UHV Spring Nursing Forum to focus on Hispanic diabetics

Nurses and nursing students attending the sixth annual University of Houston-Victoria Spring Nursing Forum on May 3 will learn how cultural differences play a role in the patient care of Hispanic citizens who have diabetes.  

The theme for the forum is “Health Disparities and Solutions for Hispanics with Diabetes.” The event will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the UHV University Center Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Attendees can register and eat a continental breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. before the program begins.  

Ginger Blomstrom, an assistant clinical professor in the UHV School of Nursing, said the topic is important because of the large Hispanic population in the area.  

Ginger Blomstrom

“This forum will expand nurses’ body of knowledge relative to taking care of the diabetic population, with a particular emphasis on the cultural differences of Hispanic patients,” Blomstrom said. “Nurses will learn different cultural aspects of patient care and how this knowledge can lead to better care and more positive outcomes. Since 90 percent of what we do in our practice is teach, it is imperative that we understand the culture if we hope to have a positive impact on educating the public.”  

Blomstrom said nurses often talk with Hispanic diabetic patients about their diets.  

“What nurses don’t always understand is that patients eat certain foods, and they will continue to eat those foods,” she said. “It would be better for us to find out what they eat and try to augment that or change how much of it they eat. Those ideas will be more effective than telling the patient to not eat it at all.”  

Alexandra Garcia, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, will present the program. Garcia is the director of the UT Master of Science in Nursing public health nursing concentration and has taught courses for undergraduate and graduate students in research, public health and global health.  

Alexandra Garcia

Garcia’s research focuses on the symptoms Mexican Americans experience with Type 2 diabetes and the exploration of social, cultural and economic influences on health promotion practices, diabetes self-management and quality of life.  

“Ms. Garcia is highly qualified, and she has published many articles based on her research,” Blomstrom said.  

The forum is open to any licensed Registered Nurse, Vocational Nurse or Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse. The cost is $25, but nursing students may attend for $10.  

Attendees also can earn three contact hours through the Texas Nurses Association for successfully completing the forum.  

“It’s an easy and economical way of getting three credit hours,” Blomstrom said. “You can go in the morning, gain some knowledge and then head back to work.”  

Nurses are encouraged to register early as seating is limited. The advance registration deadline is Wednesday. To register online, visit Participants also may register at the door.  

The forum will include a poster contest highlighting evidenced-based nursing practices by UHV graduate nursing students.  

The event is sponsored by UHV’s Phi Chi chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Texas Nurses Association District 20.  

For more information, contact the UHV School of Nursing at 361-570-4370 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro