The National Black Nurses Association is pleased to announce Ena Williams, MBA, MSM, BSN, RN, CENP, of Yale New Haven Hospital and Otis Rolley of The Rockefeller Foundation as the official keynote speakers for the 49th Annual Institute and Conference to be held virtually on August 4-8, 2021. The theme of this year’s conference is “Celebrating 50 Years of Innovative Community Service, Practice, Education, and Research in Nursing.”
Otis Rolley is the Senior Vice President, U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative (US EEO) at The Rockefeller Foundation. Recognizing low wage workers as essential, even prior to COVID-19, Otis is directing all U.S. work focused on enhancing the ability of every working person to meet the basic financial needs of their family and have a path to a better future. With a focus on equity, Otis provides stewardship for U.S. grant making and investing that is aligned to strategic levers to fill key economic opportunity gaps in tax and budget policy design and implementation; access to capital and asset ownership; and worker coalition-building and advocacy.
Immediately prior to joining the Foundation in 2019, Otis served as a North America Managing Director for 100 Resilient Cities, a major project sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation. There he provided urban resilience (economic, environmental Sustainability and community development) technical assistance and portfolio management for 29 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. A true urbanist, Otis’ career has been dedicated to advancing equity, economic and community development in cities, and leading organizations in the for-profit, public, and non-profit sectors.
Opening Ceremony and 50th Anniversary Celebration: Equity First: Prioritizing People in Covid Testing & Vaccination
Thursday, August 5
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ena Williams, MBA, MSM, BSN, RN, CENP, is the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut – a 1541 bed ANCC 3-time Magnet ® designated, level I trauma, academic medical center. She has oversight of nearly 6000 nurses and clinical staff, with responsibility for practice, quality, workforce, nursing resources, patient experience and general operations. Ena assumed the role of chief nursing officer in 2018 and has since led the team through an ANCC accreditation of the Vizient Nurse Residency Program in 2018 which was recognized with 12 best practices. As CNO, she also led the team through the COVID-19 pandemic, leading clinical and operational teams across the health system, and caring for nearly 7000 COVID patients. Most recently she led the team through their 3rd Magnet designation.
Closing Keynote: Addressing Health Equity through Innovative Nursing Leadership
Sunday, August 8
10:00 am to 11:00 am
About the Virtual 49th Annual Institute and Conference
Expecting more than 500 nurses and nursing students to attend the conference, registration is now underway. To register for the virtual conference, members and nonmembers go here. More information about the conference and detailed agenda is located at https://www.nbna.org/conf.
The conference will provide the opportunity for attendees to receive up to 35 contact hours and attend two days of NBNA workshops, mentorship sessions, Under 40 events, development programs, lunch and learns, and so much more!
• Discuss the importance of a nurse’s ability to be resilient and practice self-care.
• Discuss disruptive trends in health care delivery and inequity in healthcare.
• Examine emerging opportunities for transforming the future of nursing through innovative
nursing/interdisciplinary practice, education, research, and policy advocacy.
• Identify new models of care to reduce inequities in health care and improve health outcomes for minority and underserved communities.
To join the conversation on social media, follow NBNA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and use the hashtags #NBNACelebrates50Years, #NBNAResilient, #NBNAConference21.
About the National Black Nurses Association
Founded in 1971, the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) is a professional organization representing 308,000 African American registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, and nursing students in 108 chapters and 34 states. The NBNA mission is “to serve as the voice for Black nurses and diverse populations ensuring equal access to professional development, promoting educational opportunities and improving health.” NBNA chapters offer voluntary hours providing health education and screenings to community residents in collaboration with community-based partners, including faith-based organizations, civic, fraternal, hospitals, and schools of nursing. For more information, visit nbna.org. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! #NBNAResilient, #NBNACelebrates50Years, #NBNAConference21
Keisha Ricks, NBNA Marketing and Communications Manager [email protected]
Conferences have moved to a virtual format and will likely remain that way for a while. Traveling to and spending days at conferences in rooms and events full of people might be one of the last “return-to-normal” business practices we see.
