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ANA Enterprise News, August 2022


Bipartisan Safer Communities Act signed into law

Enterprise newsThe American Nurses Association (ANA) applauded passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Biden signed into law on June 25. This landmark legislation—the first significant gun reform statute enacted since the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act in 1993—passed the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives by votes of 65 to 33 and 234 to 193, respectively.

“As the nation’s largest group of healthcare professionals, nurses know firsthand the horrible toll that guns have taken on our families and communities,” said ANA President Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This bill begins to address some of the core issues underlying the public health issue of gun violence by implementing common-sense policies that nurses and other healthcare professionals have long supported. Critically, this legislation is the result of bipartisan compromise. I want to thank its champions in the United States Congress who worked tirelessly across the aisle to ensure this package crossed the finish line.”

The legislation includes significant investments in mental health, school safety, and school mental health services. Notably, it will provide $250 million for the Community Mental Health Services Block grant, which enables states, the District of Columbia, and territories to expand access to mental healthcare. It also will provide funding to increase awareness of mental health issues among school aged children and to train school personnel and other adults who interact with them to detect and respond to mental health issues.

In addition, the law includes $750 million for states to implement “red flag” laws that take guns from individuals determined to be a danger to themselves or others. The legislation also requires enhanced background checks for gun purchasers younger than age 21 by giving authorities up to 10 business days to review their juvenile and mental health records.

ANA elects Jennifer Mensik Kennedy as new president

ANA enterprise news
From left: Newly elected leaders are Jennifer Gil, Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, Amanda Oliver, Edward Briggs, and David Garcia

June 11, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Membership Assembly elected Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, of the Oregon Nurses Association, as the association’s next president to represent the interests of the nation’s more than 4.3 million registered nurses. Mensik has more than 25 years of nursing experience in a variety of settings ranging from rural critical access hospitals and home health to hospital administration and academia. She has served as president of the Arizona Nurses Association and 2nd vice president and treasurer of ANA. The term of service for Mensik and all other newly elected leaders will begin January 1, 2023.

The ANA Membership Assembly also elected four members to serve on the nine-member board of directors. The newly elected board members are Secretary Amanda Oliver, BSN, RN, CCRN, of ANA –Illinois; Director-at-Large Edward Briggs, DNP, MS, APRN, of the Florida Nurses Association; Director-at-Large Jennifer Gil, MSN, RN, of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; and Director-at-Large, Staff Nurse David Garcia, MSN, BSN, RN, PCCN, of the Washington State Nurses Association.

The following ANA board members will continue their terms: Susan Swart, EdD, MS, RN, CAE, of ANA-Illinois as Vice President; Joan Widmer, MS, MSBA, RN, CEN, of the New Hampshire Nurses Association as Treasurer; Amy McCarthy, MSN, RNC-MNN, NE-BC, of the Texas Nurses Association as Director-at-Large; and Marcus Henderson, MSN, RN, of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association as Director-at-Large, Recent Graduate.

Elected to serve on the Nominations and Elections Committee are MaryLee Pakieser, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, of ANA-Michigan; Jennifer Tucker, MA, RN, of the Minnesota Organization of Registered Nurses; and Kimberly Velez, MSN, RN, of ANA-New York.

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