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Home : Awards / Grants : Regional Excellence : Showcase of Regional Excellence 2011-2013

2011-2013 Showcase of Regional Excellence Recipients

Recognition

All recipients of the Showcase of Regional Excellence have the entry posted on this page, receive a recognition certificate and will be recognized during regional meetings at the 2013 Biennial Convention.

 Tools

 

Creating Your Legacy

Alpha Omega Chapter Creates a Legacy

The Alpha Omega Chapter of STTI located at Adelphi University College of Nursing & Public Health has had a long history over these past 42 years of creating a legacy to encourage and perpetuate research & scholarship in nursing. Over this past Biennium 2011-2013 the Alpha Omega Chapter has distributed over $3,000 dollars to deserving chapter members & non-member to assisting them in their research. 

The Alpha Omega Chapter Nursing Scholarships are given to undergraduate & graduate Nursing students annually. The Bernard & Marilyn Klainberg STTI Scholarship is awarded annually to a nursing student that demonstrates excellence in Community / Public Health Nursing. The chapter also encourages its members’ research through the Alpha Omega Chapter’s Research Scholarship which enabled two (2) doctorial nursing students to conduct dissertation research. All of these recipients do present their research as part of the receiving of the Alpha Omega Scholarships.

The Adelphi University College of Nursing & Public Health’s Annual Leadership Conference cosponsored by the Alpha Omega Chapter of STTI is now in its 10th year. Annually this Nursing Leadership Conference sponsors Podium and Research Poster Presentations of local nurses throughout the NYC / Long Island area. We also present an Alpha Omega Chapter Lifetime Achievement & Mentoring awards to deserving members.

Globally, the Alpha Omega Chapter has begun participating in the “Adopt a Nurse for Haiti” campaign. Under the guidance of one of our members Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur the chapter started last Fall 2012 in adopting a nursing student for Haiti. The total coast is approx.$5,000 and we are paying in 3 yearly installments. Once this is completed we will adopt another nursing student for Haiti. At our 2012 Founders’ Celebration the Alpha Omega Chapter challenged the other Long Island, NY chapters to do the same.  We would like to challenges to the other STTI chapter to do the same. Webpage: Promoting Health in Haiti: http://promotinghealthinhaiti.org/

As part of the Experiential Learning experiences offered by Adelphi University several chapter members who are Nursing Faculty at Adelphi University College of Nursing & Public Health do participate in Transcultural experiences. The Alpha Omega Chapter does support these Faculty Members Service trips by making donations of disposable cameras for the students to document their trips & medical supplies for the Costa Rica trip and donation of two (2) Greco Car Seats to the Navajo Reservation’s Indian Injury Prevention Program.


Beta Nu Chapter - Creating a Legacy through Scholarship Support      
With a diversity of talent and interests, Beta Nu consistently works towards creating a legacy through our commitment to support members who are in school, conducting research or engaging in innovative scholarly activities. This year Beta Nu was pleased to be able to offer $2000 in educational scholarships to exemplary members enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students. In support of our members’ research efforts, $2500 was awarded and supported the work of five members. Furthermore, Beta Nu is a major contributor to the annual Collaborative Research Day that coincides with our spring banquet. We provide financial support for the event and many of our members present their research through posters.  
           
Beta Nu members agreed that the support of research also includes research dissemination therefore travel funding was awarded to two members to support their presentations of research and projects. In return, our members receiving research monies or dissemination monies offer their presentations at Beta Nu business meetings.    
Additionally, the Beta Nu members have been highly committed to the tuition support of an undergraduate nursing student in Haiti through the Haiti Nursing Foundation. Scholarship money is raised through the “honor a nurse” campaign and both members and nonmembers can donate in honor of an exemplary nurse. 
Beta Nu also supports the endeavors of our potential members enrolled at East Carolina University. Beta Nu provides snacks and a presentation on STTI for undergraduate students at the Lamp of Learning ceremony (students receive a lamp pin reminiscent of Nightingale’s lamp). Beta Nu is always a visible presence at the fall and spring “Moving on up to a Master’s” event whereby undergraduate students can talk to concentration directors about Master’s education. Members are present to answer questions about Sigma Theta Tau and Beta Nu.
In an effort to enrich our members and students of ECU, Beta Nu provides the honorarium for speakers at the fall and spring Unity Day activities. This past spring, a Native American speaker/author presented with a panel of Beta Nu members who have close ties to Native American peoples or have Native American heritage. The event was attended by more than 200 people including students, faculty, Beta Nu members from the community and the medical center. In April 2013, Dr. Jean Watson, noted nursing theorist, presented to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and invited community members. Her trip was partially sponsored by Beta Nu and was a “sold out” event! Beta Nu received recognition from the event planners for our support.
           
Through our financial support and member participation in scholarships, national and international presentations, activities within our College of Nursing and in our community, Beta Nu is creating a legacy that values learning, research, dissemination and diversity in nursing. We believe that our activities merit the Showcase of Regional Excellence in Creating Your Legacy.

Beta Xi Creating a Legacy

Beta Xi has a long-standing history of creating a legacy through leadership and mentoring.  Beta Xi members, through a new initiative by Diane Rudolphi, coordinator, are committed to the passion of nursing by contributing time and expertise in an effort to invest in new nurses. A Leadership and Mentoring program was developed at various levels and are initiated by, coordinated by, and include a variety of Beta Xi members. 

In 2012-2013 Sigma Theta Tau Beta Xi embarked on developing a tutoring program for nursing students with a philosophy that nursing students should be mentoring/helping/tutoring their fellow nursing students with the help and support of their faculty adviser. The faculty role, also functioning as a mentor, primarily focused on encouraging UD nursing students to give back and mentor their own fellow students. Initially the challenge was to determine what the student’s needs were. With the help of a Sigma Theta Tau Beta Xi Intern, we went about the task first by e-mailing students requesting their support in donating time to tutor other fellow nursing students. Time was also spent talking to students to determine what the needs were. Initially a “tutoring list” was formulated so that students could refer to it in order to find the help they needed. In order to make the “Tutoring List” easily accessible to students, the list was placed on the Student Nurses Organization Website. Upon completion of the first year, in reviewing our successes we noted many students found the tutoring web site and tutoring program extremely helpful.
As Beta Xi strives for excellence we are continually evaluating and updating our programs for maximum benefit. For the 2013-2014 academic year Beta Xi wanted to make the system even better. Challenges identified included the need to have more consistency in the student organizing the tutoring system. At the Sigma Theta Tau International Beta Xi end of year officer transition meeting, it was agreed that Beta Xi would support one student to be a “Leader in Training”. The criteria for choosing the individual as well as specific responsibilities were voted on by the Beta Xi board members. With the Leader in Training Student selected, the tutoring program immediately fell into place as envisioned.

Beta Xi also engages members through a strong mentorship program. Through feedback from new members, we found that resumes, interviewing, and other job search skills were a need within the School of Nursing (SON) for undergraduates.  Therefore, we selected a graduate student Mentorship Intern to organize and conduct a program for seniors at the SON, many of whom are Beta Xi members.  This day-long drop-in program included such topics as resume writing, job search tips, preparing for interviews, getting the most from your preceptor, graduate school, working as a school or community nurse, and preparing for your first day on the job.  The graduate mentor accessed Beta Xi nurses from the community to provide the topics and worked hard to create a positive experience for students. The day provided exposure to nurse leaders, other than faculty, and provided an informal way to network with nursing leaders...and included snacks and lunch! The graduate intern also received $300 for her graduate school expenses and did a wonderful job of creating a new initiative for Beta Xi!

Beta Xi has also made a concerted effort to include newly inducted members or those in their first year feel welcome as part of Beta Xi efforts.  In addition to the Membership Ambassador efforts to stay connected with newly inducted members, times were offered at meetings for networking. These informal but planned times were appreciated by the members and led to two very active members.  Shabnam Zandi was nominated for the New Member Pillar Award in recognition for her involvement in member services and her ongoing tireless work for the chapter. Melissa VanTwyver, an intern from last year, is now a member of the Leadership Succession Committee.  Beta Xi also shows appreciation to mentors and colleagues.  Jennifer Graber and Jennifer Saylor received full travel for the STTI Leadership Conference while Cynthia Diefenbeck received partial support (some was provided by STTI). Jill Walsh was supported for the Tri-state consortium brunch. Beta Xi also shows appreciation in an effort to create a legacy by nominating members for awards. Jill Walsh and Jen Saylor received the Beta Xi Nightingale Award for outstanding efforts that went above and beyond their expected duties. 

This year Beta Xi had three leadership interns.  In return for their efforts, interns are given $300 toward their NCLEX expenses. This years' interns organized the auction at our spring dinner meeting, tutoring, and the Kids into Health Careers program.  A new "twist" to our intern roles this year was to have pictures of the leadership interns posted with their thoughts and projects in the newsletter.  Leadership Interns attended the Spring Dinner Meeting  last year and they were awarded with certificates in addition to discussing their projects with the group.  As the job market has become tighter, students were encouraged to use their Leadership Internship as a more formal career preparation.  For these reasons, we believe our chapter is deserving of the Regional Showcase of Excellence Award in the category of Creating a Legacy.

Delta Lambda Chapter - Coffee Break with Charter Members
Our chapter hosted an “Coffee Break with Charter Members” on March 6, 2013. The chartering members from 1980 received a special invitation to attend the event. The chartering chapter president, Dr. Anne Perry, and the chartering Dean, Sister Theresa Noth (who is turning 90 this year) were guest speakers. Sister Noth presented a history of the school and a history of the chapter. Surprisingly, she even read excerpts of her letter in support of the 1980 charter. Anne Perry spoke about the work of making a charter application. Several (approximately 50 in total) charter members and other members (including student members) attended the event. A slide show of photos from the 1980 charter event and other chapter activities over the years was shown during the presentations. In addition, attendees were asked to help us identify individuals in the archived photos that we have. A question and answer session followed.
This event promoted the legacy of Delta Lambda, encouraged retired member involvement, and fostered camaraderie across generations of members. Also, it is our hope that the slide show that was developed for the “Coffee Break” will be kept current (new photos added each year) and shown at each induction (we did this in May 2013).
 
We believe this Chapter Event reviewed the legacy of Delta Lambda and demonstrated how we are creating a legacy for those that come after us. We learned about the chartering members and their paths to leadership roles. We also learned about how these committed women were passionate in their support of others. Through this event, the chapter members showed their appreciation to our chartering members and colleagues.

Epsilon Beta Chapter  Creating Your Legacy
Epsilon Beta has worked hard to continue the past, present and future legacy of our chapter. Our creative efforts have included:
 
Preserving the Past
50th Anniversary Celebration- We participated in the 50th celebration of the University Department of Nursing by donating $250 for a display case to house both chapter and department artifacts. Student chapter members acted as greeters for attendees wearing a purple STTI ribbon. We sponsored a table with chapter memorabilia and information and included the induction book for alumni to look up their names. This generated a lot of interest especially among inductees who could not attend the original ceremony. We had them sign their names next to their "in abstentia entry" which generated a feeling of "officially belonging" to the honor society decades later. We followed up with a letter and invitation to rejoin and generated 2 renewals from this effort after years of membership inactivity.
 
Communicate an attitude of gratitude - We renewed a defunct quarterly newsletter and network to profile members and recognize achievements and awards. We have an annual mailing welcoming back and  encouraging membership renewals to inactive members back 3-5 years.
 
Making the most of the Present
Final's Care Packages: This is a service project of the student members of Epsilon Beta. Annually, they create 200 goodie bags for all nursing students in the undergraduate nursing program at Fitchburg State University which is distributed prior to finals week. Goodie bags included hot cocoa, herbal tea, hard candy, fruit snacks along with well wishes from our chapter and student members. The chapter sponsors all the necessary items.
Invested in research and scholarship: Our chapter sponsored an international research grant for $1000 offered through the Russian Nurses Association. This grant supported  research to advance nursing interventions among autistic children by helping to fund necessary equipment to improve communication. Please see our attached newsletter to learn all about it.

We also provided a $500 scholarship  to an outstanding undergraduate student Dana Slamin who showed great academic, leadership and service qualities. Dana was volunteering with her mom in the medical tent at the Boston Marathon on the day of the bombings.
 
Communicate an attitude of gratitude -  We hold a new inductee luncheon with a welcoming environment to promote excitement among members. The president sends letters to all new members welcoming them to the chapter post induction. We constantly thank members for their involvement and remind them of what their membership supports and benefits of being an STTI member throughout our newsletter. We established a facebook page: Epsilon Beta Chapter and post pictures of events or share thoughts to promote our gratitude for members. We have a mailing twice a year to send the newsletters to members who don't have emails.
Supporting our community: The chapter supports local food pantries by requesting participants of our Fall program to  bring  two food item donations.
 
Planning for the Future
Membership Drawing: To encourage members to attend the annual meeting one winner was drawn for a fully paid membership to STTI. This increased member attendance and excitement within the group.
 
Career Seminar: A chapter member answered the chapter call to go into the classroom and present on her career in the Public Health Service. We also sponsored a nurse recruiter to provide tips for resume writing, interviewing and job finding post graduation. This was a hit among senior undergraduate nursing students during their leadership rotation.
Internship Program: Epsilon Beta as initiated an internship program for  2 student members to act as a liaison between the chapter and students, be our Face book webmaster. We act as mentors to develop  leadership skills in the interns while they learn more about STTI. We hope this collaboration will assist in engaging more younger members to move into leadership positions and sustain the chapters' future.
 
Eta Eta Chapter - Creating a Legacy
Eta Eta has really taken huge strides in “Creating its Legacy” by converting a lot of chapter business from paper to electronic format and archiving it on our Circle website resource library. Many times the incoming officers for a position don’t know who has possession of past election ballots and results, budgets, and calendars just to name a few items. This important chapter business was being passed along from officer to officer and some of it was lost along the way. The chapter board led by the current president are using several strategies to ensure that this legacy of information is continued.
 
Eta Omega Chapter - Leadership Intern Program
Eta Omega Chapter reviewed the awards it offers and redesigned the Past President Award into the Past Presidents Leadership Internship Award to meet a need the chapter identified. Under the leadership of current President Rachel Hardy the Eta Omega Chapter developed a Leadership Internship Program, allowing newly inducted members to apply for the opportunity to become directly involved in the chapter and be mentored in a leadership role. This award also provides some funding towards their upcoming BORN licensure. Two students were designated to receive this award for the 2013-2014 year.
 

Gamma Beta Chapter - 100 Extra Ordinary Nurses Awards Ceremony
The “100 Extra Ordinary Nurses Awards Ceremony” is an annual recognition program hosted by the Gamma Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, located at Howard University.  This program recognizes and honors “100 Extra Ordinary Nurses” for their notable contributions to the nursing profession and citizens in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia areas. 

Initiated in 1991 and has continued every year since that date, the annual program is held during National Nurses Week. Applicants are nominated by their peers, friends and colleagues for exemplary clinical practice, administration, education, research and civic engagement.  Categorical applications are reviewed by a chapter review panel and those selected are presented with personalized awards during the recognition program.  The program agenda includes an esteemed nurse keynote speaker, presentation of honoree awards with red roses, pictures and reception.  The program is open to family, friends, employees and the general public.


Gamma Delta Chapter – Creating Your Legacy
Gamma Delta Chapter seeks a strong future for our chapter as our gift to nurses. Our legacy to our community of nurses is a chapter that is strong, vibrant, and meaningful in their professional lives. Our goals and our activities this year fit well with the Presidential Call to Action.

Goal I: Increase member engagement and chapter visibility by maintaining a link to the chapter and the society throughout member careers.

Member participation in programs has tripled from previous years. We find attendance improves when members can plan year-to-year; rely on the quality of programs; and find value in member participation. Our communication and marketing update included engagement with new members with specific projects that appeal to them. We sent special invitations to our new inductees that was repeated at orientation meetings and gathering. New members worked in small groups to help identify chapter needs and self-identify how they wish to contribute. Our new members helped establish and maintain our Facebook page

December 2012 Chapter of the Month! We began use of our chapter web page on the circle! We used the chapter management support, and roster management tools to keep our database current for both electronic and traditional mail. Our programs are published in newspaper, website, and Facebook, as well as traditional mail.

Goal II: Engagement through Collaboration and Expectation

We sought to engage with area resources and colleagues to help expand the type and quality of programming available to our membership and to create a sense of expectation among attendees.

We added new element to the program format to include a dynamic sharing of ideas with greater emphasis on the discussion portion of presentations.

Collaboration is essential when in a large geographic area with light population density. We have been successful in collaborating with nursing organizations, a chapter in our region, and with area medical colleagues.

Nurses Day Celebration and Peer Reviewed Poster presentation. Our celebration of nursing focuses on networking, discussion, and recognition. The energy, atmosphere, and turnout were invigorating.

Annual Joint Dinner meeting organized with the area chapter of the State Nursing Association. This year’s topic was Nurses, Public policy and Affordable Care Act. draw from a wide range of our membership and professional community.

EXPLORE Consortium provides continuing education credits and programs to healthcare professional. Our members are present at conferences, in program planning, delivery, and marketing.

Regional Research Symposium with Kappa Tau. Since it’s inception, the chapter is involved in planning, financial support, member presentations, and attendance.

We have added opportunities to acknowledge and honor nurses through chapter awards and recognition including updating awards, recognized new member contributions, and a reward category for mentors.

Legacy

Through our new and updated activities, we have created a vibrant community of engaged members. We seek to strengthen our presence in our rural region through a variety of electronic mediums and membership efforts. New members are partnered with older members to improve philanthropy and we are currently developing new strategies to continue legacy gifts to ensure a strong chapter. Gamma Delta provides a vital leadership presence for nurses.


Iota Chapter Creating Your Legacy

In response to the president’s call for action the Iota Chapter has
invested in nursing research, scholarships and leadership development in Middle Tennessee. Since the inception of the DNP program at Vanderbilt University, the Iota Chapter has sponsored numerous scholarly projects that have both regional and global import. For example, Iota recently sponsored a DNP project entitled Newborn Screening: Barriers to Timely Notification Referral and Care in the amount of $500.00. Iota also helped to sponsor a DNP student’s trip to Kenya to conduct focus groups with women who were key informants for local tribal health care.

Iota has sponsored Nursing Research Day at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for the last three years promoting research and quality improvement projects with staff nurses. Iota has sponsored the poster judging sessions and has provided monetary awards for the top three posters each year for the last three years. Iota has also provided $2,000.00 for two nurses at the Medical Center to provide support for their doctoral education.

In terms of leadership, Iota has mentored new DNP graduates as being members of the board and has sponsored their travel to regional and national Sigma Theta Tau conferences.

Our legacy was honored at our 60th anniversary conference this past April, where the Regional Director and President of Sigma Theta Tau were both featured speakers. At our 60th induction ceremony in 2013 Iota inducted 181 new members, which brings our current membership to more than 700 active members. Our annual membership meeting will take place September 17th and the key note sparker’s topic will be “Advanced Practice Provider Mentoring Pilot Project: End of program Evaluation”. This pilot project was sponsored by the Iota Chapter.

We look forward to continuing to grow our legacy by promoting research, scholarship and leadership.


Iota Nu - Celebrating 25 years

In 2013, Iota Nu Chapter celebrated 25 years as a chapter. As the chapter began planning the celebration, charter members, including a retired charter member, board members and other members were involved. A conference, Celebrating Collaboration in Quality, Safety, and Education in Nursing, was held in April. Our keynote speaker, Lucille Gambardella, PhD, RN, APN-BC, CNE, ANEF, Professor Emeritus, Immediate Past Dean, Wesley College, Dover, DE, spoke on how the QSEN competencies will help shape the future.
 
We committed to our passion and contributed time and financial support. The conference included poster presentations and a breakout session on how to be involved in a mentor program and a session on education and practice collaboration. Members donated to a silent auction where $1000 was raised to support chapter research grants. A special display table was created to showcase the original chapter charter, photo collages, and other historical items. A power point slide show was created and was shown at the beginning and the end of the conference.  A DVD was made from a video recording of the founders of the nursing program at The University of Texas at Tyler. Participants watched a brief section where the charter of Iota Nu was discussed, and copies of the DVD were for sale.
 
We showed appreciation to mentors and colleagues by honoring a local group, recognizing past chapter officers and charter members, and by providing Sigma Theta Tau gifts for participants. A special award, The Friends of Nursing award, was presented to the Smith County Medical Alliance representatives. The Alliance has an area-wide book fair and the proceeds go toward scholarships for nursing students.  Four representatives were invited as guests for lunch and were given the award during the lunch. The local paper took pictures. Past board members were recognized at the luncheon, and participants were given a note pad with the chapter’s name and website and a purple pen to commemorate the day. Members were encouraged to reflect on the accomplishments as a chapter and look forward to the future of Iota Nu Chapter.

Iota Theta Creating Your Legacy
As stated in the Presidential Call to Action “your legacy grows when you commit to your passion, share your resources, and encourage others”.  On March 31, 2012 Iota Theta chapter did just that by holding a 25 year celebration in conjunction with its annual Showcase of Research Excellence, Induction, and Installation of Officers. The chapter invited all charter members to this catered celebration. In addition, Ms. Carol Honaker, charter member of Iota Theta, was the keynote speaker. Ms. Honaker discussed the changes that she has seen in the nursing profession as well as ways that individuals can contribute to the profession. Ms. Honaker addressed the beginning nursing students as well as new inductees as to the importance of professional organizations and life-long learning. She also displayed her scrap book of nursing over the years.

