Dr. Shawana Moore understands the importance of empowering women in health.
As an assistant professor at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing, she guides students in the holistic health practices that enable them to become practicing nurses in their communities and guide people back to their healthiest selves.
She also directs the Women’s Health – Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner program at the school, a curriculum that “prepares graduates in the care of women throughout the lifespan across the health-illness continuum.”
But her work doesn’t stop in academia. Dr. Moore also created and directs a mentorship program for empowering girls and women in health. Her program helps adolescent girls and prepares them for a career in healthcare. She also continues to practice nursing in her hometown so she can give back to the community where she grew up.
We sat down with her for a virtual chat on her background and roles, the importance of community, and her recommendations for how FemmePharma’s products and services can benefit women and the communities they serve.
Discovering the holistic power of nursing
Growing up in Camden, NJ, Dr. Moore enjoyed studying math and science and was encouraged by her parents to pursue these interests. Though she initially wanted to become a scientist, it was the sudden illness of her mother that led her toward nursing.
Watching the nurses at Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Moore was struck by the importance of their role and the impact they had on her mother’s recovery.
“I saw that nurses were the people who really brought her back to her full person. They worked with her day in and day out to care for not only her physical abilities, but also the mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects. They really brought her back to the whole person that she was beforehand. From then on, I decided that I would become a nurse.”
She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Wilberforce University, an HBCU, and then was accepted into the accelerated nursing program at Thomas Jefferson. From there, she moved straight into the school’s aforementioned gender-related nurse practitioner program and was part of the first graduating class of three.
The program’s focus: empowering women, was perfect for her goals in giving back to the community.
“From my experience within the Camden community and my own family, I saw how as women, we take care of our families, we care for the communities, but we tend to put our needs last. I wanted to be the person who could educate women and support them in caring for themselves first. Data and literature show that the healthier women are, typically, the healthier families and communities are as well.”
Today, she directs the program, which now has 45 students.
She credits her success and move into academia to her colleagues and mentors, who helped her realize her potential.
Giving back to the community
Mentoring program for adolescent girls
Dr. Moore believes so strongly in empowering women and in the power of mentorship that she created a program of her own—an empowerment program for adolescent girls ages 12-14 that focuses on self-esteem, education, leadership, mentorship, health and wellness. This year, the program was done through the Somerdale Park School in Somerdale, NJ. Next year, it will expand to Philadelphia, with global aspirations for the future.
“It’s my passion and goal to make sure individuals that come from similar backgrounds as myself have that same opportunity,” she said.
Practicing in her hometown
In addition to empowering women through her mentorship program, Dr. Moore also believes in giving back to her community directly. Thus, in addition to her duties as professor and program lead, she also continues to practice nursing in Camden where she grew up, at Osborn Family Health Center—a federally funded health center that caters to underserved communities with healthcare disparities. At the center, patients have access to telemedicine, transportation, and resources that they might not have otherwise.
“I love to give back to the community, especially underserved communities. But to have the honor and privilege to care for individuals in a city where I grew up, where my parents still reside… It really gives me great pleasure.”
How FemmePharma can help
When asked what companies like FemmePharma can best serve women, she suggested continued education efforts empowering women and promoting self-care. Education, she says, is key in addressing health disparities in underserved communities.
She also believes that many of the women she serves would benefit from FemmePharma’s products.
“They’re excellent products. I think women will appreciate them because they’re mostly natural. They don’t cause side effects that make people uncomfortable, and they’re very user-friendly. Also, the on-the-go packaging options are very discrete and give women privacy.”
FemmePharma is proud to have Dr. Shawana Moore as a member of our scientific advisory board. We look forward to her continued collaboration in helping women feel their best!
Photo: Courtesy of https://magazine.jefferson.edu/