Academic journal article ABNF Journal

A Conversation with Dr. Mary Wakefield on the Subject of the Affordable Care Act

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

A Conversation with Dr. Mary Wakefield on the Subject of the Affordable Care Act

Article excerpt

Dr Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN is the Obama appointee who serves as the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). On July 23,2013, Dr. Diana P Jones and I had the unprecedented opportunity to represent ABNF in a private telephone conference call with Dr Mary Wakefield. Unlike other conference calls to which many nurses have been invited, there were not 5,000 other nurses on the call. It was just President Diana Jones and me. We addressed Mary, as we were permitted to call her, on matters germane to the health care issues affecting African American. She listened intently as President Jones and I relayed the concerns of African American academicians and the communities that we serve. She was impressed with the numbers of members that constitute the membership of our organization, and stressed upon us the need to disseminate the roll out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to all ABNF members. We vowed to do so. In return, we requested that she link us with other members of her administration that could assist us in providing positive answers to the many questions that would be presented to us regarding reimbursement for advanced practice nurses, scholarships for BSN students, and support for establishing nurse managed centers. In a follow up email on August 2, 2013, she provided us with linkages to the ACA resources. In addition, we are in the process of establishing a webinar with Dr Wakefield at which we will invite ABNF membership participation in the dialogue. An announcement will be posted to our website. Watch for details at

I strongly encourage you to access the wealth of information via the ACA website to include in your classroom discussions and with your patients, as we strive to ensure that ABNF is a recognized supporter of the ACA. We will endeavor to disseminate the resources available to you from the websites and linkages detailed in Dr Wakefield's memo to us reprinted below. It is critically important that we assume a leadership position in voicing the unique issues of concern for African American nurse academicians nationwide. I am pleased to share with you Dr Wakefield's email message to us:

From: Miller, Samantha (HRSA) ||

Sent: Friday, August 02,2013 1:33 PM

To: Gloria McNeal;

Cc: Dudley, Thomas E. (CMS/OC); Coulouris, Natasha (HRSA)

Subject: Message from Dr. Wakefield: Follow up to Our Conversation on the Affordable Care Act

Dear Diana and Gloria,

It was a pleasure to be able to talk with you about the Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc. (ABNF), your members, and the critically important role they can play in the next phase of the Affordable Care Act. As we discussed, with the Health Insurance Marketplace opening October I, it will be especially important for deans and nurse educators - often the most trusted sources for health information - to know where to direct students, colleagues and community members for the most current and accurate resources. As you share Marketplace resources and information with your members, please feel free to use language from this cover email to help set the stage.

As administrators and educators, ABNF members are particularly well-positioned to direct students, faculty, community organizations and others to accurate, clear information. As nurse leaders, ABNF members know that too often families across the nation find insurance coverage to support health care services unaffordable and out of reach, which is particularly true in racial/ethnic minority communities facing disparities in health, health coverage, and access to care. However, with the help of your members, that can change for millions of Americans. Whether or not African American and other uninsured patients will be able to benefit from the new health care reform law depends in no small part on what nurse leaders do to help individuals and families take advantage of the benefits available in their state. …

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