A month ago, I got an invitation from The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) to tour the East Wing while meeting with a small and exclusive group of individuals who are helping to change healthcare in the United States.
Dr. Rosenthal - Inside the White House
Under the leadership of Vice President Kamala Harris, the OPE has been interacting with healthcare leaders across the country to assess state priorities and to relay the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) priorities through outlets such as social media and professional contacts.
I encountered the OPE officials by participating in a series of calls after the American Association of Nurse Practitioners referred me and other healthcare peers. The calls gave us opportunities to communicate and collaborate with multiple participants and healthcare policy influencers outside of this forum.
During these calls, I advocated for increased access to health care for all citizens by removing barriers to practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). I was incredibly honored to accept this invitation to The White House to meet other national healthcare leaders to promote equity and access to healthcare and embarked on the eagerly anticipated tour on Sept. 1, 2022.
Takeaways from the tour
Throughout the tour, the small but influential cohort discussed topics of importance in healthcare, and how we could connect further to continue necessary work in these areas. Topics included improving access to care, improved maternal/child health, behavioral health and health disparities.
Dr. Rosenthal - In the East Wing of the White House
The cohort consisted of five amazing individuals from multiple disciplines in healthcare: Adrian Burrowes, MD, CEO and Managing Partner of CFP Physicians Group of Casselberry, Fla.; Geeta Nayyar, MD- SVP, Chief Medical Officer at Salesforce, Miami, Fla.; Michelle Ratcliff, DMFT, LSW, Professor at Delaware State University; Carmen Guerra, MD , Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion at Penn Medicine’s Perelman School of Medicine; and Valencia Walker, MD, Associate Chief Diversity and Health Equity Officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.
During our discussions, I learned about the innovative work being done by these dedicated individuals in many facets of healthcare. I also learned that I need to continue to improve my social media skills to reach people throughout the world.
As a result of this meeting of the minds, we formed a group and exchanged phone numbers, emails, and social media accounts to reach as many people as possible. We will share professional contacts to improve our ability to make change in healthcare.
Of course, the tour itself was awe-inspiring as we got a rare glimpse inside the beautiful East Wing, which serves as office space for the First Lady and her staff. The historic backdrop amid powerful conversations with people from different disciplines, backgrounds and locations made this visit a truly life-changing experience for me.
It was inspiring to meet with others who are so passionate about healthcare and to learn how we can collaborate to improve health of the nation moving forward.