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WPHA Public Health Nursing Section - Welcome to 2019!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019  
Posted by: Rachel Azanleko-Akouete
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Dear colleagues,

Happy New Year!

I hope each one of you had a relaxing holiday. It is an honor to serve as your 2019 PHN section chair. I look forward to a fruitful year full of Public Health Nursing advocacy with you.

During our last meeting of 2018, we decided to create a workgroup within the PHN section to look at modernizing the PHN workforce. We are in the process of finalizing the details of the work that the group will do, and we will share more information with you as soon as we can. Meanwhile, if you are interested in being a workgroup member, please complete this short survey . Pam Guthman will be leading the Modernizing the Public Health Nursing Workforce group.

This year, I would like to encourage us to engage in policy advocacy as much as possible. Over the last couple years, I have worked to educate elected officials so that they can make health-informed policy decisions.  I found this to be fulfilling and rewarding. I was inspired to go above and beyond to leave my legacy in public health nursing by this quote from the 2015 APHN Position paper, The Public Health Nurse’s Role in Achieving Health Equity: Eliminating Inequalities in Health: “Public health nursing leaders are often uniquely placed in government agencies and are in a position to be involved in issues related to policy and legislation. These opportunities should be sought out. They provide us with a forum ‘to put a human face’ on public health issues and problems. The stories of those we serve can provide a powerful motivation to policymakers and legislators.”

While it is evident that there are a wide variety of policy issues that we could take on as a section and as WPHA, I would like to suggest that we focus on two issues - housing and climate change health advocacy. WPHA has determined housing as one of four primary legislative priorities and climate change has been an APHA (American Public Health Association) initiative-2017 being "the year of Climate and Health". We want to be sure we compliment all of the work of both WPHA and APHA. As Public Health Nurses, we have unique talents and perspectives, and it is important that we share them with policy makers.

Jessica LeClair, the co-chair of WPHA Climate and Health Section, will lead advocacy efforts related to climate change. I will lead housing advocacy efforts. If you have suggestions and want to get further involved, please email Jess at and by February 15, 2019. Stay tuned for more details. In addition, consider signing up for the WPHA Climate and Health Section to receive these specific alerts, blogs and articles. If you want to learn about "What is Climate Change?", take some time to read the article posted on the WPHA website.

Here are important meeting dates and times to put on your calendar for 2019:

  • 2/8/19 - 9:00am – 10:00am  Teleconference
  • 4/12/19 - 9:00am – 10:00am  Teleconference
  • 5/21-5/23 - WPHA/WALHDAB Conference: In person
  • 8/6-8/8 - PHiP Conference: In person  
  • 10/11/19 - 9:00am – 10:00am  Teleconference
  • 12/13/19 - 9:00am – 10:00am  Teleconference

We continue to welcome new ideas for initiatives to take on as a group. If you have an idea that you would like to bring to our section, please feel free toemail me

Rachel Azanleko-Akouete

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