But professional nurses still need the education, networking, and exposure to new ideas that make conferences so valuable. You can still gain a lot from a virtual conference, but it takes some preparation and a new set of expectations.
Understand the Platform
Virtual conferences will use some of the most state-of-the-art platforms to help attendees form and keep the personal connections that make conference learning and networking so easy. Download any needed software ahead of time and then spend some time exploring the conference’s site so you’re able to confidently move from an event to a working group to a panel discussion.
Pay Attention to Your Own Surroundings
You might be home, but a conference is no time to look like it. Wear business-appropriate clothes that you would wear to a typical conference. It’s better to be a little over dressed than to look too casual. If you find other attendees are dressing down, you can always change if that would make you more comfortable (and that’s one of the positive aspects of attending a conference from home). Be aware of your surroundings, too. It’s not always easy to find a well-lit, quiet, neutral background space when you’re in your house (one of the negative aspects of attending a conference from home). Look for a plain wall or one with just a few items on it or find a neutral virtual background. Use headphone to reduce noise distractions. Don’t eat while you’re on video.
Before you sit down, make sure you have all the supplies you would need at a traditional conference. Just like taking an online class, have your laptop or pens and paper ready for note taking and try to limit distractions as much as possible. And because business card swapping is less likely to happen, practice a good elevator pitch—you’ll need it. Have a brief summary of who you are, your professional role, one or two personal points to discuss, your organization and how it relates to the industry and this conference, and what you’re hoping to get from the conference. You’ll use these pieces of your elevator pitch throughout the conference as you talk with others in breakout sessions or in networking sessions. Practice ahead of time as you would for an in-person event so your delivery is polished and succinct—you need to leave time for others to talk. Then prepare a few questions so you can ask people about themselves. Others might not be as prepared, so asking about them makes the virtual interaction less awkward.
Ask questions, attend as many breakout sessions as you can, connect with others through the conference’s social media channels, and offer your insight. You might not be attending in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fully present. Really listen to the speakers and get as much out of the virtual conference as you can. It’s likely that sessions will be recorded, so take advantage of that bonus to attend all the sessions relevant to your goals. Talk to other attendees through any additional platforms—you’ll find Slack is used by many—so you can participate and also tune into the top-of-mind topics others are asking about or discussing.
After the conference, follow up with people you met and want to keep in touch with. Virtual conferences will become more common, but there will be a time when you might get to meet these new connections in person. You want to make a good impression and build on the strength of your initial meeting—just like when you meet someone face-to-face. Other nursing professionals are navigating uncharted waters right now and are looking to share and gain information on how to proceed. They want to know how the pandemic has impacted nurses, patient care, the nursing industry and the larger healthcare industry, and how they can make improvements. And with virtual settings being the current norm, you’ll be able to meet up again without having to wait until the next conference.
A virtual conference isn’t the same as in-person and can lack the buzz of excitement and potential so many attendees enjoy at a traditional conference. But there are big benefits to virtual events, and they offer opportunities that in-person events don’t. Instead of thinking of a virtual conference as a second choice, think of a few opportunities you’ll have thanks to this new format. That change of perspective gives you a head start on enjoying this new experience.
The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is hosting a virtual symposium on Thursday, September 17, 2020 to highlight state, tribal, territorial and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations. The Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities virtual symposium will feature national, state, tribal and local experts leading these efforts and is developed for public health leaders at all levels and community organizations confronting the pandemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a history of systemic health and social inequities have put racial and ethnic minority groups at an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age. CDC data suggests the prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other underlying conditions also contribute to disparities in health outcomes within communities of color.
The OMH virtual symposium aims to support the dissemination of promising practices, programs and strategies for combating COVID-19, especially in racial and ethnic minority communities.