Additionally, Ms. Ellen Buckner, Region 8 Coordinator, was a special guest and discussed the importance of the nursing honor society. Ms. Buckner also served as the emcee for the Induction Ceremony.

Dr. Diane Weed, Iota Theta past-president, discussed the importance of the DNP in nursing. This induction was significant in that the first DNP student was inducted into Iota Theta at this joint celebration.

Also of interest in this special celebration, all charter members were invited to assist in the induction ceremony of the new members. One charter member had the privilege of inducting her daughter into the chapter. This was exciting because the new inductee had no idea that this was going to occur.

This was the most well attended event that this chapter has had since the initial charter with approximately 180 members, inductees, students, friends, and family. A powerpoint presentation was presented during the celebration with pictures of chapter events, biennial conventions, and other STTI activities of which chapter members participated. This “history” of the chapter was very touching. It is a legacy left for future members to incorporate into other “celebrations”.

This event was also highlighted in the Chapter Leader Emphasis (Volume 19, Issue 2) as one of the key accomplishments. This is our legacy…


Kappa Tau Creating Your Legacy

Consistent with creating your legacy in President Prevost   Call to Action, the Blazing Nurses Trail project assists nurses to create a Legacy to honor, document and make visible the work of nurses worldwide in both present times and the past.

Inspired by the work of Arlee Hoyt McGee’s Nurses Walk in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada,  the Nurses Trail project uses web based mapping technology, and a blog to honor nursing’s heritage and identify locations where nurses have contributed to the health of communities globally. The Blazing Nursing Trail project is enables nurses to document their work effort (current and historic), adding to the amalgam of nursing contributions to the wellbeing of humanity globally.

This was an interactive, Wikipedia-like platform has been established, along with guidelines for use. Through technology and collaboration nurses are literally “on the map.”  On May 12, 2013, Kappa Tau Chapter Members and other members of the committee followed the nurses’ trail which was narrated by Hollie Shaner-McRae, throughout the city of Burlington on bikes.  She described how nurses impacted the local community whether it was a place of training for nurses or the first nurse lead outreach like the Vermont Nurses Association which was established in 1906.  The day ended at the University of Vermont where we had a moment of silence to honor nurses around the world and to honor Florence Nightingale.
The STTI Call to Action set forth by President Suzanne Prevost stimulated expedited development of our project, which had been in embryonic form for nearly ten years. The Blazing Nurses Trail team used creativity and innovation to design a resource consistent with the call to action creating a resource for nurses to leave a ‘virtual legacy’ on the map.  This initiative may serve as a model for other regions seeking ways to engage members to make visible the work of nursing, honor nursing practice and contribute to the legacy of the nursing profession globally. 
 

Lambda Chi Creating Your Legacy
On February 17, 2012, the Lambda Chi Chapter hosted its 20th Annual Research Conference at the beautiful Signature Grand in Davie, Florida. The conference appropriately themed "Nurses: Catalysts for Change in Practice, Research, Education, and Health Care Policy" was attended by over 700 nursing students, nurses, and faculty. Past STTI President (2009-2011) Dr. Karen Morin a global super star and a true catalyst for change engaged and electrified the audience with a dynamic keynote address. Additionally, over 40 empowered and energetic podium and poster presenters served as catalysts for change by sharing their scholarly work to a very appreciative and attentive audience. One of the highlights of the conference was the Panel Presentations on Catalyst for Change: Innovators in Nursing Education, Practice, Leadership and Professional Nursing. The panel discussions gave attendees an opportunity ask questions and for the panel to share their expertise and experiences in the areas of nursing education, practice, leadership, and professional nursing. In true Signature Grand style the conference attendees were not only treated to a day of scholarly activities but to a superb breakfast, delicious lunch, and a lovely afternoon tea. The day concluded with a heart-warming moment when a first-year nursing student donated his share of the 50/50 fundraiser to charity. All told, the over $900.00 raised by the Lambda Chi chapter in the 50/50 fundraiser was donated to the Haiti Earthquake Disaster Funds.

The Annual Research Conference is one of the many ways that the Lambda Chi is engaged in supporting the vision of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International to create a global community of nurses who lead in using knowledge, scholarship, service, and learning to improve the health of the world’s people. What started as a simple Research Day with a few Lambda Chi members have evolved into a large scale Research Conference with hundreds of attendees. By hosting the yearly research conference the Lambda Chi provides its members, future members, and nurses from across the globe an opportunity to share their scholarly achievements. In so doing, the Lambda Chi Chapter has built its legacy by providing leadership, sharing knowledge, and supporting research.

Lambda Delta Chapter - Mentoring
I was inducted at Lambda Delta Chapter in year 2001. Attending the monthly chapter meetings, participating in regional and national events, observing the mechanics on how the chapter is being run, hearing dialogues, discussions and sometimes arguments from the chapter leaders … all these, stuck in to my head. I told myself that one day, I will be one of them. My predecessors were leaders like Kathy Armstrong, Terry Wurmser, Marianne Duffy, and Rosario Conde. There is always somebody that a “new kid on the block”, will cling to. For me it was Marianne Duffy. She mentored me. She was with me anytime I needed her, be it physically or on line. She was unselfish in sharing with me the “tools of the trade”. I was elected as Treasurer, chaired committees, and eventually climbed up the ladder to become the Chapter President, and now the NJ Consortium Coordinator.
 
Our chapter garnered several regional and international awards, because the leaders knew how to lead. When I relinquished the gavel to the next President, I did what Marianne did for me. Together, we mentored the new Chapter leaders. I also shared my experiences being a Treasurer, a Fundraiser person, and a Newsletter Coordinator. Today, our chapter is hoping to get another Chapter Key Award.
 
Marianne and I will remain mentors to our successors. I guessed it’s not only us, who are or will be creating a legacy to our chapter. True leadership is not about self-serving efforts, it’s about helping others step up to achieve their goals, and face challenges, so everyone in the group feels good about the organization. As long as our chapter leaders will mentor their successors properly, Lambda Delta will always be a positive legacy with our affiliated school, Monmouth University and to the future Lambda Delta members!
 

Lambda Omicron Chapter – Creating Your Legacy
During this biennium we celebrated our chapter’s 25th Anniversary and had the most candidates invited to be inducted in our chapter’s history. In addition, our chapter had two separate inductions to serve the Sothern (Tucson) and Northern (Flagstaff) regions of Arizona both of which were well attended.

To increase membership we targeted clinicians, lapsed or inactive members, new members, nurse leaders, students, and transfer members. Announcements were made at NAU Faculty meetings and at hospital unit meeting at Northern Arizona Healthcare. New faculty were also invited to join or transfer to the Lambda Omicron Chapter.

In total:

  • 174 students, faculty, and community members were invited to join
  • 55BSN students joined
  • 24 MSN students joined
  • Four nurse Community Leaders were inducted
  • 2 transfer members were inducted

In the spring of 2013, we sponsored the sixth annual Navajo Nurse Symposium at the Abalone Shell Level. Through a competitive essay process Lambda Omicron chapter selected four Lambda Omicron members to attend the two day Navajo Nurse Symposium. It was an honor for our Lambda Omicron students to be able to hear this year’s key note speaker, Dr. Jean Watson.

This fall, 2013, we initiated a research dissemination function for our fall event. The Tribal Colleges and Universities: Perceptions of Presidents and Students presentation was open to all members and potential members. The event was well attended with an engaged dialogue at the end of the presentation.

We are initiating a new research grant and scholarship program. We will be offering research grants and scholarships to graduate and post-graduate students, community members, and faculty. We initiated this process in February 2013.

We have increased our visibility and communication by using the Circle site, Facebook, an independent Gmail account for mass mailings and updates, and through the School of Nursing Website.

As we enjoyed celebrating our 25th year as a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau we look forward to our next 25 years. In developing our research scholarship and grant program and mentoring in new nurse leaders we hope to expand our membership and therefore our legacy.


Mu Lambda Chapter Creating Your Legacy
Sigma Theta Tau Internationals’ Mu Lambda Chapter board members decided to create a legacy of giving by investing in new nurses who were nominated to be inducted into our chapter, but could not afford to pay the membership fee. In 2013, initially three undergraduate students and one graduate student requested a financial assistance scholarship to help pay their membership fee. Based on chapter funds, each of the four individuals received a check for $60.00. Later, an additional undergraduate student requested assistance, but the chapter had not designated enough funds for this additional request.

Since it was the 90th Anniversary for Sigma Theta Tau International, a challenge was issued to encouraged nine members to donate $90.00 to fund financial assistance scholarships. A total of $810.00 was donated, $60.00 went towards the last of the five scholarships for 2013 and $750.00 remains for future years.  By offering these scholarships, the chapter hopes to engage new nurses who will actively participate in Sigma Theta Tau International activities. The awardees expressed gratitude for the scholarship; many stating they would not have been able to join without this assistance. Thus, commitment to our passion was demonstrated by contributing one’s financial support to lift-up the future nurse scholars. The legacy of giving creates a path for others to follow and demonstrates a spirit of giving of one’s financial resources – thereby becoming a Sigma Theta Tau International Chapter where nurse philanthropy is thriving.


Nu Lambda – Creating your legacy and engaging in collaboration
The Nu Lambda chapter of STTI hosted the Region 8 conference in October of 2012.  This event was important for our chapter on two different levels: 1) Creating our Legacy, and 2) Engaging in Collaboration.

Nu Lambda has existed as an STTI chapter at Union University for 20 years now.  To my knowledge, we had never hosted a conference before.  But in order to fully appreciate the information I am about to provide, I must first tell a story.  In February of 2008, just after the start of the spring semester, Union University was hit by an F5 Tornado.  The tornado decimated most of the undergraduate dormitory buildings and significantly damaged several other buildings.  Since we were there having classes, our nursing faculty members and students were the first responders on the scene.  When the local, head paramedic arrived at the scene he immediately notified our hospitals to prepare for 50 to 100 fatalities.  Thankfully, there was not a single person that lost their life on this campus that fateful night.  We stopped, cried, cleaned up the rubble, and rebuilt.  The campus has beautiful new, and safer, dorms; and a fabulous new conference center.  In the spring of 2009, one year after the tornado, the Nu Lambda Chapter met and discussed hosting a regional conference.  After collaboration with Dr.  Buckner, we received approval from the members of Region 8 represented at the conference in Hattiesburg in 2010 to proceed.  The two year efforts to plan the conference caused a renewal within the Nu Lambda chapter.  The board members became highly involved in the process, and as a result, got the Union University students involved in the process.  In the end, we had multiple Union students present posters, and one even did an oral presentation.  There were several faculty board members who had never been to an STTI conference.   When they saw the wealth of information that they were able to receive, and the exceptional networking that occurred amongst the RN professionals: It caused increased efforts to grow the chapter in both size and quality (mission work, conference support, community involvement, etc.).  The number of faculty members that are involved on the board has tripled between 2010 and 2013.  Because of the conference, we were also able to financially support several people to go on mission trips as well as support our delegates to attend the 2013 Biennial STTI Conference planned for November of 2013.  In addition, we were able to purchase gifts to thank two retiring Nu Lambda board members that we recognized at one of the induction ceremonies in late 2012.

The Region 8 Conference in 2012 planning committee was a collaborative effort between 22 members representing different chapters (8 of those 22 members were Nu Lambda board members).  The efforts of this planning committee resulted in an exceptional conference.  The atmosphere of collegiality and the networking that occurred were, without exaggeration, the best I have ever seen.   Dr. Karen Morin provided 3 keynote addresses that inspired us with her knowledge, but even more she inspired us with her humanity.  Dr. Ellen Buckner led the efforts to help us all advance our chapters and engage our membership ambassadors.  Dr. Olivia May set the stage with her introduction to the conference theme focusing on “The Heart of Healthcare: When Disaster Strikes Home.”  I (Dr. Sharon Evans, Program Conference Chair) stated at the conference that the conference was a success because of the multiple presenters from across the region and because of their collaboration at the meeting: That is the truth!

Omicron Delta Chapter – Creating Your Legacy
Omicron Delta demonstrates an attitude of gratitude by showing appreciation to nurses, nursing and giving back in as many ways as possible. 

President Angie Strawn’s communication supports the creation of an Omicron Delta (OD) legacy through her president’s message on the webpage (www.omicrondelta.net). The message embraces gratitude by committing the chapter to an approach of Appreciating the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Creating the Future. This approach allows the chapter to acknowledge all that they have and give back to others using the resources available to them. 

Omicron Delta has a rich history of appreciating the past by honoring chapter leadership through President Awards (four each year) and supporting members to attend the Chapter Leadership Summit and Biennial Convention (two to four each year).  Under the category of honoring the past, Omicron Delta also has created and named two scholarships in honor of two past presidents. The chapter celebrates and gives back in the present by focusing on current nursing issues in the monthly newsletters, hosting professional development meetings (one online per year) and creating service activities at each conference and board meeting (two per year).  Omicron Delta shows gratitude and appreciation in creating the future by offering the Jo Hoffmeier New Inductee Award to a new nurse member.  This award supports the new member in learning more about STTI by attending the Biennial Convention or Chapter Leadership Summit with other Board members.  This award as well as the chapter’s Leadership Intern position assist the chapter in identifying future leaders that will help support sustainability and future growth.

In the President’s Call to Action, it is mentioned to “Commit to your passion by contributing time, expertise, and/or financial support”.  Omicron Delta shows that passion is our commitment to the legacy of nursing through activity and services of Omicron Delta members and leaders such as:  

Sponsoring a chapter leader by honoring her with a Virginia Henderson Fellowship.  The chapter is honoring founding president Dr. Sandra Wise as our first chapter sponsored Virginia Henderson Fellow.   

Being a part of The Patricia Thompson Giving Circle

Creating a relationship with the STTI Foundation by awarding a leadership and research grant in the chapter’s name.  (Leadership Education  Grant – sponsored Shela Hirani (2012) and Lakshimi Rajeswaran (2011) to attend the INRC). 

The chapter has also created a legacy in regard to service.  Every year since 2005 the chapter has engaged in a service activity in the local area of their education conference.  Past service activity groups include: 

Children’s literacy – www.wrighttoread.com, Alexandria, VA (local)

Campaign to purchase children’s books donated to the Wright To Read program

Canine Companions for Independence (National) – raised money to support puppy training for program

Project Linus (national) – promote this at all meetings and inductions to provide blankets for children. 

Water.org (global) – Promote and support this organization in hopes of helping provide clean water for all.  Raised over $2,200, noted as featured fundraisers on water.org website and is an ongoing campaign of the chapter.

Omicron Omicron Chapter at-Large Creating Your Legacy
Omicron Omicron Chapter at-Large has worked in the most recent biennium to ensure members are aware of the opportunities to support the global work of the organization. While we were not as successful as we hoped to be, we were able to increase the number of members making contributions to the chapter and the Foundation. We have worked to offer family friendly opportunities for members to make contributions to the local community with time or financial support. We have most recently initiated a process for personally thanking those who have shown their support in ways such as contributing personal stories to the newsletter or making financial contribution to the organization. We have for several years offered scholarships to support academic research, quality improvement and evidence based practice work through the funding and award of annual scholarships. Those who receive scholarships are asked to share their work and learning at a mutually agreed upon event such as Founder’s Day.
 
Pi Chapter - Creating a Piece of Pi’s Legacy
In alignment with the mission and vision of STTI to support the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide, Pi Chapter is “Creating a Piece of Pi’s Legacy” through its research and scholarship awards.
Between July 2011 and June 2013, Pi Chapter has awarded over $36,000 in research and scholarship to its members. Recipients of these awards include faculty members involved in research, staff nurses traveling to make presentations, and students who are in need of scholarship funds. In this way, we are “giving back” so that our members “can move forward”.
 

Pi Nu Chapter – Creating Your Legacy
The decision to actively pursue “name recognition” in the community is the beginning step to creating our legacy in the community. As we develop large outreach events such as the Eva Kor night and next year’s Zombie run, we expect name recognition to grow. In this way, our legacy of being an active, vital, recognizable nursing organization that promotes health awareness to our community is begun. It is in this way that we fulfill the Create Your Legacy requirement for the Regional Excellence Award.


Rho Chi-at-Large Chapter Creating Your Legacy

The Rho Chi-at-Large Chapter, chartered in 2002, celebrated its 10 years anniversary on the November 21st 2012 and is thereby the oldest chapter in Europe. During the last years the Rho Chi Chapter has been growing, reaching out to new members and and becoming more active than it ever was. The chapter has been increasing collaboration with other Dutch nursing organisations and nurse leaders both in the Netherlands and international. The Chapter has an active role in the European Region with members having important leadership roles in the Regional Committee, but also in the various committees and task forces active within the region.  All this to fulfil the aims of the Sigma Theta Tau International.  With its 400 members, the chapter organises various scholarly meetings and collaborates with nurse leaders in organising events for nurses in clinical practice, education, research and leadership.

The 10 year celebration Induction Symposium was celebrated in the Ancient Academic building of Utrecht with over 100 members and other guests joining in the celebration. Professor Hester Klopper, president eclect was invited and she attended a pre-symposium meeting with the members of a mentoring group and discussed  with both mentees and mentors, leadership in relation to professional development of nurses.  Among the anniversary guests were some of the chapters founder, former presidents, board members, and members from other nursing organisations in the Netherlands. The President, Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir opened the ceremony with a lecture STTI and Rho Chi and the many benefits of  membership. Professor Hester Klopper, gave an inspiring lecture on STTI and her various projects in Africa, Professor Theo van Achterberg gave a lecture on leadership. Both Professor Suzanne Prevost, president of STTI and Professor Lilly Shortridge from New York who also is one of the initiators of Rho Chi, who were not able to attend, sent congratulations through a video conferencing. 27 new members were inducted and hopefully these new members will become actively engaged in the activities of Rho Chi and STTI on a chapter, regional or global level.  During dinner, the Chapter awarded six individuals, not nurses who have impacted nursing in the Netherlands, were awarded with the  with the “Friend of Nursing Award". It was amazing how many people joined in the celebration and this will certainly give a positive impulse in winning more members for our highly successful organization. In her closing remarks, Prof. Marieke Schuurmans, who recently became appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer of the Netherlands, emphasized the importance of leadership in all arena of nursing including the importance of  delivering high quality care, the importance of high quality education as well as research, with the ultimate goal of improving the care of patients. 

The Rho Chi Chapter is now organizing an Induction Conference which will be held on November 25th  2013 in the Academic building of Utrecht. It is our firm belief that this highly successful 10 years Anniversary Induction Symposium was a starting point for still greater plans for the future.

Rho Delta Chapter – Creating Your Legacy
Contribution of Rho Delta Chapter Leaders towards Nursing Profession to Create Path for Fellow Nurses through Modification in the Working Hours for Shift Employees to Promote Efficiency

The Nursing management group / Rho Delta Chapter leaders were able to ensure appropriate utilization of overlap time, resulting in a work life balance for the nursing staff, minimizing staff security risks, increased efficiency of 45 FTEs, resulting in increased productive hours, and reduced cost impact by rupees 10.8 to 16.2 million.

As per institutional policy, standard working hours for a full time shift employee are 195 hours per month or 45 hours per week. These 45 hours are divided into three shifts which are morning, evening, and night shifts. However, the evening shift return and the night shift start were too late in the evening, which raises issue regarding the safety of the staff especially the young female nurses. This was reflected in the last few months where increased numbers of incidences of staff robbery were reported as the staffs were unable to reach home before midnight after evening shift. This necessitated urgently moving the agenda of modification of shift working hours forward. As per previous shift hours, each nursing services staff had 2 hours of *overlap time in their morning shift which was their paid time. Overlap time refers to the time slot of 2 hours from 1400 – 1600 hours in which both the morning and evening staff are together in patient care areas. Hence, a need was identified to review the current shift hours at division of nursing services and to utilize the overlap time appropriately to ensure appropriate staff coverage in patient care areas.

To resolve the issue, a comprehensive assessment of working hours was conducted and an action plan was developed. Multidisciplinary strategies were proposed in collaboration with Human Resource and the transport department. Leaders from different departments were involved to facilitate the implementation of the transport route and pick and drop systems according to the new timings.  This change benefited around 1200 employees working in shift duties particularly the nurses where the nurse leaders contributed their time and expertise by creating path for the young nurses to work and study together, balance their professional and personal life, support their family financially and many more. This is one of the examples where the leaders advocated for nurses and were able to change the policy of working hours at division of nursing services.


Southern Ohio Northern Kentucky (SONK) Consortium Engaging in Collaboration

Beta Iota, Omicron Chi, Omicron Omicron, Rho Theta, Zeta Phi
The above listed chapters have been working collaboratively for several years to provide a full day, timely, and educational event featuring nationally known speakers. In the past two years the topics have included:
  • Knowledge Worker: The Future of Nursing Patricia Ebright, PhD, MSN, RN
    Complexity in the Cognitive Work of Nurses: How Are We Preparing Nurses for the Challenge?
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes: Implications for Research & Practice in Healthcare Systems
    Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
     
Tau Omicron Chapter - Truth or Trash
Tau Omicron Chapter hosts an annual Cinco de Mayo party for members. During this party the chapter plays the game Truth or Trash which is designed to help integrate new members with current members of the chapter shortly after the induction ceremony.
 
