PBNIA MEMBERS WITH LIVING LEGEND—Christin Durham, Dawndra Jones, Mary Gray, living legend, and Linda Fleming-Heath

June 17 was Black Nurses Day in the City of Pittsburgh and they celebrated the day and their Ninth Annual Evelyn Paige Parker Scholarship Brunch at the LeMont Restaurant. Michael James Harper welcomed the large crowd and introduced the mistress of ceremony, Dr. Dawndra Jones. Guests enjoyed the CAPA High School Jazz Quartet, soloist Charles Timbers, RN, and a great meal.

Each year the Pittsburgh Black Nurses in Action (PBNIA) presents scholarships to several students who are pursuing nursing careers. This year’s recipients receiving scholarships were: Neema Shayo, a junior at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Nursing’s BSN program; Jasmine Thompson, a junior at Carlow University in the BSN program; and Alliyah Tullis, a sophomore at Youngstown State University in the BSN program. PBNIA also honored 10 nurses in the “everyday hero” category, nurses who they feel have made a difference. The list included:

Mary Gray, BSN, RN; Mary Eliza Mahoney, Living Legend; Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA, BC, FAAN—Everyday Nurse Hero: Nurse Entrepreneur; Betty Braxter, PhD, RD, CNM—Everyday Nurse Hero: Nurse Educator; Cynthia Coates MSN, RN-BC Everyday Nurse Hero: Advanced Practice Nurse; Christin M. Durham, MBA, BSN, RN-BC Everyday Nurse Hero: Nurse Leader; Kathi R. Elliott, DNP, MSW, RN, PMHNP-BC Everyday Nurse Hero: Nurse Mentor; Anne Wilson Germany, BSN, RN Everyday Nurse Hero: Community Outreach; Kathy Mayle Towns, MA, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN Everyday Nurse Hero: Nurse Executive; Ada Milliner, LPN, Everyday Nurse Hero: LPN; Timothy Powell, BSN, RN Everyday Nurse Hero: Ambulatory Care Nurse; Ifeoma Wadibia, SN Everyday Nurse Hero: Student Nurse; Ruth Wilson, BSN, RN, ONC Everyday Nurse Hero: Direct Care.

Each nurse has an amazing biography that would fill a book and each said they were honored and humbled to be honored by their own. In order to be an Everyday Hero, PBNIA said you had to be a nurse or retired nurse and serve as an advocate for patients or families.

Allegheny County Representative Dewitt Walton presented a proclamation to PBNIA and spoke about the importance of Afrocentric organizations. The mission of PBNIA is to reduce health disparities among African Americans and other minorities in the Greater Pittsburgh area through education and awareness, and to support the nursing profession through mentorship and interdisciplinary collaboration with other medical and health promotion organizations.

PBNIA thanks the Office of Inclusion and Diversity of the Center for Engagement and Inclusion at UPMC for $5,000 in scholarship support.


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