Georgia Indian Nurses Association(GINA) is a 501(c)3 organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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COVID Relief Fundraising Campaign:
Georgia Indian Nurses Association’s Response to COVID-19
Deepthy Varghese, MSN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-C
COVID-19 has impacted millions of people around the globe. The pandemic has significantly affected the healthcare system, specifically nurses who are the frontline providers. Nurses have done their best to provide high quality care for patients whilst taking care of themselves and their families (Thobaity & Alshammari, 2020). Nurses have been at the epicenter of health promotion, patient advocacy and advancement of the science of care. The World Health Organization designated the year 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” (LoGiudice & Bartos, 2021). Some of the challenges faced during the pandemic include lack of knowledge on the infection, isolation, anxiety and fear of the infection, lack of medical supplies and resources such as personal protective equipment. Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA) has explored the above challenges and obtained several goals to help support nurses and the community.
GINA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, a proud chapter of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA), was founded in September of 2012, to unite all nurses of Indian origin and heritage in the state of Georgia for a higher purpose. GINA is committed to compassion, ethical values, exceptional healthcare practices, client-centered relationships and advocacy, accountability and responsibility for evidence-based practice. Despite many challenges, GINA has been able to collaborate, be innovative, foster interest in nursing and science, heighten visibility in the community, and enhance the community’s awareness of nurses’ worth and the obstacles they face. GINA’s goals included education for the community, COVID vaccine promotion, a special recognition of nurses and COVID relief fundraising campaign.
GINA’s initiative to raise awareness in the community and address facts and fears related to COVID 19 was initiated when GINA collaborated with Atlanta Metro Malayalee Association. Several of GINA’s governing board members moderated the session, including Deepthy Varghese (President), Lilly Anickat (Education Chair) and Dr. Mini Jacob (Awards & Scholarships Chair). GINA obtained an expert panel of speakers including, Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla (Director of Occupational Health Services, Previous President of National Association of Indian Nurses of America), Dr. Tanushree Soni (Infectious Prevention Coordinator), Dr. Madhavi Rayapudi (Infectious Disease Physician), Dr. Anupama Gotimukula (Anesthesiologist, President Elect of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), Dr. Lalitha Medepalli (Cardiologist, Board Member, Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage) and Dr. Nisha Pillai (Cardiologist, Women’s Forum President, World Malayalee Council America Region). Highlights of this session included information on infection prevention, vaccines, and reviewing CDC guidance, and was well received by members of the community.
In addition to increasing community awareness of COVID, GINA was involved in a vaccine promotion campaign in alliance with NAINA. NAINA was a supportive partner with American Nurses Association to promote COVID vaccination. GINA members also volunteered in COVID vaccine clinics, including screening, education and vaccine administration.
As nurses of Indian origin, GINA recognizes serving the community in India is just as important as the work we do locally. A COVID relief fundraising campaign was established by GINA to assist various organizations in dire crisis during the pandemic. Unfortunately, India was hit with a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic surge with even more fatalities, lack of oxygen supplies and basic necessities such as food and water. GINA assisted various organizations in India, as follows:
- Support nurses in India through NAINA’s India COVID crisis campaign
- Food and medical supplies through Congregation of Mother of Carmel in Gujarat
- Provide meals through the Hunger Project, Mother’s Meal in Bangalore, Karnataka
- Assist clothing bank, food bank, sanitizer challenge through Father Chiramel in Kerala
- Provide medical supplies to COVID Second Line Treatment Center, Community Health Center in Ernakulam, Kerala
GINA is passionate about supporting and championing the nursing community. As a result of these initiatives, GINA hopes to serve both the local and international communities, promote evidence-based practice, raise awareness of COVID infection, and form alliances with organizations that support the communities in India.
Al Thobaity, A., & Alshammari, F. (2020). Nurses on the frontline against the covid-19 pandemic: An integrative review. Dubai Medical Journal, 3(3), 87–92. https://doi.org/10.1159/000509361
LoGiudice, J. A., & Bartos, S. (2021). Experiences of Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
A Mixed-Methods Study. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 32(1), 14–26. https://doi.org/10.4037/aacnacc2021816
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