The Cinco de Mayo party creates a festive atmosphere with food and décor and provides the perfect atmosphere for a fun game. During Truth or Trash the room divides into teams of six, including new and current members. The “game show” host reads statements and the teams work together to determine if it is a true statement or trash. All of the statements are based upon on research findings published in Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters (POEMS) research summaries by Wiley. Each team accumulates points by answering the questions properly and the team with the most points at the end of the 25 statements is the winner. All participants had fun while learning new facts based on research findings. Playing Truth or Trash clearly engaged our members in collaboration as we shared wisdom across generations.
 
Tau Phi Chapter Showcase of Excellence Creating Your Legacy
The Tau Phi Chapter of STTI has embraced the 4 key areas that were presented at the last biennial convention. We would like to share our activities that support the category of Creating Your Legacy.  The Tau Phi Chapter presents a total of 3 awards each year with 2 of them being scholarships and 1 involving a grant for research activities. We present a total of $1500.00 each year with the break down being $500/ each.  If a grant request is not submitted then we may present 3 scholarships. It can change depending on the number of applications received.  Information is posted regarding the scholarship application  and guidelines on our Tau Phi STTI website page.  A deadline is set for the application submission and then the chapter board selects a committee to review all the applications.  The candidates are awarded the scholarships based on their need and meeting the award criteria. The Tau Phi Chapter has also set up an Endowed Scholarship Fund. The chapter has set a goal to increase the fund by $5,000 each year to achieve our initial goal of $25,000. We have flyers printed up about the Endowed scholarship as well as the information posted on our website. Individual chapter members are encouraged to be donors to the fund. Individual letters have been sent out asking for donations to the fund to each individual chapter member. Chapter fundraisers are also held to assist with raising additional funds for the endowed scholarship.  We held a silent auction at one of our recent chapter meetings and we also had a Scentsy candle fundraiser last fall.
 
The Tau Phi Chapter has also taken a proactive role in increasing and retaining our membership. We have focused on both the new members and past members. For the nursing students who meet the criteria for membership, we send them a letter inviting them to join STTI. We then have a Meet and Greet Luncheon that they attend to meet the Tau Phi Board Members and to be introduced to what the STTI and Tau Phi chapter has to offer. This year and last year we had a pizza luncheon for them from 12pm-1pm. We also host the induction ceremony around November of each year. In January, we have a new member meeting to allow them to meet each other and  to get involved in our service, scholarship, and fundraising activities. We elicit new ideas from the new members as well as learning their interests, networks, and areas of expertise. Our Chapter president sends a letter out each year to past members. The letter expresses that we miss their involvement in the chapter and would like for them to become active again. The chapter felt going the extra mile to let someone know they are missed means a lot.

During our chapter meetings, we bring the Call to Action Areas to our meetings. We have 4 poster boards that list the 4 areas and on each poster board we brainstorm with members on how we can meet each of the goals. We also evaluate if we are meeting our goals for each of the 4 areas.
To encourage involvement and attendance to the chapter meetings, we offer the meetings at different days and times. We also have a guest speaker present at the meetings. The meetings are also set as either breakfast meetings or dinner meetings
 
Upsilon Chapter - Creating a Legacy
In 2011, Upsilon Chapter celebrated its 50th Anniversary, a distinction that it holds dear to its heart. As the chapter focuses toward the next 50 years, it focuses energy toward the membership
New York University is entering a new era as is the Upsilon Chapter. The chapter has supported the new NYU College of Nursing building with a generous donation with the input of it's members. The chapter asked members for their feedback toward the donation and in the end, the members of the chapter supported imprinting the legacy of Upsilon with the College of Nursing by providing nursing students with a state of the art building. With an emphasis on the members, the chapter created the first ever Mentorship Program, pairing new members with board members who will guide the newest in their first year of membership into STTI, Upsilon Chapter and in their nursing career. Existing members can share their nursing expertise to newer members or those interesting in a career change.
 
Upsilon Chapter is what it is because of its members – our legacy lies in the achievements of our members, actual and future.

Upsilon Xi-at-Large Chapter - European Regional Development Fund
At the European Business Meeting held in Amsterdam in 2011, the five European chapters committed to developing the newly created European Global Region, and recognized that this would require specific funding. Accordingly they agreed to raise money to establish a European Development Fund which could be used, by means of supporting chapters or individual European members, to “promote the development of STTI in Europe” by, for example, assisting developing honor societies and chapters in Europe and supporting regional activities such as biennial conferences.

The fund was opened in July 2013 by a donation of £5,076, which was (as agreed by all the European chapters) 40% of the profit made by the first STTI European Conference which was hosted by the Upsilon Xi-at-Large Chapter and held in Cardiff in July 2012. 

Initial negotiations were begun by the chapter leaders of Upsilon Xi-at-Large Chapter for a fund to be established within the STTI Foundation, but at the Regional Committee meeting held in Cardiff in July 2012 it was agreed that the fund should be established and managed within Europe. The fund is hosted by the Rho Chi-at-Large Chapter in Utrecht, Netherlands, and managed by a Board on which all the European chapters' presidents are represented. 
 

Engaging in Collaboration


Alpha Omicron Chapter Engaging in Collaboration
On October 12, 2012, Sigma Theta Tau International Alpha Omicron held a conference from 12:30 pm until 5 pm in collaboration with the State of Illinois.  The topic was “Nurturing Baby Steps: From the Hospital to the Community.”  3.5 nursing CEU’s were awarded.  The featured speakers were Beth Isaacs, BSN, MPH, IBCLC and LaShon Reese, Med, RD, LDN, CLC.  Attendees learned what the State of Illinois is doing to support and nurture breast feeding, beginning with the hospital experience and extending to the community.  The Alpha Omicron Chapter, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Region Breast Feeding Taskforce sponsored the event.  Sigma members, SXU nursing students, SXU nursing faculty, nurses and community members attended the event.  For the nursing students, concepts from community, health policy, Pediatrics and OB were covered.  Total in attendance was 110.

Beta Tau Chapter - Regional Collaboration
With each change of biennium chapters in a region try new and different activities to collaborate and share. North America Region 7 is no exception, during the 2011-2013 biennium the chapters within the region determined that a regional conference be a priority. Chapters have come together with the regional coordinator to plan this exciting event; however, as the committee began to plan it realized a host chapter for the conference was needed. Beta Tau Chapter, led by President Jeanne Gottlieb, did not hesitate to volunteer for this task. By volunteering for this role Beta Tau Chapter has set an example for other chapters within the region and is placing a high value on bringing the region together in collaboration and partnership.

Beta Xi Engaging in Collaboration
The Beta Xi chapter strongly believes that engaging in collaborative practice is essential to fulfilling Sigma Theta Tau’s International’s vision of supporting learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Beta Xi is committed to collaboration through networking to bridge the gap between research and practice while addressing important health care issues.
 
Bridge the gap between research and practice. Beta Xi collaborates with area hospitals, such as Union Hospital in Elkton, MD and BayHealth Medical Center in Dover, DE.  These collaborations provide annual grant support of $1,000 as well as mentorship to nursing staff to bridge the gap between research and practice. The financial support may be used for the direct costs incurred for research projects (e.g., survey materials, equipment, printing, statistician, etc.) or research dissemination (poster or podium preparation).
 
Beta Xi members have also presented results of research/evidence-based projects at the 2012 STTI Leadership Conference and Biennium. Beta Xi has been proud to co-sponsor, with Delta Rho, University of Delaware, and local hospitals, a Regional Nursing Research Conference held at an area hospital. Many Beta Xi members are part of the planning committee and have been both poster and podium presenters for the past 8 years. Beta Xi also supports the next generation of nurses by offering a research chapter meeting every December. This meeting provides University of Delaware senior nursing students and other Beta Xi members the opportunity to present their EBP/research projects, with the additional financial support to present their poster at a local conference. The publications of our members are highlighted in newsletters and circulated via the chapter website. The Circle, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
 
Connect chapters and communities. Beta Xi remains actively connected and collaborates with other chapters. Beta Xi partners with 21 other local chapters in the Annual STTI Tri-State Consortium Brunch, now in its 27th year. Beta Xi also strives to induct community leaders and engage them actively in our chapter activities on various levels, including board membership. In 2012, 5 new community leaders were inducted. Beta Xi has created a workshop, “Kids into Health,” to introduce nursing and other health related careers to elementary and middle school students.
 
Engage in the global nursing network. Beta Xi has created a global network with Dr. Ruth Endacott from Plymouth University, United Kingdom in an effort to start a new chapter. Beta Xi has been working on this collaboration for over a year and hopes to see this new chapter come to fruition.
 
Share wisdom across generations. The Beta Xi Chapter’s Leadership Internship Program shares wisdom and cultivates future leaders through informal and formal mentoring of newly inducted undergraduate and graduate nursing students by current Beta Xi leaders. Beta Xi members collaborate through the University of Delaware with the Robert Wood Johnson foundation to mentor the underserved population of students in the accelerated BSN program to foster support and opportunity to connect with successful leaders. Beta Xi also enlists alumni to share their expertise with the next generation, tapping into practicing clinical experts to give guest lectures on specialty topics to both undergraduate and graduate classes.

Collaborate with like-minded organizations. There are many local organizations that share similar missions and values as Beta Xi. Our members and nursing students participate and support the Special Olympics each year offering nursing services. The Delaware Adolescent Program, is another like-mind organization that Beta Xi collaborates with to support and mentor, and empower pregnant and parenting teens. When disaster arises in the community locally, or nationally, Beta xi is there to offer assistance in various ways. Last year Beta Xi made a donation to the Red Cross for victims of Sandy, which hit some of our chapters close to home.

As a Chapter, we believe our collaboration efforts are exemplary. However, we are constantly evaluating and modifying our approaches to best meet the needs of our members and to communicate the mission and vision of STTI to the larger community. It is with a great deal of pride and passion that we nominate the Beta Xi Chapter (University of Delaware) for the Regional Excellence Collaboration Award. We are grateful that this honor exists, and we believe that we exemplify this award.
Delta Lambda Chapter, Epsilon Eta Chapter, Nu Chi Chapter, Omicron Iota Chapter and Tau Iota Chapter - Greater St. Louis Area Consortium Event
In the summer of 2011, the presidents of five local chapters met and decided to pool our resources in offering an annual consortium dinner meeting for our members. At that planning meeting, a schedule of events was planned for the next five years and each chapter agreed to contribute $500 annually to support the event. The thought was that the planning chapter would bring in a nationally known speaker for the event and that the contributions of the other chapters would go toward the support of the speaker fees and expenses.
 
The first consortium dinner was the fall of 2012 (October 18, 2012) at Saint Louis University and the host chapter was Delta Lambda. Delta Lambda brought in Kevin Sowers, RN, MSN (Duke University Hospital’s president) for the inaugural event. There were approximately 150-175 attendees at the event and everyone who attended thought it was a huge success. Students from the various chapters were encouraged to attend.
 
In addition to contributing financially to the event, each chapter encouraged their members to attend. Also, each chapter was encouraged to put up a Table/Booth about their chapter. Chapters also opened the program to non-STTI member students. Although a count of the student participants was not kept, there were approximately 15 in attendance. The event was also promoted to members outside the consortium who were within Region 5.
 
Tau Iota is the host chapter for 2013 and plans are already underway for the October 2013 event.
 
Delta Mu Engaging in Collaboration
The members of Delta Mu from Yale School of Nursing have made a deliberate effort over the past 2 years to reach across the community, locally, regionally and globally. Locally, Delta Mu has participated in voluntary events to support the health and wellness of the New Haven Community. As members, we represented this chapter an volunteer wellness events, flu shot clinics, and “healthy neighbors” initiatives for the underserved in the New Haven Community. Delta Mu members reached across generations of nurses to provide links between professionals of different decades. The board made a conscious effort to reach out to the student population to attend selected business meetings as well as creating a newly established Advisory Board to the Chapter. The Advisory Board included nurse leaders from acute care facilities, the Veterans Affairs Medical System, Hospice, Visiting Nurses, Home care agencies, staff nurses and recent graduates. Through active discussion we aimed to bring these networks together for a common goal of nurturing and promoting the profession and the chapter while reinforcing the mission and goals of Sigma Theta Tau International. Delta Mu also sponsored regional events that connecting research to practice through presentation of grant recipients to the Yale School of Nursing community. Regionally, Delta Mu invited members from the tristate area to present programs that addressed the scholarship of discovery. For example, in April of 2013, Delta Mu invited Dr. Mary Frances McGibbon from New York City to New Haven to speak about disaster management and her study that examined first responders from 9/11. Globally and internationally, we were grateful to present a program from Dr. Tracy MacDonald from Australia on her work in “Aging with Intent”.
 
A memorable event was our invitation to join Dr. Holly Shaw from the United Nations in June 2012 to have a private tour, and private briefing and debriefing on Violence against Women and Children in countries where war and suffering are all too common. 2012 was the Year of the Girl at the United Nations and members of the Board, members from the Faculty and a select group of interested graduate students were invited for this all day event in New York City. The Nightingale Initiative for Global Health recently appointed Geraldine Marrocco, the current Chapter president, to the Advisory Board for this International group to work towards improved health, wellness and survival of mothers and children from third world countries.

In conclusion, spanning the last 24-30 months, Delta Mu escalated the chapter’s goals, helped bridge the gap between research and practice, shared our wisdom across generations to advance nursing; and, collaborated with like-minded organizations to address critical health care issues.
 
Epsilon Xi Chapter - Region 11 Conference Honoring our 30th Anniversary
The celebration of Epsilon Xi’s 30th Anniversary represented engagement at every level, merging the strengths, talents and creativity of our colleagues in Region 11, including current STTI members, school alums, charter members, retired professionals, chapter leaders, students, and faculty. Over a 10 month period, we collaborated closely with 5 Rochester area STTI chapters, our current and past regional coordinators, and the 2011 Regional Conference consortium. We capitalized on the resources of the host institution, showcasing a new research institute, and titled the conference “Advancing Patient Care Through Translational Science”. Diverse, interdisciplinary, translational science-based topics were featured, including: child and adolescent depression, sleep problems across the lifespan, palliative care across the age continuum, as well as the core concepts of translational science. The featured key note speaker is a charter member of Epsilon Xi.
We honored the mission and vision of STTI: learning, knowledge, scholarship, and professional development in service to promoting the health of the world’s people. There were 90 attendees representing 14 Region 11 chapters. The written feedback received was very positive. In addition to the conference day, there was an 30th anniversary reception and a regional chapter leaders’ meeting. These three events were held over a two-day period, 29-30 March 2012. A foundation is now laid among regional colleagues for future collaborative endeavors.
 
Eta Eta Chapter - Engaging in Collaboration
Eta Eta Chapter has demonstrated its willingness to collaborate with different organizations, internal and external to the Sigma Theta Tau International Community, throughout the 2011-2013 Biennial. The chapter prides itself on building these partnerships into its annual calendar and strategic plan because this is a priority request that we receive from our members in our biannual member survey.
In October of each year, our chapter not only attends the annual Tristate Consortium in Philadelphia, but we also have volunteered to develop the Save the Date flyer for each year and contributed a basket to be used in fundraising for the consortium. We also attend the planning meeting prior to the start of the program and contribute to the selection of next year’s keynote speaker and conference location discussions.
Also in October, our chapter members contribute their time to the Young Women’s Leadership Conference at York College of PA, an event dedicated to 1300 plus area 7th grade girls to teach them self-esteem, anti-bullying, and goal setting skills.
In February 2012, our chapter President and Vice President attended York College’s Student Nurses organization (SNAP) to talk with them about the benefits of joining our professional nursing organization. We provided the 34 attendees with pizza and beverages and ran the “An Honor to Join” video for them. We stayed to answer their questions afterward. This program was planned in answer to our Strategic Plan and we have been asked to build it into our program calendar for future years.
In March each year, we collaborate with Xi Chi Chapter, STTI. This long standing friendship has lasted for years. We alternate sites between York and Millersville each year but coordinate on the program in terms of speaker and topic selection, as well as contributing to the payment for food and/or continuing education which is provided free of charge to our members. This year’s program is titled Nurses in Mission and features a panel of four speakers, two from Eta Eta and two from Xi Chi Chapter.
In April/May of each year, our chapter co provides an Evidence-Based Practice/Nurse Research Conference with York College of PA Department of Nursing, WellSpan Health, Memorial Hospital, and Hanover Hospital at the Country Club of York. This event features a keynote speaker, oral and poster presenters, a continental breakfast, buffet-style lunch, and valuable networking opportunities with nursing peers from throughout the tri-county area. Continuing education is also provided at a very reasonable price.
 
Greater Kansas City area chapters - 2nd Annual Embracing Excellence conference
The 2nd Annual Embracing Excellence conference was held on 26 October 2012 at North Kansas City Hospital, in North Kansas City, Missouri. The conference is a collaborative offering by five STTI chapters in the greater Kansas City area. Current and past presidents of chapter representatives comprised
the conference planning committee. This year's conference examined embracing excellence through all four areas of the 2011-2013 presidential call to action. The keynote explored Creating your Legacy for today and tomorrow through technology, collaboration and vulnerable populations Breakout session one engaged participants in the power of simulation with multi-disciplinary collaborative learning experiences. Session two explored how to respond to vulnerable populations to enhance ways to embrace technology and enhance learner retention through the exciting free and nominal cost of online resources. This year a poster session was added that allowed twelve presenters to share their research or evidence-based practice initiatives.
The chapter also collaborated with Bonnie Barnes, co-founder of the DAISY Foundation to recognize 2011-2012 DAISY award recipients who attended the conference. The chapters will begin planning the 3rd Embracing Excellence conference for 2013 and hope to again work with Bonnie Barnes who is thrilled with this collaborative initiative.
 
Kappa Omicron Engaging in Collaboration 
Kappa Omicron developed a Career Planning Program for local nursing students, engaging chapter members, faculty, and local clinicians and nurse leaders in helping students prepare for a job search in a difficult employment market. Collaboration was evident in the joint effort of participating presenters to plan and deliver the program. This certainly was a valuable resource in support of new graduates and nursing students.

Kappa Tau Engaging in Collaboration

Kappa Tau coordinated with Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Vermont, Vermont State Nurses Foundation, Gamma Delta and several Vermont hospital systems and schools of nursing to hold the fourth annual fall Nursing Research Evidenced Based Practice Symposium on November 1 and 2, 2012. The symposium theme was “Creating a Research Environment” and categories of research presentations were Nursing Research, Evidenced Based Practice, and Quality Improvement. Kappa Tau applauds Ann Laramee, symposium chair, and her planning committee for creating this platform for communication among Vermont nurse researchers. The symposium was well received by over 100 attendees and offered contact hour recognition for attendee participation. This event was very successful and planning has begun for the fifth annual research symposium to be held in November, 2013 reflecting the theme of “Nursing Research: The Quest for Significance”. Each year, the quality and number of nursing research presentations exceeds prior year entries - evidence of the strong nursing research that is being conducted in Vermont.
 
Nu Nu Chapter - Engaging in Collaboration
Nu Nu Chapter, Weber State University School of Nursing in Ogden, Utah, has several examples of collaboration in the 2011-2013 biennium:

Nursing Research Council of the Urban North Region of Intermountain Healthcare.
Member Norma Geer contacted the President of Therapeutic Touch Associates International, Sue Conlin, and the University of Utah department of pharmacology research, Dr. Bob Goode, to offer a four-hour therapeutic Touch Research Seminar on 30 July 2012. The 31 nurses received information about research regarding the results of therapeutic touch in assisting patients with their healing journey. The chapter covered transportation and lodging expenses for Sue Conlin, food for the event, and sponsored a research poster competition with monetary recognition for the top 3 posters and ribbons for all participants. Members involved in the planning and execution included Brenda Jackson, Vickie Baer, Laurie Johnson, Amy Stegen, Terry Fuller, Pam Anderson, Janet Pitcher, Tamara Berghout, Terry Phillips, Sharlene Moe, and Marlene Summers. Gamma Rho Chapter President Amy Harding, and Vice President Dr. Nanci McLeskey, attended the seminar and the Utah Chapters Collaboration annual meeting that followed the seminar.

The chapter and council also collaborated with Intermountain Healthcare’s corporate evidence-based practice expert JoAnn Spencer to co-sponsor a 24 August 2012 presentation on the research associated with rapid response teams. In 2013, the chapter will continue collaborating with this council to provide a nursing research process seminar on 21 February featuring members Shanon Clegg, Lori Noorlander, Holli Wright, Vickie Baer, and soon-to-be inducted member Diane Lambert. A pain research seminar will feature members Sharlene Moe, Karen Burton, and London Draper.

Member Leslie Hadley is the chair for the 31 May 2013 Medical/Surgical Conference co-sponsored by the Urban North Region of Intermountain Healthcare and the Chapter. The chapter will again provide monetary prizes and certificates of recognition for the research poster competition. Members involved are Terry Phillips, Laurie Johnson, Janet Pitcher, Peter Whelan, and Linda Rowe.

