Sponsor of H.R. 1651 in the 115th Congress:
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson TX-30
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The National Nursing Network Organization welcomes Dr. Jerome Adams as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. Prior to his confirmation on August 3, 2017, Dr. Adams served as health commissioner for the state of Indiana. His background also includes clinical practice as a board-certified anesthesiologist and as a professor of anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He received undergraduate degrees in both biochemistry and biopsychology prior to obtaining a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and a Master's Degree in Public Health at University of California Berkeley.
In his role as Indiana Health Commissioner, Dr. Adams led the state’s response to an HIV outbreak through strong advocacy for needle exchange programs. He brings a dedication to chronic disease prevention and management that aligns with the values represented via the National Nurse Act of 2017. During his congressional confirmation hearing, Dr. Adams identified combating the country’s opioid epidemic and addressing mental illness as key public health priorities. Other top concerns include addressing healthcare access and continuing efforts toward curbing obesity-related illness. SG Adams highlighted the value of health promotion, stating “much of our national focus is on providing care after a person has already developed a disease, but far too often this represents multiple missed - and more cost-effective opportunities to have mitigated or even prevented the problem.” His remarks further stressed the importance of interdisciplinary healthcare team members, including nurses, in leading the nation toward improved health.
Dr. Adams replaced Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams . RADM Trent-Adams was the first nurse to temporarily fill the role of Surgeon General, a vacancy left upon the departure of previous Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD. The National Nursing Network Organization looks forward to working collaboratively with Dr. Adams and his team to promote and improve health outcomes of the United States’ population.
Thank you to American Nurses Association (ANA)-Michigan for their recent endorsement for H.R. 1651 and S. 1106 The National Nurse Act of 2017. They join the 127 supporting organizations for this legislation. This list includes 20 state affiliates of the American Nurses Association! Below is their letter of support.
To The Michigan Congressional Delegation:
On behalf of the American Nurses Association (ANA)-Michigan, representing 147,234 registered nurses in Michigan, we are writing to request your co sponsorship of the National Nurse Act of 2017 (H.R. 1651) and S. 1106 and express our full support for this legislation.
Designating the Chief Nurse Officer position as the National Nurse for Public Health will help strengthen efforts by nurses in every community to assist in bolstering a nationwide shift to prevention to yield improved health outcomes. The National Nurse for Public Health’s support for the Surgeon General’s focus on prevention, developing nurses as community health advocates, and promoting professional nursing is key to the role nursing plays in our nation’s healthcare infrastructure.
The projected total coat of chronic disease from 2016-2030 in Michigan is $1.3 trillion. In 2015, 6.1 million people in Michigan had at least 1 chronic disease and 2.4 million had 2 or more chronic diseases. Most of these conditions are largely preventable. By promoting health awareness increasing health literacy, and reducing health disparities, the National Nurse for Public Health would play an important role in improving our nation’s health.
Now more than ever, nurses must continue to be proactive in the fight against illness and disease. We recognize the potential of having the National Nurse for Public Health as a representative who would meet with health care leaders to determine ways to address continued health disparities and access issues for the country’s most vulnerable.
As we continue to transform our health systems at the state and national level, it is important that we work to elevate the role of public health nursing to create community level systems, identify public health concerns, and achieve early intervention for identified needs. A philosophical and cultural shift to focus on wellness here in Michigan and on the national level that is reinforced by nurses in every community would go a long way in promoting health, reducing costs, and saving lives.
We request your co sponsorship for the National Nurse Act of 2015 and are ready to work with you to help move this legislation forward.
Tobi Lyon Moore
This September over a dozen nurses from Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia came together to advocate for H.R. 1651 and S. 1106 The National Nurse Act. These advocates stormed Capitol Hill, making over 50 Congressional office visits in just 2.5 days! Thanks to these dedicated advocates’ continued perseverance and hard work, there are now 60 co-sponsors for H.R. 1651 and 3 co-sponsors for S. 1106. Both bills are equally supported by Republicans and Democrats.
