Category Archives: Ohio (OH) ENC
*Gennit is not her real name but the story is true. Her mom gave us permission (from the row behind us) to use this story and photo. Hopefully, this counts as her “What I did over summer vacation” essay when school starts.
I’m sitting on the plane with Gennit, a 13-year old girl who was born in Ethiopia, but now lives in Atlanta with her brother and parents. Gennit is a nice and articulate 13-year girl, and we chatted during the 13-hour flight about our experiences in Ethiopia.
She had a lot of things to say, and I noticed that she was somewhat soft-spoken making it difficult to hear her at times. I asked her about my observation that many Ethiopian girls and women speak softly and what she thought about that.
Gennit told me she thought is was more “ladylike” to speak softly and, in Ethiopia, children are taught that it is wrong for a girl to talk loudly.
By Paul Putman, M.S.Ed., M.A.
Program Officer, The Cleveland Foundation
Ohio faces a nursing shortage that is expected to be particularly severe. So when I was asked by one of our state’s nurse leaders to help her alert members of Ohio’s congressional delegation and share recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing, I was happy to participate. In my role as a program officer with The Cleveland Foundation I have been lucky enough to play the role of “non nurse” more than once.
Our goal as partners in this iteration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF’s) Connect project was to share the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the Future of Nursing with members of our congressional delegation as part of the Campaign for Action. Though I am not a nurse, I knew I had a modicum of knowledge which was strengthened by a commitment to the recommendations of the report. I was also able to convey the message that those recommendations can positively impact health care overall, and that this isn’t a special interest type of report, but rather one that will impact all of us.
For those unfamiliar, the Campaign for Action was launched in late 2010 by RWJF in partnership with AARP. The campaign builds upon the IOM’s report on the Future of Nursing which is a blueprint for transforming the nursing profession to improve health care. The Campaign is supporting efforts across the country to engage diverse stakeholders in implementing the recommendations of the report.
When my Ohio partner and I found out that we would indeed be participating in the Connect program, I was pretty excited. Although it was not my first trip to Washington, it would be my first time on the Hill in any capacity beyond tourist.