President's Message July 2021

Well, I’m a bit late with this letter this month.  My goal was to write a letter and have it published at the beginning of every month, but this month, I was not able to accomplish that.  Unlike last year, our family met in Houston to celebrate the 4th of July.  Everyone is vaccinated and healthy and we were all much more optimistic about celebrating together this year. While we may feel optimistic, we know that at least in southern states, including Texas, much of the population has still not gotten vaccinated and the delta variant is surging in Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi.  

My friends who are on the front lines of the battle are tired.  They tell me stories of families, some of whom are vaccinated, some of whom are not, and how different their experience is when exposed.  The unvaccinated are getting seriously ill and/or dying and the vaccinated are moving ahead with their lives.  Dr. Fauci noted this week that we are quickly becoming two different nations; the haves and the have nots.   What should be national and international health concern, is instead, a political tool used by some to frighten and divide us. The President had a goal that 70% of all Americans would have received at least one shot by July 4th, but as a country, we fell short at 67%.  It still sounds impressive, but we also know that one injection is not sufficient to protect us from the delta variant.  (The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson seems to be effective with just the single dose.)  Everyone needs both of the other vaccines to be safe.

As we have passed the half way mark for 2021, it remains to be seen what the rest of the year will bring.  I am confident that we made the correct decision to hold our conference virtually again this year.  As an association, we have learned a lot about how to work with Zoom, create chat rooms and provide a meaningful experience.  Our conference in September will be engaging, will allow people from all around the country and the world for that matter to attend, and will provide a safe way for us to share knowledge with each other. We will still give awards, recognize members who have done exemplary work and hear a wonderful keynote address by Dr. Dominique Tobbell.  What we will miss, however, is the opportunity to see each other in person.  I know for many of our members, myself included, the conferences are particularly special because we can connect, catch up and make new friends.  We promise to do that next year when we can feel more confident that everyone can attend safely.

I can promise you that the board and their committees have been very busy working on your behalf. I am encouraged by the work on our strategic plan, by the work by the Bylaws Committee that will give us a needed update, and by the work by our Finance committee which has been exemplary. The Nominating Committee did a fantastic job providing qualified nominees for our election this year.  These new board members will bring fresh ideas and energy to the board. All of the committees have been hard at work and we will have news on each at the Member Meeting. 

I do want to extend a special thank you to our Publications Chair, Jane Brooks, who has been the champion of a new area on the website (under Publications) called Student Scholarship.  Jane rightly acknowledges that “AAHN has long been committed to promoting and supporting student scholarship in the history of nursing.” As part of this commitment, we are pleased to announce this new section in our webpages which is already populated by our first student publication.  So, whether you are a PhD student, have written a nursing history essay for your bachelor studies, Jane would like to hear about your work. If you are a faculty member and would like to encourage your students to submit their manuscripts, please contact Jane to learn about the process.  Jane can be reached at [email protected].

I hope you enjoy your summer and look forward to being able to share all of the great things that are happening at AAHN. 

Take care and be safe.  Please let me know if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

All the best,