The Philadelphia Chapter of ANAC is full of ENERGY! Just last week we were a team in the 2014 Philly AIDS Walk. It was a beautiful Fall Day and nurses from across the area joined thousands of other walkers to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS services in our area. It was great to chat with other nurses during the walk, support each other & discuss challenging cases, as so many of our patients are struggling with mental health issues, unstable housing, co-morbidities, aging and stigma. It was a great way to get know each other better and get a little nursing peer consultation! Looking forward to AIDS Walk 2015 & showing off the new ANAC logo.
We have been busy all year thinking of ways to increase visibility and membership. We hosted an HIV 101 presentation and invited non-HIV experienced nurses and nursing students and faculty so that they would better understand the struggles and stigma that HIV+ patients experience. We’re planning this as an annual event. We partner with the PA-AETC and welcome other health care professionals, such as social workers, PAs, pharmacists, and nursing school faculty and others to our meetings.
We’ve had some awesome presentations in the past year. Tom Loveless, PhD, CRNP presented his doctoral research about men seeking HIV infection; learning the struggles facing these men was truly enlightening and deeply emotional. Every May, we have a yearly medication update presentation that is always very well received. In September 42 people, ANAC members and others, attended the ANAC meeting when Dane Menkin MSN, CRNP, AAHIV presented HIV in the Transgender Population in the Primary Care Setting. There was lively discussion on how to make all of our patients feel welcome and engaged in their care. And lately, we’re hearing of more and more Philly ANAC members involved in PrEP education and PrEP programs – contributing to an effective addition to the HIV prevention toolkit!
Finally, we want to share some of the LOVE that Philly has to offer. With our city’s proximity to South Jersey and Delaware, we invite ANAC members from those areas to attend our meetings. Also, we are considering having a yearly meeting in Central Pennsylvania so that all Pennsylvania ANAC members could attend. We’d love to hear feedback from ANAC members in western and central and northern Pennsylvania about your interest in this. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and ideas. We also talked among ourselves about a joint meeting in the future with the New Jersey chapter too, so New Jersey folks, let us know what you think.