The health screening and education booths of Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY) at the Senior Health Expo in Rockville Center, Long Island was a major attraction for the local
communities in the area. They included blood pressure monitoring, body mass index measurement, blood sugar check, physical and mental health screening, diabetes education, heart- related education and other health maintenance education and guidance. The Senior Health Expo was organized by the first Indian American second term New York State Senator of Long Island
Kevin Thomas. The event was targeted at the seniors in the region to give access to information and resources for maintaining and bettering their health.
INANY, the organization that stands as the voice of Indian nurses living in New York, has been engaged with New York State Senator to extend healthcare services to the underserved communities in his constituency for the last three years. INANY was also a recipient of a $10,000 grant in partnership with Coalition of Asian American Children and Families to address the surge anti-Asian hate incidents after the COVID-19 pandemic began. The nurses conducted an awareness and bystander intervention training program in senior centers, professional forums, social gatherings and as part of a nursing continuing education conference. The training program comprises various strategies that could be used by a witness or bystander of an anti-Asian hate incident to comfortably intervene to help the victim, without compromising safety or fear. Dr.Anna George, the president of INANY pointed out that the strategies are evidence based and have been adopted by various universities and healthcare organizations such as Northwell Health.
INANY also utilized this opportunity to provide innovative and accessible infection control education for frontline healthcare workers to protect their patients. This initiative was part of National Association of Indian Nurses of North America (NAINA) instituting a grant from American Nurses Association.
The nurse-volunteers who attended at the Health Expo comprised of nurses working at bedside, nurse practitioners from cardiac catheter lab, and university professors who shared their expertise to educate on reducing risks of life threatening illnesses and conditions. They also did depression screening and talked about need for seeking help or reaching out to resources when someone from own family or others suffers from mental health conditions or substance abuse. They also counselled about the stigma attached to mental illness.
Taylor Darling, the New York assembly woman from district 18 who observed services of INANY nurses at the Expo said that she was thoroughly impressed and delighted with what INANY did for the health of the community. She talked about the stressors in nursing related to staff shortage, safe staffing issues, faculty shortage and acuity at work and thanked the nurses for their compassion and altruism. Senator Kevin Thomas expressed his gratitude for the services INANY provided to the people of his district and for the dedication of Indian nurses for what they do every day in healthcare facilities.
INANY president Dr. Anna George, Annie Sabu Aleyamma Appukuttan, Grace Alexaner, Nisha Jayan, Grace Geevarghese, Rupinder Kaur, Paul Panakal, Shiney Xavier, Paul Panakal, and Jaya
Vathappally dedicated the day for their voluntary services at the Expo.