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President's Message

Happy Summer & Thank You!

June 2019

As we start to enjoy this change of seasons with the warm and wonderful months of summer, my term as your President comes to a close. I won't be leaving the Board, of course, and will continue to serve as your Immediate Past President, but ATHNA's leadership will soon be passed into the very capable hands of Candace Sandal, President-elect. If you didn't have an opportunity to meet Candy at the DC NED you can read her bio on our Board of Director's page on this website. Candy brings special talents to ATHNA and we are all eager to follow her lead. She will chair the first fall Board meeting on September 10 and at that meeting will be joined by our returning Directors and two newly elected ones, Leslie Gannon and Cindy Frank. Their bios are on our website, too.

As we wrap up the June NED and await word from ANA about our recognition application I am humbled by the energy, imagination, and commitment of all our members, but some come to mind in particular and deserve special mention. Past President Julie Richards steps off the Board this summer and well, it will not be the same without her. It can't be. Julie has brought to ATHNA a sensibility and dedication only a few could match. She will continue to contribute to TravelBytes, our CE offerings and more, but her leadership will be sorely missed by all of us who have had the privilege to work closely with her. Mette Riis isn't going anywhere, as yet, and thank goodness because ATHNA has in Mette the ideal treasurer who has helped us build a strong financial foundation for our next 15 years. And then the list gets very crowded as I think about my time working with so many- the ANA Recognition Work Group that includes Sandy Weinberg, Elaine Rosenblatt and SueAnn McDevitt (seven years!) and the 2019 NED Steering Committee (Jackie Mier, Lori Barker and Diane McHugh) and Kevin Long who has been there for ATHNA countless times despite any number of personal challenges these past few years. And Charlotte Katzin who continues to support our membership functions down there in Austin years after her term as President ended. And all the NED hosts on the East and West Coasts who have opened their homes to our members each summer for our unique educational update events. I would also be remiss if I didn't send a virtual bouquet to Dawn Keough at Shoreland who, as our longtime "honorary member," has supported our website for more years than any of us can count.

Of course, I could go on because first and foremost ATHNA is comprised of volunteers all across this country. Called upon again and again, our members have set aside personal and professional obligations to help ATHNA grow and prosper- now 1500 members strong. Serving as your President has been a singular life experience and I thank you- all of you- for that privilege.

So, enjoy the summer and come back to the website in September as ATHNA enters its 16th year as your professional organization. I encourage our members to not only support Candace and the Board but to get more directly involved in ATHNA. Travel health nursing is such a gratifying specialty and participating in ATHNA builds on that joy.

Best Regards to everyone,

Two Important Goals for 2018-2019

ATHNA is undertaking this one time, unique membership drive to support two important goals for 2018-2019. Your membership is vital, so we can achieve:

  • ANA recognition for the specialty of travel health nursing
  • Low cost U.S. certification for travel health nursing

While you help ATHNA achieve these goals, your Free membership entitles you to all ATHNA Benefits, so please Join or Renew Today.

  • Courses & Conferences - check out the latest courses
  • What's News - we report important travel health updates to keep you current
  • TravelBytes - our frequent blog by travel health experts - What is Disinsection? 9/18 Iguazu Falls 12/14
  • Annual NED - a unique, free CE day for updates offered at multiple U.S sites - 2018 NED 4.0 summary
  • Travel Health Nurses Are Asking - Q & A that answers member questions monthly - send us your question
  • Career Center - members can seek and post new positions

Membership Update - June 2019:

It was wonderful meeting old and brand new ATHNA members at the DC NED. We now have a membership with more than 1500 nurses representing all 50 U.S. states. And we have some international members as well- including a great group of Australians sharing their travel health nursing experiences at the conference.

To encourage even more nurses to join ATHNA during our 15th anniversary year, the Board of Directors is extending Free Membership through September 2019. This is a very exciting time for our specialty and our organization, so please encourage your colleagues to join ATHNA. Let's use the summer months to expand our association even more!


Interested in traveling to Panama March 2020 as part of an ATHNA Learning Journey?

TravelByte #29: Start Here -ATHNA Syndicated Content

As busy travel health professionals, we at ATHNA understand how overwhelming all the information can be. One can waste a lot of time perusing what seems to be an infinite number of websites looking for the knowledge you need, time you often simply do not have when you are trying to get through a long schedule of complex and challenging travel patients.

We're very practical and pragmatic here so we developed a list of key resources with trustworthy, reliable and appropriately evidenced-based content that we regularly use ourselves to share with our members in an efficient manner in a single spot.

To that end, we have a few key items in the Members Only section of our website. These resources are syndicated, meaning that our site is automatically updated with the most current information from germane sites....

CE Activity: Do you know this man?

On June 4th over 100 of our members were able to earn 5.0 CE credits at our first national NED. For our members who could not come to DC or who missed out on our regional NED 4.0 sessions last summer, we are continuing to offer some of that continuing education content. In September 2018, we shared a powerpoint presentation on Chagas Disease. Members can still complete that activity and earn 1.0 nursing CE credit. Currently we are also offering a CE activity titled Travel Health Pictionary. It is an image driven educational program for which you can also earn 1.0 CE nursing credit. Later this summer we will post another CE offering as part of our ongoing commitment to travel health nursing education....

Bat Rabies

As travel health nurses we know that rabies continues to be a serious risk for many of our international travelers as well as a concern here at home for U.S. citizens. This week we share a report in the MMWR that updates CDC data and recommendations for rabies cases attributed to dogs and wildlife. Domestic deaths from bat bites are highlighted for our attention. We are reminded as clinicians that bats do carry rabies and lifesaving care may be delayed because bat bites and scratches are often hard to observe or overlooked.

For more information about guidelines for a bat exposure refer to ATHNA's June 13, 2016 TravelByte BAT Rabies: Awake or Asleep- Know the Protocol and for the latest CDC information on the topic:

Members Only Benefits

ATHNA is committed to professional development, networking, research and advocacy in travel health nursing. We offer our members resources for clinics, CE programs, an annual free conference day, monthly updates, regional contacts, and much more... Join ATHNA and start enjoying the many benefits of membership.

Mission of the American Travel Health Nurses Association

To advance nurses engaged in the care of international travelers through professional development, evidence based practice and advocacy.

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