

A video of this lecture will be available on the school’s website at:

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009 through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. The school’s first programs, doctoral and master’s degrees, opened in fall 2010. Master’s degree programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities, opened in summer 2013. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit