I attended my first GLMA conference this past September and it was a powerful and uplifting experience. Attendees were friendly and passionate about their areas of interest and expertise. Quite honestly–it was one of the best conferences that I have attended in my 30+ years of conference-attending! I am privileged to serve on the first GLMA Nursing Section leadership team and, as a new and first Recorder, am still learning the ropes (you may interpret this information as an ongoing request for feedback, suggestions, and directions I thought that it might be helpful to introduce myself a bit–I am on the faculty of Drexel University’s College of Nursing & Health Professions as a Clinical Professor in the Doctoral Department of the Graduate Nursing Program (http://drexel.edu/cnhp/faculty/profiles/ZuzeloPatti/). Recently, I have focused on developing my understanding of LGBTQ health concerns and contributing to advancing health equality and equity. I have a lot to learn but my delightful LGBTQ colleagues are helping me along (particularly Dr. Peggy Chinn–what an inspiration!). I serve on the American Academy of Nursing’s LGBTQ Expert Panel and am credentialed as an Adult Health CNS and as an Adult NP.
Now that I have shared a brief introduction–I have a request of each of you. Spread the word about GLMA and about GLMA’s newly created Nursing Section. Make certain that your friends, colleagues, and family know about the many varied opportunities to contribute to GLMA’s mission ensuring “equality in healthcare for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and healthcare providers.” Let me be candid–there is a lot of work that must be done in nursing education and practice. This work requires the combined efforts of LGBTQ individuals and straight allies. There are many opportunities to engage and these opportunities are life-changing and life-enhancing. In my role as professor, I am increasingly sensitive to the gaps in nursing education’s lived curricula. There are gaps in what we teach…or what we do not teach…that must be addressed. Please spread the word that GLMA and its Nursing Section are wonderful opportunities to learn and contribute–even if you are not GLBTQ or have no particular expertise–just a passion for health equality and a desire to contribute in large or small ways.
Please stay in touch! If you are involved in nursing education and would like to explore ways to become engaged and connected to LGBTQ and health equality opportunities–I would enjoy hearing from you!