NAHN At a Glance

The Monthly Newsletter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses

September 2009

Volume 3, Number 5

In This Issue

·    A Message from the President

·    Announcements

·    Conference 2010

·    NAHN Members in the News

·    Chapter Tidbits

·    Policy

·    Industry News Links

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A Message from the President

Dear Members,

 

First let me apologize for taking so long to write the president’s letter to you. As you know we have been extremely busy these past few months in helping to promote the health care reform bill. You may be asking yourself why we need to do this and I would like to share with you the following:

 

·         Despite progress, ethnic disparities persist among the 10 leading health indicators identified in the 2010 national health objectives.  Hispanic/Latinos living in the US are almost twice as likely to die from diabetes as are non-Hispanic whites. We account for a disproportionate percentage of new cases of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. We have higher rates of high blood pressure and obesity than do non-Hispanic whites. We bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability when compared with non-Hispanic whites.

·         We earn less than non-Hispanic white workers. We are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to live in poverty. Our children represented 17.7% of all children in the US but constituted 30.4% of all children living in poverty (Ramirez and de la Cruz, 2003). The effects of childhood poverty have an impact on their health status as they become adults.

·         We have the lowest rate of health insurance coverage in comparison to other major racial/ethnic groups (Pew Hispanic Center, 2000). The probability of Hispanics/Latinos under age 65 being uninsured is 35%, compared with 17% of the general population under age 65.

·         Only 43% of Hispanics working receives health insurance through work. This occurs because most of us work disproportionately in blue-collar and service-oriented jobs (Smedley et al., 2003).

·         We are seriously underrepresented in all health professions (less than 5% of physicians, nurses, dentists, are Hispanic)

 

I am asking you to please write your House of Representatives and your Senators to support the much needed Health Care Reform bill. The lack of insurance is a major barrier to cost-effective healthcare in the US since people who are uninsured do not seek preventive services, wait until “the last minute” to get medical treatment thus their condition is exacerbated, and fail to manage their own chronic illnesses.

 

We are planning the 2010 annual conference which will be held in Washington, DC and I hope that we will increase our member participation. This past conference we had almost 400 attendees so let’s try to double that amount in DC. The letter requesting “First Lady Michelle Obama” to be one of our keynote speakers has been sent. By this week your chapter president should be receiving a sample template as to how your chapter can also make this request for her participation in this very important conference. The more letters she receives from you and your community to be our keynote speaker the more apt she is to do this.

 

Con Cariño,

 

Norma Martínez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN

Presidente de NAHN

 

Announcements

 

We have recently opened our Career Headquarters page on our website with the goal of connecting healthcare employers with Hispanic nursing professionals. If you, or your employer, have a job that you wish to post, you may do so at http://www.thehispanicnurses.org/jobpress/. Job postings start at $200 for 30 days. If you are currently seeking employment, this is a great place to look for job postings!

 

During the 2009 conference in San Antonio, the membership approved a revised version of the bylaws. You can read this version at: http://www.thehispanicnurses.org/?page_id=15.

Conference 2010

 

Save the date

We are pleased to invite you to the

NAHN 35th Annual Conference

to be held in our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C.

July 22 - 25, 2010

Marriott Wardman Park

NAHN Members in the News

 

NAHN President, Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, participated in the 2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy conference entitled “Latinos Leading in a Global Society.” The conference was held from September 13th – 15th in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Rogers participated as a panelist on a discussion of healthcare reform and its impact on the Latino community. The conference concluded with a gala on September 16th which was attended by President Obama and the First Lady.

 

 

In a September 10th, 2009 Latina.com article, Carolina Sandoval, of the Los Angeles Chapter, was interviewed on “How to Prevent H1N1.” Some suggestions for how to prevent the spread of the disease include hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, and isolation if one exhibits symptoms of the disease. To obtain more tips from Carolina and Latina.com, you may read the rest of the article at: http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/how-prevent-h1n1.

