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Report from Indianapolis

History Being Made

The inaugural meeting of the Nursing Organization Alliance.

For years, national nursing organizations had two forums for communicating about and collaborating on important issues: the National Federation of Specialty Nursing Organizations and the Nursing Organization Liaison Forum (NOLF), an affiliate of the ANA. Two years ago, the two groups decided to combine, forming one organization that can provide "a forum for the open exchange of ideas, concerns, and solutions for health care issues." From November 14 to 17, the Nursing Organization Alliance held its inaugural meeting and announced that it now includes 56 nursing organizations.


The alliance could potentially harness the collective power of nurses at a time when the profession desperately needs a unified voice. National nursing leaders encouraged the group to act in accordance with the theme of the meeting: creating a bold vision, developing and using the group's power to move this vision, and providing the leadership needed to act.


Director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota, Mary Wakefield, RN, challenged the group not to let structuring the organization get in the way of taking action. "Time won't stand still while we toocautiously build this organization," she said. "Timidity now is a disservice to the profession and the American public." Progress was made on the organization's mission, goals, and bylaws-work begun last year under the leadership of Patricia Seifert, RN. It remains to be seen whether the group can become the organization Wakefield challenged it to become: flexible, responsive, and credible, acting with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency.


The alliance takes over sponsorship of the annual Nurses in Washington Internship, an intensive conference on public policy and politics that has served as a training ground for many of the participating nursing organizations' new leaders (although the internship is open to all nurses). Hope and enthusiasm pervaded the meeting, as the leaders of national nursing organizations demonstrated their leadership on behalf of all of nursing.-Diana J. Mason, RN, editor-in-chief


Report from Atlanta

Advancing the Health of Women: Prevention, Practice, and Policy

Highlights from the 2002 conference.

Approximately 600 health care providers, policymakers, researchers, and educators met in Atlanta from October 7 to 9 to attend a conference hosted by the Office of Women's Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


Keynote speakers included Wanda Jones, deputy assistant secretary for health (women's health) of the Department of Health and Human Services, who emphasized that it's essential that both providers and legislators be made aware of the health care, cultural, and diversity issues associated with aging; Georgia state representative Nan Grogan Orrock described legislation that had been passed to prohibit "drive-by" deliveries and mastectomies in Georgia.


Other sessions addressed


* the disparities in health among populations of women considered underserved, such as women of color, immigrants, lesbians, and women with disabilities, as well as the increased risk of death from pregnancy complications and higher rates of death from breast cancer among African Americans.


* successful initiatives like Project Joy, a program developed to modify heart disease risk factors through "faith-based" interventions among African-American women.


* the health problems of incarcerated women and those with HIV or AIDS, health and safety at work, and violence against women.


* Yvonne Green, RN, director of the Office of Women's Health (CDC), stressed the significance of prevention, practice, and policy in improving women's health care. Attendees were encouraged to start planning for National Women's Health Week, May 11 through 17.-Margaret Moloney, RN




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Figure. Deborah R. M... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Deborah R. Maiese, director, Office of Women's Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, leads a cheer for bone health.