Leadership Forum
Nu Nu Chapter President Marlene Summers accepted the STTI invitation to collaborate with Dr. Beverly Reigle, RN, Dr. Patricia O’Malley, RN, and Karen Lillie, FNP, for a 22 September 2012 presentation at the STTI Leadership Forum. The panel was entitled “Connecting the Dots: The Value of Collaboration”. Approximately 75 people were in attendance.

Local hospitals
The Chapter collaborated with local hospitals during the 2012 holiday season to host teas to thank nurses for their hard work and contributions to the health of the northern Utah communities. Past President Terry Fuller succeeded in hosting this event for the first time at Brigham City Community Hospital, Bear River Hospital, and Logan Regional Hospital. Vickie Baer and Laurie Johnson hosted the event at McKay-Dee Hospital for the first time. Tanya Filtz coordinated the tea with a “Nursing in China” presentation by member Deanne Wolfe.

Staples Office Supplies
The chapter collaborates with Staples Office Supplies each August to collect and donate school supplies to local schools with under-privileged students. In 2011, the chapter donated 21,693 items; in 2012, 27,568 pieces. The project is an annual event supported by all three Utah Chapters of STTI, stemmed from Iota Iota-at-Large member Janell Anderson, who got involved with the project through the Intermountain West National Staff Development Organization.
 

Nu Xi-at-Large Chapter - Making a Bigger Impact as an STTI Chapter: The Value of Collaboration
As a strategy to leverage its resources, attract new members and collaborate to provide more value, Nu Xi-at-Large Chapter has specifically set the goal to collaborate with as many organizations as possible during the 2011-2013 biennium. The chapter has or will be collaborating with these organizations: Bay Area Black Nurses' Association, University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, Bay Area Association of California Nurse Leaders and Washington Hospital Healthcare System Nursing Research and EBP Council. The programs are as diverse as the groups Nu Xi-at-Large is working with allowing the chapter's membership to attend activities that interest the individual and creates a buzz about Nu Xi-at-Large Chapter.   

Omicron Delta Chapter - Collaborative Partnership for Conference Sponsorship
In April 2012, the Education Conference Planning Chair of Omicron Delta recommended and the Executive Board approved inviting a new STTI chapter to partner with Omicron Delta to provide our spring 2013 conference. Since our intent was to host the conference in our Southeast region, we selected the Phi Kappa chapter located at South University.
 
Our spring 2013 conference will be held in Savannah, Georgia, where the main campus of South University is located. A call for abstracts for a poster session is being sent to all active and inactive members of Omicron Delta and Phi Kappa. Based on this experience, we have selected a second chapter for collaboration for the spring 2014 conference.
 
In order to further the chapter’s collaboration in the community, with each educational conference, Omicron Delta reaches out to like-minded organizations in the local community to support through a service activity. In the spring of 2012, the chapter partnered with Wright to Read in Alexandria, VA. Conference attendees completed a morning walk to the bookstore where they were able to purchase books that were donated to the Wright to Read program that sponsors a reading program for children. For the fall 2012 conference in Colorado, Omicron Delta collaborated with a fellow nurse and Sigma Theta Tau International member who has MS and utilizes the services of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). CCI provides highly trained dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. Omicron Delta members walked with these amazing dogs the morning of the conference to raise money for this organization. Our nurse colleague who uses the services of CCI then presented at the conference. Her story of how she found life through her dog “Lucky” left the audience in tears. Our nurse colleague is also joining our chapter as a result of our interaction.
 
One final way that Omicron Delta is engaging in collaboration and, more specifically, engaging the global nursing network is through their relationship with the STTI Foundation. In 2011 and 2012, the chapter contributed funds toward the Patricia E. Thompson Giving Circle in an effort to create STTI’s first US $10,000 Global Nursing Research Grant. Additionally, in 2011, the chapter committed funds to provide an annual Leadership Education Grant and an annual International Research Grant through the STTI Foundation. The chapter was able to send a nurse from Botswana to the 2011 Biennial Convention and a nurse from Pakistan to the 2012 International Nursing Research Congress.
 
Phi Mu Engaging in Collaboration
Chartered in July 2011, Phi Mu Chapter has spent the last two years reaching out to the nurse leaders across England to raise the profile of Sigma Theta Tau International and collaborate with leaders in practice, education and research.  In addition to the quarterly meetings held in Universities across the country, Phi Mu Chapter held its inaugural conference in June 2013.  After a year’s planning with a steering group drawn from members in the north, south, east and west of the country the focus of collaboration became paramount.  The title of the conference: ‘Putting people at the heart of nursing care: leading the way’ was chosen prior to the recent national debates on nursing practice in England and its reported failures.  By the time the conference took place, the values of compassion and care at the heart of nursing care had achieved high profile significance nationally and was the driving force underpinning the collaboration.  The conference was supported not only by the University Vice Chancellor and Chair of the University Board but also by the Chief Nursing Office for England.  Keynote presentations were made by two eminent and high profile nursing professors as well as by the Chief Nurse and delegates came from across England.
 
The Chief Nurse for England Jane Cummings  presented her call to action on ‘Compassion in Practice’, centered around the 6 ‘Cs’ of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.’ Her focus resonated with the key values of Sigma Theta Tau International of the importance of  delivering high quality care, building and strengthening leadership, having the right staff in the right place at the right time and using evidence based staffing. In such ways patient satisfaction will rise.  Evaluation by delegates illustrated just how well networking and collaboration were achieved by the following comments:
  • Amazing, inspiring are reconfirming
  • Strengthened my aspirations post registration
  • Networking and more knowledge of STTI.
  • I was impressed by the diverse energy and direction
  • A chance to engage with current thinking/challenges/change strategies and moving beyond the here and now crisis issues to future possibilities
  • A real focus on nursing leadership and research
  • Networking opportunities and insight into different ways of working
  • Such a buzz from others sharing interests
  • Great to connect with so many wonderful people and have empowering discussions
  • Excellent networking
  • Very enjoyable and beneficial event. People were very welcoming and helpful.  Well worth the 250+ mile journey home!!

In addition to this highly successful collaborative conference, the Chapter has been well represented in the European Region with members taking key roles in both the strategic visionary leadership but also in the myriad of committees and working groups.  The Chapter believes it has come a long way  and has great plans for the future.

Rho Chapter Engaging in Collaboration
Rho Chapter is blessed with a large, diverse membership and is fortunate to be based in an outstanding nursing environment at the University of Michigan and in the Ann Arbor community. As part of its 2012 strategic plan, Rho Chapter supported partnerships with faculty and students at the University of Michigan, nurses at the University of Michigan Health System and in the Ann Arbor area, and nursing students in Haiti through the following endeavors:

  • Provided financial support and manpower for two nursing conferences organized by UMHS nursing professional development focused on critical care and evidence-based practice
  • Provided financial support and manpower for four nursing conferences organized by the local nursing organization, Institute for Professional Nursing
  • Provided financial support and publicity for the Dean’s Research Day at the University of Michigan, a scholarly showcase and educational event for U of M faculty and nursing students
  • Provided financial support and publicity for the UMHS Nursing Poster day showcasing scholarly work by UMHS nurses. Rho chapter supported a “People’s Choice” Poster Award, chosen by conference attendees, with a cash prize.
  • Supported the U of M Student Nurses’ Association Hope for Haiti raffle by donating an Ipad. Hope for Haiti is an annual fundraiser for the only baccalaureate nursing school in Haiti, Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l’Université Episcopale d’Haïti, which was founded through the endeavors of two Rho Chapter members, Ruth Barnard and Margie VanMeter. This iPad donation generated substantial publicity for the fundraiser and the SNA was able to raise over $4000 which was donated to the FSIL Haiti nursing school.

Through these collaborative partnerships Rho chapter contributed to nursing scholarship, education, and community service with our local and global community partners.

 

Upsilon Chapter - Engaging in Collaboration
Upsilon Chapter had truly worked on engaging in collaboration, on the local, regional and global level. Upsilon has begun partnering with NYU College of Nursing, collaborating with the different disciplines of Communications, Alumni Relations, and Student Affairs. With the new partnership, Upsilon will increase its visibility to nursing students and alumni and provide guidance in students’ and nurses’ career. The College of Nursing Associate Director of Communications will be working with the Upsilon Communications Chair toward disseminating information that will be presented to nursing students about the chapter on the College website. We have worked with the Alumni Department of the College of Nursing as Upsilon has voted toward donating to the new College of Nursing building that will bring state of the art technology to classrooms for nursing students. Upsilon has also begun collaborations with the student associations at NYU, partnering to creating a Mentorship event as well as becoming a combined team for the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk.

We have worked closely within Region 14 for the programming for United Nations events. Upsilon has the privilege of being host to the first United Nations Interest Group and the Regional biennial event “Millennium Development Goals: Focus for Region 14 Chapters.” In addition, the chapter leader of Upsilon will be coordinating the regional dinner at the Leadership Forum.

Members within the chapter have worked with STTI and have played a role in committees such as the Rising Star Taskforce. 

Upsilon Xi-at-Large Chapter - STTI European Regional Conference 

At the European Business Meeting held in Amsterdam in 2011, the five European chapters made a decision that a European Region Conference would be held biennially in the years between STTI Biennial Conventions. The five chapters agreed that such an event would strengthen the links between the chapters and would facilitate the development of the chapters collaborating within Europe as one of STTI’s new global regions. The first conference would be held in 2012, and bids were invited to select which chapter would host it. The bid submitted by Upsilon Xi-at-Large Chapter was selected.

A Conference Planning Committee was established consisting of representatives of each of the five European chapters. The committee met monthly using Skype to ensure that all information was shared and all decisions were made collaboratively.

The theme chosen for the conference was “Diversity Across Europe: Implications for Nursing,” as an important challenging issue that nursing is confronted with. Each chapter agreed to sponsor one keynote speaker, and each keynote speaker addressed one dimension of European diversity – including nursing education, regulation, practice, population movement, and policy development within the European Union. Ninety-two abstracts were submitted, and 36 were selected for oral presentation in concurrent sessions and 29 as posters; the selection was made by a scientific committee on which all chapters were represented.

The conference was held in Cardiff, Wales, 12-14 July 2012. It was attended by 110 participants (exceeding by 50% the number originally planned) from 20 countries. The venue (Maldron Hotel) and the program (including a Welsh Banquet at Cardiff Castle) were specifically selected to facilitate networking as well as learning. New collaborative relationships were established at both individual and organizational level, e.g. between STTI Europe and the European Federation of Nurse Educators. Attending chapter members felt that the conference stimulated networking between nurses from the various countries focusing on different specialties within nursing and that it facilitated and strengthened collaboration between chapters within the region. 

The conference was evaluated (70% response rate) as “an outstanding success”. One participant, from Malta, commented:

“Unforgettable experience, especially meeting so many nurses from different    countries. Makes you proud of the nursing profession…. I never knew of STTI before; thanks to my thesis supervisor I was chosen to present a paper. Therefore one should take the opportunity to promote STTI in different nursing colleges while organizing conferences in different European countries.”

Information about the processes developed for this first STTI European Region Conference has been shared and documented, and will be used for further European conferences. The next STTI European Region Conference will be held June 16-18  2014 in Sweden, hosted by the Tau Omega Chapter.

Responding to Vulnerable Populations


Alpha Omega Chapter responds to the call of Vulnerable Populations
Locally – with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in October & November on neighbors on Long Island, NY were a vulnerable population. Members of the Alpha Omega Chapter served as Nassau & Suffolk Counties as MRC team members working in Red Cross and county designated shelters. Several members organized clothing & food drives. In December 2012, the Alpha Omega Chapter joined with the Adelphi University Collaboration Project, Zeta Beta Tau, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, and the Criminal Justice Club to provide “A Meal for Christmas” that was directed to assist the Atkinson School Project Freeport (UFSD)-storm “Sandy” Displaced Families. It enabled distribution of hearty and heartfelt Holiday Food Baskets for more than 100 displaced families (children, their families and their teachers) in the Freeport Public School District.

Additionally, several of our members work with the College of Nursing & Public Health in the area of Community Health fairs focusing on the Elderly of Nassau County and the Chinese / Asian Populations of Flushing Queens, NY .

Globally, the Alpha Omega Chapter has begun participating in the “Adopt a Nurse for Haiti” campaign to promote health in Haiti. .Under the guidance of one of our members Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur the chapter started last Fall 2012 in adopting a nursing student for Haiti. Once this is completed we will adopt another nursing student for Haiti. At our 2012 Founders’ Celebration the Alpha Omega Chapter challenged the other Long Island, NY chapters to do the same.  We would like to challenges to the other STTI chapter to do the same. Webpage: Promoting Health in Haiti: http://promotinghealthinhaiti.org/

As part of the Experiential Learning experiences offered by Adelphi University several chapter members who are Nursing Faculty at Adelphi University College of Nursing & Public Health do participate in Transcultural experiences. The Alpha Omega Chapter does support these Faculty Members Service trips by making donations of disposable cameras for the students to document their trips & medical supplies for the Costa Rica trip. This indigenous population has epidemic numbers of Type 2 Diabetes that is going untreated with skin ulcerations and hypertension as just two of the problems facing this population that lacks access to health care.

The Transcultural Experience on a Navajo Reservation’s work with The Navajo Injury Prevention Program was in great need of car seats. The Alpha Omega chapter donated of two (2) Greco Car Seats to help elevate the increased number of childhood MVA fatalities due to lack of child care safety seats & protection.

Alpha Omicron Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
On March 6th, 2013 from 6:30 pm until 9 pm, Sigma Theta Tau International, Alpha Omicron presented a panel discussion on Issues in Domestic Violence in collaboration with the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Art and Design, the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and African American Studies at Saint Xavier University as well as A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (A.N.D.)  The panel consisted of Rita Ryan, ICDVP, Woman’s Advocate, Itedal Shalabi, Executive Director, Arab American Family Services, Judge Timothy P. Murphy, Domestic Relations Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Susan Hampson, MS, RN, NP-C, Emergency Nurse, Assistant Professor, President of Sigma Theta Tau International Alpha Omicron, Jessica McCarihan, President of the Board of Directors, A.N.D., Steve English, Owner, The Blossom Boys, Gwen Spragg, Principal Nimble Digital Media, Survivor, Officer Claretha Cross, Chicago Police Department, Leslie Landis, J.D., Court Administrator, Domestic Violence Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Office of the Chief Judge, and Kristy Ardetti, LCSW, ICDVP.  The panel moderator was Dr. Pat O’Brien.  Sigma members, nursing students, faculty from Saint Xavier University and members from the community attended the event.  Each panel member discussed and shared their experience/stories in regard to domestic violence as well as signs of domestic violence, how to report it, issues in the court systems, and the impact it has on families.  There was also a question and answer session.  Alpha Omicron has been working closely with A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (A.N.D.) for the past year and a half in regard to Issues in Domestic Violence and supporting their cause to address this issue.  168 attended the event. 

Approximately 20 Saint Xavier University nursing students also helped at A.N.D. fundraiser in October 2012.  Mary-Murphy Smith a current Sigma Alpha Omicron member also sits on the board of A.N.D. and we also sponsored another event with A.N.D. on February 15, 2012, Domestic Violence:  Putting the Pieces Together.  Realities, Myths, Effects on Victims.  The featured speakers were Rita Ryan, CDVP and Kristy Arditti, AM, LCSW, CDVP.  Approximately 100 students and faculty attended this event at Saint Xavier University.  It was a presentation and question and answer session that went from 6pm until about 8 pm.  They continue to want Alpha Omicron to sponsor events with their organization.

Beta Xi Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Beta Xi has a long-standing history of embracing service as a core strategic value.  Our service initiatives respond to the needs of vulnerable populations both locally and globally.  The outreach endeavors are initiated by, coordinated by, and include a variety of Beta Xi members.  Members have formed strategic alliances with numerous community agencies to conduct these efforts, which help publicize the unique contributions of STTI.  Community collaborations also help to increase the impact of our service efforts and ensure the sustainability of efforts over time.
Holiday Outreach (Jennifer Graber and Cynthia Diefenbeck, coordinatators; over 50 members to contribute to the effort either in donations or personal time; past collaborators include Delaware Technical Community College’s Student Nurses Association and MidAtlantic Behavioral Health.) For over a decade, Beta Xi has sponsored a holiday outreach for 40 chronically mentally ill adults through a collaboration with Upper Bay Counseling (www.upperbay.org).  The agency provides a personalized wish list to the chapter.  In addition, each client receives a hygiene pack.  Members bring the wrapped gifts to the center where the chapter hosts a festive holiday luncheon.  Staff remark how they have come to rely on this event and clients express great joy and appreciation.
Wine Tasting Benefit Event to support Newark Empowerment Center (Evelyn Hayes, Jennifer Graber, 2 Leader Interns; over 30 members contributed to the effort either in donations or personal time.) This year we hosted an inaugural benefit designed to raise money for expanding our philanthropy efforts.  One member donated the venue, and the chapter provided food.  Members came out to support the event and donated hygiene products.  The chapter received a percentage of the sales proceeds that were used to complete over 60 hygiene packs for the Newark Empowerment Center (http://www.udel.edu/fhnec/) which provides support to the homeless.
Stockings for Soldiers (Gail Wade and Diane Rudolphi, coordinators; collaborated with UD’s Student Nurses Organization; over 40 members contributed to the effort.) Delaware-based non-profit, Stockings for Soldiers (www.Stockingsforsoldiers.org), provides personalized Christmas stockings.  In this collaborative effort, Beta Xi helped collect items needed for the stockings.
Books for Uganda (Judy Herrman and Kathy Petruski, coordinators; over 20 members contributed to the effort.) Several Beta Xi members who are nursing faculty led an initiative to gather new or gently used nursing textbooks as well as support the cost of shipping overseas.  Dozens of books were collected and shipped in support of increasing access to updated educational materials for Registered Nurses working in orphanages and clinics throughout the country.

Hygiene packs for Haiti (Evelyn Hayes, coordinator; over 40 members contributed to the effort.)  In this collaborative event with a local church, Beta Xi Members donated hygiene bag items, the chapter provided a cash donation for the purchase of additional items, and members assisted in assembling bags.  Over 125 bags were assembled and shipped to Haiti in support of the protracted relief efforts.


Flip-Flops for Haiti (Kathy Riley-Lawless, coordinator; over 25 members contributed.) In a collaborative event with the school’s Student Nurses Organization, Beta Xi members donated new flip-flops which were taken to Haiti.


UNICEF Water pump (Megan Holdridge, coordinator; over 25 members contributed to the effort.) A new inductee requested we consider this effort, and the chapter empowered her to think creatively for a way to raise the funds.  She decided to sell “Blow Pops” to all nursing students.  This money, along with donations from members and a matching donation from the chapter, was sufficient to purchase a water pump that will provide clean water to a community in a developing country (http://www.unicefusa.org/work/water/).


Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief (Judy Herrman, coordinator)  Beta Xi provided a donation to the Red Cross in response to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, which directly impacted some of our members and their families.


Beta Xi’s support of vulnerable populations also extends to its own members.  Student scholarships are provided each year.  In addition, new member subsidies are available if invited candidates are unable to join due to financial barriers.  The chapter works with these students to help them complete the Edith Anderson subsidy application.  The chapter agrees to finance the remainder of the membership and induction fees not covered by the Edith Anderson subsidy.  Beta Xi also provides free individual tutoring to ALL nursing students, saving them approximately $12 per hour.  Beta Xi Global Ambassador Program funds a portion of international service trip.  This past year we sponsored the membership of an international member in order to cultivate an ongoing relationship that will (hopefully) lead to a newly chartered chapter at Plymouth University (UK). 


Our ability to maintain a vibrant service outreach orientation that responds to the needs of vulnerable populations locally, regionally, and internationally, is directly related to the passion, dedication, and enthusiasm of our members.  In addition, Beta Xi maintains a vibrant Philanthropy Committee which supports these efforts through a variety of fund-raising activities.  For these reasons, we believe our chapter is deserving of the Regional Showcase of Excellence Award in the category of Responding to Vulnerable Populations.


Chi Beta Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations

From Chi Beta’s beginnings as an honor society, our members have sought to respond to our president’s Call to Action by using every opportunity when we gather as a way to ‘give back’ as a way to ‘move forward’.   Our chapter has embraced the issue of human trafficking because the victims are a vulnerable population and the members of Chi Beta recognize that by bringing awareness of human trafficking to the nursing community this  increases the possibility of victims being identified and rescued.  We believe that by applying our nursing knowledge we can have a positive global impact.  Since current research suggests approximately 28% of victims come into contact with a healthcare provider while in captivity (Isaac, Solak, & Giardino, 2011). Our goal of being part of the solution of ending human trafficking is embraced by each member and closely mirrors many of the UN Millennium Goals.

Our honor society formation and initial induction was in September of 2011 with significant interest of our West Coast University from three campuses.  Our membership continues to grow and regular gatherings hold inductions and educational programs that focus on the issue of human trafficking and other vulnerable populations. 

In April of 2012, our members supported Souls for Souls with an educational program on the impact that shoes and health have on lower socio-economic counties.  Our members donated several carloads of gently used shoes, which were sent to those in need around the world. 

In the same year, August of 2012 our educational program was presented by Zoe Children's Homes, a non-profit that works to end child trafficking. This event was very well attended in a large ballroom in Orange County, California. In a show of support our members brought school supplies that are used to welcome children who have been rescued and now live in a protected Zoe home in Thailand. During the program it was explained how the team in Thailand receives notice of children who need to be rescued.  The Chi Beta members approximately 300 participants as a show of support raised an additional $1,500.00 to be donated to Zoe Children’s Homes.

Our final meeting in 2012, in November focused on the president’s Call to Action with a review of the chapters activates to date and a commitment by the group to continue supporting the efforts of vulnerable populations including those of human trafficking.

Members took special pride that we were able to build the largest walking team for the first annual Zoe Rescue Walk and enjoyed the u-tube video of our team’s hot pink sweatshirts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_r74d7KEp8 ).

Our first meeting in 2013 was held in April for a large induction of new members.  Our educational presentation was very interesting because the Southern California human trafficking task force was well represented. Very well received was a discussion by Tom Thorton, of the LAPD’s homicide division who discussed every day activities and how an RN helped him to identify a victim of human trafficking.  Members took information on how to reach the task force should we encounter a victim and provided the task force with clothing, shoes and personal hygiene supplies for rescued victims.

Our current project is building a walking team for the 2013 Zoe Rescue Walk and developing an online continuing education course on human trafficking.


Delta Lambda Chapter - April Showers - Our Lady's Inn
In April 2012, Delta Lambda hosted a shower for Our Lady’s Inn. Our Lady’s Inn is a homeless shelter for pregnant women. For the shower, we collected items needed by Our Lady’s Inn. Requested items ranged from jars of spaghetti sauce to diapers. We hosted a luncheon for members to attend and bring their “shower gifts”. Approximately 25 members attended this event and as usual, our members were very generous.

 
At the luncheon, a nurse who cares for the women at Our Lady’s Inn presented about the shelter, the women, and their needs. In addition to the many contributions by our members, left-over food was sent to the shelter for dinner that evening.
 
A follow-up note was received from a staff person of Our Lady’s Inn, Debra Ostdiek. Debra noted, “Our Lady’s Inn wishes to thank you for your generous donation of baby clothing and supplies, women’s clothing, beauty supplies and household supplies. These items are in great demand and most of our ladies do not have the resources to provide these for themselves”.
 
Our Lady’s Inn works to improve the maternal health of an at-risk vulnerable population of homeless pregnant women and their children. Through the shower, we provided materials to help support this poor and underserved at-risk population. Through the shower event, we learned as individuals how we could do more to support Our Lady’s Inn. In addition, we listened to the nurse who provides support to these women and by listening, we provided emotional support to her as she cares for the women of Our Lady’s Inn.
 
Delta Pi Chapter - Helping the Women in our Community
Delta Pi has chosen Troy YWCA as a community service project. We were surprised to learn that approximately 94 women live there. This population is vulnerable because some event has caused them to seek help from YWCA. The women do not have anywhere else to go and need assistance. Some have children with them. Some of the women may only stay for a short time and some for many years. YWCA provides programs to help the women re-enter the community. There are programs to help the women become independent such as Back to Work Program. The women are taught how to write a resume and prepare for an interview. Women are also given information about community services and how to apply for
them. There is always a need for supplies such as sheets, deodorant and every day care needs. Most of the women do not have jobs and some were homeless before coming to the YWCA. Most women have very few belongings with them. Their sense of wellbeing will increase if they have access to toiletry items. The women and children need clothing and even toys.

Delta Pi has donated supplies to the YWCA since December 2011. We have donated sheets, blankets and pajamas for Christmas gifts. We have provided deodorant, shampoo and other health care products. Many members have donated gently used clothing for the women. Donated items include sweats, sweaters and clothing appropriate for interviews. The Nursing Club at Sage Colleges has also donated items at Christmas time. Delta Pi plans to continue their involvement with Troy YWCA. We have met with staff to identify other areas that we might assist them.
 

Epsilon Epsilon Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Epsilon Epsilon Chapter is excited for the opportunity to share how members support vulnerable populations both locally and internationally. In the fall orientation, the Epsilon Epsilon president speaks to 250 nursing students about the organization and the opportunity for membership. It is an impressive sight when all members are asked to rise and the students in the room are able to identify 15 faculty and 25 recently inducted peers who are members. This is our first step each year in identifying members for the general student population. They recognize these members can be their role models over the next year.

Ten student members along with two faculty members finish each September by stuffing “goody” bags for participants at the Mark Linder Walk for the Mind, a local walk to raise awareness of brain tumors and funds for research. These same individuals also volunteer at the Walk event, which is held the last Saturday in September each year. Student members have used this volunteer opportunity to identify how they have been impacted by brain tumors within their own family and friends group, recognizing that brain tumors do not discriminate, thus making anyone part of a vulnerable population.

This year’s Walk is 9/28/2013. Over 17 students are volunteering led by Epsilon Epsilon faculty and student members.

On October 13, 2011, Kay Shank, MSN, RN, a former President of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter spoke to over 45 students and faculty about her experiences working with “Friends of Children of Haiti” which is a mission group that involves collaboration between physicians and other health care workers to bring health care to a vulnerable population. Student interest was high with several students expressing interest in traveling to Haiti with this group in the future.

On October, 25, 2012 one student member, Emily Smith presented to other student members, faculty and the student nurses association on her mission trip to Ghana. There were 10 faculty members of Epsilon Epsilon, 20 student members of Epsilon Epsilon and 30 Student Nurses Association members in attendance. Her presentation was a wonderful example of her service to a vulnerable population on an international scale.

This past year, active members found ways to reconnect with some of the more elderly and inactive members. In late spring 2013, one member, sent cards to five elderly inactive members just to let them know the chapter had not forgot them. She learned from this card campaign that one of these formerly very active members had developed Alzheimer’s disease. Another of the older members who recently become less active has been offered rides frequently by two other active members to chapter meetings and other social events.

While this is a sampling from the last two years, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that our members have been doing several of these things for many years, because that’s “who we are!”

Epsilon Eta Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Epsilon Eta “THE WELL PROJECT”
When our beloved member, Dr. Gladys Mabunda, passed away in 2010, the Epsilon Eta membership wished to honor her work in global and public health organizations especially with African émigré’s and their adaptation to life in America. A memorial fund was established and friends and members donated generously. A meeting of several members discussed the need to designate the funds and the organization established a scholarship and a Well Fund Project.
Dr. Mabunda fought for a college education in South Africa and eventually came to the United States to earn additional degrees. As faculty, she was devoted to increasing the diversity among the student body and supporting non-traditional and disadvantaged students. Nontraditional students are students who have other full-time responsibilities besides nursing studies. Often these students are single parents, working full time or supporting others besides themselves. Epsilon Eta has collaborated with the SIUE Student Nurse Association to fundraise for this scholarship selling bracelets.  Since 2010, the chapter has awarded three deserving Epsilon Eta members the scholarship in Dr. Mabunda’s memory. 
 
Dr. Mabunda was also concerned about the welfare of people in her home country of South Africa. She had been working with NGO’s to establish a well in the Limpopo province at the time of her death.  As such, the chapter established a fund to raise money to provide clean water to this area. Over the course of nearly 3 years, the chapter was able to raise over $3700 and investigated several opportunities to disburse the funds to South Africa. Obstacles such as monetary exchange rates, political unrest , and lack of reliable partners in the area forced the chapter to look at alternatives. In the spring of 2013, a committee of board members met to discuss the options.  Members were asked to contribute  ideas and searched the internet and other resources to find a reputable organization that could support the mission: Provide clean water to a vulnerable population in sub-Saharan Africa.  The committee selected three organizations that could meet the goals, and in May of 2013 the board voted to donate the funds to The Water Project (thewaterproject.org) in Concord, NH.
 
As of August, 2013, the funds donated by STTI Epsilon Eta are being used to develop  a sand dam and shallow well in Kenya,  where 43% of the population lacks clean water; 50% live below the poverty level and infant mortality rate is 55 per 1000 live births. Sand dams involve building a structure over a dry riverbed to slow down the water long enough for it to be caught within each little sand particle; and thus provide clean water to those who live in that area.  A shallow well will be drilled to provide the local community access to the water. The project is slated for completion in Dec, 2013.  The progress can be followed on the website.
 
Epsilon Eta  is proud to have been able to work collaboratively with our members, the SIUe School of Nursing and STTI to make Dr. Mabunda’s dream a reality. “When water comes….everything changes.”

Epsilon Upsilon Chapter - Making A Difference in Our Community
Each year the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter at Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions identifies a service activity where chapter members, faculty and students can be involved while having a direct impact on our local community. Following the most recent Presidential Call to Action, the chapter has sought opportunities that provide support for vulnerable populations, including women and children, special needs children and nursing students struggling economically.

Two very successful collections were conducted for Daybreak Center of Joliet, IL. The shelter provides housing, meals and supportive services across the lifespan with an emphasis on transitional housing for women with children. The first project was conducted from February 14 thru March of 2011. The chapter collected many boxes of hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrushes, toiletries etc.) for Daybreak Center. In January, 2012, a very successful food drive was also held for Daybreak Center. Both drives were advertised not only to chapter members but throughout the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the entire University, including four satellite campuses. Over 15 boxes of food were collected over a four week period in January and delivered to the facility in early February. Part of the success of these activities was growing the awareness of the need for food and personal care items through media campaigns (Facebook, websites) and collaborating with the college’s Student Nurse Association for support.
A spring 2013 collection drive was directed toward Almost Home Kids, a pediatric respite and transitional care facility in Naperville, Illinois. Serving the needs of the pediatric special needs population, generally with chronic conditions and a multitude of medical needs, this facility has offered an opportunity for our nursing students, and many STT members, to gain experience in caring for the individualized needs of this vulnerable population. In fact, it was our senior nursing students that asked for the drive to be dedicated to Almost Home Kids as they had a first hand awareness into the financial burden of providing many of the most basic supplies, such as diapers, hand sanitizer and books/media for the children. Ten boxes of supplies were collected, as well as monetary donations. Involvement of the college’s Student Nurses Association also led to the success of this activity.
As identified in the Presidential Call, one vulnerable population that we deal with practically every day, but often overlook as far as their need for financial assistance and support to continue in their education is our nursing students. At the University level, a number of scholarships are available to nursing students. At the Annual Induction Ceremony, 2013, the chapter donated a $1000 gift to a scholarship fund in honor of the College of Nursing and Health Professions 40th anniversary. Additionally, it is an annual commitment of the chapter to provide numerous small monetary scholarships ranging from $200-300 to students to support their continued progression through the undergraduate, degree completion or graduate level studies.
 
Epsilon Xi Chapter - A Partnership with School #15
We at Epsilon Xi Chapter have the good fortune to be affiliated with a very dynamic school of nursing (University of Rochester). Given our chapter’s interest in community service, several members of our board of directors were invited in January 2012, to meet the principal, the librarian and various teachers of School #15, also known as The Children’s School (grades K-6). The mission of this school is “to develop critical, literate thinkers and doers”.
 
At School #15, there is a balance of refugee children and urban youth. Thirty-six native languages are represented. The overall poverty level based on family income is 80%. We learned of a significant need for health related books (health literacy), given a supply of only 10-15 books for a population greater than 300 students. This number of health related books is about half the national average for elementary school collections.
 
In addition, the books designed for use by large numbers of children over a period of years, are “perma-bound” and costly.
 
After a series of meetings to establish the specifics, our chapter held a benefit to raise funds for health related books. Through the generous donations of our members, we were able to purchase over 40 books for the library at The Children’s School.
 
When the books arrived, we were present, greeted by the students and faculty, and shared in the delight of the children and they opened and explored the health related books. Some of the children read to us. We plan to continue our involvement with School #15 to support health literacy, and to expand into other endeavors as well.

Eta Delta Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The Eta Delta Chapter is addressing the needs of vulnerable populations around the world.  In recognition of STTI's 90th anniversary celebration, the Eta Delta Chapter collected 90 items of clothing for the Dress for Success Program in Nigeria.  The chapter also donated 90 items of clothing and shoes to a local church for its community outreach ministry.  This ministry provides clothing, food, and other services to a local women's homeless shelter.  Women from the shelter participate in various activities at the church, including worship services and the weekly B/P and blood glucose monitoring sessions.  Over 90 toiletries have been collected and will be sent to individuals serving in the military overseas.

A financial donation was given to the GRIND (Get Ready to Initiate a Nursing Degree) Program at Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing in 2012 and 2013.

This summer program was initiated to create a blueprint for academic success and retention among minorities. Although Eta Delta Chapter was not directly involved in the implementation of the program, members of the board responded to a request to assist with the cost of the luncheon and t-shirts for participants who completed the program.  Hopefully, some of the participants will become future candidates for membership in the Eta Delta Chapter.

One of the 2013 inductees agreed to serve as the Membership Ambassador to strengthen the connection with all members and to increase collaborative relationships with school and non-school affiliated volunteer organizations. Our goals are to    increase the chapter's visibility and to further respond to the needs of students and other vulnerable groups.   The Eta Delta Chapter has organized a team for the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.

During the Annual Induction Ceremony of 2013, an undergraduate student was awarded a $1000 scholarship.  This student was able to maintain a 3.00+ GPA, in spite of having to make frequent weekend trips from Houston, Texas to her hometown in Louisiana to assist in the care of her grandmother.


Eta Eta Chapter - Responding to Vulnerable Populations

Eta Eta has continually looked for avenues to respond to vulnerable populations. Some of the activities that Eta Eta has participated in during this biennium are:
Volunteering the time of members and providing financial resources to the Young Women’s Leadership Conference held in October. This conference is held annually for seventh grade girls from across York County (usually 1500-1700 girls) to teach them tools to help build self-esteem with an internal focus rather than external. It strives to help them deal with stress, fear and external negativity and enhance and improve academics.
 
Support of ACCESS-York, a local program dedicated to the elimination of domestic violence. ACCESS provides a 24 hour hotline, emergency shelter, option and supportive counseling, support groups, a children's program, hospital advocacy, legal advocacy, drug and alcohol support services, a volunteer program, violence prevention programs, outreach, and transitional housing. At our annual holiday dinner, we solicit members to bring needed items to assist ACCESS in caring for those in need. In addition to our members’ donations of personal care items and gift cards, Eta Eta presented Kristen with a check for $150. In December 2012, we set a goal of collecting 90 items in honor of STTI’s 90th birthday and were able to far exceed this goal. Eta Eta members also help with another the ACCESS- York fund raiser called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes by volunteering their time each year.”
 
Gamma Pi-at-Large Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Bridge of Care Refugee Health Screening Event
This annual event has, in the past, been primarily a “Celebration of Culture”.  For the first time health screenings were included this year to transform the activity into the “Bridge to Care Refugee Health Screening Event”.  The event was held at an Omaha NE high school.  The primary refugee groups participating were:  Sudanese, Somali, Buhtanese, Karen.  UNMC College of Nursing partnered with UNMC College of Public Health (COPH) and other health professions to offer this program.  Expected attendance approached 400 individuals.  The Omaha community, as a whole, and the refugee population, in particular, benefited from this health screening/health promotion opportunity.
Students and Gamma Pi At-Large members provided health screenings/information booths such as:
  • Basic Poison Control
  • Lice/Bed Bugs/Vermin prevention education
  • Basic dental hygiene
  • Sun exposure precautions
  • Developmental milestones
  • Height, weight, BMI
  • Blood Pressure Checks
  • Blood Glucose Levels

The Gamma Pi At Large Chapter Service Grant was used to purchase supplies for the above-mentioned education booths and screening activities.  Such supplies included, gloves, alcohol swabs, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, lancets, glucose testing strips, etc.

Gamma Pi At-Large chapter officers collaborated with the UNMC Public Affairs Office to arrange for publicity that highlighted the interprofessional activity and the support provided by STTI Gamma Pi at-large Chapter.

Gamma Zeta Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The Presidential Call to Action created a spark for our Chapter. As a result, our Chapter
Officers committed to making a difference not only in our local community, but to reach
out beyond our physical location. Elizabeth Van Horn and Don Kautz, co-Chairs of
Development, presented the idea of hosting a “Wine to Water” event. Wine to Water is
a non-profit aid organization dedicated to providing free, clean water to disadvantaged
populations around the world. With nearly 1 billion people without a clean water source
it is easy to feel this was a worthy cause. Just imagine, the average American uses
100-176 gallons of water a day. The average African family uses five gallons a day.
Wine to Water believes that wine is a symbol of fortune in our society. Why not use
wine to as a vehicle for the fortunate to “fight for those who can’t fight for themselves?”
Our Board was instantly attracted to the idea and voted unanimously to host an event.
We felt that it would be a novel way to bring our members together with a dual purposenetworking
for our members and contributing to the health and wellness of people in a
disadvantaged area of the world. Our goal was to raise enough money to provide a well
for a family in Cambodia where only 36% of the population has access to safe, clean
drinking water. We would need to raise $500! A little intimidated, but committed to the
cause, we moved forward.


The event was held March 21, 2013 at the home of Joan LoPresti, President of Gamma
Zeta Chapter. We decided to use Wine to Water’s own label wine. Their wine sells for
$16 a bottle with $7 going directly to fundraising. Don Kautz generously donated the
wine for the tasting, helping to reduce our upfront costs. The Chapter supplied cheese,
crackers and fresh fruit to pair with the wine. Actual attendance was lower than we
anticipated- but we were not discouraged! With continued efforts donations continued
after the event. We raised a total of $584! We were beyond thrilled!

A few months later we received the best news ever- a picture of the family in Cambodia
with their new well. Next to the well is a sign indicating “who” made the well possible.
Although the sign is recognition of our Chapter’s efforts it pales in comparison to the
emotion we feel looking at that picture. The picture brings tears to our eyes every time
we look at it. To see the joy in that families eyes, the pride of owning their own wellbrings
emotion to the surface that is undeniable.

Kappa Lambda Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Since 1996, Kappa Lambda Chapter has provided scholarships to undergraduate and graduate nursing students who indicate economic need and achievement through a scholarship application. In 2011, two undergraduate students and one graduate student were recipients, and in 2012 because of two inductions, three undergraduate and two graduate students received awards. The amounts were $500 or $750 for each recipient.
 
The chapter provided $500 research grants for a nursing research project in 2011 and one in 2012 conducted by two different groups of nursing faculty. The first project was presented at the last biennium.
 
Kappa Lambda Chapter celebrated its 25th anniversary in April 2013. As part of the celebration, the chapter offered a CE program. To celebrate STTI’s 90th anniversary, the attendees donated food items and monetary gifts to W.A.R.M. (Westerville Area Resource Ministry) a local community organization that provides food, shelter, after school programs, and job training.

Kappa Omicron Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Kappa Omicron responded to the significant needs of a local nursing student who was seriously injured in an automobile accident early in her enrollment in the nursing program.  Pregnant at the time of the accident, this young woman is now a quadriplegic.  Her baby was delivered safely.  The Chapter held numerous fund raising events, raising over $7,000 to provide financial support to assist this family in adapting their home to accommodate her needs.  The Awards Committee noted, “The Chapter is to be commended for embracing this family through their time, talent and financial support.”
 
Kappa Tau  Responding to Vulnerable Populations
On a beautiful sunny day this past spring, April 6, the board of Kappa Tau awoke bright and early to serve breakfast at the Respite House.  The Respite House is a place for the terminally ill to live to serve out their remaining days surrounded by their family and friends. This is the only inpatient hospice residence in Vermont that relies on volunteers to donate food, serve meals, and clean up the kitchen.
 
The menu included homemade oatmeal (Ann Laramee), Blue Berry French Toast (Ruby Souhan), Blueberry Muffins (Christina Melvin) and our Egg and Bacon Chef was Jean Beatson with our indispensable kitchen helpers/servers Karen McKenny and Julie Jones. There were six residents that we were able to make and serve breakfast.  This is an annual event for Kappa Tau.

Lambda Delta Chapter - Giving Back to the Community
Lambda Delta Chapter members donated items to The Center in Asbury, a center for terminally ill individuals. The items donated included televisions and videos. The chapter members also donated clothing to the local Methodist Church thrift store to assist those in need.

Mu Lambda Responding to Vulnerable Populations
As Mu Lambda Chapter members and Sigma Theta Tau International nurse leaders walked through the halls at the 41st Biennial Convention held in Grapevine, Texas, we were greeted by large banners that identified each of the eight United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.

Goal 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2 - Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3 - Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal 4 - Reduce child mortality 

Goal 5 - Improve maternal health 

Goal 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Goal 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8 - Develop a global partnership for development

Since Sigma Theta Tau International has become an official non-governmental organization of the United Nations, we have discussed how to best support the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals that lay the foundation for improving world health by 2015 and beyond.  Prior to attending the conference, the majority of chapter members were unfamiliar with how nurses were contributing to the Millennium Development Goals and the nursing faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato had to learn how to promote the Sigma Theta Tau International partnership with the United Nations. During the flight home, we questioned whether we had the ability to address the needs of vulnerable populations across the life span and around the world. Everyone may become vulnerable at some point in their lifetime, and nurses must address the needs of the poor and underserved, mothers and children, the elderly and rural dwellers who are especially at risk.

Since the nursing curriculum was recently revised, it was determined that a new course entitled N334 Physiologic Integrity I that focuses on global health concerns and related health promotion, prevention and early detection of alterations in physiological integrity which contains an experiential learning component. Thus, four chapter board members designed a set of nursing integration stations where students were exposed to evidence-based practices in providing societal level care. Through the use of images and stories, the nursing students were made aware of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and learned how to promote the health and well-being for society. In addition, students were also introduced to primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention, public health intervention wheel and how to work with interpreters.  Had it not been for the Mu Lambda Chapter that sponsored the nursing faculty to attend the biennial convention and had it not been for the vision of Sigma Theta Tau International to align itself with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, nursing students would not have been exposed to this transformational learning experience!


Nu Lambda Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Each year our School of Nursing sends three groups of students and faculty to the mission field for a week, allowing the graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to provide nursing care for those less fortunate.  2013 has been no different.  The first week of January, a group of nurse practitioner students and faculty (around 35 total), went to the Dominican Republic and provided care in clinics around the area of Juan Dolio.  They saw about 900+ patients in extremely poor sugar cane villages.  The group was able to provide medication and health education, as well as play with the children and talk to the people about their walk with God. 

The final week of January, 27 nurse anesthesia students and faculty, along with a hospital administrator from a local facility, also went to the Dominican Republic and split their time between clinics in the poor sugar cane villages and a hospital in the town of La Romano.  They were accompanied by two surgeons and surgical care was provided for 45 patients, along with 600+ patients in the villages that required medical care.  There was time to enjoy the children in the villages with a game of baseball with Gatorade caps for the ball and sticks for the bat!  Our male students really had fun with this and the children LOVED it.

In 2012, during fall break and upcoming spring break in 2013, a group of undergraduate nursing students and faculty visited and will repeat a visit to a small community in Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains.  These students had/have an opportunity to provide basic checks of vital signs, provide health education, diabetes monitoring, hygiene teaching, and mingle with the people of the community.

These three opportunities are such a blessing for our students and our faculty.  Of course, cost is a huge issue and some letters requesting support and t-shirt sales are done to help offset the cost.  This year, Sigma Theta Tau, Nu Lambda, very generously donated $1,000 to each of the 3 trips to help with the cost.  This was a huge blessing for the people in the areas where visits were made, as well as to the students/faculty.  It is so good to be able to tell the students that our Nursing Honor Society is involved in the big picture of their education.  Not only is Sigma Theta Tau interested in excellence in the classroom, they are interested in excellence in practice. . whether in the U.S. or abroad.  It was an additional perk that all of the faculty that accompanied the students are members of STTI and many of the students are as well.  The support of STTI in ways such as this makes membership in this society a true blessing!


Nu Nu Chapter -
Care for Those in Need
The Nu Nu Chapter partnered with Weber State University has supported several initiatives that respond to vulnerable populations.
 
Nu Nu supports local food drives throughout the year to fill various food banks in the community. This includes donation of funds and canned food during a Thanksgiving Day Walk/Run and collected and donated items to the Brigham City Food Bank.
 
The Nu Nu Chapter has placed increased emphasis on assisting those in need in our local community. Our annual Do Something 101 Project conducted each August (in collaboration with the other two Utah Chapters – Gamma Rho and Iota Iota-at-Large) collects school supplies to donate to Staples Office Supplies to take to a local school in need. When this project was started in 2010, one of our members told of us about her daughter teaching in an elementary school where they ran out of copy paper in October and had to buy their own if they wanted copies of any teaching materials for their class for the rest of the school year. The Nu Nu Chapter collected 14,967 pieces of supplies in 2010; 21,693 in 2011; 27,568 in 2012. Our goal for 2013 is 30,000 pieces.
 
Nu Pi-at-Large Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Through strategic planning in 2011-2012, the Nu Pi at-Large Chapter Board reviewed the Presidential Call to Action for 2011-2013. The Chapter Board selected "responding to vulnerable populations" and "promote health & well-being for mothers & children" as two areas of focus. The specific U.N. Millennium Goals selected were: #1. Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty, and #4. Reduce child mortality. It was determined that chapter programs and/or activities could be coordinated to support these goals and focus areas. In coordination to support the selected goals, Nu Pi at-Large members attending Chapter programs were asked to bring a food item or monetary donation to support the Minnie O'Beirne Crisis Nursery located in Sangamon County (an organization providing care services for children in crisis situations.) or Central Illinois Food Pantries. In 2012 -2013, the Chapter held four programs with the following outcomes:
  1. A Fall Pizza Program held at each school (three total) welcoming students and informing them about STTI and the Nu Pi at-Large Chapter. The following collections were obtained and given to local food pantries in each of the school areas which represented three counties (Macon, Morgan and Sangamon):
    • MacMurray College had 26 attendees collecting 102 pounds of food
    • Millikin University had 19 attendees and collected food (amount not recorded)
    • St. John's College had 40 attendees collecting $100 for food
  2. An Evidence Based Practice Program held for community members had 30 attendees with $113 collected for the Minnie O'Beirne Crisis Nursery.
Total Outcome from all programs was 115 participants (attendees) 102 pounds of food, and $213 given to help vulnerable populations, specifically mothers and children.
Coordinating chapter programs with strategic goals and focus areas was very successful. On Sept. 4, 2013, the Nu Pi at-Large Chapter Board committed to continuing efforts to "respond to vulnerable populations" and "promote health & well-being for mothers & children" through coordinated chapter programs.

Nu Xi-at-Large Chapter - Giving Back to the Community
The partnership between Samuel Merritt University’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program and the Davis Street Family Resource Center (DSFRC) continues to thrive. Nu Xi-at-Large has chosen to support this partnership with financial grants each year in order to help provide resources for this volunteer clinic. The faculty practice, Davis Street Primary Care Clinic (DSPCC), housed at the Resource Center is staffed by FNP faculty nurse practitioners and FNP students, several of who are members of the Nu Xi-at-Large Chapter. The medical care is provided to those who are uninsured, an unfortunate circumstance often related to job loss. Rose Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of DSFRC and Karla Goodbody, Director of Medical Services, are not ones to rest on the laurels of their accomplishments. Rather, they continue to pursue avenues for funding to sustain the Center, including the partnership with Nu Xi-at-Large. Services other than medical that are provided to the community include dental care, a food bank, a clothing store, mental health counseling, housing referral service, workforce development, and family support. The Mission of DSFRC is “to help people with low income in the Eden area and its surrounding communities improve their quality of life through short and long-term assistance.” The work of the clinic, and the chapter role as a financial supporter, has been highlighted in chapter newsletters.
Lack of access to medical care is alleviated by the medical services provided by SMU’s faculty practice and supported by Nu Xi-at-Large. DSFRC’s mission for the community and SMU’s mission for high quality education complement one another, melding together as a force to help those who need assistance. The Affordable Care Act serves as a bolster for communities in need of Primary Care and DSPCC fits the bill in that regard. Nurse practitioners have been known for decades to provide quality health care but only recently have been granted the recognition they deserve. The DSPCC is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8am to 2:30pm.
SMU students and faculty have also gone globally—Southeast Asia, Panama, and more recently, Ghana—providing valuable experience to Registered Nurses, FNPs, and Physician Assistants as they promote humanitarian efforts and provide medical care to those living in villages distant from urban facilities. Again, Nu Xi-at-Large provided financial support to help provide medications and medical supplies for this important medical mission and again, several nurses who travelled globally with this team are active members of Nu Xi-at-Large. Other organizations that deserve recognition, in addition to Nu Xi-at-Large, are Windhorse Foundation, Global Medical Brigades, MedShare, and Brother to Brother. All have sponsored or made donations to these international events.
 
Omicron Delta Chapter - Supporting Vulnerable Populations Around the Globe
Omicron Delta seeks to demonstrate our leadership as STTI’s largest chapter by sponsoring activities that support vulnerable populations. Omicron Delta had the honor of supporting chapter secretary Kerrie Downing on an educational and enlightening trip to Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria from late May to early June 2012. Kerrie’s trip was part of a partnership between Ustawi Research Institute and Thompson and Grace (a Nigerian company) to create a world-class health care system. An account of her trip was posted on the chapter web site to educate members and generate interest in medical missions.
Unlike many international projects, this team asked the local people what health care concerns they had and what they wanted in a new health care system. Skeptical and reluctant at first to provide their responses, the local people identified communicable diseases and chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancers. The new health care system will be designed and implemented by the people of Akwa Ibom State, making this public health at its finest - health care by the people, for the people!
 
To further the chapter’s interest in raising awareness for vulnerable populations globally, the 2012 General Membership meeting focused on medical mission trips. Attendees were encouraged to complete the STTI education course on leading and serving on a medical mission. Then, attendees participated in a three-day blog discussion focusing on medical missions to underserved populations. Multiple members participated and shared their experiences in such diverse locations as Haiti, Nigeria, Nepal, India, Chad, and the Philippines. Several members had also served on Mercy ships, some of them veterans of multiple missions. Service to vulnerable populations is not limited to foreign countries; one participant recounted her experience in an inner-city nurse-managed community health center where she came in contact with different cultures. All participants agreed the medical mission experience had a professional impact on one’s value system and teaching philosophy.
 
Finally, the chapter has supported international service organizations and vulnerable populations by selecting an organization for community service each year. The 2013 service activity is H2Omicron Delta, which has a specially designed logo that can be seen on the chapter web site. H2Omicron Delta supports safe water through the organization water.org, which helps communities – nationally and internationally - design and construct their own sustainable water supply systems. http://www.omicrondelta.net/H2OmicronDelta.html
 

Omicron Lambda Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Mississippi College School of Nursing’s (MCSON) Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Omicron Lambda and the School of Nursing, in conjunction with Course NUR477D Spiritual Aspects of Nursing, partnered with Medical Missions International (MMI) to form the mission team that traveled to Leticia, Columbia in South America, June 15 - 22, 2013.  Leticia, a small frontier town of 37,000, located 4.09º south and 69.57 º west on the north bank of the Amazon River.  This small town of 37,000 is the capital of the state of Amazon as well as Columbia’s southernmost town and only major port on the Amazon River.

The 2013 Mission team consisted of 19 people: three faculty, nine students, four registered nurses, and three new BSN graduates.  Nine of the 19 team members were members of Omicron Lambda. The team goal was conducting medical clinics for and ministering to members of Columbia’s endangered indigenous tribes that live in remote villages beside the Amazon. The team departed Leticia and traveled six hours by boat up the Amazon River to establish a base post in one indigenous village.  Each day thereafter, we traveled to different villages.  Team members participated in various areas of service in each village, triage, medical assessment, pharmacy, immunizations, de-worming, de-licing, gynecological exams-pap smears, fluoride treatments and dental assisting.  The missionaries associated with MMI in Leticia will be conducting follow up visits with patients needing further treatment for abnormal pap smears.  Our team experienced local culture through living in tents set up in an open church, bathing in the Amazon due to lack of running water, eating local foods such as alligator, and making nightly alligator hunting trips with indigenous tribesmen.

The team ministered to the people in the village not only by meeting their physical needs but also by meeting their spiritual needs.  Each night in an effort to socialize with the village members the team conducted soccer tournaments for the children in the village.  Team members served as “coaches” for the two games played each night and they ministered to villagers each night by acting out a Bible story and sharing the Gospel between the soccer games.  By conducting medical clinics in Columbia’s remote border region, the mission team aspired to helping reduce child disease and deaths, improve maternal health, and combat malaria and other major diseases. While the 2013 mission trip was informative and fun, its greater value was the enrichment each team member experienced through performing medical services for and ministering to members of Columbia’s vulnerable indigenous population.


Omicron Omicron Chapter-at-Large- Responding to Vulnerable Populations

Omicron Omicron Chapter at-Large has volunteered at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon and used the earnings to support scholarships awarded by the chapter for academic and quality work as well as student participation in continuing education opportunities.

Fifteen members from STTI arrived at Yeatmans’ Cove and moved to Johnny Bench Way in the Broadway Street tunnels to prepare to award medals to the elementary aged runners who would be completing the final mile of The Kid’s Marathon.  The children had participated in a running/walking program within their school system over the previous months allowing them to complete 24 miles previously. 

Our charge as volunteers was to present the children with medals as they ran across the finish line.  This volunteer experience brought our organization $400 which can be utilized toward scholarship funding, but even more importantly we were able to celebrate with every child who crossed the finish line and promote self-confidence and a sense accomplishment with every medal placed around the neck of a runner!  Considering there were over 4000 runners, I feel we made a difference.  STTI Omicron-Omicron has already been asked to participate in 2014.  I sincerely hope we can increase our volunteer participation significantly.”    - Julie Nardi
The chapter has also committed to collecting canned food items at the Founder’s Day and facilitated getting the donations to a local food bank. For the second year now, the chapter has committed to adopting a family during the Christmas season.

“Barb Harland, Past President and organizer of the Adopt-A-Family gift collection, shared this: "What a response! This was like Santa's sled....We collected an entire car full of gifts for this family! Trunk, back seat, front seat...this was a mid-size car.... When the Social Worker came she broke down into tears... she was so thankful for the gifts and what it would do for the family. In addition to the toys, clothes, coats, movies, and DVD player, we were able to give to the family:
- $125.00 in Kroger Gift cards
- $100.00 in Target Gift cards
- $50.00 in K Mart Gift cards
- $ 15.00 in LaRosa’s Gift cards

Omicron Omicron members you did a fantastic job! On behalf of the Xavier University Community
Adopt-A-Family, thank you to all!"
 

Omicron Xi-at-Large Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Support the STTI Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy -
Chapter member Amy Cotton is a member of the STTI 2008-2009 Geriatric Nursing Leadership cohort. She represented Omicron Xi at the Sigma Theta Tau 24th International Nursing Research Congress in Prague July 22-26, 2013. Her presentation entitled “Gerontological Nursing Leadership in Post-Acute Settings: Long Term Care and Community Health” reflected her quality efforts at improving the care of elders in the geographic area represented by Omicron Xi at large chapter. Omicron Xi provided financial support to help Ms. Cotton attend this conference.

Ms. Cotton will be sharing her experiences visiting and teaching at a government hospital in Bangalore, India at the chapter fall educational program. Her presentation is entitled: “The Power of Culture in Healthcare: One Nurse’s Impact on Improving Healthcare for Older Adults in India.”

The University of Maine, in large part through the efforts of Dr. Nancy Fishwick, started a fully online inter-professional graduate certificate in gerontology. Chapter members are currently enrolled in the certificate program with the goal of improving care to rural elders in Maine.

Work through your chapter to provide student scholarships and small grants

Omicron Xi-at-Large Chapter provided student grants to support service-learning projects in the Dominican Republic and Belize. Constance Springer-Tracey received a graduate scholarship to support her doctoral work.


Pi Iota Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Background:
In responding to vulnerable populations, this project describes how we’ve achieved to help to improve the relationship between cancer patients and caregivers as they have diverse educational needs. Many research papers have shown that cancer patients want to learn more from information, especially when making treatment decisions. Education helps patients to manage side effects and improve adherence to their treatment. Caregivers, on the other hand, are usually neglected, but are often the ones to handle some of the health care responsibilities of their loved ones and may suffer stress when providing care. To alleviate these problems, PIC contributed to develop this partnership project of nurses and allied health professionals in working with the church fellowship group to educate cancer patients and their caregivers and to improve relationships between them through parish nursing.

Objectives:

1) To ensure that the knowledge of patients and their caregivers are adequate.

2) To strengthen the relationship between cancer patients and their caregivers.

3) To enhance positive thinking of participants through provision of meaningful interventions.

4) To minimize the stress of caregivers when they are providing care.

Content: This community program was a joint venture between Honor Society of Nursing and an Alliance Church. It started in January through July of 2013, and was delivered in 3 sessions.

Session 1: Building rapport between cancer patients and their caregivers

It started with an ice-breaking performance by a magician and his team. Caring cards were introduced to participating patients to express their appreciation to their significant others. Stretching exercises were led by physiotherapy team, and followed by health educational talks.

Session 2: Using holistic approaches ranging from physical to psychological dimensions

It started with a healthy food talk by a dietitian, followed by a variety of stretching exercises, and ended with psychological sharing by a psychologist. Quizzes were set, and participants with correct answers were awarded with prizes. An End-of-life scrapbook was introduced. Participants were encouraged to complete the first part of the book to self-reflect their life journeys, whilst the part on ‘Life and death education’ would be covered in session 3.

Session 3: Involving cancer patients in documenting personal notes to their beloved

This was actually a tailor-made session in response to the request of cancer patients and their caregivers. It started with a ‘Life and Death’ education and followed by self-evaluation of caregivers and witness-sharing from all participants. This session closed with an activity in using the scrapbook named “Let me talk”, to tell their family caregivers what the cancer patients considered as most significant and to convey their wishes in planning for life and death decisions.

Outcomes: The parish nurse program has facilitated a happy relationship through the provision of activities and education to cancer patients and their caregivers by professional staff, such as dietician; wound nurse; oncology nurse; clinical psychologist; physiotherapist; and academic nursing expertise. In addition, we also injected entertainment element through the performance of the Hong Kong caring magic circus, who have taught them ways to play some magic tricks that they can showcase to their loved ones while increasing their sense of confidence with humor. We have accomplished to strengthen the trusting and supportive relationships between the cancer patients and their caregivers after the program and consequently bring about decreased stress to caregivers. We’ve also contributed to increase cancer patients’ self-image and self-confidence that they have shown positive thinking in their daily lives.

The program evaluation in the final session revealed from conversation with church staff and fellowship participants that they have sensed the rapport built with the PIC Board members after the three community events and would like to continue having nursing professional support in constructing the Parish Nursing Model in the long run. We believed that the success of the program lies in the participants’ acceptance of the activities and health education topics. We had an average attendance of 30-40 participants in each session. By word of mouth, we received invitations from various churches to promote caring for the vulnerable population in the community. We were perceived as pioneer for Parish Nursing in Hong Kong.

This project has been selected as a Symposium of ‘Responding to Vulnerable Populations: Asian Region’s Responses to the Presidential Call to Action” in the 42nd Biennial Convention in November, 2013.

Pi Nu Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations

This, too, partners with the Holocaust event. As individuals in the audience were moved to tears by Ms. Kor’s lesson of forgiveness, and how to let loose of the pain of the past in order to embrace the love that exists in the present, this spoke to every single one of us. There is not one person who could not benefit from that message. In a sense, we are all a vulnerable population, as we each deal with depression, grief, loss, and being hurt. A young woman in particular comes to mind; one of the sound techs who was watching up in the sound booth while doing her job broke down sobbing (I was told later), as she realized that the message she had heard was exactly what she needed to hear right at that moment as she was dealing with some very personal pain. If even one person was able to forgive a past hurt, and move forward into a place of emotional peace, then we have definitely met the “Respond to Vulnerable Populations” requirement.

Phi Rho – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The project we undertook falls under responding to vulnerable populations. The targeted population is in Romania. There are over 20 million people living in Romania which is about the size of the state of Oregon. The country is made up of thousands of small villages where there is literally nothing to eat during the winter and the temperature drops to 30 degrees below zero.

Phi Rho Chapter which is affiliated with Kaplan University School of Nursing made a monetary donation to a local pastor in Hosman, Romania.  The donation allowed the pastor and volunteers to purchase loaves of bread that were then distributed to local villagers. The villagers would stand in line to get the loaves of bread that could quite possibly be the only food they would have for the week.

Date of project was November 15th, 2012. The project was not done in conjunction with another chapter activity. A total of 250.00 was donated. The chapter actually supported a single member in the accomplishment of the project. The chapter donated the money so that Susan Kieffer was able to provide food: bread and fresh fruit and vegetables to the aforementioned population. Phi Rho Chapter is supported by the online Campus of Kaplan University. The information was disseminated via the Phi Rho Chapter webpage and their Facebook website to all members.


Pi Pi Chapter - Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The Pi Pi Chapter of STTI received a request from a Pi Pi member who was going on a Medical Mission Trip to Haiti on January 12 – 19, 2013 to help purchase a portable hemoglobin monitor for the mission trip. In prior years, Pi Pi had raised money to purchase Tylenol to send on this trip. We really liked the idea of purchasing a tangible piece of medical equipment that could be used for subsequent mission trips for years to come, thus continuing our goal to reach out to vulnerable populations around the world.
A goal of $320 was set to purchase the Stat-Site MHgb portable hemoglobin monitor, a supply of test strips, and other items needed to insure this group would be able to utilize this device to its fullest potential. A “Bake-less Bake Sale” was planned for Research Day on October 19, 2013 at Town & Country Inn and Suites. “Blooming Name-Badge Pulls” were made by a couple of members to sell at Research Day as well.
The “Bake-less Bake Sale” consisted of laminated pictures of cakes and cupcakes that could be purchased for $1 - $5. Each laminated goody had a random colored dot on the back that corresponded to a prize (much like “pick-up ducks”). This activity was fun for the nursing students, faculty, and community members – winning prizes from pens to sweatshirts.
The “Blooming Name-Badge Pulls” were very bright and colorful flowers glued to standard retractable name badge holders which sold for $10 each. Once the students and nurses started wearing the blooms on the units for clinical and work – many requests for these cheerful additions to uniforms were received!
Our goal of $320 was exceeded by $25.00. Members rejoiced at the benefits of our efforts while reading the Blog of one member of the Mission Team writing about being able to identify patients at the Haitian clinic with low hemoglobin and sending them for additional needed treatments. We felt honored to be a part of responding to the vulnerable population of those in Haiti and knowing that our investment can further be used to help vulnerable populations around the world for years to come.
 

