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U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

May Fellow of the Month

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Griselle Batista Estrada

May 2021 Fellow of the Month Profile Photo
Griselle Batista Estrada is a traditional doctoral-level fellow with the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the American Nurses Association (ANA). She is a Ph.D. candidate at Duquesne University’s School of Nursing and will graduate with a concentration in transcultural nursing. Griselle completed her MSN at the University of Miami, focusing on psych-mental health nursing; her BSN is from the University of Puerto Rico. She is currently working on her dissertation which is titled "Culture Care Values and Beliefs of Puerto Rican Adults Related to Suicide: An Ethnonursing Study."

Griselle was initially drawn to the MFP because she wanted to take advantage of the training opportunities and financial support offered by the program. She added, "My career goals and research interests aligned with SAMHSA's mission to address the need for culturally competent mental health services in communities of color."

When reflecting on how the MFP has enriched her academic and professional career, Griselle shared that the program has provided opportunities to attend intensive training institutes where she has heard national experts speak about topics, such as health policy, race and racism, health equity, and trauma-informed care. She has also benefited from the mentorship she is receiving. She explained, "The MFP has connected me to a wonderful mentor who is an alumna of the program, Dr. Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda. Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda has been so generous with her wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement! She's a great role model!"

Griselle has been able to build and expand her professional network by connecting with fellows and alum at MFP activities and at professional conferences. She shared, "The MFP has a vast network of fellows and alumni. I am able to connect with other psych-mental health nurses and researchers who focus on health equity issues among people of color. I love hearing about the impact they are making at the local and national level! Their achievements help me to dream about what I can accomplish with a doctoral degree."

After completing the MFP, Griselle hopes to develop and implement culturally competent, evidence-based interventions that foster mental well-being and suicide prevention in Puerto Rican communities. She shared, "The knowledge and skills I am acquiring as an MFP fellow have helped me to realize two important things. First, I have a unique voice in my community and within my profession. Second, I must use my voice to raise awareness about the issues that I am passionate about. I am very interested in community-engaged research. Bringing together community leaders, mental health service providers, and representatives from faith-based institutions can help identify strategies to address mental health promotion among individuals and families." Griselle also has a heart for mentoring and equipping future nurse leaders in the areas of professional development, culturally competent care, and self-care. She explained, "Teaching is one of my passions. As a nurse educator, I would love to work on innovative methods to teach students about transcultural aspects of mental health and mental illness."

When asked if she had any advice for anyone thinking about applying to the MFP, Griselle said, "The MFP is a pathway to funding, training, and support! Being an ANA MFP fellow will open doors to wonderful opportunities for mentoring, networking, and learning about relevant topics pertaining to mental health. The ANA MFP staff are incredibly helpful and always willing to answer questions and point me in the right direction! I want to especially thank Janet Jackson for being such an encourager!"

In closing, Griselle had this to share, "There are no words to describe how blessed I feel to be a part of the MFP. This fellowship is about so much more than receiving financial support; it has been an incredible opportunity to connect with people who look like me and have faced similar struggles. Working on a doctoral degree during the pandemic has been a tough challenge. As a result, I offered to host a virtual prayer group where MFP fellows could offer and receive support. This group has allowed me to connect with some incredibly smart, funny, and encouraging women. Our weekly Zoom gatherings have turned out to be one of the highlights of the past year."

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