Frontline Nurses: Leaders in Pandemic Response
Project Description

Frontline Nurses: Leaders in Pandemic Response seeks to document the role of frontline nurses in pandemic disease outbreaks, to recognize nurses and midwives for their critical contribution to public health during emergencies, and to advocate for nurses’ expertise in health care policymaking and improved health outcomes.

An additional project is Bearing Witness: The Covid-19 & Inequality History Documentation Project, an effort by the Columbia University Center for Science and Society’s Research Cluster on Race, Inequality and Health to document and interpret the events associated with the novel coronavirus epidemic in the United States as it pertains especially to racialized minorities and issues of structural inequality and racism. Led by Samuel Kelton Roberts, PhD (Associate Professor of History, Sociomedical Sciences, and African-American and African Diaspora Studies), the Cluster team is actively constructing a series of timelines of the US epidemic, each covering a trimester. The interactive timelines presents principally four types of events: data events, political events, policy events, and scientific events.

Translational Perspective

The goal of the project is to use the experiences of nurses in the frontlines of Ebola and COVID-19 in order to advocate for a seat at the policy-making tables for nurses. A comparison of nurses' experiences in West Africa and the East Coast (USA) shows that nurses working on the ground have unique and invaluable insight on providing healthcare during a pandemic. Too often, they must resist the decisions coming from policy makers without that experience in order to save lives. We believe that placing nurses in positions to make policy decisions can mitigate these obstacles, and provide a much needed perspective to policy.

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Digital Scholarship Librarian
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Columbia University
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New York