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Advocacy During the Pandemic

Posted By Samantha Kresz, Monday, April 27, 2020
Updated: Monday, April 20, 2020

Teresa Morris,
Director, Advocacy and Government Relations

NOVA Continues to Advocate During Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington D.C. April 27, 2020 - The Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA) continues to advocate for nursing during the COVID-19 /Coronavirus pandemic. We have updated our website to reflect the environment and keep you informed with detailed and reliable resources.

We continue to discuss critical issues – PPE, communication, testing, and other guidance provided from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with our partners in Congress, and in the Veteran Service Organization community.

NOVA thanks Congress for passing the CARES Act (HR 748) which provided $19.57 billion dollars to VA that will be available through FY 2021.  Several key Nursing Community Coalition priorities were included as were administrative items authorizing VA to waive federal pay caps for VA employees responding during COVID-19 crisis.

We have surveyed membership, asking the tough questions about your facilities response plan to help provide important information to Hill staff as they consider priorities for any future legislative package. We will continue to survey staff in hopes of taking the temperature of your facilities as we move through the next weeks/months.

We stand by your side as we continue conversations with key staff and leadership so that any future legislation includes protecting frontline health care professionals and investing in VA and our public health sector. Embracing long-term solutions must be a commitment we all make to strengthen our health care delivery systems.

For Veteran information regarding Coronavirus please visit the VA website at: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/.

Tags:  Advocacy  COVID-19  Pandemic 

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Self-Care Daily Tips

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Self-Care Daily Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ellen Kaufman, MSN, RN, HNB-BC 

Mary Costello, BSN, RN, HNB-BC

VA Boston Healthcare System

NOVA Chapter 226


     

Ellen Kaufman    Mary Costello


Ellen Kaufman and Mary Costello are NOVA Members who work at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Ellen serves as the Restorative Care Coordinator and Mary is a RN Case Manager in Primary Care. They are also the Co-Chairs of the Holistic Committee and are board certified Holistic Nurses. The Holistic Committee feels passionately that caring for ourselves is key to being able to care for others so they have been sending out daily emails during the COVID-19 pandemic. Holistic practices such as mindfulness along with proper nutrition, rest, and physical activity help us to destress and function at our greatest potential. 

Here’s an example of a Self-Care Daily Tip. 

 

Today’s self-care tip is a meditation called Metta Meditation or Loving Kindness meditation.   

 

In Buddha teachings, it can mean cultivating benevolence for self and others which is what we do as healthcare providers/in our service to Veterans. It is a nice meditation to recite when getting up to begin your day or before bed at night and is fitting for today’s environment. 

 

Make sure you are in a comfortable position and focus on your breath. Take a breath between each phrase.

 

Begin by directing your compassion towards yourself:

 

                             

 

May I be safe,

May I be healthy,

May I be at peace

 

Then begin directing your compassion outward:

 

Think of a person who you love or mean a lot to you

 

May you be safe

May you be healthy

May you be at peace

 

Think of someone who poses a challenge to you, do not cause yourself

to become stressed but send these phrases with compassion:

 

May you be safe,

May you be healthy

May you be at peace,

 

Think about your family and friends and send your compassion out to them:

 

May you all be safe

May you all be healthy

May you all be at peace

 

Send compassion out to the people we encounter at our workplace

– Veterans, our peers, and their families:

 

May you all be safe

May you all be healthy

May you all be at peace

 

Then send compassion out to all living things:

 

May all living things be safe

May all living things be healthy

May all living things be at peace.

 

Finally, bring this back to yourself –

 

May I be safe,

May I be healthy,

May I be at peace

 

 

Holistic Committee


Tags:  COVID-19  Great Evidence Based Practice. Thank you  Holistic Committee  Pandemic  resources  self care 

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Heard on the Hill

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, April 16, 2020

                                             

 

Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations

Greetings NOVA Members –

I write this from my home in Maryland as we are now on a continued stay at home order due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I want to commend all of you – VA nurses and healthcare professionals – for what you do and are doing every day to take care of those in your care. It cannot be understated that you are all the Heroes and Warriors of this crisis.

I want to assure you that I am in constant contact with Hill staff (primarily VA Committee) and Veterans Service Organization representatives during this time so that NOVA is represented and provided important information. Congress and staff are working from home but remain busy working on legislative priorities and of course making sure VA has guidance and what it needs to continue its mission. VA is part of the country’s  emergency preparedness team and must be ready should their 4th mission be activated. The 4th mission is described as ensuring continued service to Veterans, while supporting national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety and homeland security efforts.

 

On March 23, VHA Office of Emergency Management posted an updated report on its COVID-19 Response Plan.  It can be found here: https://www.va.gov/opa/docs/VHA_COVID_19_03232020_vF_1.pdf

 

NOVA posted its own statement on the virus as well, providing our views on the importance of ensuring VA nurses across the country have the resources needed to protect themselves and the Veterans they serve. We also included some of the priorities we share with the Nursing Community Coalition (NCC) and the need for all of us to remain vigilant in ensuring VA can continue to carry out its most sacred mission.

 

The statement can be found on the front of the NOVA website: https://www.vanurse.org/news/497045/NOVA-Nurses-Remain-Vigilant-During-Pandemic.htm

I urge you to watch the NOVA website as we will continue to provide important information/ links to valuable resources that are reliable and accurate.

 

As we go through the next weeks and months, I encourage all of you to keep a close eye on our advocacy efforts by visiting the NOVA’s website and watching our Social Media accounts – information and updates on the pandemic and nationwide efforts are critical to all of us. If you have something that you want to relay to your Member of Congress or staff, please do – they need to hear from you.

I believe that we will get through this and be able to look at data and lessons learned which in the turn will make us all stronger and more prepared as a nation. I am hopeful that VA will remain the model for all healthcare delivery. It is because of all of you, and what you provide every day for Veterans, and the communities in which you serve that VA remains at the center of healthcare in this nation.   

Stay Tuned!

Tags:  Congressmen  COVID-19  Legislators  NCC  NOVA  Pandemic 

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