What’s in a Name?
Many wonder why the name was coined Acadiana Black Nurses Association (ABNA).
Some conclude the association & its mission does not represent everyone. Perhaps reviewing the HISTORY of its National chapter may provide some explanation of the meaning of its name, however the main question is how ABNA can impact the communities we serve.
Dr. Oberleitner, Dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions values such an organization to the community and stated “our support of ABNA facilitates a chapter which is thriving and growing in our community…..It is important for our black students to connect and interact with black nurses in our community who can serve as role models and mentors…. we fully support the NBNA/ABNA mission to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare in persons of color in our community and nation”.
Current data reveals more African Americans and people of color are at risk of contracting COVID 19 in comparison to other races according to the CDC report. Governor Edwards spoke of collaborating with special groups and organizations whose focus is to improve access and outcomes for this group. It is at this time I am reminded of why the Acadiana Black Nurses Association was chartered, and the benefits of being part of an organization whose main goal is to make difference in improving high-risk populations. It is no secret that African Americans, in particular are more likely to suffer from health disparities and health problems such as asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. These are some of the main triggers of COVID. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated at a press briefing on April 7, 2020 that “Health disparities have always existed for the African-American community….. and that shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is.”
While ABNA’s members are primarily African Americans, all nurses and affiliates regardless of race are welcome to join. Some of our non-African-American members stated, “I joined the ABNA because of the mission and philosophy. I always knew that it wasn’t exclusively for people of color, but it wasn’t until I studied what the organization is all about, that I was propelled to join. It was disheartening, but not shocking to hear of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19, however in my nearly 40 years of healthcare, I have seen enough to realize the disparities are there. ABNA is part of the solution to racial health disparities and that is why I joined.” K.B, DNP, RN. Another said,“It is a small, but hearty, group that gives so much time, treasure and talent to work to elevate the health status of vulnerable populations in our District. I am so proud to call them my colleague (P.L, RN).” I.T, a multiracial Hispanic nurse, stated “I wanted to join the ABNA because it provides leadership to advance nursing practice and improve health care for everyone, particularly the un-served and the underserved communities.
Dr. Iris Malone, APRN, DNP, FNP