 

The New York Chapter was featured in a September 21st, 2009 nurse.com article. Chapter president Dan Suarez was featured in this article regarding available scholarships for the student members of NAHN-NY. For more information, including requirements for this year’s NAHN-NY scholarships, go to:   http://news.nurse.com/article/20090921/NY02/109210023

Chapter Tidbits

 

The Las Vegas, Nevada Chapter is volunteering at the Helping Kids Clinic, providing vaccinations and physicals. The Helping Kids Clinic is funded by grants and donations, and it primarily serves the Hispanic community. By donating a few hours a week of their time, the members of the Las Vegas chapter are helping keep the doors of the clinic open.

 

The Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter its Dream a Dream…Be a Nurse event on September 17th. NAHN members shared their stories about the obstacles they had to overcome and realize their dreams of becoming nurses.  Jeffery Luecke, RN, Wisconsin Nurse of the Year, talked about his role at a local clinic that provides care for the Latino community and his volunteer experiences in Paraguay. Nursing students shared their experiences in nursing school and encouraged the youth who were present to pursue their dreams regardless of any obstacles. Representatives from local colleges and universities had booths with information on their nursing programs. Free music, refreshments, and free blood pressure screenings were offered.

 

The Delaware Chapter performed blood pressure screenings at the Hispanic Festival in Wilmington on September 13th. As well, chapter president Marina Ruiz represented the organization at the Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation in Dover, DE on September 15th.

 

The New York Chapter participated in the American Diabetes Feria Salud and the Hispanic Federation Viva Su Vida on September 12th and 13th.

 

For upcoming NAHN events, please visit our calendar at http://www.thehispanicnurses.org/?page_id=571. This is a reminder to the chapter presidents to add events to the NAHN calendar so not only your members, but everyone can see what your chapter is doing.

 

Policy

H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act was introduced by
John Dingell (D-MI) on July 31, 2009. The purpose of this Act is to provide affordable health insurance to all Americans and reduce out of control health cost. 

     The following is a summary of the healthcare reform provisions:

 

·         Section 112 All individuals and employers will have guaranteed coverage with automatic renewal

·         Section 111 Bans any preexisting condition exclusions

·         Section 152 Disallows discrimination in health care

·         Section 226 Bans elimination of coverage unless there is clear evidence of fraud

·         Impose a tax on individuals without health insurance and on employer not providing health insurance for its employee

·         Prohibits annual and lifetime limits of health benefits

·         Restricts annual out-of-pocket expenses to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family (Congress.org).

·         Section 201 Provide for a Health Insurance Exchange which allow choices of affordable health insurance, including a public insurance.

·         Section 1233(B) “An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses” (Library of Congress).

    The above mentioned is currently being implemented in New York City hospitals.  Upon admissions, the nurses inform all patients, regardless of their health status, about advance directives, living wills, and health care proxy.

 

Industry News Links

 

Flu season is approaching and along with the yearly seasonal flu vaccine, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is introducing the vaccine for the H1N1 virus. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made recommendations on who should receive the vaccination. These groups include:

         

-          pregnant women

-          caregivers and household contacts for infants under 6 months of age

-          all people from 6 months to 24 years of age

-          emergency services workers and healthcare professionals

-          those aged 24 to 65 years with medical conditions such as compromised immune systems which are associated with higher risks of complications due to influenza

 

These groups account for approximately 159 million people in the United States population. The CDC does not expect there to be a shortage of the vaccine and it encourages that all who fall under the recommended categories receive both the H1N1 vaccine along with the season flu vaccine. While no exact date has been set for the release of the H1N1 vaccine, the CDC hopes to have it available to the public early in the fall.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm

 

On September 11th, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was releasing $33 million for the creation of grants to address shortages of healthcare workers. These grants would be released under six different programs managed by the HHS’s Health Resources and Service Administration. Among these programs is the Nursing Workforce Diversity program, which received $2.6 million. This program focuses on creating scholarships, stipends, pre-entry preparation programs, and retention activities for nursing students from disadvantages backgrounds. In addition, on August 12th, the HHS also announced a $13.4 million in funds for a program, which would help repay the student loans of nurses working in facilities with critical staff shortages. As well, this program would create loans for students who intend to become faculty members in a nursing school.

Source: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/09/20090911b.html

 

Families USA recently released the results of its state by state study comparing the rise of family health insurance premiums to the increase in earnings of workers from 2000 to 2009. Across the board, the organization found that health care premiums were rising significantly faster than earnings while the types of benefits being offered were decreased. To read the report on your state, go to http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/archives/