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Chapter community education and public service award.

Editor's note: Part of the AACN Circle of Excellence recognition program, the Chapter Community Education and Public Service Award recognizes chapters that have made an outstanding public service contribution in their local communities through community education and involvement. Following are excerpts from exemplars submitted in connection with this award for 2006.

Suffolk County Chapter

New York

During our chapter's Annual Spring Symposium in 2001, a survivor of a sudden cardiac event presented the power of AEDs. We voted unanimously to continue such efforts in our community. An AED task force was started, which researched guidelines and formed collaborative alliances with the Long Island American Heart Association (AHA), our local Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Training Center and the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation (, run by Karen and John Acompora, who lost their only son to a sudden cardiac event. Prior to "Louis's Law," which in 2002 required public schools in New York state to have AEDs, our chapter worked to educate the public. We presented AED demonstrations and answered questions. During the New York State Physical Education training program for public schools, we provided information to department heads and coaches. An alliance was formed with Good Samaritan's Nursing Education Department, where BCLS training was subsidized. A monthly training program was established, in conjunction with the AHA, the ECC of Stony Brook University Hospital and LA12. Schools interested in AED training were referred to us through the LA12 Web site, our chapter site or the AHA. Efforts continued until our original goal of assisting with AED training for public schools in Suffolk County was attained. All public schools in the county are now in compliance with New York state law. Our chapter was also recognized by AHA at the annual Heartsaver Day in 2003. This public service effort engaged our chapter members and transformed us: A small group of dedicated individuals has changed our community.

Suncoast Chapter


The Suncoast Chapter partnered with the Suncoast SAFE KIDS Coalition, ACT for Health (Adolescents & Children Taking Action for Health), the Pinellas County Department of Health, All Children's Hospital and the Partnership for a Healthier Pinellas to host a free, all-day Safety Summit for paraprofessionals who work and volunteer with children. Attendees were given a smoke detector, donated by Lealman Fire Rescue, and a first-aid kit from our chapter. Our target audience was daycare providers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, Department of Health employees, bus drivers, crossing guards, Parks personnel and lifeguards. The audience also included nursing students from several local colleges. There were 225 attendees in all. Topics included Water Safety and Fall Prevention, Car Seat Safety, Methods for Educating Kids About Safety and Poison Prevention. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Christine Branche from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, presented an Overview of Safety Topics. The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive. Our chapter joined the partnership and sponsored this event to teach those who work with children about techniques to prevent unintentional injury. As critical care nurses, our message was that we are trained to care for the critically ill, but our goal is to provide education and to promote safe behaviors for children. We demonstrated our commitment to community planning and education as critical care nurses, and to role model this behavior for the student nurses.

Siouxland Chapter

South Dakota

Our chapter is a key player in providing outstanding public service contributions in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We have provided and served food at local shelters and collected personal care items for them. We also provided funds and served meals at the local AIDS shelter. The chapter has sponsored health screening fairs at homeless shelters, where chapter members, student nurses and NP students screen participants for high blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and teach breast self-exams and dental hygiene. We also present participants with a personal hygiene kit consisting of a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap and other necessities. Our chapter feels part of nursing is to share our knowledge and skills with the less fortunate in our community. Another exciting chapter activity was assisting the South Dakota Nurses Association in presenting a nurse exploration badge program to the Girl Scouts. We provided opportunities for these girls to see firsthand the many aspects of nursing and the different areas where nurses work. Hopefully, we inspired some of them to choose nursing as a career. The Siouxland Chapter strives to assist the community and share our knowledge and skills.
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Publication:AACN News
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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