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Helen S. Miller Lecture to Focus on “Spirituality in Health Care”


Dr. Jill B. Hamilton, a specialist in the role of social support and spirituality in patient care, will be the keynote speaker for North Carolina Central University’s 18th annual Helen S. Miller Lectureship and Luncheon on March 6.

Hamilton, who received an undergraduate degree from NCCU, has documented spiritual and religious practices of older African Americans during times of illness or other stressful situations. Her research has been widely published.

“Whether undergoing life threatening illnesses, cancer, heart disease, stroke or loss of a loved one, patients say religious texts and songs helped them make it through stressful life situations,” said Hamilton, an associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.


“This is something that health care professionals may not be comfortable talking about, but it something that patients do, and we need to understand it.”

The Helen S. Miller Lectureship and Luncheon is sponsored by the NCCU Department of Nursing. It provides an opportunity for African-American nursing scholars to present contemporary issues of importance to generate dialogue among nursing students and practicing nurses, as well as to raise money for nursing scholarships at NCCU.

This year’s event will take place at the Millennium Hotel in Durham from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The deadline for registration is Feb. 18.

Hamilton said she became interested in the intersection of health care and spirituality while she was a student at UNC Chapel Hill, where she received her doctorate in nursing.

Results of her studies have appeared in publications ranging from The Gerontologist research magazine to Good Housekeeping.

Although Hamilton’s studies have focused on older African Americans in North Carolina, the results strike a chord with individuals from many diverse backgrounds and walks of life, she said.

“This suggests that these traits are not specific to a single population,” Hamilton said. “I’m hopeful that other nurses coming along will continue this line of work. It’s important.”

The Helen S. Miller Lectureship was established in 1996 at NCCU by Dr. Evelyn Wicker to carry on the legacy of excellence as demonstrated by Miller, a scholar, administrator, researcher and educator in the field of nursing.

Fees for the luncheon and lecture are $50 for professionals and $15 for students. Faculty and student poster presentations will take place prior to the luncheon at noon.

For more information or to sign up for the March 6 event, visit www.nccu.edu/nursing/hmiller, download the event brochure at www.nccu.edu/formsdocs/proxy.cfm?file_id=1657 or call the Department of Nursing at 919-530-6697.



Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014
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