Eastern Michigan University faculty members developing virtual reality program addressing healthcare inequities for Asian Americans

Program will be distributed for use by nursing schools throughout Michigan

Asian American woman visiting with a doctor virtually

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University School of Nursing has been awarded a grant of $72,000 to develop a virtual reality program to address health inequities and social determinants of health impacting Asian Americans for delivery of culturally-competent health care.

The program is entitled “Immersive Community, Culture, and Care Experiences for Undergraduate Nursing Students: The 360-degree Difference."  It will be developed and disseminated to all nursing schools in Michigan.

EMU was one of only two nursing schools in the state to receive the award.

Tsu-Yin Wu
Tsu-Yin Wu

Nursing professor Tsu-Yin Wu to lead project

The award, named the Academic-Community Nursing Clinical Education Partnership Grant, is from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Tsu-Yin Wu, a professor of nursing and director of EMU Center for Health Disparities Innovations and Studies, will serve as project director, working in collaboration with five community partners to develop immersive videos and virtual reality-simulated clinical tools. The interdisciplinary project team consists of three core focuses:

Implementation Core: Nursing professors Valerie Pauli, Jenni Hoffman, and Kathryn Hughesdon, and computer information professor Huei Lee.

Training and Dissemination Core: Nursing professors Linda Myler and Kathleen Seurynck.

Administrative Core: Nursing professors Tsu-Yin Wu (project director), Valerie Pauli (project manager) and Meriam Caboral-Stevens (evaluator).

Representatives from five community agencies make up the Community Advisory Board for the project. Those include the Association of Chinese Americans-Detroit, Bangladesh American Community, Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan, Mott Community College, and Washtenaw Community College.

Developing cultural competency

Wu said the simulation tools developed in the grant will be accessible and available for all baccalaureate and associate degree nursing programs in the state of Michigan.

“This groundbreaking project aims to create a technology-enhanced learning experience to equip nursing students with tools and evidence-based resources on the social determinants of health,” Wu said.

“It will also strengthen nursing curriculum in terms of cultivating leadership in cultural competency while graduating a more confident nursing workforce, with the knowledge and skills that align with the needs of current health systems and public health.”

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral, and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences, and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors, and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

March 24, 2021

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom