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Health Equity Remains Imperative This Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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By Alex Fernandez

As the world reflects on the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., nurse practitioners (NPs) renew efforts to address health inequality and welcome Martin Luther King III to the 2022 AANP National Conference.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday dedicated to the life and work of renowned civil rights activist, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This seminal spokesperson for civil rights inspired the nation with his powerful speeches that advocated for racial equality in a time of segregation and mass racial injustice.

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health care inequalities faced by minority communities become increasingly evident, it is important to note the invaluable role NPs have in addressing these inequalities through their pursuit of exceptional, NP-delivered care. In the words of Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” Throughout this global pandemic, NPs have answered the call across all health care settings to expand access to care in vulnerable and underserved communities. Whether they are serving their patients in hospitals, clinics or in patients’ homes — in-person and virtually — NPs increase access to the high-quality, lifesaving care patients desperately need.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) is proud to serve the more than 325,000 NPs who are working tirelessly to ensure health equity across the U.S. To support the continued success of NPs and help address health care disparities among patients, AANP is committed to strengthening its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. AANP empowers all NPs to advance high-quality, equitable health care — while addressing health disparities — through practice, education, advocacy, research and leadership. By harnessing the power of DEI, together we can strengthen our collective professional and clinical excellence. AANP leadership is committed to fostering an inclusive environment and welcoming a diverse community of NPs who reflect the full spectrum of patients NPs serve. With this goal at the forefront of the association’s priorities, AANP will maintain an infrastructure that supports DEI efforts and initiatives and use technology, training and collaboration to promote DEI awareness and activities throughout the organization.

As Dr. King asserted, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” Since its assembly in spring of 2017, AANP’s DEI Committee has been working tirelessly to ensure our organization reflects the diverse populations NPs serve and demonstrates the association’s commitment to diversity on every level. The changes needed to increase health equity will be hard-earned, and AANP aims to meet that challenge head-on at every opportunity. You are invited to learn more about AANP’s DEI efforts, including resources, podcasts and more.

Hear Martin Luther King III’s Keynote Speech at the 2022 AANP National Conference

Do you want to learn how you can help lead efforts to address health care disparities and ensure health equity? Attend the 2022 AANP National Conference in Orlando, Florida, June 21-26 to expand your horizons, network with NP leaders and colleagues and learn how to affect change in your community.

Closing Keynote Speaker, Martin Luther King III, is continuing in the footsteps of his father as a global humanitarian, preeminent thought leader, civil rights advocate and solutions-oriented proponent of social change. After a week of educational events and professional opportunities, King will deliver an inspirational message on equality and peace, encouraging NPs to continue leading efforts to address social determinants of health — especially those related to racism, poverty and violence. During his session, King will help attendees connect important lessons from the past with the critical needs of our future and empower them to be champions of positive change for their patients and within their communities. As health care leaders on the front lines of patient care, this is a session all NPs will want to attend as, together, we work to increase access to high-quality, equitable, person-centered care.

Enroll Today