UNC Greensboro School of Nursing faculty member Forgive Avorgbedor

Dr. Forgive Avorgbedor, an assistant professor in the UNC Greensboro School of Nursing, is one of 16 nurse scientists accepted to the fourth cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators.

This fellowship program, funded by an initial $37.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and an additional $7.5 million grant awarded this year to expand the program’s capacity, recognizes early- to mid-career nursing scholars and innovators with a high potential to accelerate leadership in nursing research, practice, education, policy and entrepreneurship.

As part of the three-year fellowship program, fellows receive $450,000 to conduct an innovative project or study with the potential to address a gap in knowledge, meet a vital need, alter care delivery or design a new solution to advance health.

Dr. Avorgbedor’s project examines the extent to which structural racism sets the stage for individual socioeconomic disadvantage and contributes to arterial stiffness among postpartum women via their effects on pregnancy-related cardiometabolic complications and biomarkers.

“This was an extremely competitive opportunity that will allow Dr. Avorgbedor to continue to develop as a leader and as a scientist,” said Dr. Debra J. Barksdale, dean of the UNCG School of Nursing. “As one of her mentors for the project, I could not be prouder of her.” 

School of Nursing clinical professor Dr. Thomas McCoy and School of Health and Human Sciences faculty members Dr. Laurie Wideman and Dr. Esther Leerkes will assist Dr. Avorgbedor with her three-year study.

In addition to the project, the fellowship program features a hybrid online and classroom curriculum designed and taught in partnership with the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and national experts to enhance leadership and innovation capacity, strengthen strategic thinking and collaborative skills, expand professional networks, develop entrepreneurial skills, and propel innovative ideas to fruition.

“Our fellows go on a unique journey of self-discovery during their three years in the fellowship program in which they delve deeper into their roles as leaders and discover methods for spearheading change and promoting more equitable health care practices for their populations of interest,” said Heather M. Young, national program director for the fellowship and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis dean emerita. “These fellows are the next generation of nursing leaders, and they have immense potential to transform the nursing profession and improve health equity and health care services.”