DiversityNursing Blog

Ebola Survivor Nina Pham Suing Hospital to Be 'Voice for Other Nurses'

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Mar 02, 2015 @ 02:10 PM

EMILY SHAPIRO

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A nurse who contracted Ebola at the Dallas hospital where she worked plans to sue the hospital's parent company, Texas Health Resources, hoping to be a "voice for other nurses," her lawyer said today.

In the suit, which Nina Pham plans to file Monday, the 26-year-old nurse alleges that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital didn't train the staff to treat Ebola and didn't give them proper protective gear, which left parts of their skin exposed, her lawyer Charla Aldous said.

"One of the most concerning things about the way [the hospital] handled this entire process is you've got a young lady who has this disease which she should not have. And if they properly trained her and given her the proper personal protective equipment to wear, she would not have gotten the disease," Aldous said.

Aldous said Pham hopes the suit will "help make sure that hospitals and big corporations properly train their nurses and healthcare providers."

"This is not something that Nina chose," Aldous said, but "She's hoping that through this lawsuit she can make it a change for the better for all nurses."

Pham is still coping with Ebola's after-effects, including nightmares and body aches, her lawyer said.

"She has not gone back to work yet and she is working on recovering," Aldous said. "I don't know if she'll ever be a nurse again."

Texas Health Resources spokesperson Wendell Watson said in a statement: "Nina Pham bravely served Texas Health Dallas during a most difficult time. We continue to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter."

Last fall, Pham cared for Liberian native Thomas Eric Duncan, who flew to the U.S. and was diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Pham took care of Duncan when he was especially contagious, and on Oct. 8, Duncan died from the virus.

Pham tested positive for Ebola on Oct. 11, marking the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil.

On Oct. 16, Pham was transferred to the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She was discharged on Oct. 24.

At the news conference announcing Pham's discharge, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, said she tested negative for Ebola five times, and that it wasn't clear which treatment saved her because they were all experimental.

"I want to first tell you what a great pleasure and in many respects, a privilege ... to have the opportunity to treat and care for and get to know such an extremely courageous and lovely person," Fauci said, adding that she represents the health care workers who "put themselves on the line."

Pham's dog, Bentley, was also quarantined for several weeks, over fears that he, too, would develop Ebola.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Topics: health, healthcare, hospital, nurse, nurses, nursing, NIH, virus, Ebola, survivor

NAHN Receives Five-Year Federal Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

 

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The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) has received a five-year, $1.24 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National Institutes of Health to support NAHN’s collaborative project with the Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) entitled Hispanic Role Models in Health Careers.

This collaborative NIH R25 program has been established to address the need for cultural and linguistic diversity among health professionals by recruiting and interviewing bilingual role models and arranging to broadcast those interviews. Through these efforts, the project aims to inform Spanish-speakers about the range of health careers open to them through proper education, and to inspire them to imagine themselves in careers focusing on health and medicine.

Leveraging HCN’s nationally-broadcast health education radio shows, whose cumulative audiences are larger than NPR’s “All Things Considered,” as well as the social media outreach of both organizations, this project has the potential to reach one-third of the nation’s Hispanic population during its first five years.

“In the United States, registered nurses represent 3 million members, the largest segment of the U.S. health care workforce.Yet, Hispanics still comprise only 3.6 percent of all nurses. I am excited that NIH has provided NAHN the opportunity to be able to reach out to our Hispanic youth with hopes to inspire them into becoming a professional nurse,” said Angie Millan, Principal Investigator of the Hispanic Role Models In Health Careers.

“This new SEPA project, Hispanic Role Models in Health Care Careers, is aligned with NAHN’s commitment to support professional career opportunities for Hispanic nurses and their effort to improve health in Hispanic communities. The project also supports the SEPA’s goals of providing opportunities for students from underserved communities to pursue careers in biomedical fields and to improve community health literacy,” said Dr. Tony Beck, director of the NIH Office of Science Education/SEPA.

In addition to national media outreach, a number of bilingual online resources for health career aspirants will be established, including an extensive database of volunteer professionals who have said “¡Sí!¡Seré Mentor!” (“Yes! I will mentor you!”). These resources will provide Hispanics of all ages and walks of life with the opportunity to form relationships with seasoned healthcare professionals.

Additional outreach to be established alongside the project include: public speaking and media relations training opportunities provided for attendees of NAHN’s annual conference; an Advisory Committee of health organizations, professionals and advocates established to recommend role models and provide periodic feedback; and bilingual independent evaluators associated with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health instituted to conduct rigorous evaluation throughout the project.

To learn more about the Hispanic Role Models in Health Careers program, please visit www.nihsepa.org

Topics: hispanic, NAHN, NIH, grants, HCN, recruit, interview, role models, broadcast, communications

NIH study seeks to improve asthma therapy for African-Americans

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 10:56 AM

By National Institute of Health

Researchers will enroll around 500 African-American children and adults who have asthma in a multi-center clinical trial to assess how they react to therapies and to explore the role of genetics in determining the response to asthma treatment. This new clinical study, which will take place at 30 sites in 14 states, is aimed at understanding the best approach to asthma management in African-Americans, who suffer much higher rates of serious asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and asthma-related deaths than whites.

The Best African American Response to Asthma Drugs (BARD) study is under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

“This large-scale clinical effort is expected to provide new insights into how health care professionals can better manage asthma in African-Americans to improve outcomes,” said Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the NHLBI.

“BARD reinforces the institute’s commitment to understand, reduce, and ultimately even eliminate the disparities in asthma outcomes observed in the African-American population compared to other Americans with asthma,” added James Kiley, M.D., director of the NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases.

BARD will examine the effectiveness of different doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) used with or without the addition of a long-acting beta agonist (LABA). ICS reduce inflammation and help control asthma in the long term. LABAs relax tight airway muscles. This study will compare multiple combinations of medications and dosing regimens to assess the response to therapy. BARD will track whether children and adults respond similarly to the same treatment, and evaluate how genes may affect treatment response.

“While national asthma guidelines provide recommendations for all patients with asthma, it is possible that, compared with other groups, African-Americans respond differently to asthma medications,” said Michael Wechsler, M.D., principal investigator for the BARD study and professor of medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver. “Our study is designed to specifically address how asthma should be managed in African-American asthma patients, both adults and children.”

The BARD study is supported by NHLBI’s AsthmaNet clinical trials network. BARD began enrolling patients on Feb. 10.

To schedule an interview with an NHLBI spokesperson, please contact the NHLBI Office of Communications at 301-496-4236 or nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

Topics: NIH, asthma, African Americans, therapy, BARD

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