DES PLAINES, IL--(Marketwired - May 07, 2014) - As the Emergency Nurses Association visits Capitol Hill this week advocating for legislation that directly impacts emergency nursing, they are also, very appropriately celebrating National Nurses Week taking place May 6-12. More than 100 ENA members from across the U.S. are in Washington D.C. this week asking Senators and Representatives to support H.R. 274/S. 153, the Mental Health First Aid Act and H.R. 4080, the Trauma Care Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act. This is the Association's annual "Day on the Hill" event.
"National Nurses Week is a great time for emergency nurses to come together and let our Senators and members of Congress know exactly how they can support emergency nursing and the health of our patients," said ENA president Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN. "We're thrilled to have a record number of emergency nurses engaging their elected Representatives this year on behalf of our 40,000 members."
ENA members are advocating for two specific bills this week. The Mental Health First Aid Act would create a public education program to help people identify and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 26 percent of Americans over the age of 18 suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. The course would teach participants how to interact with a person in crisis and how to connect them with appropriate help. The bill would make grants available to initiate and sustain these programs nationwide.
ENA is also supporting the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act. This bill would reauthorize two grant programs to support state and rural development of trauma systems, and new models of regionalized emergency care. In addition, ENA is requesting $28 million in funding for these critical trauma and emergency medical services programs. This funding will help develop comprehensive trauma systems and prevent further trauma center closures. According to the Trauma Center Association of America, in the past decade at least 21 trauma centers have closed, leaving only eight states with fully developed trauma systems.
Emergency nurses looking to participate in legislative advocacy can visit the ENA Government Relations website.
Day on the Hill is made possible by generous support from Teleflex.
About the Emergency Nurses Association
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 40,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and nearly all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.
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