We have a few BIG announcements. But first, I personally wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the times we have found ourselves in and the work that we do. Not only have we found ourselves responding to a global viral public health crisis, but also to the public health crisis of racism in our country and beyond.
As we hopefully recognize, these two pandemics do not exist in a vacuum, but overlap in so many ways. We have seen that Black communities in particular have experienced more negative health, social, and economic impacts from COVID-19 than other communities in this country. We also have seen how the stress and exhaustion from experiencing discrimination and ongoing racism has negatively affected the well-being of the Black community and other communities of color.
I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues and the NECHA community (as always) for holding conversations, listening to each other, asking questions, and sharing resources on both of these monumental issues. It is my hope that we will be able to continue this difficult but important work together, by supporting, learning AND challenging each other as we move forward.
“Health Equity, Light the Way”. This was the theme of our 2020 Annual NECHA Meeting which was decided on almost a year ago. Health equity and justice are more important in our work than ever. It is my hope that we will continue to challenge ourselves and each other to make health equity and justice a reality for the communities that we serve and at our institutions (even when it is difficult). I also hope that in this journey, you can create the space to care for yourself, but with the intent to eventually keep going.
Thank you for all of the good work that you do and will continue to do.
Elizabeth Drexler-Hines, MPH, MCHES
President, New England College Health Association
Annual Meeting: The Board met on May 22nd and in that meeting, it was voted to hold a virtual event for 2020.
The Board had initial discussions on how to proceed with a virtual event and ended up with more questions than answers. However, we agreed that If there is ANY positive thing to come out of all of this, perhaps being in a new virtual space permits us to break the mold wide open on annual meetings of the past!
Thanks to the NECHA community, we had a VERY strong showing for session submissions and are confident that we will have a robust program to offer. Along with our volunteers on the Planning Committee, we are working on delivering all that NECHA is known to offer like: affordable and accessible continuing education/ credit opportunities, community building, networking , and care/ respite events. More detailed information will come over the summer months. Don’t worry, a Newport meeting will remain in our very near future (YAY!).
Zoom Sessions: We have gotten requests to continue hosting zoom sessions for each profession and they have been well attended. We plan to keep these going through the summer every few weeks, and will meet more often as needed. If you are interested in volunteering to co-host a zoom session or have suggestions about these sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
NECHA G-Suite: As our work has shifted to new technologies, so has NECHA! We have googleized! We have gotten requests from members asking for a centralized place where we can share files and resources with each other. Your wish is our command! Soon, members will receive an email with instructions on how to access the NECHA google drive which will have folders for each profession where members can share and access resources. We will also be sharing recordings and notes from the zoom sessions in the drive. We hope this is the first step of many that will help us to stay connected.
Wishing everyone health and hopefully some moments of stillness. Thank you for all that you do.
Liz Drexler-Hines, President Tanya Sullivan, President Elect Sarah Cavicchi, Administrator