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Reifenstein Appointed to New Diversity Education Role

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Karen Reifenstein, PhD, RN, a prominent leader in the School of Nursing’s diversity efforts, has been appointed to a new role linking diversity and inclusion initiatives across the Medical Center.

Reifenstein, an assistant professor of clinical nursing, has been appointed Director of School of Nursing Education for Diversity and Inclusion. She will join the Office for Inclusion and Culture Development on a part-time basis to strengthen the cohesiveness of diversity-related efforts and expand the support for diversity across the Medical Center.


“Karen’s role is really to help facilitate and coordinate the exchange of information and be a resource for nursing to others, linking educational initiatives between the School of Nursing and the Medical Center,” said School of Nursing Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, who announced the appointment earlier this summer.

A faculty diversity officer and member of the URMC Executive Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Reifenstein joins a growing team in the Office for Inclusion and Culture Development, headed by Associate Vice President and Senior Associate Dean for Inclusion and Culture Development Linda Chaudron, MD, MS. The office already includes Adrienne Morgan, PhD, an assistant dean for medical education, diversity and inclusion; John Cullen, PhD, director of diversity and inclusion at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and Evelyn Parker, MS, CDP, CAPM, LSSWB, who recently joined the office as a program administrator.

“The growth of the Office for Inclusion and Culture Development team reflects the Medical Center’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion across our missions,” Chaudron said. “I have had the pleasure of working with Karen over the past few years and am excited to welcome her formally to our expanding team as her role will assure the coordination of efforts across the School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, and the Medical Center.”

A former pediatric nurse and director of nursing for a home health agency, Reifenstein obtained her PhD in nursing research from the UR School of Nursing and joined the SON faculty in 2011. Her research focuses on care-seeking behaviors of African-American women with breast cancer symptoms and was funded by a Sigma Theta Tau International Small Grant, a Susan B. Anthony Institute Graduate Student Research Grant, and an American Nurses Foundation Grant. Reifenstein also a completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, focused on research in individual and family symptom management.

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