Free Conference Offers Strategies for Enhancing Diversity in the Nursing Workforce

January 2, 2018 — The UW-Madison School of Nursing is hosting a free half-day conference on Wednesday, February 7, designed to transfer best practices and spark new ideas about the value of diversity and inclusion in the delivery of health care.

The event kicks off at 3:00PM with a career fair featuring employers from across Wisconsin. Breakout sessions follow, starting at 4:30PM, on three topics: strategies for recruiting and retaining more diverse nurses, insights about building a culture of health among diverse populations, and tips for navigating the School of Nursing’s holistic admissions process. An hour-long keynote presentation begins at 5:30PM focused on realizing the future of care through a diversified workforce.

The conference is free and open to anyone interested in exploring culturally competence care, nursing as a profession, and successful workforce development strategies in health care.

The keynote presenter is Dr. Judith Martin-Holland, PhD, MPA, RN, CNS, FNP. Dr. Martin-Holland is an associate dean for academic programs and diversity, academic administrator, and associate clinical professor at the University of California-San Francisco School of Nursing. Her research interests include health disparities, patient-focused healthcare decision-making. Her responsibilities include: diversity and social responsibility of the health care professions as well as recruitment, retention and graduation of diverse students in nursing. She is nationally known for her work and a frequent speaker on igniting passion in and about nursing.

The breakout sessions feature local and regional experts in nursing practice, recruitment, and education:

  • Enhancing Cultural Competence in Care — what it means and how it works
    • Dr. Dan Willis, UW-Madison School of Nursing associate dean for academic affairs
    • Rachel Azanleko-Akouete, Public Health Madison and Dane County
    • Jessi Kendall, UW Health diversity and cultural congruency resource nurse
  • Recruiting & Retaining a Diverse Workforce
    • Dr. Mel Freitag, UW-Madison School of Nursing diversity officer
    • Zoila Diedrich, Aurora Health Care sourcing analyst
    • Brenda Gonzalez, Agrace Hospicecare diversity manager
  • Navigating Holistic Admissions with UW-Madison
    • Mandi Moy, UW-Madison School of Nursing director of admissions and recruitment
    • Dr. Lisa Bratzke, UW-Madison School of Nursing assistant professor

Employers from througout Wisconsin will be on-hand from 3:00-4:30PM to discuss career opportunities in the health care field.

The conference is being held in the School of Nursing, Signe Skott Cooper Hall at 701 Highland Avenue. People are welcome to come for all or part of the event.

Registration is available online at

For questions about the conference, contact Mel Freitag at or (608) 263-5273.