Below are some pictures that illustrate the tremendous progress achieved for this important and timely legislation.
The meeting with Representative Evan Jenkins (WV-3-R) was a smashing success thanks to the teamwork of NNNO Advocacy Team members Joan Westgor MSN, RN, CCM and Michelle Berkley Brown MSN, CNP who joined NNNO Vice President Elizabeth McPhee RN and Beth Baldwin APRN, PNP, BC Immediate Past President of the West Virginia Nurses Association. The entire West Virginia House Congressional delegation are now co-sponsors of H.R. 1651, The National Nurse Act. Thank-you Rep. Jenkins for supporting nurses.
NNNO Advocacy Team Member Betsy Konrad MSN, RN-BC, CNL, PHN and daughter Callista visited the Congressional district office of Representative Jackie Speier (CA-14-D) on a hot August day to advocate for the National Nurse Act. Thank-you Rep. Speier for your continued support!
Pictured outside of Senator Sanders DC office are NNNO Advocacy Team Member Becky Bowers Lanier EdD, MSN, MPH, RN and NNNO President Teri Mills MS, RN, CNE
Our entire team is extremely proud to announce the co-sponsorship of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). His health aides have worked alongside our team for several years, providing suggestions and assistance that have advanced the National Nurse Act. Senator Sanders is a leader of the Senate HELP Committee. We are grateful to Senator Sanders for his support.
A May 2017 collaboration between NPR and ProPublica highlighted the prevalence of death and serious illness related to pregnancy and childbirth in the United States. In fact, the U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the industrialized world. Annually, 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and about 65,000 experience life-threatening complications.
Women living in the United States are three times more likely than those living in Canada to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Considerable racial disparities in pregnancy related mortality exist. From 2011-2013 African American women in the United States were nearly at 3.5 times greater risk to experience pregnancy related mortality.
As a nation with access to some of the best technology and medical expertise in the world, the United States is capable of doing more to improve pre-and post-natal care for all women. Nurses occupy a vital role in the perinatal education, assessment and care. Let’s unite behind legislation that designates the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS as the National Nurse for Public Health who will advocate for improved care across the lifespan, including maternal and child care.
Across the United States and Puerto Rico, natural disasters from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to massive wildfires burning across the West Coast underscore the need to strengthen disaster preparedness and response. A National Nurse for Public Health would bring the leadership skills, policy background and clinical expertise to work collaboratively to support disaster response.
Hurricane Harvey struck Houston and surrounding southeast Texas on August 25, 2017, delivering nearly two feet of rain triggering catastrophic flooding. These floods resulted in nearly 70 deaths, countless additional injuries, tens of thousands of individuals displaced from their homes, and an estimated $80-$100 billion dollars of property damage. Nurses throughout our country have stepped up to respond to Hurricane Harvey. The American Nurses Association has compiled a resource guide to aid nurses in responding to Hurricane Harvey through donations and support.
The effects of Hurricane Maria are still being felt in Puerto Rico where officials continue to describe apocalyptic conditions. Many have died due to the total collapse of infrastructure. The situation is gradually improving thanks in part to the National Disaster Medical System. RNRN is currently asking for donations in support of an upcoming delegation to Puerto Rico. Any excess funds will be used to support future missions to Puerto Rico and elsewhere, making it possible for RN’s to be on the ground faster, with more aid, and more volunteers. Donations are secure, and tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
At the same time that Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and other southern states have been coping with hurricane winds and massive flooding, the western United States has been engulfed with raging wildfires. Montana has experienced nearly one million acres of forest fires in the last three months. In Washington and Oregon dozens of fires blaze, resulting in declarations of states of emergency. Further south, a large fire recently burnt through Los Angeles County, threatening swaths of the densely population area.
Nurses have a long history of participation in disaster relief. As the largest sector of the healthcare workforce, we can act as powerful community organizers, educators, and advocates in times of greatest need. Strong nursing leadership through a National Nurse for Public Health would help to guide continued efforts in improved disaster preparedness and relief.