Rho Delta Chapter – Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Rho Delta Chapter Members and Nurse Leaders Supports United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) On International Nurses Day and International Day of Midwives 2013

Rho Delta chapter leaders, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Division of nursing services and Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU SONAM) celebrated International Nurses Day (IND) and International Day of Midwifes (IDM) on May 03, 2013, to promote, Millennium development goals (MDGs) 4, 5 & 6 i.e. Reduce Child Mortality, Improve Maternal Health and Combat HIV/ AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. The main Theme of International Nurses’ Day for 2013 was “Closing The Gap: Millennium Development Goals” Dr. Iqtidar Khan, Acting divisional Head for Division of Women and Child Health was the chief guest of the event and Dr. Rahat Qureshi was the Key note speaker who highlighted the importance and significance of the role of Nurses and Midwives in achieving Millennium development goal. A session of awareness on Malaria was also a part of this celebration to provide awareness regarding Millennium development goal 6 i.e. Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases”. Beside these other educational and entertainment activities were conducted to conclude the event.

On the occasion of IND and IDM 2013, educational events were organized in order to enhance competencies among nurses. The educational activities were planned throughout the week of April 29th – May 3rd 2013. Activities included workshops on understanding research, Cardiotocography and its interpretation, Patient safety, and Basic life support.

Altogether 150 nursing staff who benefited from these educational activities. At the end of the week on May 3rd 2013 the main event of IND and IDM was celebrated at AKU Auditorium which was attended by more than 500 Nurses and Midwives from different hospitals of Karachi. The aim of this event was awareness of UN’s Millennium Develop Goals (MDGs) among Nurses, Midwives and nursing students as they are key players of health care and they are one to respond to vulnerable population with particular attention to reduce Child Mortality, Improve Maternal etc. One of the example is one of our nurse leaders from Aga Khan University who is head nurse of Neonatal ICU won global award for excellence in neonatal nursing at 8th International Conference of Neonatal Nurses, held at the Waterfront Hotel in Belfast, Ireland on September 07, 2013 the awards was organised by Save the Children and the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN).

She is the first Pakistani nurse to win the coveted award. She was honored for her commitment to save mothers and newborns during childbirth in some of the hardest places to work around the world. According to COINN President Karen, Anila was selected over a number of outstanding candidates for their unwavering leadership and passion for ensuring every newborn has a chance to survive. She worked in newborn care units in busy referral hospitals, providing care to underserved populations. We can take good care for granted in rich countries but in such conditions, it has to be developed and defended by committed professionals.

Each year, three million newborns die during their first month, with Pakistan having the third highest number of deaths. These figures do not include an additional 2.6 million babies who are stillborn. Moreover, three out of every four newborn deaths occur in South Asia and the Sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a critical shortage of skilled health workers, including nurses and doctors. Most newborn deaths are preventable with specialized care that only skilled nurses or midwives can provide.

Thus, Bardai, an alumna of the AKU School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM), strives to reduce newborn deaths and provides counselling to those parents who have lost babies. She also supports mothers of sick babies, providing guidance on breastfeeding and teaching them how to use Kangaroo Mother Care to keep their babies warm and maintain a proper body temperature.

Commenting on her achievement, AKU-SONAM Dean Dr Keith Cash said, “This is fantastic recognition for nurses who provide essential care in countries with a great need. At SONAM, we are committed to educating nurses and midwives who can make a difference and our new degree in Midwifery, the first in South Asia, will further improve the excellent work done by neonatal nurses.” Nurses like Anila show how it is possible to change the statistics on newborn deaths with greater investment in training and basic equipment, plus a belief that newborns are not born to die.


Rho Phi Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations

Rho Phi Chapter activities support vulnerable populations throughout the year.   Following the tradition of the previous Board under the vision of Donna Gladney as President, each Chapter activity either fundraises or directly supports (food, supplies, service) a vulnerable population in need.

For the past three years in the fall (date varies depending on openings), Rho Phi members prepare and serve a complete hot meal for the Open Door Dinner at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Natick, Massachusetts including planning, shopping, preparation, and collaborating with a local college to have nursing students assist in serving.  Chapter members serve individuals of all ages in need of a hot meal. 

Each fall, for the past three years, the Chapter collects new white socks for a local veteran’s organization and canned/nonperishable food for a local food kitchen.  The collection is coordinated with our fall speaker event.  We ask each attendee to bring either socks or food to the event.  A Chapter member then delivers the supplies to the respective organizations.

For the third year in a row, Rho Phi will be sponsoring a family in need during the holidays in collaboration with the Framingham Public Schools.  The school contacts Rho Phi with confidential information about the family and the needs and wishes for gifts for the holidays.  The Chapter organizes and shops for the family based on their wish lists.  Collection is coordinated at the fall speaker event and a Chapter member delivers to the school. 

For the past three years, the Chapter has contributed to the Benedicion de Dios School in Alotenango, Guatemala by sponsoring the sale of Guatemalan jewelry and crafts at our spring speaker event.  Sale of items directly supports over 20 Guatemalan artisans and provides education for children who are unable to afford public school.  Attendees can also directly contribute to the organization.  Whatever money is raised during the evening is then matched by Rho Phi which allows a substantial donation to the organization.  
In the upcoming two years under the new Board, Rho Phi Chapter plans to continue these activities and explore additional opportunities to respond to vulnerable populations in need.
 
 
Tau Beta Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The Tau Beta Chapter developed its 2011-2013 Strategic Plan based on the President’s Call to Action for the 2011-2013 Biennium. We are most proud of our efforts in Responding to Vulnerable Populations.
 
Our Chapter planned and participated in several events to respond to Vulnerable Populations in our local, regional, and international areas.
 
In November 2011 we sponsored a presentation at Wesley College, to our undergraduate students and Tau Beta members, by Neha Gupta, a high school student in the Philadelphia, PA area. Neha started the Empower Orphans organization when she was 11 years old. Empower Orphans has helped approximately 15,000 orphaned and underprivileged children throughout the world by building libraries in schools and supplying books to them, starting computer labs, starting sewing centers for older girls and donating sewing machines to graduating girls to help them start their own business, conducting eye exams and dental clinics, and providing nutritious food, school bags, shoes and warm clothes to about 10,000 children. Our Chapter raised $150.00 to support this organization, by having raffles for gift baskets and other member donated items at our Research Conference in Fall 2012.
 
In November of 2012, our Chapter sponsored a Girl Scout Nursing Badge event at Wesley College.  Tau Beta Chapter members as well as Wesley College undergraduate nursing students held a variety of activities which met the requirements for Brownies and Junior Girl scouts to complete a Nursing Badge. As part of this event, the Girl Scouts were each asked to bring an item, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, small school supplies, or a small child’s gift that would fit into a shoe box. Our Tau Beta members than packed the shoe boxes, wrapped them in Christmas wrap and delivered them to Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse. Shoe boxes were then delivered to underprivileged children throughout the world. We will repeat the Girl Scout Badge and our participation in Operation Christmas Child on November 9, 2013.
In December 2012, our Chapter collected and delivered sweatpants, sweat shirts, personal hygiene items and socks for the men at the Dover Interfaith Mission, a shelter for homeless men.

Theta Beta Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations
In the Spring of 2013, Theta Beta collaborated with nursing students from its affiliated school to respond to a vulnerable inner city population.  Each year students in their last semester choose a project to support as part of their contribution to the community.  This year they undertook a service project collecting items for UMMC affiliated School Based Clinics. Sigma Theta Tau members worked with students to collect for donation to the school-based clinic at Johnson Elementary School in Jackson. This school is located in a low income area and the majority of students have no access to healthcare other than that provided by the school based clinic.  Supplies included everything from antibacterial soap, to over-the-counter ointments, to hygiene products, to underwear and socks. Theta Beta Members contributed many items for this drive, along with over $200 in monetary donations and gift cards to the students in support of this project. Nursing Student Kristin Hinton said: “Thank you and STT for everything y'all have done! That will make a huge impact on our donations and we cannot thank you enough for choosing to support us! Again, I cannot say enough how much having STT support means to us students!”

Upsilon Chapter - Responding to Vulnerable Populations
Upsilon Chapter had the unique ability to partner with Region 14 toward creating programming with the United Nations, with a large focus on the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals. We helped with the organization of the event “Nurses Week at the United Nations” and hosted the first United Nations Interest group for Region 14. In collaboration with Region 14, we will be take part in the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health event “Daring, Sharing and Caring,” which launched toward increasing Maternal Health Awareness.  Upsilon will be host chapter for the Biennial Regional Event: “Millennium Development Goals: Focus for STTI Region 14 Chapters.”

Upsilon has begun to premier its first ever “Upsilon Healthcare Lecture Series,” educating members about topics such as LGBT health care issues and Mental and Physical health. We are underway and plan on having the first ever “Women’s Health Day,” a daylong event of lectures toward the education of Women’s Health nationally and globally.

As noted in the call to action, vulnerable populations extends to nursing students as well as nurses. Upsilon has created a Mentorship program, partnering 1st year STTI members with a board member, with the board member serving as a guide to “All Things Upsilon” and guiding them toward making the most out of their membership. We have initiated a collaboration with the NYU College of Nursing UNSO / ANSO / DSO to create a mentorship event for nursing students early in their career. 

Upsilon Zeta Continuous Community Outreach: Service Projects throughout the Biennium
Consistent with Susan Prevost’s 2011 – 2013 Presidential Call to Action, members of the Upsilon Zeta Chapter have carried out a number of community service projects during the 41st Biennium which align with the goal of responding to vulnerable populations. In conjunction with a continuing professional education event we sponsored on “Assessing for Abuse” and the role of a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), during the winter and spring of 2012 chapter members donated new women’s and children’s t-shirts, sweat pants, socks, and undergarments, organized into labeled storage containers by type and size, given to the emergency departments of our two area acute care facilities so that persons presenting for treatment following abusive situations could have clean new clothing to be discharged with [it is not uncommon that clothing items need to be retained as evidence in these situations]. We collected clothing to fill four large containers and included our contact information in the event that the supplies begin to run short so that we can seek new donations to re-stock them. 

In October 2012, members volunteered to assist with a large pharmaceutical recycling effort sponsored by the county solid waste authority. Many members took educational flyers to post in their work sites and/or share with patients, and 8 members (including 5 new undergraduate inductees) volunteered at a local sports stadium for 4 hours the morning of the collection. Since the appropriate disposal of pharmaceutical waste is so important for environmental health and safety, we feel as if this service to the community was significant in safeguarding vulnerable populations from unnecessary exposure to medical/toxic waste. 

In lieu of providing refreshments for a reception following our November 2012 Induction Ceremony, inductees, members, and guests were instead invited to bring a non-perishable food item. These food donations along with a check for the amount we would have normally spent on refreshments were presented to the local food bank and the annual Alvernia “Turkey Drive”, which in 2012 provided over 200 families with large baskets of Thanksgiving food items. In the summer of 2013, chapter members were invited to donate their “travel toiletries” --- hotel-sized toiletries picked up while on vacation or at professional conferences --- for use at a local agency with emergency and residential/educational services called “Berks Women in Crisis”.  Due to the combined efforts of our membership, two large cartons of hygiene items were donated. As nurses and members of the Honor Society of Nursing STTI, we end this 41st Biennium as we began --- in service to others. Our current service initiative, which will extend through December 2013, is a “baby bottle campaign” --- Loose Change for a Positive Change! Every member is invited to take a colorful labeled empty baby bottle and drop in loose change throughout the autumn months. This money will become a donation for sustaining the important work done by a local home for pregnant/parenting young women who have nowhere else to turn when they find out they are expecting a baby. “Mary’s Home” is an exceptional resource for a highly vulnerable population of women and children, and members of our chapter feel that our support of its on-going work is an important expression of the values of Nursing and of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Xi Chapter - Scholarship and Action: Responding to Vulnerable Populations
The Xi Chapter partnered with HUP and the UPENN School of Nursing to plan, advertise, and implement the Walk for Water for Haiti to raise funds after the disaster of 2011.  Many members of the chapter participated in the actual event, which was so successful that we repeated the event in March 2012.  Additionally, in June 2013, they partnered to raise funds to support training of a clinical educator at the new University Mirebalais Hospital in Haiti. 
 
Every April, the Xi Chapter participates in the West Philadelphia Wellness Day at the Penn Nursing Living Independently for Elders (LIFE) Center.  Wellness Day provides the West Philadelphia community with a day of health screening, nutritional information, food, exercise, and fun.  The chapter makes a financial contribution to the event, and generally 5 – 10 chapter members volunteer their time to take blood pressures and conduct cholesterol screening.
Every spring, the Xi Chapter supports the American Cancer Society Relay for Life by purchasing pizzas that are sold by nursing students.  All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.  Additionally, every year a number of chapter members participate in the actual fundraising event.
The chapter has sponsored a number of scholarly presentations that addressed vulnerable populations:
  • 2/22/12 – Dr. Tanja Krel presented “Understanding Child Eating Behaviors to Prevent Childhood Obesity.
  • 4/22/12 – Dr. Martha Curley presented “Research in Pediatric Critical Care – Not for the Faint of Heart.”
  • 5/12/13 – Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott presented “Sigma Theta Tau and Me: Our Journey and Ride to Promote Health and Health Equity of Vulnerable Teens.

The chapter has also financially supported the following research studies:
2011

  • Identifying the healthcare needs of women and children from a church community in Camden, NJ (Patrice Suplee)
  • Family and self- care management of HIV infected women and their HIV infected children (Carol Vincent)

2012

  • The experiences of black trauma patients: why are there racial inequities in injury outcomes?(Sarah Jacoby)

2013

  • Breastfeeding and the infant with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (Beth Froth)
  • Understanding virginity from the perspective of Arab women (Sarah Abboud)
  • Predictors of rehospitalization in older adults with heart failure receiving telehomecare (Youjeong Kang)

Xi Alpha Chapter Responding to Vulnerable Populations

Xi Alpha accepted Dr. Prevost’s Call to Action and responded to vulnerable populations on two separate occasions during this biennium. At Xi Alpha’s annual fall member meeting in October 2012, two newly inducted student members of Xi Alpha (from May 2012), were featured speakers (along with a MTSU faculty member who accompanied the group) in a presentation entitled “Mission to Kenya: Lives Transformed and Lessons Learned”. They shared their experiences of providing healthcare and nursing care to men, women and children during a 10 day trip to Kenya. Xi Alpha was proud to provide a venue for these STTI members to describe how this experience changed not only their perceptions of health and illness, but them personally as future nurses as they witnessed the impact that their nursing care and caring spirit  had on the people of Kenya.

Most recently, Xi Alpha made a financial donation to support the participation of several Xi Alpha members, in collaboration with Middle Tennessee State University’s Student Nursing Association, on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. Dr. Paul Williamson, Xi Alpha Leadership Succession Chair, led eleven undergraduate students (including 3 newly inducted STTI members) on an 8 day mission trip to one of the poorest and medically underserved regions in the world. Partnering with Safe Homes for Children and Humanitize Expeditions, the group’s focus and desired outcome for the mission trip was to improve the quality of life among the Mayan Indians of Guatemala, who are some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. 

With the financial support provided by Xi Alpha, the medical mission team transported over 1100 pounds of medical supplies to the main clinic and compound located in a remote mountainous region outside Guatemala City. Members of the mission team were able to meet the medical and healthcare needs of   over 325 patients in a 5 day period, at the main clinic and at three additional villages that were visited.

In alignment with Dr. Prevost’s call, the medical mission team provided education and care to mothers, babies, children, families, the young and the elderly. The following comments from two students, affirms the importance of answering the call for STTI members to respond to vulnerable populations.

“My most valued memory of the trip was being immersed in a beautiful culture. I will also cherish the memory I have of using my nursing knowledge and skills, with the assistance of a NP, to use a fetal heart doppler on pregnant Mayan women. This was an incredible experience for me because I have recently been hired as a women's health nurse and this was the first time I had the opportunity to find a fetal heart rate. The faces of the mothers when they heard their baby's heart beat for the first time will be memory I will not forget”. 

“At first I felt selfish excitement. I got to hold a baby! I couldn’t wait, because I love babies. I went to get her and she was so cute, and I was so happy to do it. Then they told me, she was 7 months old and only 8 lbs.  It took a moment for that to sink in, and it was almost too much to bear. I fought back tears for that poor baby as I took her in my arms. It brought me back to why were we here. These were sick people”.

Embracing Technology

 

Alpha Omega Chapter Embraces Technology
Increasing use of Technology by Alpha Omega Chapter Members has been a serious push this Biennium (2011-2013). Slowly members are joining the VIP, The Circle and the Chapter Officers have been attending the STTI webinars to increase their IT abilities. Additionally, members who have presented at the last Biennium and Regional conferences have had their abstracts posted in the Virginia Henderson Library. Numerous members are using the professional social media Linked In as well as Twitter.

The Online New Membership Orientation on the STTI website is a vital component of our orientation program & well received.


Beta Xi - Changing in the Age of Technology

In response to advances in technology and society, Beta Xi has embraced several social media sites in an effort to expand our network. In the summer of 2011 we joined The Circle on STTI’s social media platform. This has proven to be an effective way of disseminating nursing knowledge and wisdom to our Beta Xi members. Beta Xi is also visible on Facebook and Twitter.
The chapter uses multiple mediums to communicate with its members and the University community to maximize the visibility of the chapter, and ultimately the mission and vision of Sigma Theta Tau International. On The Circle, STTI’s professional networking site, we encourage members to stay connected and participate in discussions, personalize their profile, access chapter news and much more. The Circle provides Beta Xi members with a landing page, within SSTI’s main website, to obtain basic information regarding the chapter leaders, events, discussions, and contact information as well as serve as a member engagement tool. Through a new member initiative, Beta Xi uses The Circle for networking and becoming involved in events and activities. The Beta Xi Newsletter, which offers a plethora of information about the chapter and activities, is also published on The Circle. The Newsletter also has member highlights as well as highlights of activities and outreach initiatives.
 
The Beta Xi Chapter is also visible on social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites allow the Beta Xi Chapter updates to be available in a real time format. These sites are updated as events occur with posts, pictures and anecdotals. Chapter news is also communicated through the monthly STTIconnect e-mail that is sent to current members. The Circle is updated at least monthly or as needed to ensure timely communication with all members regarding events and meetings.
 
The layout and design of the chapter’s The Circle page, newsletter, and Facebook and Twitter communications is appealing. STTI selected the Beta Xi Chapter as the recipient of the September 2012 Chapter Website of the month. Beta Xi has used Facebook since 2008 as a communication medium to post events, pictures, and initiatives. We have also used YouTube as a means of communication. Beta Xi was recognized for having a birthday celebration with cake at a membership appreciation night that was posted to this social network site for anyone to view. Our chapter has also recently instituted a Twitter account as a new medium to communicate with members.
 
As a Chapter, we believe our use of technology is exemplary. However, we are constantly evaluating and modifying our approaches to best meet the needs of our members and to communicate the mission and vision of STTI to the larger community.  In fact, we are presently preparing to unveil a completely redesigned Facebook page.  In this age of technology, change is fast-paced.  We are committed to continual growth in the area of chapter communications through the use of technology.  It is with a great deal of pride and passion that we nominate the Beta Xi Chapter (University of Delaware) for the Regional Excellence Technology Award. We are grateful that this honor exists, and we believe that we exemplify this award.


Eta Eta Chapter - Embracing Technology

Eta Eta Chapter has demonstrated its willingness to embrace technology for many years by having its own website on the York College of PA server but we have really stepped up our efforts to comply with President Prevost’s pillar during the 2011-13 Biennium. 

In addition to our current website, we took advantage of the newly developed professional networking site, the Circle, by attending webinars on how to manage it, assigning a webmaster, and customizing our site.  Eta Eta was the first chapter to be recognized as Chapter of the Month in January 2012.  We continue to post news, announcements, and upcoming events on the Circle so that our members stay in touch with our chapter happenings.  

Eta Eta has also made access easier for potential members to get news about our chapter and STTI, both internally and externally to York College of PA.  We added an Eta Eta tab on the internal Stabler Department of Nursing portal in order for nursing students to click on it and get information on what our chapter and STTI is all about.  The page it links to has many embedded hyperlinks in the document which will take potential nursing student members to our Eta Eta website at the college, STTI’s main website, and our Circle website.  We also made it easier for potential members external to the college to get information about us when they visit the York College of PA webpage for the Stabler Department of Nursing.   They just have to click on “organizations” which will take them to a blurb about Eta Eta Chapter with embedded links to our webpage.

We also adopted a Go Green initiative in our 2012-2015 Strategic Plan which has led to much of our chapter business being conducted electronically including much of our communication to our members.

