This spring, a group of nurses from the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women and Newborns attended the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) on Capitol Hill event in Washington, D.C., to learn about the federal legislative process and current bills.
“Caring for women and newborns includes the clinical care we provide at the bedside, as well as lending our voice and support to legislation that enables systems to support healthy families and ensure a strong nursing workforce,” said Karen Manganaro, MSN, RN, of the Center for Labor and Birth, who participated along with Mimi Pomerleau, MSN, RNC, professional development manager, and Nichole Young, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, of the Center for Labor and Birth.
AWHONN on Capitol Hill included lectures and pre-arranged visits with elected officials for nurses.
“The first day, we learned about the importance of the nurse’s voice in advocating for the health of women and newborns and discussed three current bills,” said Young, who serves as the Massachusetts section chair of AWHONN.
The nurses then visited with staff in the offices of U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Reps. William Keating and Seth Moulton.
“It was a fantastic event that managed to be informative, inspiring and great fun,” said Pomerleau, who serves as a legislative coordinator for the Massachusetts section of AWHONN, alongside Manganaro and Yamiley Cayemitte, BSN, RN, of Connors Center 9/10.
Also this spring, the Massachusetts section of AWHONN hosted its annual conference, and the Brigham was well-represented by staff and alumni, according to Matthew Medina, RNC-OB/EFM, MSN, of the Center for Labor and Birth, who is the secretary/treasurer for MA AWHONN.
“We covered a broad range of topics, including legal issues in obstetrics, legal pitfalls and social media in obstetrics nursing, trauma-informed care, advances in genetic testing and screening and others,” said Medina. “It was great to see so many colleagues and former Brigham staff while engaging in discussion about issues that affect obstetric and neonatal nurses.”