Smyth County Community Hospital | News Article

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Healthcare community hears from local legislators at nursing event hosted by Smyth County Community Hospital

The legislative reception at SCCH was sponsored by the Southwest Chapter of the Virginia Nurses Association and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners.

Virginia Del. Israel O'Quinn was one of the speakers at the event.

MARION, Va. – Smyth County Community Hospital recently hosted a legislative reception sponsored by the Southwest Chapter of the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) and the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners (VCNP).

The event brought together several legislators and their representatives to talk about their point of view on healthcare reform, focal points for the upcoming session and their position on Virginia nursing’s public policy platform. Legislative attendees included Del. Israel O’Quinn and Laura Blevins, local representative for Sen. Tim Kaine, among others.

Much of the focus of the evening was targeted at population health, practice authority in the state of Virginia, educational resources to support local colleges, especially those with nursing programs, current legislation around the care of psychiatric patients and its impact on the acute care setting, and the opioid crisis.

Attendees came from across Southwest Virginia and represented a vastly diverse nursing population from college deans to nursing students to nurses with the state hospital and correctional facilities, as well as chief nursing officers from the region, long-term care providers, and acute-care nurses from home health and hospitals.

Other participants included local healthcare providers, Smyth County Hospital HealthTrust board members, and Janet Wall, CEO of the VNA and VNF (Virginia Nurses Foundation). Leadership for the Southwest Chapter of the VNA included Linda Shepherd, president; Nicole Reasor, governmental relations chair; Becky Coley, student relations chair; and Lori Hall, secretary – all team members with Mountains States Health Alliance. Linda also serves as treasurer and board member of the VNA and VNF.

Information shared with the group from the VNA included statistics on registered nurses within the state. There are 107,000 registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, inclusive of all areas of specialization, clinical settings and work environments with one out of every 80 persons in the state being a registered nurse and one out of every 50 of those individuals a registered voter. In this election year, nurses want to make sure their voices count, Shepherd said.