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Cedars-Sinai Expert Provides Commentary at the United Nations

Berni Coleman, NP, PhD, Discussed Sex Disparities in Transplant Care at the UN’s 68th Commission on the Status of Women

Berni Coleman, NP, PhD, director of Nursing Research and Quality Improvement and assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai, joined the International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) as a speaker at the group’s inaugural presentation for the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.Berni Coleman, PhD

“It’s a high honor to participate at the level of the U.N.,” Coleman said. “But specifically, to highlight the work that is being done to bring awareness to the disparities that exist between men and women in the transplant space.”

The commission’s theme this year was “Accelerating Efforts Toward Gender Equality to Achieve Universal Health Coverage.” Coleman and her fellow ITNS speakers discussed the key challenges faced by women in transplantation as they work to create a global transplant community focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

There are a number of barriers to women receiving equitable care, according to Coleman.

“So often, women are busy and put their partners or their families before their own health, creating an initial delay in treatment,” Coleman said. “In the event that they do get to their provider, the challenge becomes the provider hearing and believing their symptoms in order to treat them with the appropriate level of care.”

Additionally, Coleman says that women, and particularly women of color, are generally underrepresented in clinical research studies.

“We are immensely proud to have Dr. Coleman represent Cedars-Sinai in front of the U.N.,” said David Marshall, JD, DNP, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at Cedars-Sinai. “Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity in all patient care makes her an outstanding choice to bring this topic to an international stage.”

Coleman joined Cedars-Sinai in 1987 as a clinical nurse specialist in Cardiac Surgery. Her research spans bench to bedside to community—with work on genomic transplant disparities, family caregivers, and church-based preventive blood pressure education. She earned a master’s degree from the Yale University School of Nursing and a doctorate from the UCLA School of Nursing.

Read more from Cedars-Sinai Catalyst: Bolstering Excellence in Nursing