Laffoon to receive 2019 Culturally Responsive Health Care Award

Trudy Laffoon, MA, RN-BC, nurse manager in Dermatology and Surgery Specialty Services–Ambulatory Nursing, has been named the 2019 recipient of the University of Iowa Health Care Culturally Responsive Health Care Award.

Laffoon will be recognized at the beginning of the 2019 UI Health Care Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture. This year’s lecture, featuring Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, MD, begins at noon Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110 Medical Education and Research Facility.

The Culturally Responsive Health Care Award is presented to an individual or group for providing care that recognizes the social and cultural backgrounds and experiences of our patients and their families, and emphasizes a commitment to inclusion, empathy, and understanding in providing high-quality care and reducing health disparities. The award is administered by the UI Health Care Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives.

Laffoon has been a leader and active participant on a number of initiatives that support culturally responsive care delivery as well as cultural awareness and respect for colleagues and co-workers.

She played a leading role in establishing an interprofessional diversity committee within the shared governance structure of the Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Since the committee’s launch in July 2016, Laffoon has chaired the group and leads its monthly meetings. Committee activities have included planning, implementing, and evaluating quarterly educational programs related to patient cultural diversity; partnering with the Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives to plan and support the annual “Culturally Responsive Health Care in Iowa” conference; and identifying and developing resources to enhance care providers’ knowledge and application of concepts of patient diversity and inclusion.

In 2018, Laffoon led efforts to administer a culturally and linguistically appropriate service assessment to all nursing staff, followed by monthly education to members of the diversity committee, who then share the information with their respective units and divisions. She also gave a poster presentation, “Toward Cultural Competency: One Organization’s Transformational Journey,” at the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing annual conference in May 2018.

Laffoon’s dedication to culturally response health care also extends to the students she teaches at Kirkwood Community College as an adjunct faculty member, and to participants in a research study she is conducting as part of her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program through the UI College of Nursing. Laffoon’s study is an assessment of the impact of an international clinical practicum experience on undergraduate nursing students’ cultural competence. The study results will help inform and shape future nursing courses at the UI.


  1. Congratulations on prestigious award, and thanks for your personal commitment to making this world a better place. (Loved the picture, too. 45 years, and you still have smile!)

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