From The President

Greetings from the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc. It is with humility and honor that I accept the position of President of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc. (BBNA). As BBNA’s 12th President, I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before me, those who have paved the road to make this organization great. I hope to make you proud as well as pleased that you have elected me to this position.

I propose to “Take it to the Streets”. By that I mean, we as healthcare providers must take our knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to those who are in need, wherever they may be. We must especially target the members of our community who are not able to go the health care provider when their blood sugar is high or when their blood pressure drops because they have lost so much weight due to not eating correctly. We must reach out to our residents who may not have money to purchase their blood pressure pills, and who may not be aware that a local retail drugstore provides blood pressure medications free of charge. The purpose of Take it to the Streets is to provide medical advice and health promotion education to all, including the unserved and underserved members of our community. This can be done by increasing our efforts in community activities such as health fairs, health forums, health promotions, speaking at community centers for the elderly, participating in meal planning programs for older adults, conducting blood pressure screening at churches, teaching Hands-only CPR and heart health to our young children and young adults, and by being accessible to those organizations that seek our involvement. There is no limit to the work that has to be done, and BBNA members are passionate about our responsibility to assist in the provision of quality health care for all.

I would like to see BBNA’s increased involvement in research and grant opportunities. I plan to add a research/grant committee to our list of standing committees. This new committee will be the clearing house for all BBNA research/grant projects. We will determine where we are, what has worked in the past, and what will work in the future. We will keep our national organization informed about what we are doing in our local community and in the state of Alabama. We plan to solicit grants with schools of nursing and our state organizations in order to study disease processes and to offer assistance to our young struggling student nurses. There is so much to accomplish, and BBNA members and friends are invited to engage in the plans to accomplish some of these endeavors. Now, this means that everyone must seek opportunities for grants and other outreach opportunities. We are all researchers, and we must all plan to get involved.

I would also like to see more marketing of BBNA’s activities in the community. Technology advances are reshaping the healthcare sector, and marketing is no exception. The biggest changes include the rise of social media. I envision a “You Tube” video that presents BBNA and all of its initiatives. The video will be a clear picture of who and what we are about and what we are doing. We could provide educational vignettes with demonstrations of Hands-only CPR or how to take a blood pressure. We need to plaster Facebook with events that we attend and events we will be hosting. We should plan to “Go Live” on Facebook more often, and I especially need to learn to tweet and do Instagram. We often talk about targeting our younger nurses; well we have to speak their language.

I can’t do all of this important work alone. I need you and you and you to help me. We are a team, and we must stick together. I have been ill in the past, and I don’t hide it. I have had a stroke over 2 years ago, but thanks to God, it didn’t leave me paralyzed or mentally challenged. I need your help, support, and team work to make these next two years a success for me, you, BBNA, and our community. I thank you for putting your trust in me to lead this great organization, and I promise not to fail.

Thank you!

Deborah Thedford-Zimmerman, RN, MSN, WOCN
President, Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc.