Moving the needle towards transparency in healthcare and community
Moving the needle towards transparency in healthcare and community. How Viola Davis, a nurse-legislator is making a mark for all nurses.
ATLANTA, GA – August 2019 We had the opportunity to speak with Representative Viola Davis after her first legislative session. As the newest Registered Nurse in Georgia’s General Assembly, Davis brought a wealth of experience in patient advocacy and community service.
While campaigning she caught the eye of many, for there was something special about Davis’ efforts in summer 2018. We were amazed by her tenacity and also reminded of her genuineness with engaging the community which led to her victory. But according to Davis, the work had just begun.
Before this appointment, Davis made a name for herself when she founded the Happy Voter which…. Today, Happy Voter continues to value the community’s voice. This session, Davis authored HB 624, also known as the “Second Chance Act,” which permits the restriction of obtaining criminal histories of individuals who have completed their sentence. This allows individuals to proceed with future opportunities such as employment. As a social determinant of health, a history of incarceration is a known link to unemployment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unemployment is an associated risk of physical and mental health conditions. All of Davis’ activities culminated with visits to members of District 87 and surrounding communities.
Next year is the Year of the Nurse, as proclaimed by the World Health Organization (WHO), a prime time to prioritize issues that impact the care provided by nurses and acknowledge nurses who have contributed to healthy communities. With Georgia health ranking as 35th in outcomes, we asked Davis’ what she would advise nurses who are not involved in health care advocacy. She stated, “We as professionals have to operate in a differently. This involves organization because we have yet to mobilize many issues that affect nursing.”
The nurse who made the traditional door to door her signature approach stands firm on this principle of transparency and accountability, “I remind the community that we [legislation] work for them.” We honor Davis and remind nurses of the power of unity in their contribution to healthy communities
To learn more about Representative Davis visit www.violadavis.com. Also visit your local nursing organization to obtain an advocacy toolkit to get involved. Every nurse counts.