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July 2021 APNA President’s Message

July 2021 APNA President’s Message

Matt TierneyThe Intersection of Needed Care and Person-Centered Delivery

APNA President Matthew Tierney, MS, CNS, ANP, PMHNP, FAAN

Our profession exists at the intersection of access to needed care and person-centered care delivery. Patients, families, and communities entrust their mental health and substance use concerns to us, and we carefully ensure their access to individualized care that meets their needs, often initiating new treatment structures and creating novel approaches, tools, & resources along the way. Nurses’ resourcefulness and initiative are recognized in the National Academies 2021 report titled “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030” which  recognizes the essential nature of nursing roles in creating “equitable health and health care systems that are designed to work for everyone” (p. 1).

For illustrations of how we’re doing just that, look no further than the APNA Annual Conference program! The hundreds of sessions and poster presentations provide a comprehensive picture of how psychiatric-mental health nurses are revolutionizing care and systems to ensure that they work for everyone. Here are just a few examples:

  • Marci Zsamboky, Matt Schroer, and Molly Butler have integrated biological, social, and psychological foundations into an approach to screen, assess, and treat youth who are traumatized. (Session 1044: Trauma in Children and Adolescents: A Roadmap for Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment)
  • Rebecca Owens, Christine McManus, and Christine Machuca have successfully implemented a nurse-run patient education wellness group that is person-centered and improves the patient experience by incorporating the patient perspective. (Session 2046: Improving Psychiatric Person-centered Care During a Pandemic with a Nurse-run Patient Health Education Group)
  • Diane Vines has implemented a street medicine program for nursing students that both expands access to health care services for those with housing instability and increases the next generation of nurses’ empathy for this underserved population. (Session 3017: Street Medicine Participation for Mental Health Nursing Students)
  • Paula Bolton, Teresa Henderson, and Courtney Miller successfully pioneered new practices and outreach during the pandemic to ensure continued access to needed ECT/TMS and Ketamine/Esketamine Services. (Session 4037: When a Pandemic Hits and the Care You Provide is Not “Nonessential”: Lessons Learned from Neurotherapeutic Clinics)

These are just a few examples of rich and groundbreaking content found throughout the conference program. I am sure that those of you who have attended past conferences know there are many more to add. I am so proud to be a part of this amazing community of nurses who are dedicated to revolutionizing access to person-centered care for some of our most vulnerable and underserved populations. The work we do is driving the future of care ever forward.

While there is a lot of uncertainty right now, rest assured that APNA is monitoring COVID-19 developments and will respond accordingly with your safety in mind. I look forward to celebrating with you safely this October 13-16 in Louisville, KY!