High-Risk Vulnerable Populations



Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College prioritizes research that seeks to improve the health of high-risk and vulnerable populations. We recognize that a patient’s home life and other non-medical factors often play a crucial role in health outcomes, and our faculty are committed to developing nurses who can confidently offer safe, compassionate and ethical care in diverse communities — in St. Louis and around the world.

Our Goal

Partnerships with local organizations serving high-risk groups allow us to keep the focus community-driven. Rather than choosing research projects in isolation, faculty and students respond to community-identified issues and gaps in care.

By working closely with local communities, faculty in our High At-Risk Populations Research Interest Group have come to view health care in a different way. The goal is to help people stay healthy through early intervention and education rather than waiting until they’re sick.

Types of Vulnerable Groups

Promoting optimal health outcomes in high-risk populations requires nurses and other medical professionals to consider a number of factors, from nutrition to personal safety. In recent years, our students have organized on-campus discussions focused on nursing care for LGBTQI patients as well as the emergence of gun violence as a public health crisis. Off-campus, faculty members and students have worked to address the healthcare needs of:

  • Children in need of standard medical attention, providing hearing and vision assessments
  • Young mothers struggling with substance abuse, helping them to make their homes safer for their families and reducing hospital visits
  • Adults at risk for heart disease, building their knowledge of nutrition and exercise programs as well as cooking skills
  • Seniors who need assistance understanding their medications and finding quality care


Founded in 1902, LifeWise STL, previously known as Kingdom House, works "to help people achieve better lives." Serving people of all ages, the nonprofit offers a wide range of programs that help their constituents find quality childcare, academic support, skills and language training, health and wellness screenings and facilitate connections within their local community.

For the past several years, Goldfarb has collaborated with LifeWise STL to involve nursing students in its programs and events. Students complete projects that help LifeWise STL better serve their community, such as conducting health assessments for children, providing nutrition resources and organizing health fairs for all ages.

Read more about this partnership in Goldfarb Magazine

As a result of this partnership, students in our community nursing classes increase their understanding of different cultures and parts of the community in a hands-on way, enabling them to provide more thoughtful care in their future careers.

Join Us

As a leader in hands-on, community health nursing, the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College will continue to invest in local partnerships and vulnerable populations in the long term. Be sure to watch the blog for the latest updates and some exciting new developments.

If you’re interested in pursuing a community-oriented nursing career, learn more about our academic programs, which include Bachelors’ Programs, Master’s Programs, Doctoral Programs and Post-Degree Certificates.