Registered nurses Cathy Stoddart and Michelle Boyle, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, were recognized for their work educating patients, staff and their communities about the Affordable Care Act by administration officials at a recent White House Health Forum.
Both Cecelia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) addressed the audience of nurses and fellow caregivers. Their remarks led to an animated discussion regarding how to improve outreach and engagement of patients and staff across the country. Administration officials, providers and advocates shared thoughts on challenges, strategies, potential partnerships and shared resources that would help increase awareness of the healthcare law.
"As nurses on the frontlines of care we deliver the benefits of this law and need to be sharing best practices," said Michelle Boyle, RN. "I learned more about outreach and education efforts around the country and also shared the outreach program we developed at Allegheny General Hospital."
Helping staff, patients and their families understand the benefits and protections they won with the passage of the healthcare law is a top priority for the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare. Both Boyle and Stoddart took part in "Empowering Patients," a nurse-to-nurse training initiative on the benefits of the law.
"Nurses need to work in partnership with patients and with hospitals to help them understand this law and deliver the best care," said Stoddart. "Forums like this help us refine and share best practices in how we educate patients, their families and our colleagues about how this law helps everyone live healthier lives."