Central Florida Black Nurses Association Of Orlando, Inc. Visits Capitol Hill In Washington, D.C.

Capitol Hill 2023 - Constance Brown, Melissa Mercado, Monica Akins


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On February 2, 2023, representatives of Central Florida Black Nurses Association (CFBNA) of Orlando Health Policy Committee members, attended the 35th National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  The theme was, “Health Equity, Reckoning & Wellness: NBNA’s Renewed Call to Action”.  Over 300 nurses of all levels (LPN/LVN, RN, ARNP, CRNA, DNP’s) and nursing students from various universities were in attendance. This annual event is celebrated the first Thursday of February every year.  Nurses gather from across the United States to discuss advocating on behalf of their regions on key health and medical issues. In celebration of Heart Month, everyone wore red. Throughout the day speakers discussed public policy issues relevant to the nursing profession and health care in general.  The Keynote speaker for the afternoon was, Dr. Reed Tuckson, Co-Founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID from Atlanta, Ga.  Other speakers during the day were Caroline Goncalves Jones, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Washington, D.C.; Attorney Melissa Bishop, Senior Director, National Government of Multicultural Affairs; Pfizer, Inc, N.Y, N.Y. spoke on,” Heath Equity in Action – A Review of Summit and Policy Implications for Advancing Solutions.”

The local CFBNA of Orlando Health Policy committee members (Monica Akins, Melissa Mercado and Constance Brown-NBNA Health Policy Committee member) along with First Coast Black Nurses Association and Tampa Black Nurses Association met with Senator Marco Rubio’s office Legislative Correspondent, Ms. Nicole Wright, to discuss the priorities below and to receive feedback on the Senators position on compatible bills that he may support. The health policy committee will meet with local government officials to review the priority areas and how Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando can support their efforts to improve the health and wellness of Central Florida residents.

  • We will address the following health issues –
  • Supporting the Nursing Workforce
  • Gun Violence: America’s Continued Crisis
  • Obesity: Americas Health Calamity
  • Suicide: A Mental Health Catastrophe
  • Climate and Environmental Justice
  • Criminal Justice Reform and Health Inequities
  • Time to Reckon with Black Maternal Health

The highlight of the closing session was the surprise visit of over 10 Members of Congress including January 6th Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, U.S. Representative James Clyburn, S.C, and others who stopped by to provide a message of support. One Senator sent a video greeting. They all expressed the importance of Black nurses advocating for health equity in our communities.

The day ended with a debriefing session focusing on items discussed during our visits with Members of Congress and lessons learned on both sides. Nurses are the most trusted profession and will continue to make a difference in the communities we serve.

For more information on our organization please visit our website at www.cfbnaoforlando.org.