Kappa Lambda Chapter Embracing Technology
In this biennium, Kappa Lambda Chapter has made strides in using technology to communicate information about and from the chapter. The chapter began to use the chapter website on The Circle. The site was populated with news events about the chapter and its member consortium. Items such as the chapter by-laws and the chapter history were made available on the site. Pictures and information about induction, attendance at the leadership conference, and the 25th anniversary celebration were provided. Kappa Lambda Chapter was recognized as the chapter of the month in April 2013.
 
The chapter has used websites to provide information and for enhancing its function. Board members have participated in the STTI webinars to learn about their officer expectations and have used The Circle to engage with other chapters about various issues. The information on the university’s website about STTI and the chapter was corrected and updated in 2012, and the undergraduate and graduate student handbook websites were corrected.
 
The chapter has used e-mail to inform and to conduct chapter business.  E-mail letters were sent to welcome and inform new inductees about the chapter and STTI that was not available at induction, such as the chapter website and upcoming activities. A survey monkey was used to conduct the spring 2013 election of officers. Chapter meeting agendas and minutes are sent to the board members by e-mail before meetings.
 
Kappa Tau Embracing Technology
Kappa Tau has a very diverse geography that is compounded by mountains, dirt roads, and sometimes dangerous weather.  It makes our members have difficulty reaching all or any of meetings.  That is why the board has taken to make participating in Kappa Tau events easier for our members.  Our board meetings are held by teleconference, which members can either attend in person or call in.  Most of research events are held through a webinar that can be accessed by the computer to participate.  We have made registering for our events easier by providing online registration and payment for events through Google Docs and PayPal.  Our awards process for chapter awards is also virtual, making engagement for our retired members or members out of state able to participate in the awards process.  We have students submit their thesis or project to our email address, and then we upload them to Google Docs and email the link to the Awards committee.  The committee then reviews the information and fills out an online form for their evaluation.  We also utilize email communication, Facebook, and the Circle to engage members in a variety of ways.
 

Lambda Delta Chapter – Embracing Technology
STTI Recruitment Initiative at Cebu Doctors University College of Nursing in Cebu City, Philippines

STTI Lambda Delta Chapter started the recruitment initiative in the Philippines early 2011 at Cebu Doctors University College of Nursing (CDUCN). Board Members of Lambda Delta Chapter voted and approved the project as a mentoring outreach program. Past President Lolita Jacob shared her experience during a chapter board meeting on how to go about helping a school/college of nursing to be a part of STTI – Honor Society of Nursing.

Since the location is thousands of miles apart, various technology methods were used to communicate from US to the Philippines. Such technology included the use of e-mail, texting, Skype, Facebook, and various websites as references. The interested faculty members also were introduced to open Monmouth University/ Lambda Delta Chapter’s

Facebook account to see what’s going on with our chapter.  To help the faculty members understand what STTI is all about, Marilyn introduced the STTI website to the group and consequently for them to have a better understanding of the organization. This past August 2, 2013, she was able to present STTI to the CDUCN faculty members and answered their questions in person.

Today, they are in the process of forming a local honor society at their institution of higher education.  Lambda Delta Chapter Board supported the activity by guiding them how to communicate with STTI Headquarters and helping them channel their questions to the right personnel.

High technology has made this initiative possible. The communication is ongoing and mentoring them is easy because of technical advances. As STTI International President

Susan Prevost said, “as nurse leaders, technology is a vital tool for us to embrace, and effectively engage to improve the health of the world’s people”.


Omicron Delta Chapter – Embracing Technology
The Omicron Delta Chapter is a diverse chapter originating from a university that is spread throughout the world. As a result of this geographical dispersion, technology is a vital means by which we keep our chapter members engaged with the nursing community. Our more than 4,000 chapter members embrace technology to communicate, network, and generate and collaborate on ideas. We incorporate electronic newsletters, social media, and emails to keep our members up-to-date with current activities, events, and information that is relevant to them and their practice. Online and face-to-face conferences allow members to engage each other, share ideas, and discuss topics relevant to all nurses wishing to promote the health of the world’s people. Finally, we use recorded and live webinars to discuss relevant issues and to train new members and leaders so as to provide an optimal experience for all those who call Omicron Delta their chapter.

Omicron Delta also reaches members through social media. The chapter uses both Facebook and The Circle to expand its network and engage members. Both tools serve as a means to interact with members in a manner that is convenient for their lifestyle and preferences.

Facebook is a vital means by which we disseminate information about local, national, and international activities and members. It allows us to reach out to our members with updates and news. We use this tool to post our electronic newsletter, make announcements, and welcome new members who “like” our page. We currently have 643 “likes.” It is also a useful way to promote volunteer activities at the local, national, and international levels. This community engagement helps us to interact with fellow nurses and the population whose health we seek to improve. Our Facebook page, and other technology-related innovations, is managed by our technology committee. This committee is guided by our Leadership intern, which is a two-year position filled by a new member and operated similarly to the President and President-Elect positions (i.e., the previous intern coaches the newest intern).

Omicron Delta also utilizes its page on The Circle. Many of our members use the groups in The Circle. We promote these groups in our newsletter and on our Facebook page a few times a year. Such interaction also expands our members’ professional networks and exposes them to various ideas and information that are relevant to their practice.

Due in part to our geographical dispersion, Omicron Delta has found it vital to utilize digital meetings to collaborate with our members. The Board members meet monthly via teleconference to discuss board information and plan upcoming events. The Board uses a private Board page on our website to post materials for review and discussion prior to any meeting. After minutes have been approved, they are posted on the general chapter website for review. Many of our committees meet in private Facebook groups or use Word Press in addition to teleconferencing, so discussions can be archived.

Omicron Delta holds a yearly General Membership Meeting in Word Press. More recently, we have begun integrating Sigma Theta Tau International Continuing Credit courses into these meetings as a means of engaging members and providing a common starting point for discussions. Our last meeting integrated a Medical Mission Trips Continuing Education course that members completed prior to a three-day discussion on Word Press. Discussions were very rich and incorporated the experiences of many of our members who have served (and continue to serve) on medical missions and/or have worked as a nurse in other countries for extended periods. This meeting encouraged members to interact with Sigma Theta Tau International and review the available Continuing Education courses. On the last day of our General Membership Meetings, our officers post their reports, and we announce our scholarships and the Call for Nominations.

As technology advances, the chapter works to utilize the technological resources that are available. Omicron Delta incorporates a plethora of digital tools as a means to interact with and provide information to members. The following is a list of the digital advances we employ and how they are used:

The Omicron Delta web site is used to disseminate information and includes contact information for local area councilors and all board members.

Our digital newsletters are sent to all members via email and posted on our Facebook page. Newsletters are used to identify upcoming activities, member achievements, and chapter achievements.

STTI CE courses are integrated into our General Membership Meetings, and are used to start and sustain good dialogue between members on relevant topics (which are identified by the members).

A Leadership intern (who serves a two-year term learning about the chapter) manages our Facebook page and completes one project related to technology that will benefit the chapter. Our current intern is working on reviewing The Circle and what the chapter can do with The Circle to further engage our members.

Survey Monkey is used to send out a membership survey once a year so we can connect with our members, find out what they like and don’t like, what we can change, and what they are doing professionally. We use this data to complete our chapter key categories.

Our scholarship process is entirely electronic. Members complete required forms, attach supporting documents, and send them in for review all online. This aids in saving time and money.

Our election process is also electronic. Using the VIP profile list, we send an email message to each member, announcing the Call for Nominations. Nomination forms are downloaded and submitted through our web site. Elections are held through Survey Monkey.

For our conferences, we use Survey Monkey to send out evaluations.

We have a water.org donation site that we use to track our service activity donations annually.

We use Google Checkout and PayPal for our conference attendance/registrations.

We use YouTube for our President’s message, which is posted on our site and at induction.

We use Dropbox for induction pictures, so that members from all campuses can view all of the induction ceremonies.

We use eFax for our expense reports from our Board members and speakers to submit their expenses for reimbursement.

We also use a teleconference line for our Board members and committees to meet and discuss activities, issues, and ideas. The same line is also used to provide training for new campus 2nd VPs to run induction ceremonies.

Phi Epsilon Embracing Technology
The  Presidential theme  of give back to move forward exemplifies the members of the Phi Epsilon chapter. Phi Epsilon is a new chapter that formed from the George Washington University School of Nursing, and the process of embracing technology is vital as we are a virtual chapter.  We have utilized all the criteria set forth in the call to action to increase recruitment, engagement and retention.  We are certain with every movement forward in technology our chapter moves forward. This is accomplished by the dedication of the board and members to give back.
Collaborate using digital meeting- Our board meetings are formatted with digital meeting software.  Members of our board are from various points in the United States and Canada. Webcams and microphones  are part of our meeting landscape. We have virtual meetings that include all of our membership via the digital meeting platform. This November we will be hosting our first virtual induction along with new member orientation. In order to grow our involvement, we have many active subcommittees. These meetings are also virtual.
Expand web based content-As a new chapter we are participating in the strategic planning process.  Our key areas for this year were identified as leadership, communication technology and community service. To meet these goals , embracing technology is the solution.  We are directing members to leadership seminars from STTI and are placing additional webinars on our nursing website for our members. To meet our goal of communication technology we have increased our utilization of our digital meeting platform for induction, orientation and education.  For community service we are using a combination of service in the DC area and a call and template for our members in other areas of the country.

Disseminate nursing knowledge and wisdom  We have hosted our second scholarly virtual exhibition on our website. The third exhibition is in the planning stages and will happen in fall 2014. http://nursing.gwu.edu/scholarly-virtual-exhibition We also have encouraged the use of sharecare for our members and for them also to apply and share their expertise.
Social media-Our involvement is increasing as we are part of the circle and in process of facebook,group in, and twitter.
 

Phi Gamma Virtual Chapter Embracing Technology
The President’s Call to Action encourages chapters to embrace technology in promoting the mission and vision of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society.  Advancing the mission and vision of STTI - to make a difference worldwide through the creation of a global community of nurses - Phi Gamma Virtual Chapter focuses on electronic recruitment and engagement of nurse leader members who have limited or no access to an STTI chapter affiliated with an academic institution using technology. 

Phi Gamma serves professional nurses through virtual membership by mitigating personal and professional vulnerabilities and assisting members to utilize technology to access and use resources offered through STTI membership.  Member engagement occurred through the implementation of a culturally sensitive strategic plan that built and sustained chapter infrastructure by leveraging human and technological resources provided by the international headquarters.  In addition to the strategic development of chapter operations, Phi Gamma chapter furthers the Presidents Call to Action by improving technological processes of chapter operations and communications to enhance the collaborative efforts of nurse leaders around the world.  Chapter operations are guided and managed by virtual communication among current and past Board members who reside in the United States, Virgin Islands, Phillipines, Australia, and Oman. 

Phi Gamma currently boasts 187 active members from 16 countries and 4 continents.  The President and Board have consistently embraced and utilized technology and the application of technological platforms is reflected in the chapter’s strategic plan.  The Nurse Leader Counselor has streamlined communications with headquarters to efficiently process new member applications using online processes.  To promote engagement of these new and existing members, the Leadership Succession Committee strategically communicated with all members using online platforms, including STTI Connect and the Circle.  These technological platforms have assisted Phi Gamma leaders in identifying and recruiting chapter officer candidates and committee members from diverse countries.  The committee successfully achieved its primary goal to present to membership an online ballot that represented the international membership of the chapter and reflected our mission to build a global community of nurses.

Additional outreach has been accomplished through the efficient and effective use of technology such as the completion of an online survey of the international membership to identify the needs of members and to empower members to actively participate in chapter events and meetings.  Data gleaned from the completed survey provided chapter leaders with valuable information to direct chapter efforts and guide leadership decisions that empower members and enhance member engagement.

Collaboration with international nurse leaders to promote scholarship and application of evidence-based practices in other countries is evidenced through the virtual programming offered by Phi Gamma on the STTI Circle.  The Program Committee has recruited nurse leader presenters from Australia, Sweden, and the United States.  Using the GoToWebinar platform, chapter leaders recorded  and uploaded presentations onto the Circle and promoted synchronous and asynchronous post-program discussion.  The chapter also added a Webmaster to the Chapter Board to highlights the emphasis on quality and current technological communications. 

The Phi Gamma Board has embraced multiple methods of technology to promote networking, mentoring, and global collaboration.  Phi Gamma recognizes that as a virtual chapter, innovation in operations and communications is essential for chapter growth and success.  To enhance member knowledge in social networking, the chair of the STTI Global Technology and Innovation Taskforce presented a virtual program about the application of social networking in professional collaboration. 

Phi Gamma Virtual Chapter communications and operations consistently reflect innovation and international collaboration in sustaining the viability of the chapter. Phi Gamma exemplifies the strategic use of limited funds to reach out to our global community of nurses to achieve consensus in chapter building, achieve chapter goals, engage international nursing interaction, and support technological infrastructure.  Phi Gamma is VIRTUAL and embraces technology to build its nursing community throughout all aspects of chapter operations, including virtual member application, virtual nominations, virtual induction, virtual communications, virtual meetings, and virtual programming.   The chapter is virtually engaging!


Pi Nu Chapter – Embracing Technology
After our first year of re-grouping and regaining status as an active chapter, Pi Nu has developed both long term and short term goals as we look towards a future focus that not only creates energy among the members who are currently active, but those who currently “just can’t find the time”. One of our first tasks was to create a flier to use at any outreach event (attached). We use this flier to introduce STTI and Pi Nu specifically to our local community as a way to improve “name recognition”. Additionally, we have created a Facebook account and have joined Linked In as ways to reach members, and have created the chapter’s first online member newsletter entitled “Pi News”. It is in these ways that we have accomplished the requirement to “Embrace Technology”.


Rho Delta Chapter – Embracing Technology
Dissemination of Nursing Knowledge and Health Care Information through   Virtual Presentations and Video Survey

Following are the two examples of technological advancement where Rho Delta Chapter actively participated:

Rho Delta chapter leaders, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) Division of nursing services and Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery (AKU SONAM) celebrated International Nurses Day (IND) and International Day of Midwives (IDM) 2012. International Nurses’ Day theme for 2012 was “Closing the Gap: From Evidence to Action” and the theme of the International Day of the Midwives for 2012 was “The world needs Midwives today more than ever” where two keynote speakers’ virtual presentations were also part of the event. One was Dr. Andrea Baumann who is Associate Vice President, Global Health, Faculty of Health Sciences; Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Primary Care Nursing & Health Human Resources Scientific Director, McMaster Site, NHSRU. The second Keynote speaker was Dr. Nancy Edwards, Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa Scientific Director, Institute of Population and Public Health. Technological advancement helped our professional nurses to hear the experienced leaders from around the world where they can utilize this knowledge to improve the health of people whom they serve.

Rho Delta Chapter leaders actively participated with hospital’s leader and quality office during Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation. In 2006, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi (AKUH, K) became the first hospital in Pakistan to be awarded JCI accreditation. In August 2012, JCI re-accreditation provided a window of opportunity and innovation when the disturbed law and order situation in Pakistan didn’t allow security clearance to JCI Surveyors to visit Pakistan for planned second triennial survey of AKUH, K. In order to meet this challenge, the leadership of AKUH, K and JCIA jointly agreed to test out some innovative solutions for assessing compliance to JCIA standards. After a thorough discussion between the two organizations, the concept of a “Video Survey” was agreed upon as an effective alternate option to be tested. AKUH, K accepted the challenge and considered this as a window of opportunity to demonstrate the zeal of the organization towards quality improvement by the effective use of Information technology. JCI Video Survey commenced from January 28 to February 1, 2013. This was a 5 day survey from 0700- 1300 Hours Pakistan Standard Time (PST) (2100-0300 Hours Chicago Time). The video JCIA survey team comprised of Physician Surveyor and Team Leader, Nurse Surveyor and Administrator Surveyor. Each day from 0700-0800 hours (PST), the survey team started their day proceedings through a video meeting with the survey coordinator, escorts and IT support staff. Rho Delta chapter leader who worked as IT nurse was actively involved in designing portable trolleys to be the eyes and ears of the 03 JCI surveyors based in Chicago. To escort these trolleys to the desired locations, internal teams comprising of 03 nurses, 03 physicians and 03 administrator staff were constituted for escorting trolleys during JCI Video Survey. Before the actual survey, the same teams performed a mock video survey with a full survey agenda to test the system and train the staff. Surveyors sitting in Chicago used these trolleys with the help of escorts in Karachi to visit any location and ask questions from any faculty and staff member through the eye of a camera. Documents to be reviewed during the tracers were either reviewed directly by live focusing through the mobile camera on the trolley or scanned immediately and shared via iShare to the respective surveyors.


Rho Lambda - Increasing Membership Participation via the use of technology

Rho Lambda Chapter  had challenges of members being able to attend and participate in meetings. After discussion and consideration of various technology sources available, we started to use SKYPE for meetings. SKYPE allows members of our chapter to be a part of our live meetings via internet streaming for members who are unable to attend monthly meetings. The members are able to sign onto the site and join our monthly meeting sessions by listening, verbally interacting, providing input on discussion topics and be counted as a member in attendance, as well as voting when decisions need to be made. This format of communication allows members to be in attendance while also maintaining a normal life pattern.

Another form of communication that has been used to remain in contact with members of our organization includes email. Our chapter had two members who are in Afghanistan in 2012 and communication is maintained through the use of Skype, emails, and twitter. We are able to contact these members through the use of these technological advances while living in two different parts of the world in two different time zones. Having access to a computer simplifies communication interactions because we are able to visually see and communicate with other through technology and it allows all members to remain current and up-to-date with data regarding the population served in another country, as well as information regarding our chapter.

Having Internet access and using the Web to have a place where members and non-members can come and learn about the Rho Lambda Chapter promotes informational guidance such as, membership criteria, obtaining the minutes from each meeting and receiving an overview of what this chapter has to offer. Through the use of our website, The Circle, having constant updated access to information provides an open door for others to gain knowledge regarding our chapter. Most recently, we began the use of ‘COLLABORATE” to host our meetings which is a tool for virtual meetings which enables several to join the meetings and participate at the same time.  We have also been fortunate to engage other members in research by distributing research/practice articles to them electronically.  We also established a blackboard shell for our chapter to use during meeting times. We are able to upload minutes, announcements and photos for our members.

In conclusion, Rho Lambda Chapter has demonstrated effective and precise communication through various forms of technology and media usage to enhance communication among our chapter members.  Our advances in technology use will continue to expand as we are currently research newer forms of communication adaptation. New ideas have been created and are currently being tested such as face time through the use of an iPhone as well as Google chat.

 
Engaging Tau Kappa Members through Technology
Creating a sense of community amongst a geographically dispersed membership can be a challenge, but is not a barrier to meaningful engagement of the membership. Tau Kappa is home to over 250 members dispersed widely across the United States. To keep members feeling connected, the Chapter uses innovative technology to bring the Chapter to them despite their location.
 
Each year, the Chapter videotapes the entire induction ceremony---from opening remarks and guest speaker presentations through the pinning of new inductees. As the Chapter president reads each name during the ceremony, pictures of all inductees, including those not in attendance are displayed on a screen, which personalizes the experience for everyone.
Technology allows all inductees, whether or not they are able to attend the live ceremony, the ability to view the induction video online after the event. Additionally, all inductees receive a DVD of the event so they can memorialize the occasion and celebrate their accomplishment with friends and family.
 
Beyond induction, Tau Kappa uses technology in the following ways to foster a sense of community:
 
  • The Tau Kappa Newsletter is created in a digital format. Each spring and fall all members are emailed a newsletter with live links to websites and referenced documents.
  • Virtual fundraising events are held. For the past two years, the Chapter has held fruit sales online. In addition, the fundraising committee is currently planning a virtual silent auction during which donated pieces of art will be auctioned via a website.
  • General membership meetings have been conducted using a web conferencing platform (i.e., Adobe Connect Pro). These virtual meetings were followed by an educational program during which members presented their research.
  • Email is used to make members aware of meetings and events. A current email list is maintained for Tau Kappa members and is used as the primary means of communication.
  • The Tau Kappa Website is kept current with up-to-date chapter information, committee membership, and our strategic plan. All electronic newsletters are linked from the site, along with the video of the most recent induction ceremony.
  • The membership is surveyed annually using an online survey platform (i.e., Qualtrics). The survey is based on key award criteria and data obtained will soon be housed in a database in preparation for the next application period.

Upsilon Chapter - Embracing Technology
Upsilon Chapter has utilized Facebook and Upsilon’s Chapter Circle website to provide real-time updates and information to members about upcoming events as well as application forms for membership, scholarships and awards. New York University’s website provides information about the chapter to potential members. The college website is managed in collaboration with the Associate Director of communications at the College and the Communications Chair of the Chapter.  

Chapter Operations is greatly enhanced by the use of new technology. We utilized GoogleDocs to create forms to obtain feedback from members about events as well as registration for events. Dropbox allows for easy sharing of documents and forms between Board members. Doodle is a simple way to coordinate meetings between the board.

 
At events, Upsilon has its own laptop to facilitate registration for events and Paypal to accept payment onsite.

For more information regarding the Showcase of Regional Excellence, contact your regional coordinator or STTI headquarters at 888.634.7575 (U.S./Canada toll free) or +1.317.634.8171 (International) or e-mail chapserv@stti.org.

 
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