Alum chairs first Hmong Nurses Association conference, partners with faculty for pilot study

July 14, 2022

Rozina Bhimani and May Hang

After May Hang, DNP ‘19, APRN, FNP-BC, graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, she joined the Hmong Nurses Association (HNA) for support and leadership opportunities. She’s now chair of the first HNA National Conference and is partnering with Associate Professor Rozina Bhimani, PhD, DNP, APRN, CNP, CNE, CRRN, to complete a needs assessment at the conference.

“I am interested in mentoring diverse nursing students, as I also faced much adversity, overcoming barriers in my pursuit of higher education, social justice and representation in health care,” said Hang. “So, for me being involved with HNA is the perfect opportunity.”

HNA formed in 2012 in response to a lack of representation of Hmong in the health care profession.

The vision for the two day conference, which will be Aug. 5-6 in St. Paul, is to provide information about Hmong culture, beliefs and practices related to health and illness, provide strategies to help close the gap in health care disparities and offer sessions to sharpen nursing skills when providing care for the Hmong community.

Hang said they also hope the conference supports self-healing and increases Hmong nurse resiliency. “The conference will provide Hmong nurses an opportunity to come together to identify critical issues facing the Hmong community due to pandemic and existing health disparities in our society, which are impacted by social, political and workforce issues,” said Hang.

CTSI awards Community Partnership Grant

The conference will also serve as a venue to collect Hmong nurses’ stories, insights and feedback for a needs assessment to understand any disproportionate effects of COVID-19 in the Hmong community and identify culturally appropriate interventions.

“Hmong nurses working in all settings – outpatient, in patient, and public health – have already relayed stories of Hmong patient isolation, breech of cultural practices and values, trauma related to physical disability of long hauler syndrome and mental anguished resulting in grief and loss,” said Hang.

Hang and Bhimani received an inaugural Clinical and Translational Science Institute Community Partnership Grant for the pilot study.

Both Hang and Bhimani serve as nurse practitioners at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, which is a federally qualified community health center located in north Minneapolis. Bhimani also served as Hang’s adviser for her DNP scholarly project, which involved developing a smoking cessation program within NorthPoint.

“This is a golden opportunity to collect information about how COVID has impacted nurses and how it has affected cultural practices,” said Bhimani, who developed a survey for the needs assessment and will complete the data analysis.

“We are looking at long-term engagement. We hope to design an invention to bridge the suspected gap in cultural practices caused by COVID,” said Bhimani. “When we talk about equity and social justice we really need to not only talk about it but we need to meaningful engage in that work and that’s why I feel very lucky to be invited into this space so we can work together to benefit the community.”


Learn more

The Hmong Nurse Association National Conference will be Aug. 5-6 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts

Steve Rudolph
School of Nursing