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The Miami Chapter-Black Nurses Association, INC. has established an organization to investigate, define and determine what the health needs of African Americans are and implement change to make available to African Americans and other minorities, health care commensurate with that of the larger society.
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In 1970 Dr. Lauranne Sams calls a special meeting of the black nurses present at the American Nurses Association Conference in Miami where the nurses discussed their concerns and Dr. Sams was charged with maintain contact with these nurses. In 1971, Black Nurses in Dade County began planning and organizing a Black Professional Nurses Group with the purpose of improving working conditions, patient care, recruitment and retention in nursing school and the advancement of Black Nurses within the community. In 1972 the Black Professional Nurses Association became the Black Nurses Association under the umbrella of the National Black Nurses Association and the organization became incorporated as a non-profit organization in Florida.
Charting Our Course
The mission of the Miami Chapter Black Nurses Association is to decrease health disparities through advocacy, education, and health promotion. Our organization seeks to investigate, define, and determine what the health needs of African Americans are and to implement change to make available the same health care available of the population at large available to African Americans and other minorities. Black nurses have the understanding, knowledge, interest, concern, and experience to be able to make a positive difference in the health care status of the Black Community.
Since March 2020, the world has been faced with the devastating global pandemic of COVID-19, Miami Chapter – Black Nurses Association (BNA) has been at the forefront in making significant impact in South Florida communities through “Keeping the Faith to Fight COVID-19” project sponsored by Health Foundation of South Florida. This project was developed by the lead organization James Wilson Bridges MD Medical Society (JWBMS) in collaboration with the Miami Chapter – BNA, Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida (HANA), Haitian American Faith Based Network (HAFBN), Haitian American Coalition of South Florida and the Student National Medical Association – FIU Chapter (SNMA) in phase one.
Another goal was to establish trust in the vaccine and to raise awareness by encouraging the use of preventative measures in collaboration with key stakeholders and trusted messengers from the Black Churches. The purpose of this project is to provide education on COVID-19 prevention, testing, and vaccine informational sessions via Zoom for 29 churches in South Florida which were selected in certain zip codes in Little Haiti, liberty City, North Miami, homestead, Miami Gardens, and Broward County and other underserved Black communities. Protective equipment and supplies such as masks and hand sanitizers are distributed to the faith-based institutions. and houses of worship. We are happy to report that in phase one, we served 29 churches, and conducted 1200 COVID-19 tests along with 45 min Zoom sessions, You-tube educational videos, and in person training. Currently, we are in phase whereby we are targeting 50 churches in underserved areas for COVID-19 testing, and to provide vaccinations. We will be moving toward phase three soon to combat COVID-19 through continued testing, educational sessions for churches and houses of worship, and increase confidence in the vaccination.