President's Message September 2022

Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization founders posing, Seattle, circa 1949

September is always a welcomed month for me.  It is the month that signals the return of fall or at least the beginning of the end of the summer heat in Texas.  It is also the beginning of another academic year and now I can say once more, the return of our annual AAHN conference-in person. Our 2020 conference in Chester, England was cancelled due to concerns related to Covid (although we did have a virtual conference in the spring) and the 2021 conference was virtual for the same reason. But this year, we will come together in Lexington, Kentucky to share our latest historical research, celebrate achievements, renew old friendships, and welcome new members to our resilient association. We’ve learned a lot in the past two years.  Planning the 2022 conference, working through the technical issues to offer virtual education events, and holding virtual officer meetings has allowed more of us to come together than at any time in the history of AAHN. It has expanded our understanding of the membership and what we need to do to remain viable in the future.  So, while it has been a different two years, we have not only managed to keep our heads above water, we have embraced change and are making it work for the association. 

The 2022 conference (which by the way you can still register to attend) will feature a terrific pre-conference for novice historians or anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge, important historical research, a great keynote speaker, awards for exemplary scholarship, and the annual member meeting. If you are unable to attend, minutes from the meeting will be posted on the website and I encourage you to read them to find out the latest on the health of our organization. 

This will be my last President’s Letter.  My term of office will end during the annual conference and my successor will take over and work on your behalf to make the organization even stronger.  I have enjoyed serving as president of AAHN and want to thank all of you who have reached out with comments, suggestions and polite criticism of any of my comments and thoughts over the past two years. I have made many new friends from across the globe, have strengthened past associations, and have come to appreciate our past-presidents, Arlene Keeling and Mary Gibson, more than I can say. I also can’t say enough about how much I have enjoyed working with Lisa Held and Jennifer Riggs of Riggs Enterprises. They are a delight and have made my job so much easier. I will miss my almost daily interaction with them. I also want to thank our amazing board of directors who worked tirelessly in their respective roles to achieve the goals set out for them. Special thanks go to all of the committee members, taskforce members, and volunteers-for without their work and dedication- many of our goals would remain unmet. I look forward to supporting our new president-elect as a past-president in the coming year and hope to remain engaged in many of the programs and initiatives that have become so important to the association during my tenure. 

I look forward to seeing those of you who can attend our conference in Lexington in person in the coming weeks and hope that we can continue to offer virtual meetings or educational events in the future so we can remain in contact regardless of location.

It has truly been a pleasure.

All the best,

Melissa Sherrod
AAHN President 2020-2022