Nurses Aim to Meet Post-Pandemic Challenges

June 16, 2021
Keynote speakers Brian C. Castrucci and Susan Hassmiller.

Nurses play a key role in applying lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating the impacts caused by social determinants of health, according to two keynote speakers at the 2021 Maryland Action Coalition (MDAC) Virtual Leadership Summit, hosted by the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). The theme of the annual conference: “Meeting Challenges Head On: Maryland Nurses Respond.”

"We've all lived through a year and a half of COVID. And people always ask, why is COVID so much worse in the United States than it is elsewhere? I suggest that COVID was the match, and we provided a whole lot of kindling for it with our decisions,” offered Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, MA, president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation in his keynote address, “Skills and Perspectives that Nurses Need to Lead a Post-Pandemic Public Health Renaissance.” 

“There are policy decisions that we've made over the past at least two decades, if not past 400 years, that really impacted how COVID played out in the United States,” said Castrucci, whose parents were emergency room nurses.

MDAC strives to improve health care by implementing recommendations set forth in the landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Healthreleased in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report addressed the challenges facing the nursing profession, in particular the need to prepare the nursing workforce to provide excellent care to an increasingly diverse and aging population, within a rapidly changing health care system. MDAC was formed in 2011 in response to the report.

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